“I have been one of Yorkshire Dance’s New Associate artists for the last two years. I am a performance artist, choreographer, collaborator and performer based in the region and I graduated from York St John University in 2011.
“The last two years of my career have been fruitful and dynamic, giving me the experience and the tools to navigate further into the industry. Being a New Associate has given me the freedom to explore my practice in a safe and supportive atmosphere. My association with Yorkshire Dance has been a really valuable endorsement, and enabled me to perform in Leeds and at the Edinburgh Festival, take part in two Juncture festivals and gain profile among promoters for my work across the North.
“This year has seen my first solo endeavour, a solo performance called The Chronicles Of Joy, supported by the Juncture Fellows commission from Yorkshire Dance and hosted by artist Wendy Houstoun. This opportunity has positively launched my solo career enabling me to make an idea tangible. The work has been scratched in Leeds and London and will enter another phase of development ready for touring in 2015.
“Although I am an artist trained in dance I seek to find different ways, and use different forms, to communicate an idea, through movement, words, film and writing. And being immersed in Yorkshire Dance’s Juncture festival of dance and theatre was invaluable for my artistic and professional development. Not only was it beneficial to receive such an intense shot of high quality performance, but to be exposed to regional, national and international works was a privilege I would never have been able to afford without support.
“This year has also seen a collaboration of a different kind with Yorkshire Dance; SLAP (Salacious Live Alternative Performance) is a performance, live art, film, spoken word and music platform based in York founded by myself and three other York-based artists. SLAP is a bi-monthly event bringing experimental performance to spaces and audiences which wouldn’t usually host or witness contemporary performance. Yorkshire Dance has become one of SLAP’s partners and has recently offered a platform, space and support as a prize package for emerging artists SLAP have showcased and supported. SLAP’s relationship with a respected organisation such as Yorkshire Dance will undoubtedly help us sustain our endeavours and continue supporting local artists who are taking risks. It also gives me a chance to continue the support of emerging artists which Yorkshire dance has done for me.”
Sophie Unwin is also Co-director of company 70/30 Split alongside collaborator Lydia Cottrell. Throughout the last two years the pair have toured extensively both regional and nationally, successfully won commissions, received notable reviews and are currently creating their their third work, WHICH, which will be ready for touring at the end of 2015.
“Cottrell and Unwin are as touching as they are resolutely fearless.”
Luke Jennings, The Guardian, June 2014
Reviews for 70/30 Split‘s performances at Donald Hutera’s GOlive Festival in London, June 2014, were ecstatic – see a selection here.