“We’re in the business of inspiring people. I want to change lives, like my life was changed.”
– Hofesh Shechter
We celebrate and inspire the freedom of the human spirit through dance. We travel the world with our extraordinary company of internationally diverse dancers, breaking boundaries and releasing the visceral power that lies beyond the conscious mind.
We believe that dance has the ability to prod and poke and tap into our deepest emotions; an instinctive, deep-rooted part of ourselves that we rarely access in modern life. We dance to know what it feels like, not just to live, but to be alive.
In all our work, we strive to move ourselves, and our audiences, beyond reason.
We are based in the UK and create our work here and in Europe. Our work can be seen in the UK, major European cities, Canada, USA and beyond.
“I want audiences to be awakened, to experience my work from the gut. Trusting the gut is to me like trusting nature, or God, or a sense of purpose; a source, a spark. Trusting a higher and better force than our limited oppressed cultured minds.”
– Hofesh Shechter
“London’s most vital choreographer”
– TimeOut London
My work speaks the language of the people, of the time. It’s not just for professional eyes.
It portrays something raw, real – the essence of the human spirit, its helplessness in the face of self and outer oppression and pressure but its ultimate victory; the ultimate victory of hope; an account of the tensions between the collective and the individual; control and the abandonment of control.
When my dancers are on stage, they are themselves, without pretence. We aim to cut through layers of artifice to reveal things for what they really are, the raw truth, biting life at its core, and in revealing the truth of the pathetic and beautiful human existence we want to make people aware, awake, and in turn understand they hold the power to change. It is that sense of brotherhood, comradeship in the battles of life, victory of spirit through persistence, through support that is my greatest ambition.
Music is an essential part of my work; it is its beating heart, its fuel. It creates space and atmosphere. Timelessness. The scale of the visual is matched by epic, multi-layered cinematic soundtracks, often played live. The live band infuses more life, danger and edginess to the performance. Nothing can match the atmosphere of live music.
My work is highly cinematic, moving and flowing its focus between tribal moments that fill the stage, and intimate private scenes; editing between the individual’s emotion and character in counterpoint to the group. How small the individual is. How influential the individual can be. The tension of our social existence lies in the stretch between existing social orders and the individual’s craving for freedom.
I want people to experience my work in large spaces, because I see the power of the communal experience to connect, to amplify the senses, to focus the learning about ourselves and to inspire each other.
Founded in 2008, Hofesh Shechter Company is a boundary-breaking dance company that produces exceptional work, created by Artistic Director Hofesh Shechter, and plays in cities all around the world. The company are resident at Brighton Dome and Shechter is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells.
Hofesh Shechter’s repertoire for the company includes Uprising (2006), In your rooms (2007), The Art of Not Looking Back (2009), Political Mother (2010), Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut (2011), Sun (2013), barbarians (2015) and Grand Finale (2017), with SHOW (2018) and POLITICAL MOTHER UNPLUGGED (2020) performed by Shechter II, our apprentice programme.
Our touring show Grand Finale was nominated for an Olivier Award (2018) and Helpmann Award (2019) for Best Dance Production and won a Dora Award for Outstanding Touring Production (2019).
We collaborate on exceptional, large-scale projects of the highest quality to world-leading venues within the UK as well as internationally and create digital projects with global reach. Recent projects include a revival of Hofesh’s production of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at La Scala, Milan (2018), co-directed with John Fulljames, East Wall (2018), our four year talent development project, culminated in a large-scale spectacle of dance and live music at the Tower of London, in partnership with East London Dance, Historic Royal Palaces and LIFT, and BBC Two presented our first dance film, Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns (2018), which was broadcast as part of the Performance Live strand.
In 2020, Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns was presented globally online and won Best International Short Dance Film at CHOREOSCOPE – The International Dance Film Festival of Barcelona. Our World premiere of Double Murder, a thrilling new double bill presenting two distinctly contrasting pieces of contemporary dance for our times, was postponed due to Covid-19 and new online audiences were reached through live streams of POLITICAL MOTHER UNPLUGGED from Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris, zoom streams of Hofesh Shechter’s Untitled, in addition to a hybrid learning programme.
Hofesh Shechter Company was also named the winner of the Fedora – VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Prize for Ballet for LIGHT: Bach Dances, in collaboration with Royal Danish Opera and co-directed by Hofesh Shechter and John Fulljames.
In 2021, Shechter II plans a return to live theatre audiences with POLITICAL MOTHER UNPLUGGED and will feature in a new short dance film for summer release. Hofesh Shechter’s new creation Double Murder and LIGHT: Bach Dances will also premiere in this year.