Claire Hodgson

Claire Hodgson is a theatre/dance director and artist. Claire is founder and Chief Executive of Diverse City. In 2012 Diverse City created Breathe an international project between Brazil and Dorset that brought together 64 young disabled people to perform at the opening celebrations of the Olympic sailing events, to an audience of 10,000. After the Olympics Claire co-created Extraordinary Bodies with Billy Alwen, Cirque Bijou. Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is the former head of Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2016 for services to inclusion in the performing arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which was used to tour Extraordinary Bodies Weighting across the UK.

“From the beginning Billy and I said that Extraordinary Bodies should be radical, joyous and bold. I remember these words and try to put them into action. I want to change who is seen and to include all people in artistic work onstage and in the audience. I learn from this project everyday it stretches my mind and humbles me. I meet incredible people through our participatory work and work with amazing performers and collaborators. We are changing a corner of the world and the ripples from this work go far. I learn more about being a human and the power of empathy. This is the work I always wanted to be doing.”