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Daniel Hay-Gordon headshot

Photo by Jon Archdeacon

Daniel Hay-Gordon is a British choreographer, dancer and filmmaker who has works extensively across the UK and internationally. Born in 1988, Daniel trained in ballet and contemporary from a young age, graduating from Rambert in 2009. He then spent over 10 years dancing for a variety of world renowned choreographers, directors and companies both in the UK and abroad. During this time he gradually developed his own choreographic practice:

"I have always been fascinated with two seemingly opposing elements that create dance and performance. One derives from a deep and lifelong connection to classical music, romanticism, poetry and improvisation. Over the years this has allowed me to work with an incredible range of classical scores, an incredible range of artists and academics. The other element connects to my identity as a queer, as someone who loves to perform in gay pubs, show-off, make people laugh, entertain, mince around in high-heels and bring people together. As time has gone by, the two have become less mutually exclusive and I have learned the value in trying to create work which combines both of these elements." 

Daniel co-directs the award winning company Thick & Tight with Eleanor Perry which they established in 2012. They have gone onto create a unique rostrum of work, combining dance with mime, drag, lip-syncing and satire which has been presented at Sadler’s Wells, London International Mime Festival, The Place, the Royal Festival Hall, Wilton’s Music Hall, Barbican, The Tate as well as LGBT venues such as the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and over 60s events like Posh Club. They are currently Associate Artists at The Lowry, Salford and Artists in Residence at the Philharmonia Orchestra. They were recently nominated for best Independent Dance Company by the Critics Circle Award.

Running parallel to his work with Thick & Tight, Daniel also works as a movement director and choreographer for projects across dance, opera, theatre and film. Daniel has collaborated with a range of artists and independent organisations as well as companies such as The Royal Ballet (Covent Garden), Staats Opera Berlin, The Hollywood Bowl (LA), Landestheater Passau (Germany), Nevill Holt Opera, Aldeburgh Music Festival, The Print Rooms, Tanzkompagnie Theater St.Gallen (Switzerland), Blind Summit, Akademi, Anjali Dance Company, the BBC and The Fritz Koenig Museum of Sculpture (Germany).


Daniel danced for people/companies which have included Aletta Collins, Lea Anderson, Kim Brandstrup, Deborah Warner, Gary Clarke, Rambert, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, ENB, NDCWales, Live Arts New York and Brooklyn Academy of Music, to name but a few. Two notable roles have included performing opposite Fiona Shaw in Phyllida Lloyd’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and dancing the solo version of Aletta Collin’s ‘Awakenings’ (originally created on Rambert Company) at Oliver Sacks’ 80th Birthday Celebrations in New York. 

“I can think of no other male performer for whom movement is a more naturally expressive state. There is no other-dimensionality to Hay-Gordon, no barrier of self-consciousness or artifice. All is weight and heft and flow.”

(The Observer)

Daniel has been working for many years with Corali Dance Company, Anjali and other companies or people who have a learning disabilities. This work continues to inspire him to create and facilitating work which aims at illuminating and breaking down social stigmas around learning disabilities and marginalisation. Through Thick & Tight he has established collaborations and creative initiatives such as Excellent Together which tackle these social issues.


His videography and films have been presented as part of live Operas, at film festivals, galleries and nursing homes with subjects that range from capturing journeys he has taken to his grandmother making tea.

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