Kate Flatt


Kate Flatt OBE: Biography 2020

Notable career highlights include the creation of the original musical staging for the RSC’s Les Miserables (1985) at the Queens Theatre and worldwide. Her choreography for Turandot (1984) has been in 22 revivals and returned to the Royal Opera September 2017, for DVD, and screened live cinemas worldwide. The Dancing Room (1995) co-devised with Sally Jacobs, explored the rituals of life in a contemporary setting was shown on BBC2, directed by Simon Broughton and Undivided Loves based on Shakespeare’s sonnets for Phoenix Dance Leeds in 2016. Further highlights are Dr Faustus with David Lan at the Young Vic, Three Sisters and Dream Play with Katie Mitchell at the National Theatre and Fiddler on the Roof at Sheffield Crucible and Savoy Theatre. Her work on feature films includes choreography for Chaplin, Restoration, and The Avengers.

Kate was awarded an OBE for services to Choreography in the 2020 New Years Honours. She is a Rayne Choreographic Fellow since 2007; and a Churchill Fellow from 1971.

Trained with Leo Kersley, and at Royal Ballet School, Kate began her career as assistant choreographer to Leonide Massine and further study at the London School of Contemporary Dance with Nina Fonaroff, Jane Dudley and Robert Cohan. She participated in the first International Summer School for Composers and Choreographers under the direction of Glen Tetley. Her career currently spans a wide field, nationally and internationally, and includes dance theatre works, film, opera and musicals. She received an RSA travel bursary in 1978 to study traditional dances in Eastern Europe and Greece.

Opera choreography includes dances, staging and chorus movement. Collaborations have been with Phyllida Lloyd on Peter Grimes (2006) (South Bank Award) at Opera North, Gloriana (Emmy Award for DVD) and at ENO The Carmelites (2006), Verdi’s Requiem (2000). Other opera work includes Don Giovanni (2011) for Welsh National Opera, Carmen (2007) for English National Opera. Betrothal in a Monastery at Glyndebourne (2006) and Valencia (2008). William Tell, Viaggio a Rheims, Aida (also on DVD) and Turandot, for ROH and 22 other revivals including Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in 2009 and DVD in 2017. In France she created choreography in collaboration with Yannis Kokkos for Damnation de Faust, at the Chatelet and Boris Godounov at the Bastille.

Movement Direction for Theatre: Recent work includes Roots (2013) with James Macdonald at Donmar Warehouse; Kreutzer Sonata (2010) at the Gate Theatre with Natalie Abrahami. Pains of Youth (2009), Dream Play (2005), Three Sisters (2003) with Katie Mitchell, Power 2005, Albert Speer (2000), Ends of the Earth (1996) all at National Theatre; ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1999) Dr. Faustus (2002) The Skin of Our Teeth (2004) with David Lan; Skellig (2004) at the Young Vic and Hamlet (2004) at the Old Vic with Trevor Nunn. Kate worked with Katie Mitchell on research into dance and theatre practice as part of her NESTA fellowship, and for The Waves. In South Korea, for international theatre festival in Miryang, 2009-10, she created dances for Hamlet, Merchant of Venice at the Myeondong Theater, Seoul and led a creative workshop on Figaro’s Wedding. In 2014 she led workshops on ‘The Hour we knew Nothing of Each Other’ by Peter Handke.

Kate Flatt Projects is the umbrella company for development and production of sole authored, dance theatre cross-over work and choreography in the UK, funded by Arts Council England.

These include: Soul Play (2008-10), which explored the theme of suicide and the concept of soul in contemporary culture seen at Watford Palace Theatre, Colchester Mercury, the Place and Miryang Festival, South Korea. Soul Play and Beyond was an outreach project with hospices and bereavement counsellors which accompanied the performances, funded by the Rayne Foundation.

Songs from a Hotel Bedroom (2010) a new music theatre work using the later repertoire of Kurt Weill produced by Segue, was co-commissioned by ROH2 with sell out performances at Linbury, with Watford Palace Theatre and Ipswich New Wolsey.

Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows (2012) a vibrant new dance theatre work that draws on traditional dance in a ritual context with community participation. Shown at Watford Palace transformed into a ballroom, at EFDSS and Greenwich Dance. Other co-commissioned work for Outdoor Festivals, families and children include Oss and Ox with collaborator Adriano Adewale (2014-15); Step Ladder and a Goat (2016) and Weathemen (2018).

Teaching and Master classes: Kate taught choreography at the Royal Ballet Upper School 2000-2019 – where she also taught 1975-81 at the invitation of Dame Ninette de Valois. She teaches movement work for the International Opera School at RCM. She gives master classes on MA Movement Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama. The Doorway Project, a series of professional development intensives for choreographers and directors, is an ongoing intuitive with theatre partners Young Vic among others. April 2009, she led eXchanges, a enabling young choreographers to engage with traditional English dance. August 2009, she gave Master classes in choreography at the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and workshops on the dances of Shakespeare’s time in Seoul, South Korea. Kate taught MA Choreography at Middlesex University from 1995 to-2007. She contributes to Central School of Ballet MA Choreography and Royal Academy of Music MA Musical Theatre.

Mentoring: Kate is a mentor to emerging choreographers on a range of funded projects: including: Laurel Swift (Morris Offspring at EFDSS), Kieran Sheehan (Movement Director), Divya Kasturi (Escalator artist), Amir Giles (Highly Strung), Denise Horsley and Joelle Pappas (One Dance UK), Yael Lowenstein (Associate choreographer Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows), Katie Green (Matters of Life and Death), Katie Ryan (ENB and Opera Holland Park), Yu Yu Rau (Step Out Arts), Dane Hurst (Rambert Dance Company), Victor Fung (Associate artist Swindon), and Carmine d’Amicis (opera choreographer). Kate has also been a major contributor to mentoring schemes funded by Onedance Uk, Dance East (2015), The Bench and the Cohan Collective (2018-19).

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