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Yorkshire Dance

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Dance Partner Projects: Artist Announcements

We are very pleased to announce the artists we will be supporting as part of our 2022-23 Dance Partner Projects. We hope to support the selected artists with their project’s development through a £2,000 commissioning fee and space, alongside dramaturgy and overall producing support.

Dance Partner Projects has two strands surrounding specific themes including, work for outdoor contexts and children & young people. With the Children & Young People strand, we are supporting Lewys Holt with the development of his current work ‘Empty Orchestra’. Lewys Holt is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in Leeds. He works as a dancer, choreographer and curates Roadhouse with Eleanor Sikorski.

Born in Mold in North Wales and raised in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Lewys studied dance at De Montfort University (2010-14). His practice, while focusing on dance, spans comedy, visual arts and devised theatre. He makes work that centres the performer as an empowered individual, showcasing their personality and vulnerabilities. He makes score based choreographies, which combine improvisation with subtle wit and formal experimentation that push the boundaries of disciplines to make innovative performances. He has worked as a dancer with New Art Club, Simone Mousset, Rosemary Lee and Christopher Owen among others.

As part of the Dance Partner Project relationship with Yorkshire Dance, Lewys & his team of collaborators will reimagine Empty Orchestra as a piece for children & families, embedding co-design principles into the process and building new context and audiences for his work. The project will link and connect with relationships Yorkshire Dance has through a variety of projects and programmes regionally for & with children and young people as well as connect with partners nationally as part of the collaboration through an annual Showcase for children & young people.

Through the Outdoor Dance strand, Yorkshire Dance will be supporting Gerard Headley with his current project ‘HOMO Sapien’. Gerard (he/him) is an actor, dancer, and physical theatre maker from Ireland. He completed his BA (Hons) Degree at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2020 where he performed works by Wayne Parsons, Lea Anderson & Gary Clarke. Since graduating he has set up a base in Leeds working across a variety of projects with artists such as Theo Clinkard, Douglas Thorpe & Rod Dixon. He recently finished developing and touring a new dance work across Europe as an Instant Dissidence company member.

Gerard is passionate about platforming underrepresented, often political narratives, through physical, stripped back storytelling. He is delighted to be working closely with the artistic team at Yorkshire Dance to develop his new outdoor solo work ‘HOMO Sapien’ which explores the internal conflict LGBTQ+ people face when attempting to mask their queerness in outdoor, public spaces.

We are delighted to be working with Lewys and Gerard through Dance Partner Projects – watch this space for more information, as their projects develop.

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