Christopher Channing works in the arts. He is a performer, writer and director working in many disciplines,. He is also a freelance artistic director, designer and deviser of theatre, arts festivals and events. He is based in North-Central Italy.
Channing was born in Preston, Lancashire, and grew up on the Moray Firth coast of Scotland. At age 13 he became a resident student at The Royal Ballet School. He graduated in 1980, aged 18.
In 1980 he joined Northern Ballet Theatre. Under artistic director Robert de Warren and choreographers Andre Prokovsky, Geoffrey Cauley, Michael Pink and Christopher Gable he danced in the corps de ballet and as a soloist until the end of the summer 1983.
After leaving Northern Ballet Theatre Channing worked as a freelance commercial dancer in feature films and adverts with choreographers Arlene Phillips, David Taguri and Gillian Gregory.
By 1984, aged 22, he was working principally as an actor and sometimes as a stage designer.
During the academic year 1990/1991 he went to Fylde and Blackpool College and completed the GNVQ Teacher/Training Qualification: Certificate in Counseling Skills in the Development of Learning.
In autumn 1992 Channing moved to Paris to study at L’Ecole Internationale de Teatre Jacques Lecoq. During that time he also studied at at L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier and with Arianne Mnouschkine at Theatre du Soleil.
During his time in Paris he started to work as an independent performer producing his own work, starting with a comedy tableau vivant of the Mona Lisa. He also appeared in the variety shows at ‘Piano dans la Cuisine’ and ‘Scaramouche’. He worked in close collaboration with Philippe Planquois, the artistic director of cabaret-restaurant ‘Chez Madame Arthur’.
Channing moved to Castelvetro di Modena, Emiia Romagna, Italy in September 1994. He is still based in Italy.
He devises and directs theatre shows and performances in the worlds of theatre, performance, recital, circus, fine arts, corporate events and festivals.
For ten years he specialised in ‘Living Paintings’ as performance art and theatre. He curated and directed 8 editions of the ‘International Biennale of the Absurd’, including ‘The International Competition of the Arts in Absurdity’.
He was master of ceremonies at the 70th birthday party of tenor Luciano Pavarotti. He is master of ceremonies annually at ‘Il Ballo del Doge’ (The Doge’s Ball) in Venice.
Channing was defined by critic and curator Alberto Masoni as “… One of the artists who manages best to fuse and mix the artistic experiences of theatre, mime, music and visual arts”.