Nicole Thomson

Nicole studied Performing Arts at Middlesex University and graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts in 1982. She has worked with a number of dance and physical theatre companies producing and choreographing performances and combining dance, physical theatre and clown, including Moving Target, which she co-founded and directed with jazz musician Steve Harris. The company made national headlines with a performance on the newly-built M40 motorway near Banbury before it opened.

In 1995 Nicole founded Anjali Dance Company to showcase the creative potential of people with learning disabilities and to create contemporary dance and education opportunities for learning-disabled people. Nicole had a strong belief in the unique talents of the dancers and from the beginning recognised that a unique and powerful aesthetic could emerge from a company of people with learning disabilities. Her ambition to produce professional-standard work of the highest quality led to the company gaining national and international recognition and receiving a 4-star review in The Guardian.

As Anjali’s Artistic Director, Nicole has collaborated with renowned British choreographers, including Claire Russ, Matthew Hawkins, Charlotte Vincent, TC Howard, Pete Shenton, Tom Roden, Gary Clarke and Lea Anderson, to make several major touring productions for the company, including Moving Ideas, Through New Eyes, WYSIWYG and Something Wild and Genius.

Alongside developing the artistic programme, Nicole initiates and leads all Anjali Dance Company projects including Young Anjali, which has been selected five times to perform at U.Dance National showcases.

She is committed to investigating new ways of making performance with learning-disabled dancers, and to raising the profile of integrated arts practice by participating with Anjali’s dancers in arts and disability-related debates. Nicole was a member of the Dance and Disability Steering Group at Arts Council England in 2003 and continues to remain committed to questioning traditional aesthetics, inspiring others and changing perceptions of who can dance.