News: The NY street dancer who became English National Opera's surprise Christmas Star

Monday 8 December 2014 by Clare Evans

English National Ballet - 'The Gospel According to the Other Mary'

Known by his stage-name Banks-Artiste, 25-year-old New Yorker James Davis was as surprised as anyone by the wave of reviews claiming he’d stolen the show as the Angel Gabriel in English National Opera’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary. He talks about his humble beginnings as a busker and his what Flex dancing means to him.

At heart, Banks is a street dancer so he has been keeping his hand in by taking part in Saturday night krump battles in a subway near the Coliseum – “I won both.” On Saturday he plans to busk in Trafalgar Square. “That’s where I came from. I used to dance in the street all the time, not even for money. I like entertaining people. And then I started getting money from it so I thought ‘hey, why not?’”

Read more: The Guardian, 29 November 2015

The 25-year-old street dancer from New York has drawn gasps from Coliseum regulars for his portrayal of the Angel Gabriel in John Adams’s oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary. The critics came away spellbound, each one singling him out… Who was this “flex” dancer, given only the most cursory mention in the programme? What were these flickering, glitchy moves? What witchcraft, in short, was this?”

Read more: The Evening Standard, 5 December 2015

The Gospel According to the Other Mary finished at The Coliseum on 5 December, but you can still get a glimpse of Davis flexing here:

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