Terra Incognita

by Shobana Jeyasingh

Terra Incognita

Combining rhythmic patterns from classical Indian dance with contemporary movement, Terra Incognita is choreographed by ground-breaking dance-maker Shobana Jeyasingh. Set to Gabriel Prokofiev’s driving score, Rambert’s dancers journey to unknown lands in an atmospheric piece that evokes the sense of mystery that inspired ancient sea-farers.

This is Shobana Jeyasingh’s first work for Rambert.

'One of our best choreographers'

The Times

Shobana Jeyasingh
Gabriel Prokofiev
Jean-Marc Puissant
Lighting design:
Lucy Carter

World premiere of Terra Incognita at Sadler's Wells, London on 18 November 2014.

'The choreography fascinates, beguiles, stimulates'

Financial Times


© JP MascletShobana Jeyasingh

Internationally-recognised choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for 25 years.

Born in Chennai in 1957 and now living in London, Jeyasingh studied the classical Indian dance form of Bharata Natyam as a child. After an itinerant upbringing, she arrived in the UK in 1981 for a master’s degree in Shakespearean studies after which she began performing as a classical Indian dancer.

Jeyasingh is inspired variously by these personal and historical origins, boundaries and beginnings. Her choreographic signature is the journey from classical and culturally-specific to contemporary global expression. She is part of a groundswell of pioneering Asian artists who, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, created new work that broke into the mainstream of British cultural life.

Jeyasingh has collaborated with many significant composers including Michael Nyman, Kevin Volans, Krishnamoorthy and Orlando Gough and new music artists such as Scanner, beatboxer Shlomo and DJ and producer Niraj Chag. She experiments constantly with film, text and technology. Her work (h)interland broke boundaries in 2002 as the first live dance performance to be webcast between UK and India.

Jeyasingh is in constant demand as a choreographer and has made works for dance companies including Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance Company and Ballet Black. Her creations for unusual outdoor settings include 2Step on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for the City of London Festival and Counterpoint, commissioned by English National Ballet, for the fountains at Somerset House.

Community and education work is a significant part of Jeyasingh’s vision. Her company has worked in partnership with a wide range of organisations including Hestia Housing and Support, Mind and East London Dance. It works with numerous London schools and colleges, including Mulberry School for Girls, a flagship for the company’s Empowering Women, Inspiring Girls programme.

Jeyasingh holds an honorary MA from Surrey University and an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University, Leicester. She is a Research Associate at ResCen, the Centre for Research in Creation in the Performing Arts at Middlesex University.

Gabriel Prokofiev

Gabriel Prokofiev is a London-based composer, producer, and founder of the NONCLASSICAL record label & club night.

Despite studying music and electroacoustic composition at both Birmingham and York universities, he has also been producing Dance, Electro & Hip-hop music under a variety of different guises over the last ten years.

He returned to his classical roots in 2003, composing a critically acclaimed String Quartet No1 (“Stunning” DJ Magazine, “defies comparison” Daily Telegraph) which he released on his own independent label NONCLASSICAL, complete with Remixes of the original Quartet. What gives his contemporary classical writing its unique edge is Gabriel’s background in dance music combined with his classical roots.

His compositions include a well received 2nd String Quartet, Sleeveless Scherzo for solo violin & solo dancer commissioned by Rambert; as well as the ground-breaking Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra. This concerto premiered by DJ Yoda & the Heritage Orchestra at The Scala in Kings Cross has been performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with Beni G to a sold-out Glasgow Royal Festival Hall, won Best Contemporary Classical CD at the 2010 Independent Music Awards, was recently premiered in the USA by the Present Music ensemble, and performed at the BBC Proms in August 2011 conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.

Other recent works include a book of piano music for Russian virtuoso Pianist GeNIA (released on the Nonclassical label), a large scale work IMPORT/EXPORT for percussionist Joby Burgess’s group Powerplant, using junk objects; a collection of songs for cutting edge vocal trio Juice; a concerto for ‘dancing’ Viola, String Orchestra, Trombones & Percussion; a 3rd String Quartet premiered by the Ruysdael Quartet to a packed Wigmore Hall in May 2010; and a full-length Ballet of Winternachtstraum for Bern Ballet’s winter season.

Jean-Marc Puissant

Jean-Marc trained at Motley Theatre Design Course in London and studied Art History and Archaeology at La Sorbonne, Paris.

Designs in 2014 include a new Commission for Boston Ballet choreographed by Jose Martinez, Dream choreographed by Arthur Pita for Ballet Black , a new one act Ballet Kin for BRB and a new King and I  for the Chatelet, Paris.

Other designs for dance include: for the Royal Ballet: Aeternum, Jewels, Electric Counterpoint, DGV (also NYC Ballet) and Tryst (also Dutch National Ballet); for BRB: The Seasons andTake Five; for Rambert: Elsa Canasta and Gran Partita.

Also Klavier and Les Carillons (NYC Ballet); VIII (ABT); Quaternary (San Francisco Ballet); Swan Lake (Pennsylvania Ballet); Nopalitos and Paseillo (Phoenix Dance Theatre), Now and Thereafter (Dutch National Ballet); Lux (Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève); Giselle (Opéra du Rhin Ballet); Dream Weaver (Royal Ballet of Flanders); Swan Lake (Ballett im Revier) and Chansons, Film Noir and Romeo and Juliet (Mannheim Nationaltheater Ballett)

His designs for Opera include: The Pearl Fishers and Madame Butterfly (Santa Fe Opera) Aida (ROH &Oslo); A Night at the Chinese Opera (Scottish Opera).

His designs for Theatre include: Pippin for Menier Chocolate Factory; Dangerous Lady for Theatre Royal Stratford East; All My Sons for The Curve; His Greatness for Finborough Theatre.

Since 2008, he has been a Director of Dance Umbrella. In 2013 he was a finalist of World Stage Design held in Cardiff.

Lucy Carter

Lucy trained in Dance and Drama at the Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey and then in Lighting Design at Central School of Speech and Drama. Lucy has worked as an international lighting designer for over twenty years and in 2008 she received the Knight of Illumination Award for Dance for Chroma.

Lucy has worked with many ballet companies throughout the world including: San Francisco Ballet, Royal Ballet London, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, The Bolshoi, Canadian National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Boston Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet.

Lucy has collaborated with numerous choreographers and dance companies including: Shobana Jeyasingh, Rambert, NDT1, Scottish Dance Theatre, Cosceim, Fin Walker, Javier De Frutos, Phoenix Dance, Will Tuckett, Liam Scarlett, Val Caniparoli, Christopher Wheeldon and Kim Brandstrup.  She is a long-term collaborator of Wayne McGregor and their recent productions include: Art of Fugue, Outlier, Ravengirl, Chroma, Infra Atamos and Undance.

In addition to dance and ballet Lucy also designs for opera and her recent productions include: La Finta Giardinera (Glyndebourne); Grimes on the Beach (Aldeburgh Festival); Lohengrin (WNO / Polish National Opera); and The Adventures of Mr Broucek (Opera North).

Her work for theatre includes: Medea, the world premiere of Emil and the Detectives; Blurred Lines (National Theatre); Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Manchester); The Tempest (New Wolsey, Ipswich); Love and Money (The Young Vic); and Othello (Sheffield).

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