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Dance Partner Projects – Round 2

Mon 29 January 2018
Part of: Working with Artists
Sophie Unwin © Elisa D'Errico

We received some very strong project proposals for the second round of our Dance Partner Projects which was followed by some tough decisions. After a great deal of thought, we are excited to announce that we will be working with Katherine Hollinson and Sophie Unwin.

Dance Partner Projects will give the artists an opportunity to research and develop project ideas over a 12 month period, with dramaturgical and producing support by our Artist Development Producer, Tanya Steinhauser. Katherine and Sophie will also receive 4 weeks of studio time, a co-commissioning fee of £500 and 2 intensive professional development workshops.

Katherine Hollinson is a performer, maker and teacher from Manchester, currently living in London and one half of Them Two Dance. She will be creating a new piece work with her sister Gemma, looking at Gemma’s life living with disabilities through the lens of their sisterly relationship.

Gemma and Katherine have lots to talk about as they’ve known each other for 30 years. Gemma, 40, is a huge Michael Jackson fan with a love for sprouts and Jeremy Kyle. She lives in a bungalow in Bury and is supported by carers. Katherine is a professional dance artist with a love for ginger biscuits and unnecessary skincare products. She lives in London with her husband Jack and has just turned 30. They hope to create a performance that will be funny, entertaining, thought-provoking and maybe a little bit sad at times. It will definitely include some Michael Jackson songs, dancing and singing and they’ll probably talk about care (giving and receiving), jealousy, being ‘normal’ and their new niece Iris. They might eat some sprouts too.

Sophie Unwin creates witty, wordy and personal work. Her projects straddle different disciplines while investigating what it means to be a female. She is co-director of SLAP and dance / theatre / cabaret duo 70/30 Split.

Sophie Unwin will use the opportunity to research and develop a new solo exploring female considerations of roles in family and society. She will experiment with making work for small and unusual spaces, investigating the relationship between bodies (performer & audience), the gaze, the private / public body and the grotesque as a performative tool to destabilise notions surrounding femininity and gender norms.

Her process will involve a dialogue with various groups of women from a local community in South Yorkshire, with a focus on housewives and teenage girls who she feels are often ‘unheard voices’ in performance and academia.

Sophie says “There’s a vast range of experiences of womanhood and I’m ever more concerned with making my work and investigations inclusive and relevant to women who share a similar background to me, or perhaps with people who don’t access art or have never made considerations about their gender.”

Sophie’s research will be further informed by her participation in Performing Gender – Dance makes differences where she is taking part in five intensive training weeks investigating notions of gender in performance from a variety of European perspectives.

Applications are open twice a year for Dance Partner Projects and Yorkshire Dance is thrilled to continue supporting artists closely in the development of new and exciting work through this programme.

Keep an eye out for the next deadline in June.

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