Announcing the new Artist Advisory Group 2021Mon 7 June 2021
We are delighted to announce the new Artist Advisory Group for Yorkshire Dance: Alexah Tomey-Alleyne, Izzy Brittain, George Fellows, Keira Martin and Bakani Pick-Up.
The Artist Advisory Group at Yorkshire Dance is a subcommittee of the Board of Directors that includes a number of freelance artists. The purpose of the group is to amplify the voice of a diverse group of independent artist in the programming and decision making at Yorkshire Dance with the aim of keeping these as informed and relevant as possible. Especially, the group has time and space for deeper reflection than there is time for during Board meetings. The nature of the group allows for a diversity of perspectives across dance-background, career-phase, age, gender and ethnicity.
On joining the Artist Advisory Group, Alexah said: “[she] is excited to be part of the advisory group, with the hopes that collectively they can help bring and sustain positive change to the dance community here in Leeds.”
Izzy Brittain is a dance artist and poet who works across teaching, performing and making to empower individuals and communities through the transformative power of movement and word. Her work is often interdisciplinary, intergenerational or participatory. Access, representation and inclusion are at the heart of her practice.
Izzy currently specialises in dance for older adults and is lead artist for Yorkshire Dance’s Dance On programme in Leeds, delivering fun, creative dance sessions for the over 55s and finding new ways to keep communities moving and connected post-Covid. She also works with Ascendance Rep on their Dance with Parkinson’s programme.
On joining the Artist Advisory Group, Izzy said: “I feel strongly that closer dialogue and grassroots listening between artists, community members and cultural organisations is essential to a healthy, vibrant and more equitable future for dance (and the arts in general). I am super excited to contribute to this process through my role on the artist advisory board.”
George Fellows is a dance artist based in the Calder Valley. After a long career in early childhood education and care, he now focusses the majority of his work on creating dance experiences for and with families with young children. With his company, Four Hands, he has co-directed Touch: a performance with professional performers dancing with their own children alongside a community cast. He is currently developing two new performance works. it’s ok is a duet about attachment and mental health, commissioned by Little Big Dance: a new national early years dance initiative. WILD is a new solo work focussing on the tension between wildness and domestication that George will be developing at The Place as part of Choreodrome 2021.
On joining the Artist Advisory Group, George said: “I’m very excited to be part of this group and am looking forward to representing and advocating for dance communities in the area.”
Keira Martin is an aerial Irish contemporary dancer, choreographer and movement director, born and raised in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Trained in traditional Irish step dance, she went on to compete at international level before commencing her studies at NSCD and New School for Dance Development in Amsterdam.
For the past 20 years Keira has toured nationally and internationally and collaborated with companies and renowned artists including Yolande Snaith, Jonathan Burrows, Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, Kompany Malakhi, Biserk Dance, State of Emergency, Bermuda Dance Co, Nathan Trice Dance Rituals and Spirit of the Dance. Keira has also worked as rehearsal director for Mobius Dance Theatre and Autin Dance Theatre.
On joining the Artist Advisory Group, Kiera said: “At last I am around a table and off my soap box to influence change that is needed in the sector and in Yorkshire: to shift the power, to become a more inclusive culturally diverse organisation that encompasses the rainbow that is dance.”
Bakani Pick-Up is a Choreographer who creates improvisational works centred around practice and methodology on ‘Ways of Being’ within performative structures. Research topics have explored the disassociation between live bodies and screen bodies, decolonising practice and improvisation methodology for creating inclusive performance.
On joining the Artist Advisory Group, Bakani said: “I am looking forward to supporting Yorkshire Dance as part of this round of Artist Advisors. Yorkshire Dance plays a vital role in the community of Leeds and the Arts sector at large, this is a great opportunity to connect artists, boards and local community further with sustainability and inclusivity at the forefront.”
We cannot wait to start working with our new Artist Advisory Group. They will meet four times a year, in a similar pattern to our Board, and they bring with them a wealth of knowledge, experiences and perspectives that will help us continue to shape and develop our work at Yorkshire Dance.