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Shobana Jeyasingh

Shobana Jeyasingh is an internationally recognised choreographer who founded Shobana Jeyasingh Dance 30 years ago. She has created over 60 critically acclaimed works for diverse platforms including stage, screen and unconventional public spaces such as Palladian monasteries, fountain courtyards and city offices. Her work is noted for both its intellectual rigour and its visceral physicality.

Over the course of a distinguished career she has collaborated with scientists, gallery curators, composers, film makers, digital creatives as well as dancers and designers to make bold multi disciplinary work. Her work has toured extensively to Europe, USA, India and the Far East and is now part of the national curriculum in the UK. Her recent dance works Material Men redux (2017) and Contagion (2018) were both chosen to be in the top ten dance works of the year by UK broadsheets.

Notable commissions include Rambert Dance Company, Ballet Black, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Beijing Modern Dance Academy, Contemporary City Dance company Hong Kong and recently Opera National du Rhin France where she will direct and choreograph Until The Lions, the opera in 2121.

Shobana is the recipient of numerous awards for choreography as well for her contributions to the dance world though her writings and talks. She was a judge in the BBC’s Young Dancer in both 2017 and 2019. Shobana has honorary doctorates from the universities of Surrey, Leicester and Chichester. She was awarded the prestigious Woman of the World Award in 2017 and was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2020.

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The Company

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance pushes the possibilities of dance beyond storytelling to stimulate thought, reaction and sensation through the movement of the human body. Complex, inquisitive, adventurous and always surprising, we challenge expectation, pushing possibilities to create dance pieces that uncover strange beauty.

We never tread the same path twice. Past works have explored the complexities of human experience, science, classical painting, culinary trends and urban architecture. We use original design, music and technology to complement and counterpoint our dance, embracing harmony and tension.

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. To celebrate we’ve produced a podcast series with Guardian Dance Critic Sanjoy Roy called ‘Surface Tension’ which explores Shobana’s work and her immense contribution to the dance and cultural sector.

Listen to Surface Tension – the podcast from Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.


We have ambitious plans for the future including the premières of two new dance operas and restaging of some well-known work from our repertory.

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Awards & Achievements


Shobana Jeyasingh appointed as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)


Contagion announced as part of 1418 NOW’s programme of events.

Shobana Jeyasingh to feature in a BBC FOUR film about the process of research and development for Contagion.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance becomes an Associate Company at Southbank Centre.


Outlander, commissioned by The Istituto Interculturale di Studi Musicali Comparati at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini Venice and a special event for the Venice Biennale Danza 2016

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance nominated Best Independent Company in the National Dance Awards

Shobana awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Chichester

Material Men, commissioned by Southbank Centre, premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Shobana announced as a named practitioner in the AQA specifications for study at AS and A-level Dance from September 2016

Bayadère – The Ninth Life, commissioned by The Royal Ballet Studio Programme and inspired by the ballet La Bayadère, premiered at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House


Shobana received the 2014 Award for Excellence in International Dance from the International Institute of Dance and Theatre


Company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a commission, Strange Blooms, for London’s Southbank Centre

For a second year running, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance nominated Best Independent Company in Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

The Cultural Institute at King’s College London appoints the company as Knowledge Producer


TooMortal, a site-specific work for historic churches, premieres at Venice Biennale and presented by Dance Umbrella as part of the Olympic’s London 2012 Festival

Company nominated Best Independent Company in Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards


Company tour India for the first time in its 22-year history

Counterpoint commissioned by London’s Somerset House and English National Ballet, performed by 20 dancers in the historic fountain courtyard and broadcast on TV by Sky Arts


Faultline added to UK GCSE dance syllabus


Shobana named Asian Women of Achievement Awards for her contribution to arts in the UK


Shobana awarded a NESTA Dream Time Fellowship to visit China and Japan


Dance Umbrella commissions [h]Interland, the first live dance webcast between UK and India


Palimpsest nominated for South Bank Show Award

Time Out Best Choreography Award for Palimpsest


Shobana was awarded an MBE for services to dance, an honorary MA from Surrey University and an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University, Leicester


Arts Council Women in the Arts Award and The Prudential Award for Dance together with the £100,000 Prudential Premier Award for the Arts


Time Out Best Choreography Award for Making of Maps


Digital Dance Award for Speaking of Sakti, choreographed by Chandralekha to music by W Subrahmanyam


Digital Dance Award for Miniatures (a precursor to Configurations), choreographed by Shobana to music by Michael Nyman

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The Team


Moya Maxwell / Executive Director

Moya brings a wealth of arts and venue management experience to her role at Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.  She has a track record in developing new business ventures and creating innovative and successful business partnerships which support arts organisations to maximise their commercial potential.

In 1998 Moya was part of the team which opened the new Sadler’s Wells Theatre.  In 2004 Moya took up the role of Head of Commercial Programming at the Royal Opera House, a role which saw her attract high profile events to the venue, manage the summer outdoor live broadcasts and launch live broadcasts in the UK cinema circuit.  She also established a successful summer season of varied main stage programming to engage new audiences. From 2016, Moya was Director of Venues for the RIBA responsible for the new architecture centre in Liverpool, as well as delivering a full commercial events schedule at the award winning HQ in London.

Moya is also a Trustee of People United and for 10 years was a Board member and Chairman of Unique Venues of London.

Lise Smith / Producer

Lise has over 10 years experience of producing professional touring theatre and participatory projects at all scales with clients including Akademi South Asian Dance,  Fly No Filter, Scarabeus Aerial Theatre, Joon Dance, Kate Flatt Projects and Kamala Devam Company.  Trained at Laban, Lise also makes performance work with her company Bricolage Dance (of which she is co-director alongside Anna Buonomo and Irene Wernli). Lise joined SJD in March 2019 to produce the London Festival of Architecture Fluid Boundaries project and the autumn 2019 tour of Staging Schiele.

Verity Richards / Learning Manager (Maternity Cover)

Verity has been devising, managing and facilitating participatory activities in the Arts and Culture sector for the last 7 years. She has worked in a range of Creative Institutions (Somerset House), Theatres (Rose Theatre Kingston), Higher Education Settings (RADA, University of Exeter) and Community Arts Companies (Bounce Theatre, Bigfoot Arts).

She specialises in working with underrepresented groups, programming opportunities for those who do not currently have easy access to the sector.

Verity graduated from the University of Exeter in 2013 with a BA(hons) in Drama and in addition to her role at Shobana Jeyasingh Dance is a freelance Youth Theatre Director, Movement Director and Dance Teacher.

Alice Odin / Learning Manager (on Maternity Leave)

Alice has worked in the arts and cultural sector for over ten years, managing learning and participation programmes in museums (The Courtauld Gallery, Ben Uri Gallery) and community organisations (Roehampton Arts, The Hub, Newham). She also works as a freelance producer and lecturer for UK and international institutions such as Central Saint Martin’s, University of the Arts London, The Royal Academy, IUT Lyon 1 and The Louvre Museum, Paris. As a qualified project manager, Alice has worked on national projects such as the Cultural Olympiad 2012 and HLF-funded exhibitions.

Alice graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2005, with an MA in Victorian Art. She previously studied in Lyon (Université Lumière Lyon II) and in Paris (Université Jussieu-Paris 7).

Chris Davies / Finance Manager

Chris left university to work with KPMG and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1995. He has since worked in finance and audit roles around the world for Goodyear and Carillion plc. In 1998, he moved to work in Hong Kong where he established his own company doing print design, writing and audio engineering. He returned to live and work in the UK in 2013. 

He currently splits his working life between Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and a similar role in the retail sector, which helps to bring a commercial focus to the charity.

Kate Knight / Development Associate

Kate has 18 years’ experience as a fundraising professional, working exclusively in the arts. She started at Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in November 2015, and works five days a month raising the company’s philanthropic income and building the donor community. Currently she is focused on the exciting ACE Catalyst: Evolve campaign, which doubles all new donations. Previously she was Head of Individual Giving at The Courtauld Institute of Art for ten years. She has also worked at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Horniman Museum and the National Theatre.

Jeff Coventry-Fenn / Marketing Associate

Jeff is a marketing specialist with over twenty five years of experience in the classical arts sector, having worked with some of the world’s leading brands, artists, venues and organisations including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Bayreuth, Simon Rattle and Angela Gheorghiu. He has proven success in developing new revenue streams, understanding audiences, and finding fresh and interesting ways to communicate with them.

Holly Morris / Company Administrator

Holly has worked extensively in dance administration and production. Most recently, she worked as Administration & Productions Coordinator for Akademi (South Asian Dance UK) assisting the company with its first international tour in India. Holly has also worked with Activate Performing Arts, Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival and Omnibus Arts Centre in a volunteer capacity. Prior to working in dance, Holly was employed by creative agencies including Brothers & Sisters and McCann London.

In 2016, Holly graduated with an MA in Dance Studies from Roehampton University having previously been awarded a BA Hons in Contemporary Dance from De Montfort University in 2014. Later as part of a graduate internship scheme, Holly travelled to India where she was introduced to South Asian dance and theatre practices.

Avatâra Ayuso / Associate Artist

Avatâra trained in ballet (Conservatorio de Mallorca) and Linguistics (BA and MA, Universidad Complutense de Madrid) before moving to London to train at London Contemporary Dance School. In 2005, she became part of the D.A.N.C.E. programme where she worked and performed internationally under the artistic direction of William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand and Angelin Preljocaj. In 2008, she obtained a Masters in Professional Dance from Palucca Schule Dresden. As a choreographer, she has presented work internationally in Europe, Africa and Asia. Over the years, Avatâra has received several awards and grants to develop her skills as a dance researcher and cultural leader (completing studies with the Open University UK and the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme Emerging Leaders). She is Associate Artist of the European Centre for the Arts Hellerau Dresden and her AVA Dance Company Associate of The Creative Academy Slough. She was nominated for the 2015 UK National Dance Awards. Since 2007, Avatâra has collaborated regularly with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.


Amanda Cupples / Chair

Amanda is a successful executive with a wide range of commercial and operational experience across healthcare, media (music, film and television) and financial services, as well as blue-chip management consulting and law. She is experienced in leading businesses to achieve ambitious growth targets underpinned by large-scale strategic and operational transformations.

She is currently Chief Commercial Officer of Babylon Health, one of the fastest growing and revolutionary artificial intelligence companies in the world, using science and technology to redefine healthcare by putting an accessible and affordable health service into the hands of every person on earth.  Before this, Amanda served as International President of Deluxe Entertainment, running post-production and media distribution operations across EMEA, APAC and Canada. Amanda has also held a variety of executive roles with EMI Music, worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and as a lawyer with Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Slaughter and May.

Amanda is also a Non-Executive Director of DHX Media, the world’s leading independent kids’ content company dual listed on the TSX and NASDAQ.

Amanda has a B.Sc in Mathematics and an LLB (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and an LLM with Distinction from the London School of Economics.

Role: Chair, Board leadership, business and strategic planning

Alison Duthie

Alison is Director of Cultural Programming at King’s College London and is responsible for developing and implementing the cultural programme in a range of spaces that engage a wide public and demonstrates the impact of King’s research within the cultural sector.

She has a long track record of success developing and producing programming strategies for a wide range of venues and cultural organisations. From 1996 to 2005, she was CEO/Director of artsdepot, a new north London theatre and arts centre, where she led the centre’s concept, building and programme. From 2006 to 2012, she was Head of ROH2 at the Royal Opera House, where she established an award-winning programme of collaborative initiatives to support creative artists, develop emerging art forms and engage new audiences.

Role: Programming and creative projects

Rachel Harris

Rachel is Head of Public Programming at UCL, University College London, working with academics, artists and the general public to animate and make accessible the world-class research taking place at the University.

Prior to this, Rachel was Creative Producer, Festival Development and Head of Participation at Southbank Centre, directing international festivals and with a leading role in creating programmes designed to involve the widest communities in Southbank Centre’s work. Throughout her career, she has led initiatives which integrate artistic ambition with social impact reaching beyond London to develop national and international connections.

Role: Education and participatory projects

Rhian Hughes

Rhian is currently Marketing Manager (Dance and Performance) at the Southbank Centre and has worked in arts marketing for over ten years, for organisations including Rambert, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the Albany Deptford, Immediate Theatre, and Tara Arts. She has a First Class Honours Degree in Drama from Loughborough University and a Masters Degree in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Role: Marketing, PR and communications

Caroline Price

Caroline qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC, specialising in corporate finance. She spent ten years as Finance Director of a FTSE 250 group, before moving into non-executive positions for public companies, private companies, schools, arts organisations and co-operatives.

Caroline was appointed to the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Board in 2014 and Treasurer in 2016.

Role: Treasurer

Samir Savant

Samir has over 15 years’ experience as a senior manager in arts and education. He was previously Director of Development at the Royal College of Music and has also held fundraising and marketing positions at Shakespeare’s Globe, English National Opera, the Royal Academy of Arts and Handel House. He is currently Festival Director for the London Handel Festival.

Samir is a recognised writer and public speaker on topics as varied as the lack of diversity in the arts, to the role of trustees and senior management in fundraising. He is Chair of the Professional Development sub-committee of the Institute of Fundraising’s Cultural Sector Network, and Chair of the CSN’s national conference, the largest event of its type in the UK for arts and heritage fundraisers.

Role: Fundraising

Natalie Shipton

Natalie has been a trustee for the Oak Foundation for 20 years, and is lead trustee for the Housing and Homelessness Programme and the International Human Rights Programme. She has a business degree from Copenhagen Business School. She was appointed to the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Board in 2014.

Role: Governance and the charity sector

Rebecca Simor

Rebecca Simor is the Director of Festivals and Seasons at the British Council, responsible for high-profile UK seasons overseas developed with partners around major cultural anniversaries, sporting events and Expos.

Previously, she managed ‘Shakespeare Lives in 2016’, the British Council’s most extensive cultural programme with the GREAT Britain campaign; a celebration of Shakespeare’s enduring impact on all art forms, in schools worldwide and on the English language.  At the National Theatre, she devised an international touring programme of public engagement for ‘War Horse’ connected to the centenary of the First World War. She was at the BBC for ten years, leading multi-disciplinary teams to deliver informal learning campaigns, winning BAFTA, George Peabody and RTS awards. 

She studied History at Manchester University and throughout her school years took dance lessons at the Rambert.

Sandi Ulrich

Sandi is an American who has lived in London for over 20 years. She is passionate about all performing arts, and has worked on the fundraising side for several organisations. Before moving to London, she worked at the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a former governor of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, she brings extensive experience of the contemporary dance sector, governance and fundraising. She is on the advisory committee of the Russell Maliphant Company.

Role: Governance and fundraising

Oliver Vicars-Harris

Oliver runs Connecting Culture, a well-established consultancy helping cultural organisations connect with their audiences. He also leads Contemporary Vintage, a creative agency devising experiential and multi-platform media.

Oliver has been committed to the cultural sector over the last twenty-five years and has worked at senior management level in a number of leading arts venues, including Tate, V&A, BFI, Serpentine Gallery and Wellcome Collection. In recent years his focus has been increasingly on the performing arts, assisting with digital and brand strategy for a number of major theatre venues and dance companies.

Role: Digital and brand strategy

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