U R B A N / T R I B E was founded by Mathew James as a way to build an artistic community that functions by implementing the principles and values involved in a tribe. Mathew James comes from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, a tribe located in Santa Ynez, CA. He has been heavily influenced by the tribal elements of inclusion, community, teamwork, cooperation, and contribution that he believes is a strong necessity in creative art-making. These values are integral and potent within the mission goals of U R B A N / T R I B E. Each member of the tribe has a specific role and is vital to the function and success of the tribe. U R B A N / T R I B E creates work based upon cultural, societal, and political notions that densely penetrate each life within our population. Thoughtful research, discussion, creative movement practices, extremely physical and emotionally charged kinetic, personal anecdotes, improvisation, and many other creative devices are used as a means for the tribe to build art that is a deeply personal and yet, a representation of our lives, all lives, and our population. The work inherently invites every viewer and participant into the tribe.



MATHEW JAMES earned his MFA at Tisch School of the Arts in Performance & Choreography, as well as his Yoga teaching certification at The Perri Institute of Mind and Body. He received his BA at Loyola Marymount University, where he performed repertoire by Barak Marshall and Lillian Barbeito, Co-­Artistic Director of BODYTRAFFIC. Mathew has performed works by Bill T. Jones, Shannon Gillen, Felipe Barrueto of Joe Good Performance Group, former NYC Ballet Soloist Nolan T’sani, Kevin Williamson, and Lauren Adams. He has performed professionally with Red Bucket Dance Theatre, Nickerson­Rossi Dance, Los Angeles Movement Arts, and consistently worked in the commercial industry as a dancer and movement director with brands such as Diesel Jeans and Disney Channel. Mathew produced his first evening-length work, Hostage in Sovereignty, in 2013. In 2015, Mathew choreographed a work for the Jewish Community Center: Manhattan, worked with creative team, Sonya Tayeh, The Bengsons, and Joe Lampert on the development of the production, The Lucky Ones, and performed work by Mat Elder Dance in NYC, Baltimore, & Boston. Currently, Mathew is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for U R B A N / T R I B E. Mathew has presented work with U R B A N / T R I B E at Stub Theater in Los Angeles, The Jack Crystal Theater and Access Theater in NYC. U R B A N / T R I B E recently presented work at The Dance Theater Lab in Purchase, an evening length work at Green Space in January 2017,and premiered a new work at the Salvatore Capezio Theater in February 2017. Mathew is currently a Staff Member & Faculty Member at Peridance Capezio Center where he curates programming for pre-professional and professional dance training, leads a Performance Seminar Program, and teaches contemporary technique, performance skills, and improvisation.