Shailesh Bahoran


Born in Suriname, Shailesh Bahoran is a versatile theatre maker and choreographer, and artistic director of IRCompany (Illusionary Rockaz Company). His creations are characterised by a free artistic vision that focuses on releasing the audience’s moods and emotions, and emphasising contrasts. In recent years, this approach has led to the creation of various innovative and experimental works, which have gained him great praise and recognition within the dance world.

Besides his work as a theatre maker and choreographer, Bahoran is also an exceptional hip-hop dancer, distinguished by his phenomenal technique, originality and expressiveness. Rooted firmly in the hip-hop culture, he is proficient in styles like b-boying (breakdance) and popping – both solo and with his Illusionary Rockaz Company. Bahoran also works as a personal coach with performers and feels a sense of shared responsibility for the development of the Dutch hip-hop and funk scene.

In 2013, Bahoran received a New Makers grant from Performing Arts Fund NL. For the productions created with the help of this grant, Heritage, Sat Cit Ananda and Lalla Rookh, he was inspired by his Hindustani background. In 2016 and 2017, Bahoran once again received support from Performing Arts Fund NL, resulting in the productions Blood and Aghori and the short film SHAI. He set up his own foundation, which formed the basis for his internationally successful production REDO, in 2018, for which dancer Redo Ait Chitt received the Dutch ‘Zwaan’ Award in 2019 for Most Impressive Dance Achievement. Bahoran’s foundation also formed the basis for his creation SHAKTI, in 2020.

In recent years, Bahoran has gone on to work with Dutch National Ballet (on Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II), ISH Dance Collective, Don’t Hit Mama, Conny Janssen Danst, Korzo, Spin Off, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and VocaalLAB. He has performed with ISH at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada and on Broadway, New York.

In 2015, Bahoran’s production Lalla Rookh was nominated for the Dance Audience Award. In 2017, he was nominated for the ‘Zwaan’ Award for Most Impressive Dance Production, for Ignite, created for ISH Dance Collective, and in the same year he received the Nederlandse Dansdagen Award.

DNO: Choreografie - Hoe Anansi de Stories of the World bevrijdde (november 2021)