Nigerian-born dancer and choreographer Emmanuel Obeya makes his Royal Opera debut in the 2018/19 Season as the Revival Choreographer for Faust.
Obeya trained at Arts Educational School, Ballet Rambert and Dance Theatre of Harlem and was a soloist for Heidelberg State Theatre, National Theatre Mannheim and the Unterwegs Theatre in Heidelberg. He subsequently spent four years working with Liz King’s Tanztheater Wien and went on to be a soloist at the Vienna Volksoper, where he danced and co-choreographed until 2003. In 2004 he became a member of Michael Keegan Dolan’s Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre (now re-formed as Teac Damsa) and in 2006 he became a guest performer with the Forsythe Company. For several years he has worked as assistant and Rehearsal Director to Michael Keegan-Dolan, including on his current worldwide tour of Swan Lake/Loch na hEala. Obeya has choreographed for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Hanover State Theatre, Schauspielhaus Dresden and in Bremen and Düsseldorf. He was assistant director on Orfeo ed Euridice for Irish National Opera in the 2018/19 season.
Obeya is also the singer and songwriter (since 2004) with the Viennese electronic/rock band Sofa Surfers, with whom he has won two Austrian Music Awards, and is currently touring the album 20. He collaborated with the Spanish producer/musician Ed is Dead on his 2017 album, which won best alternative album of the year in Spain. He works internationally on youth programmes, including with young people living in slums in Nairobi, with asylum seekers in Austria and with the UK’s National Youth Dance Theatre.