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David Greeves: martial arts choreographer, fight director and aerial choreographer working internationally across Opera, Bollywood and Circus productions for over 18 years.


Director of Yskynna Vertical Dance CIO, specializing in site-specific aerial performance in non traditional spaces for cultural and artistic endeavour.

Background; born in Redruth, Cornwall, April 1966, working worldwide in Opera, Bollywood, large scale events, and local productions, as Martial arts choreographer, creative rigger, aerial harness trainer and aerial choreographer.

Ba[2i]Hons in Psychology of Human behaviour, PGCE for teaching dance, choreography and contact dance for college and universities.

Began aerial work with Angels of Disorder,{Jean-Paul Zacharini}, Stilt performance with Scarabeus Theatre, and has been involved with Glastonbury Festival Circus and Theatre for over 15 years.


In 1998 he began work as solo aerialist {corde lisse} and dancer for David McVicar’s production of Idomeneo at Vlaamse Opera in Antwerpen Belgium, this work progressed and now works on David McVicar’s creative team for productions such as Aida ROH 2010/2011, Gotterdammerung and Wagners Ring Cycle, Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg 2011, L:e Clemency de Tito, Festival of Opera, Aix en Provence 2011, Le Capitole Toulouse 2012/2018, Aida Le Palau des Artes Valencia 2012/2017


Having moved from dance to circus to martial arts, not only through training but also through development in work focusing on Martial Art choreography and aerial harness training and aerial choreography.

Martial Arts Choreography

Drawing upon Martial Training for over 20 years and developing choreography for stage and film, I utilize different martial arts to create spectacular sequences and unique training methods for actors to develop body awareness, skill acquisition and transformation.  Having studied in China and Thailand I use Wushu Qong Fu, Tai Chi Quan, Muay Thai and Battodo Fudokan 

I have had the pleasure of working with Sir David McVicar OBE, Rae Smith, Paule Constable and Leah Hausmann, bringing specialist choreography to many International Opera productions, working at the Royal opera House, London, La Monnaie de Munt, Brussels, Le Capitole Toulouse, and Lyric Opera Chicago among many others. 

I have worked on Bollywood productions, Zangoora and Jhumroo in New Delhi and Jaan and Jigar in Dubai, with Wizcraft Productions alongside directors Vikrant Pawar and Viraf Sakari

Samurai Sword Fight Choreography

L’Opera Du Rhin Strasbourg Bo Staff fight sequences

La Marcha 


Aerial Choreography

Training in corde lisse, sling, bungee and harness work on wires, I draw upon these skill sets developing aerial performance and vertical dance choreography. Training actors to fly, to develop harness and aerial awareness and build the strength and skills to maintain a strong core whilst delivering the performance is at the heart of this practice.

Having worked with the Generating Company Osaka 2006-2007, Kirbys AFX  New Delhi 2010 and 2012 and at Bollywood Parks Dubai 2016 creating flying duets for actors and puppetry for flying dragons and snakes.

Using counterweight systems for specific flying work

Working as Artistic Director I have developed this modus operandi with Yskynna.



Starring as Dharma solo aerialist, actor and dancer in David McVicar’s production of Idomeneo at Vlaamse Opera 1998, being involved in many productions as aerialist or movement specialist, performing as Puck in Brittens Midsummers Nights Dream at La Monnnaie Brussels Belgium 2004, and from then working with the creative team and developing specialist choreographic content based on Martial Art skills and fight choreography, culminating the last 2 years with McVicar’s productions of Aida at the Royal Opera House, Palais des Artes, Valencia, and Le Clemency de Tito, International Fetsival of Opera Aix en Provence. Both productions used specialist sword, and sword and dagger technique.

The production of Aida utlised the Japanese sword form of Battodo Fudokan, taught by John ‘Maki’ Evans, this source gave the choreographic work a solid base in sword technique, which was developed within the choreography and the direction of each scene.. The training process consisted of demanding physical exercises similar to Shaolin training, and in the Valencia production we were honoured to have Zhu a 32ndgeneration Shaolin working with the production and in the rerun of Aida at the ROH.


Le Clemency de Tito demanded research into Roman sword and dagger technique. There was little recorded of this style of fighting, much was determined about the way of fighting by the nature and design of the swords from that era. Using replica swords and daggers and the way of fighting as 1 on 1 as well as a unit, the movement, technique and style was developed, which fed into the choreographic process.