Saju Hari – Festival Director

Saju was born in the South Indian state Kerala and is now based in London. After years of training in the martial art Kalaripayattu, he began his dance training with Attakkalari in Bangalore, and eventually began working professionally with Imlata Dance Company in London (1998-2003), the Bedlam Dance Company (2004-2005), and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company (2003-2007). He toured Akram Khan Company’s “Bahok”, a collaboration with the National Ballet of China, performing across Europe (Sadler’s Wells London, Theatre de la Ville Paris), Asia, and The Americas (City Center New York) from 2008-2010. Saju then joined Fabulous Beasts Dance Theatre, touring two productions: Bessie award-winning “Rian” - a collaboration between Fabulous Beasts and Irish musician Liam o Maonlai of Hothouse Flowers, and the latest Stravinsky double bill, “Rite of Spring” and “Petrushka”. Saju appeared in Handel’s “Julius Caesar” directed by Michael Keegan Dolan at the English National Opera (2012). Saju also works with Sasha Waltz & Guests for Sasha Waltz’s production “Gefaltet”.

Saju is also a prolific choreographer and director. Between October 2017 and July 2018, Saju premiered two of his own works: “Stillness is monochrome?” at the Viennese castle Luftschloss Cobenzl and “Fly from” at the Curve Theatre (Leicester, UK). Saju’s well-received work “Breaking Joints”, commissioned by UK Arts Council, premiered at London Richmix (2016). Previously, Saju directed a site specific creation with Spitfire company at Palac Akropolis Theatre, Prague (2014), created Vice Versa a duet in collaboration with Finnish choreographer and dancer Saku Koistinen, set works for MAPdance (Chichester University’s post-graduate touring company) and Vienna Conservatoire of Dance (2012), and choreographed for Jatinder Verma’s (Tara Arts) “The Merchant of Venice”. Saju’s other choreographies include four works commissioned by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s ROH2 Summer Collection seasons in the Clore Studio: a trio “Outside In” (2007), a quintet “Re:URGENT” (2006), a duet “Opaque Image” (2005), and a solo “Itself…” (2004). He has performed his work “Harmony” at The Place South Bank Centre’s Daredevas series and at Woking Dance Festival. Saju was a semi-finalist for The Place’s prize choreography competition in 2010.

Other notable engagements include dancing with Mavin Khoo in Akademi’s “Escapade” (Royal Festival Hall, 2003), Gustav Holst’s opera “Savitri” (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, 2004), and William Tuckett’s “The Thief of Baghdad” (Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, 2008). Saju received the prestigious ImplusTanz DanceWEB scholarship in 2006 and an Arts Council England International Fellowship residency in Kenya in 2007. Following these experiences, Saju created the duet “Lunatic Express” with Kebaya Moturi, took part in the Royal Opera House’s Dancelines Choreolab with Kim Brandstrup where he received a bursary from theatre:rites to shadow director Sue Buckmaster. He has worked as an associate artist at the UK foundation of Dance for a youth performance at North Devon Theatres (“Animal Cavalcade” 2007) and at Woking Dance for a schools performance project (“in the thick of it” 2008)

An experienced teacher, Saju has taught master classes and classes in professional settings (The Place London, Akram Khan Company, Sasha Waltz and Guests, ImplusTanz Vienna, TanzQuartier Vienna), in schools and colleges, in residencies (London, Brussels), in choreographic workshops (“The Far Pavilions” on the West End), and has worked with disabled and behaviourally-challenged populations.

Sreejith KP - Festival Director

Sreejith was first inspired to dance when he saw a break-dancing performance at age fourteen. Impressed by what he saw, he taught himself to dance this way and formed a dance troupe with friends. He soon took on the role of group choreographer, and after winning a competition with the troupe, decided to pursue a career in dance. He went on to study at Kalabhavan, prestigious arts school in Kerala, where he was later asked to teach. In 1998, he was selected to take part in FACETS - a contemporary dance choreographic lab run by Attakkalari in Bangalore, which became his starting point in the world of contemporary dance, and the place that he first met and performed with Saju.

Over the last ten years he has developed a successful career in film choreography in South Indian films. He has also directed a number of short films and commercials.

In 2015 he won the Kerala State Film Award for Choreography.

Nadia Losonsky - International Festival Coordinator

Nadia Losonsky is a performer and improviser most interested in the inner/inter-relationships developed through a continued dance practice. To this end, she has participated in various dance and experimental performance workshops: Flying Low/Passing Through with David Zambrano (Portugal), SMASH (Germany), Moonwalk (French Pyrenees), Disha Dance (India), Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation (USA), Bates Dance Festival (USA), and Dance Ranch Marfa (USA). From 2011-2016, she performed professionally in Seattle, Washington with strong, thoughtful and badass choreographers Paige Barnes, Marlo Martin/badmarmarDANCE, and KT Niehoff (google them!) She holds a BA in dance (summa cum laude) from Texas Woman’s University.

When not dancing, Nadia is often with children. Her work with children includes: teaching French, dance, art, Spanish, cooking, letters, story-telling, hand-washing, potty, and listening in preschool (ages 2-6); teaching English online (ages 5-13); and nannying (ages 2-10).

Nadia secretly wants to be farmer.

She is thrilled to be helping bring the second iteration of Disha to life!