Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for over 27 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.
Nick Rothwell (aka Cassiel) is a composer, performer, software architect, programmer and sound artist. He has built media performance systems for projects with Ballett Frankfurt and Vienna Volksoper (choreographer: Michael Klien) and Braunarts, and interactive installations for Sonic Arts Network, TECHNE (Istanbul) and the Kinetica kinetic art fair (London). He has worked at STEIM (Amsterdam), CAMAC (Paris) and ZKM (Karlsruhe) and has composed soundtracks for choreographers Aydin Teker (Istanbul) and Richard Siegal (Laban Centre), and performed with Laurie Booth (Dance Umbrella, New Territories), and at the Different Skies Festival (Arcosanti, Arizona), the ICA, and the Science Museums Dana Centre.
Ursula Bombshell studied fashion design at St. Martins School of Art, London (BA Hons) before heading off to work in Paris. On her return to London she set up her own fashion label, which led to costume design for contemporary dance. She has worked on several productions with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.
Over the past 17 years, Yaron has designed lighting for nearly 100 theatre and dance performances, installations, concerts and television shows internationally. His passion for lighting design developed after six years of painting and sculpture studies; a visual influence which is often distinguished in the characteristics of his designs.
Alongside his artistic career, he is completing a PhD at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) on the Semiotics and Poetics of Light in Contemporary Theatre. He holds a Masters degree (M.F.A.) in Scenography from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, and B.A. in theatre studies from Tel Aviv University in Israel.
He has won First Prize for lighting design in a competition supported by PHILIPS for his work on Peer Gynt (Romania, 2008), and has been nominated for the Knight of Illumination 2011 for his work in Awakenings with Rambert Dance and for best lighting design for theatre for In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (Israel, 2011).
Ruth has danced for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Will Tuckett, Fin Walker, Art of Spectra (Sweden), Union Dance, Freddie Opoku-Addaie/Jagged Antics, Aletta Collins, Stephanie Schober, Mayuri Boonham/ATMA Dance, Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Palau de les Arts (Valencia) amongst others. She has worked with choreographers including Rafael Bonachela, Henri Oguike, Alex Reynolds, Stephan Koplowitz (New York), Mavin Khoo and Michael Joseph, and performed in aerial work (bungee and harness) for The Generating Company and Robyn Simpson. Ruth was a dancer in the ROH DanceLines project under the direction of Wayne McGregor, and she also participated in ArtsCross 2013. Commercial credits include World War Z, and music videos for James Blunt and Gabby Young & Other Animals. As a teacher Ruth has taught at Greenwich Dance Agency, The Place, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, Walker Dance and Union Dance. She was rehearsal director for Shobana Jeyasingh’s TooMortal and is also a qualified Yoga teacher.
Hayley joined Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in 2010. She has a first-class BA Hons in Dance and Culture from University of Surrey and in 2010 gained an MA in Dance:Performance at the University of Chichester, as a member of MAPDance. As an aerialist and dancer, Hayley has performed at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, with Secret Cinema and their sister company Future Cinema and with various dance companies. She has also choreographed and taught for the Royal Academy of Dance’s Performance School, RAD’s Step Into Dance programme and various projects with DanceDigital.
A sonic artist and composer, and member of the People Show theatre, Fred learnt his trade in Paris as a recording engineer, moving to England to become the personal recording engineer of the Eurhythmics.
Through his career he has mixed and recorded albums for the likes of Bob Dylan, The Prodigy, Depeche mode, Tom Petty, David Gray and many more. He has sound designed for theatrical experiences created by Punchdrunk, Burberry, Tods and Philipp Plein fashion shows in Paris, London and Milan. Fred has also composed music for choreographer Garance Marneur, on behalf of Levy Dance in San Francisco, for Alone Together and Pull Me Closer part of the SF International Art Festival 2017.
Touring as a live sound engineer, his broad client base includes choreographer Lee Anderson, Patti Smith, and the KLF Welcome to the Dark Ages. Fred has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh for the past eight years.
Avatâra trained in ballet (Conservatorio Profesional de Mallorca) and Linguistics (BA and MA, Universidad Complutense de Madrid) before moving to London to trained 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. Over the years, Avatâra has received several awards and grants to develop her skills as a choreographer, researcher and cultural leader. Avatâra has completed studies in leadership with the Open University UK and with the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme (Emerging Leaders). As a choreographer she is Associate Artist of the European Center for the Arts Hellerau Dresden and her AVA Dance company Associate of Creative Academy Slough. She was nominated for the 2015 UK National Dance Awards. Since 2007 she collaborates regularly with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.
Sunbee was born in Seoul, South Korea, where she obtained a BA and MA in Dance & Dance Film from Han Yang University’s Arts Faculty. In 2009 she also won the gold medal at the Dong-A National Dance Competition – the most prestigious dance prize in South Korea. From 2007 to 2010 Sunbee danced with Garimda Dance Company in Seoul and in 2011 she joined the London-based Henri Oguike Dance Company, receiving critical acclaim for her first performances in the UK in Oguike’s V4.
In February 2014 Sunbee was featured as Dancer of the Month in Dancing Times, which was the first major interview of a Korean dancer in this magazine.
Sunbee joined Shobana Jeyasingh Dance for Strange Blooms in 2013.
Noora was born in Finland, Helsinki. She started dancing at the age of 13. She went into full time dance training after she was granted a place at the Sibelius High School for music and dance in Helsinki (1997-2000). During this time she also worked for the Finnish National Theatre assisting on various plays and musicals. She graduated in 2003 from The London Contemporary Dance School with First Class Honours. Since then Noora has worked with Jan De Schynkel, David Bolger, Nigel Steward, Hubert Essakow, Fernando Magadan of NDT, and Tanja Raman. She also worked with the Henri Oguike Dance Company for four years, touring nationally and internationally. She joined Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in 2009. She has also worked with the ENO on two of their productions and been part of a few commercial videos.
Commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia (Venice), Dance Umbrella (London), Dansens Hus (Stockholm) and BITEF Festival (Belgrade) within ENPARTS – European Network of Performing Arts, with the support of the European Commission.
Photos by Yaron Abulafia