Kevin Finnan MBE
Kevin Finnan was Choreographer and Movement Director for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, a show watched worldwide by an audience of over one billion. Finnan also played a key role in the official launch of the London 2012 Festival, collaborating with Australian physical theatre company Legs On The Wall to create a large-scale outdoor performance, The Voyage.
Finnan was made an MBE in 2013 for his services to dance – a sector he has been contributing to since he created Motionhouse with Louise Richards in 1988.
As Artistic Director of Motionhouse, Finnan is known for his trademark approach, integrating elements of circus and acrobatics with contact choreography to create the distinctive style that Motionhouse is renowned for.
Finnan has created major productions celebrated globally, including theatre performances, festival pieces and large-scale outdoor spectacles, as well as bespoke performance events to mark cultural capital celebrations in Copenhagen and Marseille-Provence.
He is passionate about exploring and questioning the traditional use of space in performance. This has led to the creation of extraordinary dance spectacles including his acclaimed work with JCB diggers and dancers, site based performances at heritage sites, on beaches and in disused buildings, and a series of outdoor shows that tour festivals and other outdoor venues across the UK and Europe.
Committed to collaboration, Finnan has worked with artists including writer A. L. Kennedy, installation artist Rosa Sanchez, film-makers Logela Multimedia, set visionary Simon Dormon and international companies such as Legs On The Wall and Vancouver’s Headlines Theatre.
Kevin has an MA in Contemporary Performing Arts from University College Bretton Hall and a PhD in Theatre from Warwick University. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick and Associate Artist of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival. In 2013 he was made an honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of Warwick in recognition of the importance of his work and his service to the arts.
Louise Richards is Executive Director of Motionhouse, which she co-founded in 1988 with Kevin Finnan, its Artistic Director.
Working closely with Finnan, Richards is a driving force behind the globally recognised touring company that Motionhouse has become. Under her strategic direction, the company has made a lasting and important contribution to the UK arts scene: bringing new and exciting work to audiences across the UK, and exporting British talent in the form of two highly acclaimed US tours, performances in Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as regular productions in other European countries.
Originally a dancer and choreographer, Richards remains a creative force and is closely involved with the Motionhouse performing company and creative process.
Richards’ skill for recognising opportunities for the company has enabled Motionhouse to set rather than follow trends. Motionhouse was one of the first dance companies in the UK to expand its repertoire to include outdoor work, appealing to a range of festival and other audiences, and to create the much acclaimed large-scale productions that have made it a well-respected player in the UK arts sector. She is instrumental in developing the many partnerships that Motionhouse enjoys within the arts sector and is the producer of the company’s extensive programme, strategically leading the company in realising its vision.
It is also under Richards’ direction that Motionhouse has developed a wide reaching education and outreach programme, reaching annually nearly 8000 young participants through the delivery of workshops and classes.
A recognised leader in her sector, Richards is regularly invited to attend and speak at seminars and conferences. Committed to the development of the arts, she also acts as a mentor for young performers and newly created arts organisations, as well as developing a range of apprenticeships and professional development strands to the Motionhouse programme. She is currently on the Board of Mimbre, a circus and street theatre company, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.