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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, Shobana 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


The company is invited to perform TooMortal at the Kuopio International Dance Festival in Finland, to sold-out audiences.

A specially-staged version of Contagion included as part of Sadler’s Wells Dancing Nation programme, shown on BBC iPlayer.


Dane Hurst nominated for Outstanding Male Modern Performance for his performance in Staging Schiele at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.


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

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance wins Best Independent Company at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance nominated for Best Modern Choreography (for Contagion) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.


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


Beth Cinamon / Executive Director

Beth has extensive leadership experience in the arts and cultural sector, specifically in dance, visual arts, development and partnerships. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, organisations and projects and is passionate about producing stimulating and challenging work that enriches people’s lives.

She began her career as a dancer and her first management position was at Studio Theatre Paddington and has since been at the head of a range of London-based organisations including Westminster Arts.

As Executive Director & Producer for Tavaziva (2013-2021), one of the UK’s foremost contemporary-African dance companies, she produced and toured shows Tavaziva Ten, Africarmen, Izindava and the current BOY’S KHAYA. She led the growth and development of the organisation establishing local, national and international partnerships, and commissions such as MANDLA for South Bank Centre’s Nelson Mandela festival, and also from Rambert. With a keen eye for design, she re-branded the company’s marketing and this year the logo featured in Michael Evamy’s prestigious book Logo.

Beth has instigated and produced a range of other independent projects – This is Wan Chai (2019), a 220metre-long photographic installation in Hong Kong’s railway station for Art in MTR with Wind & Foster, and has published a book Gerald Cinamon, Graphic Design (2013) about her father, producing several accompanying exhibitions at the ICA and Fedrigoni Studios.

Lise Smith / Company Manager

Lise has over 15 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 Trinity 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 as Producer, and became Company Manager in October 2020.

Greta Rilletti-Zaltieri / Company Administrator

Greta moved from Milan to London in 2017, after a rigorous education journey focused on the Humanities, and a professional training as singer and musical theatre performer. Having achieved a BA in Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies at Roehampton University, Greta subsequently graduated from Royal Holloway with an MA in Theatre Directing. Her experience as Director and Dramaturg includes productions like Waiting for GodotJohn, and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. Previous roles as Arts Administrator include her employment at Camden People’s Theatre, which she considers as family.

Alice Odin / Head of Learning and Participation

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.


Amanda Cupples / Chair

Amanda is a successful executive with a wide range of commercial and operational experience across technology, healthcare, media (music, film and television), 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 General Manager, UK & Northern Europe for Airbnb, responsible for all operations in the region. Before this she held a variety of executive positions with Babylon Health, Deluxe Entertainment, and 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 Wild Brain, the world’s leading independent kids’ content company.

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

Farzana Fidai

Farzana is currently the Head of Major Gifts and Philanthropy at CAFOD, an international charity working with the most difficult to reach global communities. She is responsible for leading a team of expert fundraisers, maintains oversight of the strategy and donor relationships for the charity. She has worked for organisations such as the NSPCC during their £250m FULL STOP campaign, Prince’s Trust, VSO, Plan International and the Aga Khan Development Network. She has provided strategic leadership, secured significant donations, mentored teams, researched, developed major donor feasibility strategies and multi-year funding programmes.

Farzana was brought up in Africa which has been the drive for her to become an international fundraiser to improve the situation for communities; especially women and children where there are often inequalities and lack of opportunity. As a successful senior fundraiser, she has worked in the UK, Central Asia and South Asia, and has travelled extensively.

Farzana majored in visual arts and management, and started her career as a visual artist. She is passionate about contemporary dance and the arts and is intrigued by how the various art disciplines interrelate to create a piece of creative dance.

Rachel Harris

Rachel is Senior Producer at London Borough of Culture 2022 following her role as Head of Public Programming at UCL, working with academics, artists and the 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 to develop local, national and international connections.

Role: Education and participatory projects

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

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

Orlando Gough

Orlando Gough is a composer (and sometimes lyricist, librettist, music director, MC, recording engineer, cookery writer), who writes operas, choral music, music-theatre, music for dance and theatre, and creates large-scale site-specific work.

He collaborated with Shobana for the first time in 1991 on Late, and since then on Duets with Automobiles, City:zen, Just Add Water? and recently on Staging Schiele.

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