Yorkshire Dance supports four emerging artists as New Associates. The aim of this organic and bespoke support is to enable them to improve the quality of their work and help them build sustainable careers as dance artists.
During June 2013 we had a chance to review the programme and achievements made during the first year by all the artists; such as making new work, meeting new collaborators and producers, touring work, research and development, building networks, and securing new funds for commissioning and other partnership support.
We were delighted to receive £2,000 towards the New Associate programme from The Fenton Arts Trust which we consider a huge accolade for the work. The funding will go towards supporting Jordan Massarella to tour #Visitors to Beacons’ Festival, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and The Mint Festival in Kendal; Nathan Geering will be working with artistic mentors on a new solo (working title) Stillness; 70/30 Split (Sophie Unwin & Lydia Cottrell) will be supported to develop their latest work Two do: A Performance over the summer for performances this autumn.
Meet the New Associates…
Louise Ahl (aka Ultimate Dancer)
Swedish-born Louise Ahl is a UK-based choreographer and performer. Through an expanded idea of dance and choreography she creates solo work with her performance alter-ego Ultimate Dancer but also works collaboratively with other artists. Philosophy, pseudo-science and the constant mission to use methods that challenges the performance production process fuel her research.
Louise has studied theatre in Sweden, Choreography in Berlin and received a First Class BA Choreography from Dartington College of Arts in 2010. Her work has been shown in the UK, Germany and Denmark and has been supported through Arts Council England and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
Nathan Geering is a dance artist and hip hop representative for Jonzi D’s Breakin’ Convention in Sheffield who enjoys collaborating with artists from different dance genres enabling him to creatively explore dance styles that feed back into his own movement vocabulary. From the beginning of his training over eight years ago when he travelled to America, China and Korea where he worked extensively with former b-boy champions learning their methodology, which gave him an insight and opportunity to experience how artists from different cultures create, learn and are motivated by their artistic vision, he has continued to be open to other cultures that enrich his work and that of his multicultural dance company called Rationale.
Nathan has been drawn to work with artists from a variety of backgrounds in the UK and Africa and during 2012 worked on a Cultural Olympiad musical dance theatre project entitled Bright in your Corner featuring Usutho, a group of South African artists.
He is exploring how psychology can help enhance the audience’s experince of of hiphop theatre and is currently touring internationally with Sonia Sabri Company with Kathakbox, which was nominated for the London Dance award.
Jordan Massarella is one of the most exciting creative talents emerging from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) since graduation in 2011. His most recent work Visitors, supported by Arts Council England, toured successfully in the north of England before going to The Place, London in 2013. Jordan was associate artist at the NSCD and is currently New Associate with Yorkshire Dance. With a powerful sense of zeitgeist and popular culture, he creates evocative atmosphere through eclectic music, rich visuals and strong direction.
Commissions include The Yorkshire Flock (mass dance commission with Gary Clarke as part of The Big Dance); For Dear Life for The Verve, post graduate performance company; assistant choreographer for Not, performance art festival in Brooklyn and A Long Way Of Seeing, a sound and movement project collaborating with the ‘Gamalan Orchestra’ choreographed for the students of York University.
Independent choreographic projects include amongst others Thanks For Your Concern (Research and Development Project with Ben Wright, Artistic Director of Bgroup); Reminds Me Baby Of You Premiered as part of Live Bites at Yorkshire Dance; The Crying Light Performed at Leeds Festival Fringe as part of a site specific platform; Mansion: movement based Installation at East Street Arts Patrick Studio (visual arts studios, Leeds).
Sophie Unwin is an artist whose interest lies in the creation of live work which possesses a strong focus on the connection between autobiography, performance writing, and what it means to be a female on stage, exploring the complexities of the self in relation to her practice. Since graduating with a first class degree from York St John University in 2011, Sophie has extensively toured works both regionally and nationally.
She is co-director of company 70/30 Split alongside Lydia Cottrell. Throughout the last year the pair have successfully gained commissions, notable reviews and are currently touring their second work Two Do: A Performance across the country, including performances at Dance Base, Edinburgh and The Place, London.
“ 70/30 Split’s Two do is more a kind of tightly choreographed slapstick than contemporary dance per se: think of the Marx Brothers causing havoc with a lemonade seller in Duck Soup or Morecombe and Wise cooking breakfast in time to The Stripper.”
Wayne Burrows, Hatch: Back
“Catch this razor sharp pair while you can”