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Company of Others: General Manager vacancy

 DSC1650Company of Others, a Newcastle-based company, is seeking a driven, brave and energetic full-time General Manager to play a key role in the development and running of the company.

Company of Others was founded by Artistic Director Nadia Iftkhar in 2014 to create work which highlights and shares stories of the human experience, drawn from the diverse communities it works with; this reflects the company's core belief that art should reflect the society and time it exists in, and it should be relevant to the lives of its audiences and it should seek to advance our humanity. Artistry, diversity and integrity are the company's key values, seeking to highlight injustices to continue conversation and instigate change.

Each of the company's works are extensively co-authored, drawing on stories from specific communities, resulting in a unique research and creation process. The Sense of an Ending (2014) was co-authored by 80 women from the North East, while the current production, Vessel, draws on material from 40 Yorkshire women and recently premiered at The Lowry, Salford.

The company also runs a number of projects working within the local community, including Falling on your Feet, a falls prevention through movement project for people aged over 65, delivered in partnership with Helix Arts and NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group. This led to the development of Company of Others II, a company of dancers aged over 65 who perform regularly across the region.

Having recently been awarded Elevate funding from Arts Council England in order to develop the company’s infrastructure, strategic planning and capacity, Company of Others is now seeking a full-time General Manager to manage the organisation’s operational and administrative systems and to ensure the smooth delivery of all projects and activities. The role will be based at Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The role will be ideal for someone with an interest in managing research, productions, professional development and engagement projects; due to the nature of the company's work, an understanding of the Creative Case for Diversity is essential.

The salary is £24k, and the role will be offered as a fixed-term contract from 5 December 2016 - 30 April 2018.

The application deadline is Thursday 27 October 2016 at 9am.

Interviews will be conducted between Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th November 2016, at Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne.

To request an application pack please email [email protected]

For an informal, confidential, discussion about the role, please contact Nadia Iftkhar, Artistic Director on 07872 996 914.

Company website:


Photo of Kate Jackson in The Sense of an Ending at The Place, London, by Chantal Guevara.

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Blue Cloud Scratch: 28 July

Autin Dance Theatre © Donata KukyteBlue Cloud Scratch is back for its third bimonthly edition, and we have an extra-special treat for you, as we'll be showcasing artists from around the country and not just London and the South East this time! 

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Blue Cloud Scratch: 31 May

bcs piedadWe're very pleased to announce the lineup for the second edition of Blue Cloud Scratch, our bi-monthly scratch night which is run in partnership with Blue Elephant Theatre, and we'll be presenting a mixture of contemporary dance, tanztheater, contemporary dance/tango fusion, ballet and dance theatre. Tickets are £3 (£2.50 for Southwark residents) and can be bought on the door, or online here: 

We will be showing new works by Piedad Albarracin Seiquer, Julia Gleich, Masha Gurina, Adrian Look, Camille Jetzer and Zuzanna Pilat. We'd like you to join us to support these artists and to offer them constructive feedback on their presented works.

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Dance in Brighton at the Fringe & Festival

it started withIt's not long until Brighton erupts with its own Festival and Fringe Festival, with a lot of unmissable dance shows on offer, so below is a list of reasons to get to Brighton in May, if you can.

Similar to Edinburgh, there's the informal Fringe programme, which takes over the streets of Brighton for the month of May, which features a number of local dance artists, and then the main Festival, which also includes the Caravan showcase for international presenters, festival organisers and programmers, and featured artists include Lost Dog, Sue MacLaine, Still House and Andy Field.

This isn't a full roundup, but our selected highlights - including two non-dance shows - and at the top of our list is Sarah BlancLost Dog and Liz Aggiss!

And if you'd like to see what's happening where and when, here's a calendar we've prepared for you (and ourselves), colour-coded to indicate what's in the Festival and what's in the Fringe: icon Dance in Brighton May 2016


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Blue Cloud Scratch

webwritersatworkBlue Cloud Scratch is a new scratch night for the independent dance sector curated by Blue Elephant Theatre and Cloud Dance Festival. Blue Cloud Scratch aims to provide UK-based dance artists with opportunities to present their works in progress and receive feedback from their peers and audiences alike.

Currently bimonthly, our scratch night provides artists with a friendly space in which to show their work, with facilitated Q&A sessions, full technical and marketing support, documentation (photography and filming) and a box office split (with a bit extra chucked in).

Blue Cloud Scratch originated from Cloud Dance Festival's open space event in January on gender and equality, and seeks to address the need for scratch nights and feedback sessions, while Blue Elephant Theatre seeks to explore ways to support independent artists.

Artists we have presented so far include Bridget Lappin, Konstantina Skalionta, Monica Nicolaides (MonixArts), Charlotte Jarvis, Julia Gleich, Masha Gurina, Adrian Look, Camille Jetzer, Piedad Albarracin Seiquer and Zuzanna Pilat. Our upcoming event on 28 July will feature Dickson Mbi, Autin Dance Theatre, Alice Weber, Lewys Holt, Fern Wareham and Ian Parsons. Tickets are available via or on the door. 

For people unfamiliar with the concept of a scratch night, it's an evening where artists can present their work in progress in a friendly environment, enabling them to test it on audiences and receive feedback on their work so far. It is not a performance opportunity, nor - as we have received so many applications from artists beyond the UK - an opportunity for overseas artists to present their work to London audiences. We're very grateful for your interest, though.

The Blue Elephant has long aimed to supporting emerging choreographers and has worked with Jerwood-nominated choreographer Fleur Darkin, thrice-National Dance Award nominee Sally Marie and Levantes Dance Theatre, who performed at the Blue Elephant in 2006 and 2007 before going on to win the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2009. More recently, they have worked with Carlos Pons Guerra, nominated for the Emerging Artist Award at the 2015 National Dance Awards, and programmed their inaugural dance festival, Elefeet, featuring a range of work form emerging choreographers Zosia Jo Dowmunt, Mounir Said, Andrea Queens, Andrea Walker, Rachel Johnson, Justyna Sochaj, Dorota Popińska and Masha Gurina, which was a great success with half of the performances selling out.

Cloud Dance Festival has spent many years, exploring, among other avenues of work, ways for dance artists to show their work, with projects including Cloud Dance Festival, Cloud Dance Sundays (with Giant Olive), Made Up North (with Seven Arts, Leeds) and Cloud Dance Friends (with New Diorama Theatre).

Our first scratch nights were on Wednesday 9 March and Tuesday 31 May; our next scratch night will be on Thursday 28 July, with dates to be confirmed for late September and late November. If you would like to be updated with our callouts and performance dates, please sign up to our mailing list using the form below. 

If you would like to participate, please complete this form, and if you have any questions, please do email Niamh de Valera (Blue Elephant Theatre) and Chantal Guevara (Cloud Dance Festival) at [email protected] For technical information about the stage and lighting, please visit Our only requirement is that you are based in the UK. Although we have application deadlines, we tend to select applications as they come in, so do get yours in quickly - or at least let us know that you plan to apply. 

Thank you!

Niamh de Valera and Chantal Guevara

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#cdfgend: The Summary

cat hunting mouse croppedOn Sunday 10 January, I held an open space event on gender and (in)equality in the dance industry, organised through Cloud Dance Festival and with the partnership and collaboration of Donald Hutera, Sally Marie, the Female Choreographers' Collective, Kaleidoscopic Arts, Technique Exchange and others. 

Although the lack of support for female choreographers and the wider issue of gender in dance have been ongoing problems, a few recent events - Rambert's panel debate on 14 October 2015, The Stage's article of 12 January with Akram Khan claiming that we "don't need more female choreographers" followed by Luke Jennings's response in The Guardian on 18 January - have forced people across the industry to speak out and write about gender discrimination in dance. Two recurrent themes keep appearing: there is an absolute need for change, and many independent dance artists are feeling frustrated by not being heard, by being left out of the decision-making, and by not being able to do anything about this situation we're in. 

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You're Invited to an Open Space Event about the Gender Debate

Let's Get On And Do Something About The Gender Debate: an open space event for the independent dance sector on gender and equality
: Sunday 10 January ~ 11am - 5pm
Where: Clean Break, 2 Patshull Road, London NW5 2LB


We've been talking about gender inequalities in dance for a long time now. Most of the conversations we've had and the articles which have been written have focussed on the plight of female choreographers, leading to initiatives such as the Female Choreographers' Collective, founded by Jane Coulston and Holly Noble, Kaleidoscopic Arts, founded by Lucia Schweigert and Konstantina Skalionta, Tamsin Fitzgerald's The Bench and Charlotte Vincent's The Table.

But after all these years of panel debates, panel discussions, conferences, articles and conversations, how have things changed across the independent dance sector for the people working in it? While debates etc are great at stimulating post-debate conversations, in time, the conversations fade away and little changes, however people's frustration at the ongoing situation and at not being heard remains.

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Cloud Dance Friends

 DSC0690In what seems to be a new Cloud Dance Festival tradition, once again we bring you Cloud Dance Friends, an adhoc show celebrating some of the most highly-praised work of the past year and new work by friends of Cloud Dance Festival - as well as lots of cake, apparently.

The show will be held on Sunday 29 November at 7.30pm at New Diorama Theatre, 15 - 16 Triton Street, 
Regent's Place, London, NW1 3BF.

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The Rural Touring Dance Initiative

 DSC7893The Rural Touring Dance Initiative was launched today at the National Rural Touring Network's Annual Conference; although around four to five years in development, it was largely instigated by discussions at last year's conference, which also held the first ever NRTF dance showcase.

This is a new scheme which aims to address the current underrepresentation of dance in rural touring across the UK through offering residencies, seed funding, a £45,000 production award, workshops, and selecting eight artists or companies per year whose work will be toured between 2016 and 2018.

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Nuno Silva: A Darker Shade of Fado

Nuno Silva's 'A Darker Shade of Fado' is a visually beautiful work which seeks to fuse the physicality of soul-bearing Fado music with contemporary dance, and a story of love and jealousy, set in the evocative historical old quarters of Lisbon.

Nuno Silva has worked in opera and musical theatre but is best known for his work with Henri Oguike, Javier de Frutos and Arthur Pita; while Fado has been included in his performances in recent years, this show allows him to fully explore the meeting point between dance and Fado.

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MurleyDance: 'Object of My Affection'

MurleyDance represents an enormous amount of passion, ambition and vision for Artistic Director David Murley; in spite of the challenges of sustaining a touring ballet company in this country, MurleyDance is now in its third year, and on its second nationwide tour with the first of this year's two mixed bills.

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Resolution! Slanjayvah Danza, HOLASZ, LCP Dance Theatre

This triple bill of Resolution! 2014 had a theme of exposure and sexuality running through it, some of which hit the mark and some of which didn’t.

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Probe: 'Running On Empty'

Probe’s Running on Empty offers an eerie world inhabited by three individuals simultaneously detached from and tangled up with one another. Through a combination of music, sung vocals, spoken text, and movement, narratives are suggested, but never explained. The work opens with Probe’s Artistic Director Antonia Grove singing to Scott Smith’s folksy, bluesy sounds. As Grove steps back from the microphone, Greig Cooke’s twisting, articulate movements, punctuated by questions directed at Grove, set the tone for their tangled, convoluted relationship.

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Resolution! Culture Device Dance Project, Rachel Burn, Rag Days

This evening of Resolution! 2014 showcased three very different works: a duet, trio, and quintet with varying approaches to making dance and visions of what dance can be. The first and the last both employed strong colours in their design elements, acting as multicoloured bookends to a monochrome trio in between.

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Resolution! Suse Tietjen, Lucy Palmer Dance, Ihsaan De Banya & Kenny Wing Tao Ho

Suse Tietjen's 'Brother Of Sleep' stood out when I was researching the works in this year's Resolution: somewhere, I came across a blog explaining that Johannes Elias Alder, a fictional Austrian musical genius, was struggling with unrequited love when he was told "a true lover never sleeps", and so took his own life, having resolved never to sleep again. This was certainly a rich story to tackle through abstract dance.

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Resolution! Anecdotal Evidence, Pell Ensemble, Daisy Farris Dance Collective

The Laban crowds were out in force for the first Friday of Resolution 2014, with works by Laban CAT teacher William Aitchison and recent Transitions graduate Daisy Farris - as witnessed by the hearty response to one of William's jokes about Laban graduates at the start of a very mixed night of dance.

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Resolution! Léa Tirabasso, Anything Goes Collective, James Finnemore

In over 13 years of watching Resolution!, this is the first time I've attended the opening night, and fittingly, it encapsulated the essence of Resolution well: a platform for new and young choreographers to experiment, try out new ideas, new collaborations and to take their first steps in choreography.

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Daniel Linehan: Gaze is a Gap is a Ghost



Cardboard boxes are clustered together and stacked on top of one another across the space. Some stand alone, including one cheekily located on a ledge halfway up the back wall of the Lilian Baylis Studio. An odd assortment of objects nestle among the boxes: a kettle, a hotplate, a bell, a mirror, a silver skull of the kind you might find in those annoyingly colourful shops full of unnecessary, cutesy accessories. In the centre of the space three upright white panels form a large screen for, I assume, video projections.

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Amy Bell & Valentina Golfieri, Aoife McAtamney, Gary Clarke



This triple bill of Spring Loaded offered three diverse works, all of which delivered. It was an evening dominated by women, a topical occurrence considering the recent and ongoing discussions about the relative lack of high-profile female choreographers, and reflections on the experience of being a woman in the profession. The first two pieces - Amy Bell and Valentina Golfieri’s I Just Close My Eyes: Here Are The Devils and Aoife McAtamney’s softer swells - were choreographed and performed by women, while the third, Cameo Cookie, was choreographed by Gary Clarke but performed (almost) single-handedly by the impressive Eleanor Perry.

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Laïla Diallo: Hold Everything Dear



Hold Everything Dear, Laïla Diallo's outstanding new work, starts at the end and opens with all of the eight performers sweeping polystyerene peanuts into suitcases, unravelling and stretching out a tangled yellow length of light bulbs, piano-wheeling, bench-moving and paper-picking-up until the stage is clear and everyone is set, focussing on the restricted body of Gabi Froden, on the floor, wrapped in packing tape, labelled FRAGILE. In presenting the end of their journey, the company invited the audience to see how they got there, to rewalk their journey with them.

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