Some of the country’s leading dance institutions and organisations have teamed up again, following the success of #LoveDanceScotland Commissions, to offer the #LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursaries, highlighting the importance of working in partnership, and enabling artists to take the lead by designing their own recovery programme.
LoveDanceScotland is a nationwide programme of in-kind and financial support for Scotland-based professional dance artists, providing the time and space for them to re-engage with their creative practice after the very challenging 18 months.
Artists receiving the Bursary are devising and delivering a project either digitally or in-person which will take place between October and January 2022 with each project involving an element of audience engagement to help artists, audiences and venues reconnect after this period of separation.
From supporting research and development to mental and physical recovery, from Joan d’Arc to domestic violence, from working in communities to forging new creative connections, the Bursaries are set to support twelve artists living and working in different areas of Scotland and at different stages of their careers. A total fund of £70,000 has been allocated and a brief overview of the projects is given below.
Andre Anderson Photo by Paul Chappells. Aniela Piasecka Photo by A. Piasecka
- Andre Anderson presents a new, interactive, intergenerational performance experience aimed at children under the age of 5: Playing Together. Visiting New Galloway’s CatStrand on 13 and 14 November, the show is about the power of play and its importance for everyone recovering from the effects of the global pandemic
- Aniela Piasecka shares her new work-in-progress, developing spatial strategies with two Scottish dance artists with experience of fibromyalgia/chronic pain as consultants and designing prototypes of soft sculptural structures with sculptor Paloma Proudfoot to create resting resources for prospective audience members.
- Dance Ihayami and Priya Shrikumar present A Happy Namaste which will see them working with older Asian women to explore key moments in their migration to the UK using music, storytelling and movement. Priya will also create a new solo work alongside those created by the older dancers and bring in a live musician for a sharing or presentation of the works.
Grace Turner – Photo by Mark Lycett. Jack Webb – Photo by Michael Dylan. Jemma Stein Photo by Steve Robertson
- Grace Turner with TurnAround Dance Theatre present REignite (working title) – an aerial dance and theatre piece which focuses on how the pandemic has affected women’s views on their safety inside and outside of their homes, exploring themes such as coercive control, domestic abuse and female empowerment. Grace will lead an aerial dance workshop at Dance Base in January and a sharing on 14 January.
- Jack Webb will be engaging in a 4-week solo project that focusses on the return to the dancing body, re-establishing his practice as a choreographer and dancer.
- Jemma Stein is an independent artist who plans to work with 3 other artists from across Scotland on the theme of coming home, with the project also involving workshops and developing new work with a sharing at the end which takes place at Dance Base on 12 November.
Jenna Corker. KAM RI Dance Theatre. Robbie Synge.
- Jenna Corker is interested in the thresholds and blending of barriers in nature, and between urban and natural spaces. She plans to spend time in coastal areas and forests around Scotland, exploring and collecting ideas to then work with pianist and composer Carla Sayers and actor and lecturer Stephanie Arsoka.
- KAM-RI Dance Theatre plan to continue the digital and live preparation of their work KILL ‘EM WITH LOVE – The Fury of ARI UP of THE SLITS to make it tour-ready with digital iterations. Directed by Kerieva McCormick and in collaboration with choreographer Adesola Akinleye.
- Robbie Synge, based in Nethy Bridge in Badenoch & Strathspey, will be spending time moving and working with cameras on his own as well as continuing to build on audience opportunities that were interrupted by the pandemic.
Tess Letham Photo by Abi Ponce Hardy. Skye Reynolds Photo by Brian Hartley. Tess Letham Photo by Arnaud Beelen
- Skye Reynolds plans to use the Bursary to continue developing the ideas that arose whilst creating her site-responsive, family-friendly piece called #trolleyscores and saints which was inspired by St Joan of Arc and shopping trolleys and will explore using text, movement and music.
- Tess Letham focuses on improvisational performance, inspired by her training with David Zambrano. She will invite a collective of dancers to work collaboratively to share and discover each other’s practices and delve into conversations and creative activity that will develop the improvisational performance for this and future projects. Tess will share her work with audiences at Tramway on 5 December.
- White & Givan, will continue to progress their creative practice in the development of their new creation Grace, allowing time to maintain a high level of integrity.
Hayley Durward, CEO of Citymoves Dance Agency said: “We are delighted to support a breadth of Scottish based dance artists through the Creative Scotland Venues Relief Fund. The fund comes at the right time to support artists after the last 18 months of the pandemic. Partnering with 3 other Scottish dance organisations provides an opportunity to strengthen the Scottish dance sector for both artists and communities alike.”
Tony Mills, Artistic Director of Dance Base said: “From emerging talent to established choreographers working in the Borders to the Highlands, I’m really pleased with the breadth of artists the #LoveDanceScotland bursaries have been able to support.
“As we make our way back to a more stable performance environment, it’s great that the LDS partnership has been able to act quickly to deliver significant support that promotes stability, builds confidence and contributes to creative opportunities available to artists during this period. Let’s go…let’s disco!”
Joan Clevillé, Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre said: “We are delighted to be working again with other dance organisations in Scotland to support the independent dance community. By collaborating and pooling our resources and expertise together, we want to support artists at this critical stage of reconnecting with audiences and their own practice.
“For me, the breadth of artists and practices supported by the programme is a real testimony to the richness and vibrancy of the dance ecology in Scotland”.
LJ Findlay-Walsh, Tramway’s Performance Programmer said: ‘We were delighted to be able to build on the success of the last Love Dance Scotland project working swiftly to support artists in this period of ‘coming back’. It felt important to have a bursary that could respond to individual artist needs; whether the wish was to pick back up where we left off or to work in new ways to new ends.
“Thanks goes to artist Ashanti Harris for her insight and role in supporting Tramway in this endeavour.”
LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursaries are supported through the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, thanks to support from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government. This new fund builds on the success of the #LoveDanceScotland Commissions which were awarded in 2020.