Lesley Telford is a Vancouver-based choreographer who has returned to her hometown after a career in Europe spanning 20 years. She is the artistic director of Inverso Productions and also leads the Performance Research Project at Arts Umbrella.
Lesley finished her studies in Montreal at L'École Supérieure de Danse du Québec before joining the company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. She went on to dance with Nacho Duato's Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid, Spain. Most recently, she danced with Netherlands Dans Theater 1 where she worked with choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Crystal Pite and others and performed in major theatres worldwide. She has set and staged the work of Jiri Kylian as well as Lightfoot/Leon.
As a choreographer, she has created works for Netherlands Dans Theater 1, Ballet BC, Hubbard Street Dance Company 2, Compañia Nacional de Danza 2, Ballet Vorpommern, International Project for Dance in Rome (DAF), Butler Ballet, the University of Utah and Arts Umbrella Dance Company. Through Inverso Productions, she has choreographed 2 full evening works: Brittle Failure which has toured to Spain, the Netherlands and Canada and her current project, Spooky Action. She was selected by Crystal Pite for the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award in 2015.
As a teacher, she has given workshops and classes internationally in many companies and schools and has a long history as a teacher and mentor with Arts Umbrella. She teaches classes of repertoire, ballet, movement exploration and improvisation/ composition.
Lesley has a Master of Cultural Production from the University of Salzburg.