In Cassils’ first ever dance piece, trans bodies made movement — and a striking canvas, with painted dancers dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, that seemed to be spinning like leaves. The stage itself was a spinning sphere.
Cassils is widely considered one of the most radical choreographers of his generation. He has choreographed over 200 works, including the seminal piece, the Bitter Lemons, which premiered in 2006 and subsequently toured the world. His work has been hailed as “a work of great political significance” and “a revelation and an antidote to our contemporary dance”. He is also considered a pivotal figure in the history of ballet, whose work helped to transform the modern dance form. In 2019, Cassils was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Dance at the 7th Biennale of Sydney.
His work seeks to express political and social realities through his own distinctive style of movement and use of the medium of dance.
He is known for his experiments with body movement, which he has described as “uncomfortable, unsettling, and not quite comfortable.” In he was also described as “a maker of artifice.” He uses the medium of dance to make art and “to give a voice to the disenfranchised, dispossessed, forgotten, and marginalized” and his work has been called “a form of direct communication,” “a kind of political activism,” and “a way to explore our most deep-seated emotions.”
His work is characterised by its physicality and “sensibility”, and its focus on movement and the way it is performed. This has been described as “a style that embraces a range of corporeal activities yet manages to create a particular tension or urgency in the body’s movement.” He is also known for his experimental choreography, which has been described as “a sort of manifesto for the choreographer.” His work has been described as “sustaining and moving a dialogue between dance and politics.”
His work is also characterised by its physicality and sensibility, and its focus on movement and the way it is performed. His work is often experimental, with the aim of exploring the body and its sensations. This has been called “a form of direct communication.”
Themes in his work include “the importance of movement in creating awareness among populations living with deprivation,