Lords of the Dance

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In My Dance DNA leading choreographers discuss what makes their hearts beat faster.

Dance Umbrella, in partnership with The Space, presented a new digital talk series delving into the minds of Britain’s top contemporary choreographers.

My Dance DNA was a series of interviews, filmed in front of a live audience and live streamed online, with five leading UK choreographers – Kate Prince, Siobhan Davies, Akram Khan, Shobana Jeyasingh and Wayne McGregor.

We found out all about their inspirations and influences on their work.  Each artists discussed moments of dance and movement on film that have transfixed and transformed them, as well as the defining pieces in their own back catalogues.

Each edition was presented by a high-profile artist from another field known personally to the choreographer.

Tune in for the full series

The collection of all five interviews is available to watch online for a year from the date of their original live-stream on danceumbrella.co.uk, Facebook and YouTube.


Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over fifteen years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.

Kate Prince is the artistic director of hip hop dance company ZooNation, a resident company at Sadler’s Wells. Her shows included Into the Hoods, which became the longest-running dance show in West End history, and Some Like It Hip Hop.

Siobhan Davies is one of Britain’s leading choreographers. She was previously a dancer with London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and became one of its leading choreographers, creating groundbreaking work such as Sphinx. Siobhan opened Siobhan Davies Studios in 2006, marking a change from a touring dance company into a contemporary arts organisation. The new company focuses on the investigation and exploration of choreography and movement within a contemporary arts context. Siobhan was in conversation with Director of TATE, Maria Balshaw CBE at the Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries.

Shobana Jaeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for almost 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.

Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award winning British choreographer and director, internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, his experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic forms, scientific disciplines, and technological interventions.

The first complete set of My Dance DNA talks was broadcast online this year.

Kate Prince & Karim Zeroual took place on Fri 26 January 2017
Akram Khan & Kathryn Hunter took place on Fri 2 February 2017 and is available online until 17 September 2018
Siobhan Davies & Maria Balshaw took place on Fri 9 February 2017 and is available until 22 September 2018
Shobana Jeyasingh & Nikki Bedi took place on Fri 16 February 2017 and is available until 6 November 2018
Wayne McGregor & Dame Joan Bakewell  took place on Fri 23 February2017 and is available until 21 November 2018