Canadian-born, Bristol-based choreographer and dancer Laila Diallo works in contemporary dance, theatre and opera. Recent works include the short solos Imprint and At-any-moment-something-else, for theatre:The Prince of Homburg (Donmar) and The Road to Mecca (Arcola) and for opera: Aïda (Canadian Opera Company) and, as assistant to the choreographer, Rheingold (La Scala).
Born in Canada, Laïla currently lives and works in Bristol. She is an Associate Artist at the Royal Opera House, as well as with the Arnolfini.
After graduating from L’École de Danse de Québec, in Canada, in 1996, Laïla migrated towards Europe. She first stopped in La Rochelle, where she studied with Régine Chopinot, before completing her MA in Performance at the London Contemporary Dance School. She first came to prominence as a performer with Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance where she danced from 1998 to 2005 at which time she chose to focus on developing her own choreographic work. In 2006, she was awarded a Rayne Fellowship for Choreographers. The bursary, which aimed to contribute to a greater social cohesion, gave Laïla the opportunity to work in areas outside of her usual spheres of activity, most notably by allowing her to research the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
The philosopher Alva Noe suggests that choreography could be described as the art of discussing the activity of our contact with the world. Laïla’s choreographic research is driven by the intention of capturing something, in some way, of the fragile and fleeting qualities of human life.
In recent years, Laïla’s work has travelled extensively across the UK and is leaving its marks on the international stage. Creations include the solos At-any-moment-something-else for Theo Clinkard, Out of sight in the direction of my body, waiting fleeing, The Wayside and Imprint; the duet Between the Shingle and the Dune – in collaboration with Theo Clinkard; Sense of Self – a full length piece co-authored with Mélanie Demers; on the feeling of being together for map dance; five for Swerve Dance Theatre Company; and Come rain or come shine for Verve, the Postgraduate company at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
For opera and theatre, movement direction and choreography credits include, among others, Aïda (Canadian Opera Company), The Prince of Homburg (Donmar), The Road to Mecca (Arcola), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (National Theatre), War and Peace (Canadian Opera Company), Thérese Raquin (National Theatre), Days of Significance (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Vortex (Theatre Royal Windsor), A Doll’s House (Theatre Royal Bath), Macbeth and Hansel and Gretel (Scottish Opera on Tour). As Assistant Choreographer, Rheingold (La Scala), Dido and Aeneas (La Scala and Royal Opera House) and Acis and Galatea (Royal Opera House).