Brighton Festival is thrilled to announce that our 2014 Guest Director is the critically-acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter.
Recognised as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists, Shechter is renowned for creating raw, physical live contemporary dance pieces set to his own, highly-charged, atmospheric musical scores. His eponymous Company is a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and their brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open the three week arts extravaganza on Sat 3 May 2014 when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour.
About Hofesh Shechter
Hofesh graduated from the Jerusalem Academy for Dance and Music before moving to Tel Aviv to join the world renowned Batsheva Dance Company, where he worked with artistic director Ohad Naharin and other choreographers including Wim Vandekeybus, Paul Selwyn-Norton, Tero Saarinen, and Inbal Pinto. Hofesh began drum and percussion studies whilst in Tel Aviv and continued later in Paris at the Agostiny College of Rhythm. Subsequently, he began experimenting and developing his own music while participating in various projects in Europe involving dance, theatre and body-percussion. In 2002 Hofesh arrived in the UK.
His choreographic debut Fragments, for which he also created the score, immediately attracted international attention and in 2004 Hofesh was commissioned by The Place Prize to create the sextet, Cult. The work was one of five selected finalists and was announced winner of the Audience Choice Award. From 2004 to 2006 Hofesh was Associate Artist at The Place and was commissioned by the Robin Howard Foundation to create Uprising. The three works formed the triple bill deGENERATION, Hofesh’s first full evening of work.
In 2007 London’s three major dance venues, The Place, Southbank Centre and Sadler’s Wells, collaborated on a unique producing venture, commissioning Hofesh to create In your rooms which was presented at all three venues in 2007 and culminated in sell-out shows at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. In your rooms was nominated for a South Bank Show Award and won the Critics’ Circle Award for best choreography (modern) in 2008.
In 2008, in response to popular demand Hofesh formed Hofesh Shechter Company and the Company embarked on its first world tour. Since then the Company can be found performing throughout Europe, Asia, North America and Australia and reaching audiences in many of the world’s leading dance venues. Recent tours have included South America and the Middle East with the global appetite for Shechter’s work continuing with his later creations.
Now under the banner of Hofesh Shechter Company, in 2009 Hofesh produced his first The Choreographer’s Cut – commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and performed at The Roundhouse. He reworked his acclaimed double bill Uprising/In your rooms to feature a band of 20 musicians alongside a company of 17 dancers. Also in 2009 Hofesh was commissioned by Brighton Festival in 2009 to create the 'exquisitely acrimonious' The Art of Not Looking Back (The Observer, 2009) which was inspired by and made for six female dancers. In May 2010 his first full-length work Political Mother premiered at the Brighton Festival, winning 5 star reviews from all the major national press and subsequently embarking on an extensive international tour, further cementing the Company’s reputation.
2011 saw the second time Hofesh created a ‘Choreographer’s Cut’ of his work, this time for Political Mother – the result was ‘a howling beast of a dance show’ (Metro), featuring over 40 performers and which returns to Sadler’s Wells in July 2013. Shechter collaborated with Antony Gormley on Survivor commissioned by the Barbican and reaching sell-out audiences for its run in January 2012. In October 2013, Hofesh will unveil his next major creation co-produced by partners around the world and already set to go on a worldwide tour until the summer of 2014.
Alongside his work for Hofesh Shechter Company, Hofesh’s works have been taken into the repertory of many UK and international dance companies including Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York), Carte Blanche Dance Company (Norway), Bern Ballett (Switzerland), Scottish Dance Theatre (UK) and CandoCo (UK).
He has also worked as a choreographer in theatre, television and opera notably at The Royal Court Theatre for Motortown by Simon Stephens (2006), The Arsonists (2007) and for the National Theatre’s award-winning production of Saint Joan (2007) directed by Marianne Elliot and starring Anne Marie Duff. In television, Hofesh choreographed the hit dance sequence ‘Maxxie’s Dance’ for the opening of the second series of Channel 4’s popular drama Skins. In 2013 Hofesh will collaborate with Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Hofesh is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells and Hofesh Shechter Company is Resident Company at Brighton Dome.
Image: Hofesh Shechter outside Brighton Dome. Photo: Matthew Andrews