Victor Quijada was born in California in 1976 to Mexican parents. Over the past dozen years, he has developed a unique style of choreography that extols the various artistic influences that stimulated him as a dancer – the power and spontaneity of hip hop, the rigour and virtuosity of ballet, the evocative power of contemporary dance and its use of time and space. At times he plays with time and reality by means of video or opts for heightened dramatization, creating more abstract works with an emphasis on interaction with the spectators.
His remarkable dance career began at age 8 with hip hop culture on the streets of Los Angeles. His introduction to formal dance and theatre at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts expanded his view of the potential of street dance as an art form. He was later influenced by his mentor the dance pioneer Rudy Perez of the Judson Church Dance Theatre, and began combining hip hop with postmodernist dance. He perfected his classical movement at the request of dance icon Twyla Tharp, for whom he danced for three years. He then worked with Eliot Feld’s company Ballet Tech before performing as a demi-soloist with the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal from 2000 to 2002. It was in their dance workshops that he developed his hybrid style, which he had initially started working on prior to leaving the U.S.
In 2002 he founded the RUBBERBANDance Group. Its theatricality and mingling of styles led to immediate success. In 2003 he received the Peter Darrell Choreographic Award (UK) and the Bonnie Bird North American Award. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Choreography Fellowship granted by the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
He has received commissions from companies such as the Pacific Northwest Ballet, BalletMet, Peter Boal & Company and the Chamber Dance Project in the U.S., Transitions Dance Company in the U.K. and the Jeune Ballet du Québec. He also collaborated with the Scottish Dance Theatre with Self Observation Without Judgement, which won the 2004 National Dance Award for best modern repertory, awarded by the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.
Victor Quijada was a finalist for the 2004 American Choreography Awards for the short film adaptation of Hasta La Próxima. He staged the dance sequence in the K-OS music video Man I Used to Be, which won a MuchMusic Video Award for best rap video.
He has also directed the short films Small Explosions That Are Yours to Keep in 2006, under the mentorship of the director Micah Meisner, Secret Service in 2007 and Gravity of Center in 2011, among others. He collaborated with the director René-Pierre Bélanger on the films La Symphonie éclatée, featuring Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Canada Day 2004 broadcast for the CBC, which was nominated for a Gemini award.