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About

Shobana Jeyasingh

Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for 30 years. Born in Chennai, India, she currently lives and works in London. Her acclaimed, highly individual work has been witnessed in all kinds of venues, including theatres, outdoor and indoor sites and on film. Her work taps into both the intellectual and physical power of dance, and is rooted in her particular vision of culture and society.

Shobana’s work is often enriched by specially commissioned music composed by an array of contemporary composers — from Michael Nyman to beat-boxer Shlomo. Her eclectic band of creative collaborators have included filmmakers, mathematicians, digital designers, writers, animators, as well as lighting and set designers.

Lavishly honoured and awarded, Shobana has also made a significant contribution to dance in the UK and internationally through her published writings, papers, panel presentations and broadcast interviews.

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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. Restless, inquisitive and intrepid, we never tread the same path twice. We challenge expectation, going against the grain to create dance pieces that are at once beguiling and unsettling.

We’re inspired by the complexities and contradictions of the world around us, taking cues and ideas from unlikely corners. Past works have explored science and classical painting, culinary trends and urban architecture. We use original design, music, media and site-specific staging to complement and counterpoint our dance, embracing the harmony and the tension they build.

Our many and varied artistic collaborators are cut from the same cloth — brave, bold and uncompromising. Together, we take our audiences on an adventure of the senses.

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Awards & Achievements

2018

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.

2016

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

2015
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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2010

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

2009

Faultline added to UK GCSE dance syllabus

2008

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

2004

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

2002

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

1996

Palimpsest nominated for South Bank Show Award

Time Out Best Choreography Award for Palimpsest

1995

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

1993

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

1992

Time Out Best Choreography Award for Making of Maps

1990

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

1988

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

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The Team

Staff

Moya Maxwell / Executive Director Joel Cottrell / Producer

Joel has worked in producing and touring with choreographers including Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Luca Silvestrini. Most recently, he worked as programme producer at Pavilion Dance South West and established the UK’s first dance cinema while there. Before working in dance, he was a theatre director, commissioning and directing the UK’s first English-language adaptation of Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau, a sometime folk musician and a photographer. He trained in Clown at École Philippe Gaulier, Paris.

joel@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

Alice Odin / Learning Manager

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).

alice@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

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.

finance@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

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.

kate@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

Vic Shead / Marketing Associate

Vic is a freelance arts marketer with over 15 years’ experience in many aspects of arts and charity sector marketing. She is a campaign manager and content production specialist, having overseen website launches and digital communications across a range of platforms.

Before going freelance, she devised campaign strategies for the National Theatre including War Horse, One Man Two Guvnors and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Clients include Brighton Dome and Festival, Chichester Festival Theatre, DV8 Physical Theatre, Southbank Centre, Unicorn Theatre and the Barbican.

vic@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

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.

holly@shobanajeyasingh.co.uk

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.

Board

Amanda Cupples / Chair

Amanda is a successful media executive with a wide range of commercial and operational experience across music, film and television, as well as blue-chip management consulting and law. She is experienced in leading large-scale strategic and operational transformations in the media and digital arenas.

She is currently International President of Deluxe Entertainment, running post-production and media distribution operations across EMEA, APAC and Canada. Before this, Amanda 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 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

Emma Davidson

Emma is a senior leader with wide strategic, development and governance experience in a range of settings including international arts organisations, higher education and the not-for-profit sector. She is a fundraising professional with over 25 years’ experience. Her fundraising career started at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. She then spent seven happy years at Sadler’s Wells where she gained her love of contemporary dance. She joined The Courtauld in 2005 as Director of Development where she had responsibility for generating all philanthropic income. Emma has been a freelance fundraising specialist since 2016, and clients have included The Sixteen and Goldsmiths College.

Role: Fundraising

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

As Creative Producer, Festival Development at the Southbank Centre, Rachel has a leading role in creating programmes designed to involve the widest communities in the Southbank Centre’s work. She leads festival initiatives which integrate artistic ambition with social impact and to reach beyond London to develop national and international connections.

Rachel curates Alchemy, an annual 11 day international festival exploring the creative relationship between the UK and the Indian subcontinent, presented across Southbank Centre venues, and is leading a festival showcasing contemporary work from China. In 2013, she developed a collaborative festival in Salvador, Brazil using the arts to build social cohesion.

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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