Since DV8 Physical Theatre’s inception in 1986 Lloyd Newson has led the company, directing and conceiving all its productions (apart from My Sex Our Dance, which was co-devised with Nigel Charnock). DV8’s work reflects Newson’s personal interests in social, psychological and political issues. He has largely rejected the abstraction that permeates most contemporary dance in preference for conceptual and/or narratively driven work.
In 1985 Newson left Extemporary Dance Theatre to pursue his own choreographic interests more fully and approached dancer, Michelle Richecoeur, to work on Bein’ Apart; Lonely Art, a commission from Dance Umbrella (UK). The following year Newson invited Nigel Charnock to work with him on My Sex; Our Dance (1986). That year DV8 Physical Theatre was officially formed. In 1987 Wendy Houstoun came to a DV8 workshop and began performing with the company shortly thereafter. Both Nigel and Wendy were principal performers with the company until 1992 when they left to pursue their own choreographic/directing voices. Since then, Wendy Houstoun has guested with the company in Bound to Please (1997), Living Costs (Tate Modern - 2003) and been involved in an editorial capacity for To Be Straight With You (2008).
As Newson’s work is content-based, he casts according to subject matter and performers’ suitability for each new project. Consequently DV8 has no permanent company of performers. Over the years many people have contributed towards the success of DV8 - many extraordinary performers, a succession of administrative and technical teams and the company’s board of directors.