Barbican Theatre (Plymouth) is excited to announce the three new members of its FUSE Diverse Dance Practitioner Team, who will work with FUSE’s Lead Practitioner and Choreographer, Suzie West, over the next 12 months.
Suzie is thrilled the 2019-20 year is led and developed by a number of dynamic female artists and practitioners. She says
“I’m so excited about the direction of this year’s programme. We have a quartet of women taking on the FUSE delivery and a superb cast of associate dancers from all styles and experiences. Engaging and showcasing hidden voices as the Movers and Shakers of this city will be our focus.”
Kay Crook is a freelance dance artist and Artistic Director of Chhaya Collective, a contemporary dance company working between UK and India since 2013.
Kay has hosted projects in India, Portugal, Cyprus and Germany, in collaboration with international artists Ajeesh Balakrishnan, Rakesh Sukesh, Nakula Somana and Carlos Oliveira. Kay facilitated Chhaya’s live stream collaboration between India and UK in 2017, allowing thirty dance artists to connect, share and choreograph collaboratively across two continents, in partnership with Shoonya (Bangalore), Arts View Live and Exeter Phoenix.
Kay is the Founder and Director of Chhaya Youth Dance Company (selected to represent South West at Udance 2018) and has been Associate Lecturer for Attakkalari (Bangalore) and recently Artist in Residence for PERA (North Cyrpus). Kay has taught in collaboration with State of Emergency, Take Art InspirED, The Point Eastleigh, Earthfall, Exeter Phoenix, HFC Master Series, Bridgwater College, Exeter College, Tacchi Morris, Dartington Arts and Cygnet Theatre in the UK and Attakkalari, Shoonya and Lshva in India.
Kay is also a member of the Heather Walrond Company, performing in ‘The Rising’ nationally and internationally, touring 2015 – 2019, including The Place (London), HIFA 2017 (Zimbabwe) and In2it Dance Festival 2018 (Norway).
“I’m proud to be one of the FUSE artists for 2019/20, promoting creativity, diversity and unity across the city. Bringing communities together through a series of cross-cultural and intergenerational collaborative projects, between community groups and professional artists. This is something that has always fuelled my practice and the work generated by Chhaya Collective. In the current climate, projects such as FUSE are needed more than ever and I look forward to amplifying voices and creating a storm..!”
Daisy is a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher currently based in the South West, creating work as part of her company The Prism Project.
Daisy trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and graduated with BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre in 2014. Whilst studying she performed in works by Lea Anderson, Tony Thatcher, Gary Lambert & Rosemary Butcher in the UK and in Israel. She then completed a Masters degree in Dance Performance (2015) as part of Transitions Dance Company, dancing in work choreographed by Bawren Tavaziva, Zoi Dimitriou and Miguel Pereira in an international tour.
Most recent performance experience includes work by; The Prism Project, Chhaya Collective, Spindrift Dance Collective, Nadjeschda Shaefer Dance, Andrew Race Dance Company, Dartington International Music Festival, and Interwoven Productions.
“I don’t believe we’re ever ‘finished’ learning, and I’m truly excited to dive headfirst into the Diverse Dance project and learn so much more about moving! We have a jam packed programme of events coming up, and I’m already feeling inspired.”
Emma carried out her dance and performance training at Plymouth University, graduating in 2011. She then worked as a lead practitioner for Exim Dance Company from 2012 where she developed and refined her practice in inclusive dance and working with young people.
Emma has performed nationally and internationally in work by Adam Benjamin for Exim Dance Company and has recently taught dance full time for both Primary and Secondary aged children at Plymouth School of Creative Arts. She has a wealth of experience in areas such as working with young people with autism, physical and learning disabilities, vulnerable children and adults and teaching dance in the community sector.
“I feel very excited and privileged to be a part of the FUSE team this year! Following participating as a performer in the production of last year’s project, I can’t wait to start working on ideas and outcomes with the incredibly diverse community we have here in the city!”
Suzie West (credit David Snowdon)
The first year of FUSE Diverse Dance was a huge success. Suzie reflects on her first year on the project and plans for her second;
“Last year was an epic leap into all sorts of dance styles, rhythms & choreographic approaches. We reached 341 participants through 33 hrs of CPD, 122hrs of community outreach, 4 performances, 3 social events, 2 networking evening and 5 shows. Phew! Avant Garde were amazing at welcoming Plymouth into their hip hop theatre world. Illuminate and Plymouth Athenaeum offered us exciting new ways to parade, promenade and socialise with the audience as we danced.”
“This year, the party continues. Parades and ongoing cultural exchanges through the city for Respect Festival. Inviting new groups of people into the rich diverse world of dance with performance opportunities and social events. Refining our choreographic ideas and expanding the creative voices represented to blend styles and exchange stories with commissions. ”
As the year progresses there will be plenty of opportunities move, make and develop your creative ideas. The residencies will feature two strong and wild companies of women.
“Alleyne Dance will be offering international prowess for professionals and ground level community performance in September and February. Chhaya Collective will be curating a programme of performances for women at the Athenaeum which will feature their powerful Dance Theatre piece Khaos.
Anyone can get involved at any time, in any way. I can’t wait to meet and move with more people this year.”
Barbican Theatre’s FUSE Diverse Dance project is funded by Arts Council England. It 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.
The FUSE Team are currently looking for members to join two FUSE Diverse Dance groups:
Movers & Shakers – a company of 10 local trained dancers aged 23+. Paid positions. Deadline for applications 15 August 2019. Info/apply here
Young Rebels – a team of dancers aged 16 – 25 who will represent their dance group or dance style and gain some really amazing experiences as a young choreographer. Deadline for applications 1 August 2019. Info/apply here
If you want to be part of FUSE, or have any questions about the current positions available please contact Suzie at email@example.com
For updates on further FUSE opportunities and projects as they are announced, please follow us on Facebook (‘Barbican Theatre Plymouth’), Twitter (@BarbicanTheatre) and Instagram (@Barbican_Theatre) or visit www.barbicantheatre.co.uk/fuse-diverse-dance
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Notes to Editors:
About Barbican Theatre
Barbican Theatre is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and a registered charity established in 1980. We are an inclusive organisation and get excited about people creating and enjoying theatre, dance and live entertainment. People can get involved in so many ways; not just as a participant or an audience member; as a technician, a producer, choreographer, director, writer, designer or arts marketing. There are so many opportunities and experiences we want to help emerging talent explore and engage with so that together we can create work that inspires, challenges, entertains and educates. We believe that creativity belongs to everyone so we ensure our performances and workshops are affordable and accessible. Barbican Theatre also specialise in taking our work out to schools, into public spaces and to communities.
Barbican Theatre is funded by Arts Council England, Plymouth City Council and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
About Barbican Theatre’s 4 Year FUSE Diverse Dance Project
Barbican Theatre has a strong history of dance development over the last 39 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.
Contact: Jo Cann, Marketing & Communications Manager, 01752 242018, firstname.lastname@example.org