Botis Seva is an Olivier award winning dance artist, choreographer and director working within the realms of hip hop, physical theatre and contemporary dance. Botis’ distinct language has placed him at the forefront of Hip Hop dance theatre in the UK and internationally. Whilst his foundation is in choreography, Botis’ practice experiments with form, structure and theatrics to continuously reinvent his approach to creativity, whether that is in live or digital performance. Borrowing techniques from film, text, art and other dance languages, Botis’s focus is on making a societal difference and using his autobiographical experiences to drive narratives.
Born and raised in London, Botis was introduced to dance aged 15 at his secondary school and was regularly competing in school talent shows. After a brief performance career with Avant Garde Dance and leaving Barking Broadway college after a year, aged 17, Botis pursued his choreographic career outside of the conventional dance career paths.
Botis realised he had his own creative urges and founded his Hip Hop dance theatre company Far From The Norm aged 19. Original, vital and fearless, Far From The Norm has carved a reputation as a highly skilled and experimental hip hop collective. Their burning scrutiny of public preoccupations, politics and the contemporary world fuels their work and demands a response. Far From The Norm’s portfolio transcends live theatre performances, outdoor shows, immersive experiences and film.
In 2012, Botis was taken under the wing of Breakin’ Convention, the UK’s vanguard of the global development of the hip hop theatre genre. Through support of then Programme Director Peter Maniam and Artistic Director Jonzi D, Botis was given his first ‘schooling’ on theatre craftsmanship, it was here that his career was seeded. In 2015, Botis was nominated for the Bonnie Bird Marion North Mentoring Fund and asked to curate two Wild Card nights at the Lilian Baylis, Sadler’s Wells. With an international collaboration with the British Council in Tunisia, a commission with Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, Botis create two sold out evenings, and his career skyrocketed. Shortly after, Botis was awarded first prize at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition and Choreography 30 in Hanover, with his short musical piece 60 Sec.
After creating an eclectic range of short dance theatre pieces, Botis was selected as an Aerowaves17 artist, touring his work REK to Urban Moves in Oslo, Norway and Aerowaves Spring Forward Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. In the same year, he was also commissioned by Without Walls, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Latitude Festival on his first outdoor work, which subsequently toured to over 30 festivals and solidified his presence as the only Hip Hop dance theatre maker creating work outdoors for the next 4 years. In 2017, Botis was commissioned by Scottish Dance Theatre, to create TuTuMucky, which went on to tour the UK and Columbia. In 2018, Botis choreographed for Wayne McGregor and Robin Friend’s Winged Bull in the Elephant Case, which premiered on BBC2. He also began working on the acclaimed BLKDOG as part of the Sadler’s Wells 20th anniversary commission, a piece which won the 2019 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. BLKDOG would be the catalyst that saw him gain international recognition and the attention of the global dance sector, as well as a co-producing partnership with Sadler’s Wells and Norrlandsoperan in Sweden.
Botis went on to work with Rupert Goold as movement director for The Hunt, a play by David Farr, which opened at the Almeida Theatre in 2019. He collaborated with Battersea Arts Centre and director Suri Krishnamma as part of Performance Live on The Way Out, which premiered on BBC Iplayer. In 2020, BLKDOG began it’s UK, European and USA tour, before the pandemic hit and everything was halted. Throughout the 2020 COVID pandemic, Botis remained creative and was one of the BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine commissions, producing CAN’T KILL US ALL.
About Far From The Norm
Led by Artistic Director Botis Seva, Far From The Norm is an international touring company that strives tomake honest, relevant and needed performance work that reflects our generation. We deconstruct streetdance vocabulary, challenge perceptions of Hip Hop and create work that empowers ordinary people. Ourwork is original and fearless and invites debate on social political issues and the contemporary world.
Coming up at SIFA
BLKDOG is street dance as you’ve never seen it before. Using hip hop in a contemporary style powered by high-energy moves and captivating athleticism, BLKDOG is a delicate and brutal commentary on how today's youth are coping in a world not built for them.