Dance Consortia North West’s two-year programme of research is to commission artists and organisations who want to re-imagine dance, be more creative and work with artists and creators from many different backgrounds and styles of dance.
The aim is to create and share exciting dance programmes which creates stronger dance professionals, organisations and audiences. The Research Programme will commission artists, companies, academics, venues and others to make work in one of three strands:
To find out more, explore the DCNW Research Programme here.
In spring 2021, Dance Consortia North West launched a mentoring scheme for dance professionals to help support the development of their practice, career and learning.
The scheme has been open to North West-based dance professionals - whether freelance, employed or part of an organisation - and is free of charge. DCNW is currently in the process of pairing 18 dance professionals with an appropriate mentor who is engaged in the North West dance sector to enable them to work together over the next 8-9 months.
Applications for mentees and mentors have been particularly welcomed from those who are under-represented and/or marginalised in our sector and society, including those of African diaspora heritage, South Asian, East Asian, South-East Asian heritage, mixed heritage, and those who have faced other socio-economic barriers, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+, and disabled people.
More on the programme can be found here.
The DCNW Mentoring programme was established in mid-2019 in response to the needs expressed in a survey of nearly 100 dance artists across the North West to significantly shift the prospects and development of the artistic community.
It utilises the vast riches of expertise and knowledge both within and increasingly beyond the dance sector, including insights of artists themselves. This initiative, which support artists' practice, careers and learning, responds to varied and wide-ranging needs through its person-centred approach and by using the breadth of mentors across the Consortia. In turn, it also works to support and develop more diverse voices within the artistic community.
Dance Consortia North West is commissioning two new dance works with artists who are living and working in the North West of England. The first commission is for a new dance work for outdoors in partnership with the SpareParts Festivals and Now Northwich festival, and the second is a commission for the creation of a new dance work for gallery spaces in partnership with Culture Warrington and Lancaster Arts.
In addition to a commissioning fee, Consortia partners provide space and support to take the works through to public presentation.
Recipients of these first commissions from DCNW are Movema – presenting ‘Taking Flight’ at SpareParts Festival and Now Northwich, and Company Carpi presenting ‘When You Light A Candle You Also Cast A Shadow’ at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster Arts.
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, the presentation of both commissions have been postponed.
The two dance companies were selected by the co-commissioning partners from over twenty high quality applications as the most exciting projects which would respond imaginatively to the specific locations and themes of the festivals and gallery spaces. Following their first public presentations, it is hoped that at least one of the works will tour more extensively.
Read more about these commissions here.
Following support from the Granada Foundation, DCNW is producing a guide of venues, festivals, producers and programmers of dance in the North West. This will fill an identified gap and will meet the needs of both artists and programmers as evidenced through consultation. The Guide will be updated annually by the Consortia as part of its core annual programme, and will provide consistent information from each venue and festival on their artistic policy, as well as ways in which they support artists, specifications for their spaces for dance and lead times for programming.
The Guide will be dance-specific and will not just include venues that have a reputation for programming dance, but also other performance venues who regularly present dance – including commercial venues and local authority venues. The Guide will also feature festivals.
The creation of The Guide will have secondary benefits: it will assist dance companies from outside the region to see new opportunities for touring. It will also support and give context to funding bids from independent artists and dance companies by showing the breadth of venues and festivals presenting dance in the North West. This will thereby enable artists to position themselves within a healthy and supportive dance ecology.
With support from Surf The Wave and with input from both venue programmers and independent artists, DCNW has launched a series of networking events for artists and programmers, designed to build and deepen relationships in the North West.
These collaborative events offer a space in which programmers, independent artists and dance companies meet as equals, and have been informed by European cooperative programme working in the field of Artists’ Moving Image, On And For.
These networking events facilitate open space discussions, collaborative problem solving and allow time for reflection.
Dance Consortia North West is partnering with The Lowry to create a space on the Class Of 2020 artist development programme for a North West-based dance artist. Now in its second year, the Class Of programme is a year-long scheme aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the performing arts - industry, production and general survival - for a select group of artists and producers.
As well as committing to monthly training sessions, the Class Of 2020 cohort benefit from additional offers such as Class Trips to go see and discuss interesting new work, scratch opportunities and mentoring support from the Artist Development team at The Lowry and Dance Consortia North West partners.
DCNW coordinates and facilitates the regular meeting of various ‘Task Groups’ in the North West. Current Task Groups include:
● Artists (ALFA)
An independent organisation in itself, ALFA is a co-operative based artist led scheme championing the needs of freelancers and artists across the region, as part of a wider national movement. Discover More...
● Continuing Professional Development & Participation
A mix of artists, dance companies, outreach programmes and educators, this task group works together to ensure the professional development of our current and future dance artists and professionals and has a focus on inclusion within the dance sector and keeping dance accessible to all members of society. Discover More...
● Executive Group
The Executive Group is the core of DCNW. The Executive Group reflects the range of the dance ecology and is responsible for understanding and representing the needs of the sector, bringing together the work of the task groups and achieving DCNW aims and ambitions and fulfilling the Dance Plan. Discover More...
● Higher Education
Bringing together lecturers, course leaders and practitioners from the region’s universities and dance colleges, the Higher Education Task Group is focused on the future generations of dance artists and how best they can be served by DCNW’s work. Discover More...
Made up of some of the region’s largest and smallest arts venues, the venues task group collaborates to provide insight into the demand and reception of dance within the region as well as platforms for mainstream, touring and commissioned work across the North West. Discover More...
To join these discussions, please contact Paul Smith, Partnerships Director at DCNW .
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Dance Consortia North West
C/O Cheshire Dance
1st Floor, Winsford Library, High Street,
Winsford, Cheshire CW7 2AS
Tel: 01606 861770