Works | Performer/Collaborations | Research

Deborah Light (UK, 1979) is an independent choreographer and dance artist based in Cardiff. She is associate artist with Coreo Cymru and Chapter. Her work has been presented and commissioned internationally since graduating from Laban. Deborah received Best Dance Production in Wales Theatre Awards (2015) for Caitlin with Light, Ladd and Emberton and was nominated for the same award (2014) for HIDE. She received a Creative Wales Award (2009) and was shortlisted as a Place Prize semi finalist (2010). Deborah brings together talented artists from across disciplines to collaborate on her projects.

Using the body as her primary tool, Deborah’s work is an enquiry into the multiplicity of human nature. This provides a catalyst to create visceral works characterized by sophisticated layering of references, disarming honesty and a sense of subtlety. Deborah aims to develop physical languages that expose and communicate the fragile layers of the internal psyche; her own sense of self and that of her collaborators is, therefore, intrinsic to the work. Trust and responsiveness are key values in her creative process in order to facilitate the making of work that is both brave and sensitive.

Through a rich collaboration with designer Neil Davies, Deborah’s work has developed a distinctive aesthetic; minimal and stark, driven by powerful images, bare scenography and intriguing costumes. She creates worlds where the familiar can transform to the mysterious by making fictional and non-fictional realities collide. Her work is often laced with subtle humour and dark undertones.

From 2007 – 2011 Deborah focused on the development of her solo practice, working collaboratively with a core team of designers and photographers. Angelica (2007) won Dance Bytes choreographic competition and toured internationally with Dance Roads (Canada, Italy, Luxemburg, Wales). Angelica is also a series of installation, site specific and photographic projects. Between Reality (2009) drew on the photographic work of Francesca Woodman, was developed through site based research and at Choreodrome (The Place). Deborah shortlisted for the Place Prize (2010) with a third solo Cortex investigating female identity, anonymity, disappearance. Deborah’s group work HIDE (2013) builds on the processes developed and concepts explored through this solo practice.

In 2014 she joined with renowned artists Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton to form Light, Ladd and Emberton. The resulting work Caitlin premiered at National Library Wales  and continues to tour including Edinburgh Fringe 2015 and A Nations Theatre Festival at Battersea Arts Centre 2016.

Alongside her independent practice Deborah has been commissioned by Aura Dance Company (Lithuania), Dance Shorts (Wales), Welsh Independent Dance, Polish Dance Theatre, and Salford University. Deborah receives regular support from Arts Council Wales, Chapter, National Dance Company Wales and Coreo Cymru. Her creative development has been nurtured by The Place including The Place Prize (2010); selection for the international research project ChoreoRoam (2011) and Choreodrome (2009 & 2011).

Deborah also works as a performer and collaborator and has worked, amongst others, with Joanna Young, Run Ragged Productions, Caroline Sabin, Sean Tuan John, Sherman Cymru and Diversions Dance House.

Deborah has extensive teaching experience that includes release based technique class, improvisation and movement for actors. Her main interest lies in improvisational structures as a tool to develop personal movement languages and choreographic material. She currently teaches movement for Young Actors Studio at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She also works with other artists including Karol Cysewski, Jem Treays, Zosia Jo and Jessie Brett in a supporting role through directing, mentoring and producing.

Deborah lives in Cardiff with her partner and 2 young children.


Deborah’s work carries within it the memory of her friend and collaborator Neil Davies who sadly passed away in 2015.