Javier De Frutos was born in Venezuela in 1963 where he began his dance training in 1980, continuing at the London School of Contemporary Dance and at the Merce Cunningham School, New York.
From 1988 to 1992 Javier was a member of Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians in New York. In 1992, he was appointed Choreographer in Residence at Movement Research in New York City. On his return to the UK in 1994 he established the Javier De Frutos Dance Company which toured to great acclaim around the world.
In 1997 he received the South Bank Show award, which was followed by a 1999 South Bank Show dedicated to his achievements and directed by Susan Shaw. The programme was nominated for the Royal Television Society Award.
In 2000 the digital channel Artsworld made a documentary about the making of The Celebrated Soubrettefor Rambert Dance Company as well as a companion broadcast of its performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. His ballet Milagros features in the documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. The same year Javier was among the first to be made a Fellow of The Arts Council of England, conducting two years exhaustive research on the work of playwright Tennessee Williams.
In 2006 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale with a trilogy of his work and developed and directed a new musical called Cattle Call in collaboration with Richard Thomas (creator of Jerry Springer the Opera), the 2008 Tony Award winning designer Katrina Lyndsay and lighting designer Michael Hulls.
Javier’s film and TV credits include The Long Road to Mazatlan in collaboration with Isaac Julien which was nominated for the Turner prize in 2001.
Javier’s work is in the repertoire of many ballet and contemporary dance companies, including Rotterdam Dance Group, Ballet Shindowski, Nuremberg Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Candoco, The Royal Ballet and Gothenburg Ballet. He choreographed Carousel for the Chichester Festival Theatre, the National Theatre’s production of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman (for which he was also movement director) and the acclaimed West End and touring productions of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer in February 2007. He has been nominated for Olivier Awards on numerous occasions: in 2004 for Elsa Canasta, in 2005 for Milagros, and in 2011 for London Road.
Other awards include the 1995 Paul Hamlyn Award, 1996 Bagnolet Prix d’ Auteur (E Muoio Disperato…), 1997 South Bank Show Award (Grass and All Visitors Are Welcome, Some by Coming Some by Going),2004 Time Out Live Award (Sour Milk) and the 2005 Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Choreography (Elsa Canasta and Milagros) plus a nomination for the same award again in 2008 (Los Picadores and Paseillo). Javier has also received nominations for the WhatsOnStage Award (Cabaret and From Here to Eternity), Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards and the International Theatre Institute Award. He was also nominated for the first Maverick Awards in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Groucho Club.
Javier’s recent credits include choreographer/movement director for the production of Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe; stage and costume design for Shakespeare's first performance in recent memory of Double Falsehood at the Union Theatre directed by Phil Willmott; and movement director for London Roadat the NT (Olivier Award nomination Best Theatre Choreographer 2012, 2012 Critics Circle award Best Musical). His recent collaboration with Pet Shop Boys The Most Incredible Thing earned Javier, Neil Tennant and Chris Rowe the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Award, and a further nomination in 2012 from the Critics Circle as Best Choreographer. From Here to Eternity in the West End gained a 2013 nomination for the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Choreography. Javier recently choreographed Wonder.land for the Manchester International Festival and National Theatre, and Everyman, again for the National.