James “Cricket” Colter is a professional street dancer who has performed, taught, and lectured on the form internationally for over 22 years . In addition ,he is a well versed visual artist (sequential art, children’s book illustrations, etc) choreographer and artistic director.
Mr. Colter (Cricket) is a part of the “Step-Fenz” dance crew ,a NY based dance group that is known for it’s mix of Bboy and House dance. From 2012 Mr.Colter has worked as the Hip-hop/Street dance director for American Voices, a U.S. State department administered program that brings the arts to youth in nations emerging from conflict or isolation around the globe. He is also a founding member of the hip-hop theater company Rennie Harris Pure Movement (RHPM) ,and has worked with the company for over 20 years. During his time with RHPM, he performed repertory globally, as well as Rennie Harris’ Bessie award-winning "Rome and Jewels.” Cricket also led the education and outreach programs for the company, which required him to research and lecture on black vernacular dance and its connection to today’s popular and underground street dances.
His own work includes: teaching at dance festivals world wide, one of which includes the famous Bates Dance Festival held annually in Maine,and the international SDK (Street Dance Kamp) in Europe; featured dancer in television commercials, and the successful Disney movie "Step Up 2 the Streets; music videos for recording artist,Boys IIMen, KRS-1,Will Smith, Eve ,Avil Lavigne, Fall Out-Boy , Chris Brown,and was the host of MTVJapans "Dreamers" television show. Cricket constantly finds himself next to movement experts that push the envelope of dance, touring and working with the likes of, Bill "Crutch Master" Shannon, to Urban tap dancer, Tamango Van Cayseeleas ,theatrical word smith ,dancer and founder of the Breakin Convention from London, Jonzi D. Cricket has produced and directed various dance work, in Philadelphia, and New York City, and worked as director and artistic director, on the London based production company “Independance” produced show ,“Heroes.” A production which he also worked as costume designer. And in 2015, he worked as producer, artistic director, and curator of the U.S. Embassy administered “ Kyrgyz-American Hip-Hopfest “.
Cricket’s artistic mission is to push the limits of the various movements that exist in Hip-Hop and other contemporary dance forms. It is his belief that by blending the various art forms a viable story could be told on the concert dance stage, destroying the notion that Hip-Hop is merely an athletic form of dance that can only be performed in a showcase setting. Cricket believes, through Hip Hop, complex stories can be told and the boundaries of theater can be pushed by adding the urban/hip hop aesthetic to costume, set design, and soundscapes, etc. To this end, Mr. Colter has recently founded his own company “Concept Kinetics” to accomplish this goal. Community is the cornerstone of street dance and the roots of his street dancing practice. Because of this, Cricket has maintained weekly dance sessions for street dancers, including one for Bboys in Philadelphia (est 1995), and a session for House and freestyle dancers in NYC, the “House Head Session” formally known as “the Lab” (est 2011). With dancers from the session, Cricket reformed his former dance crew the “Crazy-Natives” as a way to give the dancers the first creative platform that started his career in dance.