“The discipline and hard work of a creative life is a constant reminder not only of our imperfection, but also of the joy in overcoming obstacles…”
– Jamel Gaines
Founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer
Jamel Gaines is the artistic director and founder of Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn. Gaines began dancing under the direction of Diane and Adrian Brown. His choreographic career began at Purchase University, where he received the Harry Bellefonte Scholarship graduating with a BFA. Under the tutelage of Kevin Iega Jeff and as a member of JUBILATION! Dance Company, Mr. Gaines developed his unique and nurturing approach to teaching and composing dance art.
His work has been staged by the Actors Theater Workshop, The NYC Department of Parks, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Paramount Theatre and The Martha Graham School. He has worked with such distinguished artists as Jennifer Holiday, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Savion Glover, Malik Yoba, George Fasion, Ornette Coleman, Ossie Davis, Olatunje Babatunde, Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson and Rick James. He has also taught and choreographed dance for productions in Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Spain, Germany, Canada, Italy, London, and Portugal.
Over the past sixteen years Mr. Gaines has choreographed and staged over 25 repertory and concert productions. In 2004, Jamel appeared on Public Television’s American Talent in which he was presented The Teacher Recognition Award, during the Presidential Scholars in the Arts Committee at The Kennedy Center, and has been featured in publications such as Essence Magazine, The New York Times, The Seattle Times and The Daily News.
Mr. Gaines is the director of St. Paul’s Eldad Medad Danced Ministry, which seeks to find a spiritual path through movement. His work at St. Paul’s includes “He Got Up”, the commemoration of the African Holocaust and the acclaimed “Black Nativity” for which he won an Obie Award.
Jamel Gaines is dedicated to asserting the prominence of the arts in America and committed to promoting the significance of dance seen through the lens of the African American experience, as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and boldly reaching into the future.
“Dance Theatre of Brooklyn oscillates between sacred and secular, ballet and street — bridging, not blurring the distinctions…” The Village Voice �