Déda Expands Associate Artist Programme

Regional dance house Déda in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter has expanded its Associate Artist Programme to reflect the organisation’s national role in creating a fusion between dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance.

Throughout 2017, Déda will host and work with four performance companies and independent artists on research and talent development programmes. Artists joining the programme are nationally-renowned actor and dancer Ben Duke who will contribute to a three-year research programme, supported by the Esmée Fairburn Foundation and the University Of Derby, to explore the relationship between dance and contemporary circus.

London-based dance, acrobatic and physical theatre artists Nikki & JD will continue their relationship with Déda having previously worked with the dance house through a National Centre for Circus Arts residency in 2016. Their new work ‘Knot’ is currently touring nationally and was created at Déda. Contemporary dance producers Humanhood will further develop their unique approach to creating productions that fuse light, costume, sound and movement – bringing together astrophysicists, scientists and dance artists. The company also makes work for the outdoors and will perform as part of Derby Festé 2017.

Dance and circus artist Fran Widdowson, who has been a key part of the circus and aerial skills teaching team at Déda, will also join the Associate Artists Programme. She originally trained as a dancer and then in circus skills and her notable performances have included spiraling from the spokes of the London Eye as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Festival.

Déda Director Stephen Munn explained: “We have worked with a wide range of Associate Artists over recent years and have built some incredible long-term relationships that continue to this day.” “The expansion of our Associate Artist Programme to incorporate research and talent development is an important part of our vision to become the Midlands’ creative centre for dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance. “Our Associate Artists are all developing exciting projects in these areas and I am particularly delighted that they will be sharing their work with members of our Déda Youth Academy and with students on the University of Derby BA Hons Dance degree which is one of the only degrees based at a professional dance house.”

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