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The next Encounters will be a 2-day festival exploring gender identity. Full festival line up coming soon.

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About Encounters

Exploring gender identity
Friday 28 – Saturday 29 June

You’re invited to join a crowd of inspiring dance artists to share performance, conversation and food. Includes lots of family-friendly events.

Full festival line up coming soon!

Idea behind Encounters

Yorkshire Dance is building a community of activists – from all walks of life – around performances addressing some of the big questions of our age.

Encounters will bring together inspiring dance artists with a diverse crowd to share food, conversation, participation and performance in Leeds. We’re welcoming everyone – those who don’t normally come to performances as well as those who frequently do.

We believe dance can make the world a better place. We know it can create deep connections between different sorts of people drawn together by seeing, and talking about, the kinds of works you’ll experience at Encounters.

We know the challenge is huge, and that Encounters is small, so each edition will focus on a particular element of a bigger theme.

We invite you to join us in sparking new thinking, new conversation and new connectivity.


We’re committed to making the festival affordable for everyone.

With that in mind we invite you to pay what you feel like paying on the day – so come to everything that takes your fancy.

Booking is essential. Please give us a ring on 0113 243 8765, tell us which events you’d like to go to, and we’ll book you in!

Encounters will happen three times a year. Follow us to find out more: #EncountersLeeds

Supported by:

Leeds Dance Partnership

The First Encounters

The first Encounters asked how we reach out to people different from us, who we think are ‘other’.

Robbie Synge’s performance explored the connection between older and younger dancing bodies. TC Howard’s workshop played with the ways dance can enable new connections between children and grown-ups.

H2 Dance’s work reflected on how we judge others and deal with tolerance and autonomy, while Rita Marcalo examined the impact of Brexit.

We want to know: What bias do we feel about other people? How do we deal with it? How do artists making work involve people different from them? What are the challenges and what do they gain?

The Second Encounters

The second Encounters focused on the awareness over the last two years in the debate about gender, power and equality.

The #metoo movement and the gender-pay gap figures demonstrated a deep seated and endemic impact of patriarchy to a wider public.

We wanted to know how dance contributes to this cultural change, how a feminist awareness impacts on dance making currently, and what it means to be a feminist dance maker in 2019?

We had an incredible line up featuring performances and workshops by Zsuzsa Rózsavölgyi (Hungary), Hannah Buckley, Sophie Unwin, Ella Mesma, Jamila Johnson-Small (immigrants and animals) and Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome + much, much more!

They each approached their dance practice and activism in different ways but shared a feminist awareness.

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