FUSE is Barbican Theatre’s 4 year diverse dance project, funded by Arts Council England

Barbican Theatre has a strong history of dance development over the last 35 years. FUSE aims to create a new way of making dance by bringing together diverse communities, local dancers and guest choreographers as equal partners – to have fun, share dance styles and create mind blowing new performances for public audiences.

FUSE Diverse Dance is managed by Suzie West our Lead Practitioner and Choreographer on the project. Suzie project designs and manages the FUSE Diverse Dance residencies, events and workshops, in conversation with the local dancers and community groups in the city.

The aim is to offer platforms for people to dance, share and be creatively curious about fusing their own dance identity with others. The choreographic content of each project is carefully facilitated and guided by Suzie and her FUSE Diverse Dance Team to explore the possibilities of co-creation and exchange.

Suzie is a researcher with expertise in partnership pedagogy: observing, challenging and reflecting on the role of dance for FUSE and the city, experimenting with ways to build innovative making methods and celebrate diversity.  She is building a methodology with the Fuse team and participants that looks afresh at sharing and making dance.

Meet our new FUSE Diverse Dance Team Practitioners (July 2019)

Read our FUSE Diverse Dance Activity Report from year 1 2018-19 of the project (July 2019)


Year 1

May 2018 - March 2019

In our first year of the project, Suzie and the FUSE team worked intensively with Avant Garde Dance, with more than 70 dancers and artists performing in their Fagin’s Twist production at The Plymouth Athenaeum in October 2018.

Watch the FUSE Fagin’s Twist project film

They also created site-specific pieces for Plymouth’s Illuminate Light Festival at Royal William Yard.

Watch the FUSE Illuminate Festival project film

In February 2019 the first full-length FUSE performance  ‘Put On Your Red Shoes’ took place at The Plymouth Athenaeum. This featured more than 100 artists including professionals, students and members of Barbican Theatre Performance Training groups. The performance fused a number of different dance styles including hip hop, tango, ballet, swing, street, flemenco and contemporary.

Watch the FUSE Put On Your Red Shoe’s project film

Image Gallery

FUSE Diverse Dance Fagin's Twist Creative Residency and Performance with Avant Garde Dance (Oct 2018)
FUSE Diverse Dance's Put On Your Red Shoes at The Plymouth Athenaeum (Feb 2019)

Year 2

August 2019 - August 2020

The fusion of dance styles and people will continue to be the focus for 2019/20 and we are looking to spread our reach further and deeper into the city. 

To celebrate the hidden and the visible movers and shakers of the city past and present, FUSE will be welcoming visiting community groups and new to dance individuals into a very special project for Respect Festival.

FUSE is committed to offering new dance training and opportunities for performance

Allenye Dance will be visiting in September and February to run some choreographic residencies to form a group of 'Movers and Shakers' and a dance film competition for young people and the dance groups across the city.

Chhaya Collective, local to Devon will be spending time with a bunch of Wild Women - which could be you- before they perform their full-length work Khaos alongside a programme of diverse dance groups, dance films and virtuoso individuals.

A new FUSE Diverse Dance team will be set up to connect with the dance scene in Plymouth and develop projects for Respect Festival, Illuminate & a February FUSE Dance Production. This year we are commemorating 'Movers & Shakers'.

  • Important people to Plymouth - past and present
  • Highlighting moments in Plymouth's history
  • Finding strength, joy and power as a group of dancing, stomping, riotous feet!