Canadian born Julia Adam received her early training in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, and at age thirteen began studies at the National Ballet School in Toronto, graduating in 1983.
She spent the next five years honing her skills at the National Ballet of Canada. In 1988 Julia joined San Francisco Ballet, where she finished the remainder of her dancing career, gaining prestige as a principal dancer known for her lyricism, musicality and broad theatrical range. Julia performed a wide range of roles in Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s diverse repertory for the Company. She retired from dancing in Spring 2002.
After retiring, Julia was able to devote more time to her love and talent for choreography. She created her first ballet, The Medium is the Message, in 1993 for San Francisco Ballet’s Choreographic Workshop, drawing much attention for her uncanny wit and unique sense of movement. For the 1994 workshop, she created Once is Enough to the music of Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma, which was subsequently performed at the 1995 opening of the new Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
In 1996 Marin Ballet commissioned Julia to create Where’s George?, and in 1997, she returned to create Butterfly’s Day Out. The Bay Area Dance Series “Summerfest Program” commissioned Adam to create Thirteen Lullabies, which premiered at San Francisco’s Cowell Theater in June of 1996. Thirteen Lullabies received Dance Bay Area’s Isadora Duncan Award for Choreography in 1997.
Julia created Innocence and Experience in 1997 and Allegoria in 1999 for Columbus, Ohio’s Ballet Met. 1998 saw a proliferation: Seven Ages in 3/4 for Robert Moses’ Kin; Chameleon for the Alberta Ballet; and Newton: Three Laws of Motion for the Lawrence Pech Dance Company. Pech brought her back in November 2000 to create The Shroud, which Dance Magazine hailed as “fascinating.” In December 2000 Julia traveled to New York City to create Won for ABT II, and returned in 2001 for the New York premiere of The Shroud.
Julia collaborated with composer Matthew Pierce to create Night for San Francisco Ballet’s 2000 “Discovery Program.” Night premiered to such popular and critical acclaim that the company toured the ballet to the Paris Opera’s Palais Garnier in France, The Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, and City Center in New York. She has since worked with Matthew to make Crossing for The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in Fall 2001, and Reverence for the Cincinnati Ballet in Fall 2002. The success of Night prompted the subsequent commissions by San Francisco Ballet of Angelo in Spring 2002, and Imaginal Disc, another collaboration with Pierce, in 2003. In 2008 Julia created “a rose by any other name” for San Francisco Ballet’s New Works Festival, in celebration of their 75th anniversary. In December of 2009 Julia’s created her first full-length ballet, The Nutcracker for Marin Ballet.
Julia has created over 60 works for numerous companies including San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet. Julia has created and staged 10 works on Ballet Memphis and was their Artistic Associate from 2010 to 2013. Julia continues to choreograph around the country and win critical acclaim for her work.