Claire Hodgson

Claire is a Theatre, Dance and Circus Director, committed to achieving social justice. Claire founded Diverse City in 2005 and is the co-founder of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company.

Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is a former course leader for Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to inclusion in the Performing Arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which they used to tour Extraordinary Bodies across the UK and support 10 ‘Unexpected Leaders’ who have faced barriers to entering the industry.

She is a co-creator of Mid Life, a taboo breaking show about menopause that played to sold out houses in 2019, and will be remounted in 2023. The show also led to Diverse City’s first short film Mid Life: The Skin We Are In.

In July 2022 Claire led almost 600 dancers to break the Guinness world record for the largest ever disco dance at Camp Bestival. She also created a large-scale piece sea choreography called SW!M in Swanage, Dorset, in collaboration with The Mowlem. Claire co-created and directed Human that toured 21/22 and the Extraordinary Bodies film What Do you see in me? that was filmed in lockdown.

“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.”