UK Dance Showcase programme announced

UK Dance Showcase Programme Announced

Surf The Wave, a project run by Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) has today announced the first wave of artists and companies to be programmed as part of the UK Dance Showcase, 16 – 19 May 2019.

The showcase is aimed at programmers who currently present, or who would like to present, dance in their venue, festival, museum, gallery space or any other context, with an emphasis on touring in the UK. It is an opportunity for programmers to experience dance works by new and established artists in both theatre and unconventional settings, with work being shown in Pavilion Dance South West and Lighthouse Poole theatres, as well as in churches, nightclubs and outdoors. There will be opportunities for networking, talks and pitching sessions in which artists and producers will present new ideas.

25 companies will perform in Bournemouth and Poole across the four days with a further 12 pitching to programmers for commissions and developmental funding for new and existing work.

The artists and companies that will be performing represent a wide spectrum of talent from across the industry. They are:

Agudo Dance Company, ALTERED SKIN / Shane Shambhu, Amy Bell, Anjali Dance Company, Candoco Dance Company, Company Chameleon, Gracefool Collective, Humanhood, Janine Harrington, Joss Arnott Dance, Kaleider, Light Ladd & Emberton, Lanre Malaolu, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, Mischief Company, New Art Club, Scottish Dance Theatre, Seeta Patel, Thick & Tight, Tom Dale Company, Uchenna Dance, Vanessa Grasse and ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.

The remaining performances will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Chair of the Curatorial Committee Eckhard Thiemann commented:

As the chair of the committee, it was my job to hold a wide range of viewpoints from the committee members and find consensus.

Whilst looking through the nearly 200 applications, I observed how dance reflected on important issues and themes in current society. I feel in our deliberations we encountered a real urge from artists to reflect on the world around them. This felt like ‘real’ dance for a real and often complicated world.”

Pitches will be presented by Alexander Whitley Dance Company, AΦE, Buckness Personified, Curious Seed, Flexer & Sandiland, Just Us Dance Theatre, Keira Martin, Lîla Dance, Liz Aggis, Second Hand Dance and Umanoove/Didy Veldman.

More artists and companies will be announced in the coming weeks. All of the showcase delegates will be invited to attend the pitching sessions to hear about new and existing work that is being developed and find out how they can get involved. 

Surf The Wave Project Director Sheila Creevey said:

We are thrilled to be announcing the programme that will be presented at the showcase this year. We had a lot of applications to perform from right across the dance industry, so the selection process was tough. We wanted to make sure we were presenting a balanced programme that was a snapshot of where dance is at today, and I think we have achieved that. This will be a showcase to remember.

The UK Dance Showcase is supported by Lighthouse Poole, and is sponsored by Mayflower Theatre Southampton and Arts University Bournemouth.

Surf The Wave is the major project led by Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW), on behalf of the National Dance Network (NDN).

Surf The Wave costs are supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Jerwood Arts with further support from Arts Council Wales, Creative Scotland, the National Dance Network, DanceXchange, South East Dance, The Place, and Yorkshire Dance.

Registration for tickets is open now open: surfthewaveuk.org.uk/showcase-registration

Messaging in Marketing - How It Made A Difference

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Messaging in Marketing - How It Made A Difference

By VICKI IGBOKWE
UCHENNA DANCE

Vicki Igbokwe is the creative director, choreographer and founder of Uchenna Dance.

When Vicki Igbokwe, Creative Director of Uchenna Dance, needed PR and marketing support for the company’s upcoming touring of The Head Wrap Diaries and Our Mighty Groove she contacted PR and marketing specialist Carol Ann Walters.

Carol Ann’s first task was to tackle the company’s messaging.

The idea was to deliver "consistent, ongoing relevant information" so that people could cut through the jargon whether they were a dance specific audience or not.

We wanted to reach a wider non-dance audience

We’re great at what we do but we weren’t always great at communicating it.

We were trying to say everything, all at the same time, and sometimes the same thing, but in loads of different ways! Working with Carol taught us to be consistent in our messaging so that everything we say adds up and contributes to the overarching idea of what we want to convey i.e. that we are a dance company, that this is what we do, this is how we’re different, this is how we do it, these are our shows, etc.

You must work out who you are, what you stand for, why you do what you do, and who for

Our strapline is ‘empowering, entertaining and educating through dance’. It’s everything we do, all in one line. From there we can break it down further. Empowering, here’s how we empower (through our mentoring, support and coaching programmes), these are the things we do (workshops and teaching), and so on.

‘Just Do It’ is one of the simplest, most recognisable slogans of all time – a line Nike has used for the past 20 years.

We want ‘Uchenna’ to be recognised for all things dance and leadership on a global scale. Watch this space!

*Uchenna is currently touring two productions, The Head Wrap Diaries and Hansel & Gretel – A fearless dance adventure. In 2019 the company will celebrate its 10th successful year. For more information, visit www.uchennadance.com

Selecting work for the showcase by Eckhard Thiemann

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Selecting work for the showcase by Eckhard Thiemann

Serving on a selection committee always feels like a privilege, but also daunting responsibility to me. On the one hand it is a real pleasure to be able to see and read so many artists’ proposals and hear about their latest plans and projects. It is an inspiring time of discovery and curiosity. On the other hand, there is always the knowledge that we will never be able to select all the artists who we would like to see exposed. And we know that any selection will be interrogated and critiqued. And finally, we know we will disappoint more people than we can invite to the showcase. As the chair of the committee it was my job to hold a wide range of viewpoints from the committee members and find consensus.

In our often lively discussions we always asked ourselves the question how the selection of one company would contribute to the overall programme. Inclusion was never just about the quality of each individual work (we could have easily chosen more artists), but also how each work contributed to telling the story of exciting dance practice in the UK right now. While looking through the nearly 200 applications I observed how dance reflected on important issues and themes in current society. Why would dance be untouched by politics and wider society issues? I was moved by the number of submissions, which dealt with mental health and emotional wellbeing. Equally, I was comforted by seeing a range of works, which celebrated a coming together and communitarian spirit (a reaction against the divisiveness of the Brexit debates?). And I laughed at the subversive spirit of much work, which used disarming humour to question identity and gender.

Artists may work in different styles and aesthetics and we react with different tastes. But I feel in our deliberations we encountered a real urge from artists to reflect on the world around them. This felt like ‘real’ dance for a real and often complicated world.

Eckhard Thiemann is Chair of the Curatorial Committee for Surf The Wave

Register to attend the UK Dance Showcase here