We're excited to announce the chosen artists for this year's Accelerate programme, a professional, nine-month paid development lab led by Yorkshire Dance in partnership with NSCD, supported by the Leeds Dance Partnership. The programme will support ten early-career dance artists, six of whom are NSCD alumni.
Each artist will participate in a week-long residency to research and develop their project idea, as well as three skills labs. They will also receive mentoring from industry professionals and independent producers.
Originally from Cornwall, Áine is a dance artist and performer based in Leeds. She graduated from London Contemporary Dance School and completed her MA as an apprentice dancer with Tilted Productions. Áine has worked with artists such as Liz Aggiss, Dam Van Hunyh, Ine Claes and Ruby Portus. As part of Accelerate, Áine is excited to connect with artists in the North, and to develop on her vocal and movement experiments.
Originally from Derbyshire, Alethia is a freelance dance artist currently working around the UK who recently completed her MA at NSCD. She hopes that through the Accelerate programme she will be able to continue to develop her practice, build further connections with the dance community in Leeds, and develop project management skills to take her work forward.
"My name is Alexah Tomey-Alleyne and I am a mixed Afro-Caribbean female artist based in Leeds. From Accelerate I wish to gain both knowledge and confidence in how to increase engagement with my work, and also start to build contacts with venues/events and other artists whom I share interests with."
"Born in London, I’m a freelance dance artist and mathematics tutor. I began dancing at a young age learning street styles within my local community. Currently in company Spoken Movement, I’m exposed to different ways of expressing, both organic and unorthodox. Accelerate will hopefully provide skills that further push my career with longevity." Catrina graduated from NSCD's Foundation programme in 2017.
Imogen Reeve is a choreographer and founder of Excessive Human Collective, a dance theatre collective that creates person-led, politically motivated work in Leeds. Having graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance last year, Imogen has since set up artists studio space ‘The Middle Floor’ which hosts dance residencies, exhibitions and workshops. Imogen is looking forward to learning as much as possible through Accelerate at the same time as completing her masters in Contemporary Dance.
"I am a dancer based in Leeds. I studied at NSCD and SMASH Berlin. I perform improvisation, make solo dances, and work as a dancer with artists such as Vanessa Grasse and Swen Steinhauser. During Accelerate I most hope to gain tools and strategies for sustaining my practice as an independent artist."
"My practice uses improvisation/physical theatre approaches, making solo work and collaborating with professional artists and young children. Accelerate will support further investigations into engagement, awareness and attention within early years learning environments and dance performance settings, continuing the development of an interactive dance work for children and families." Katy completed her undergraduate studies and MA at NSCD.
Matthew Rawcliffe is a dance artist from Manchester. He trained at the Rambert School and was recently selected as a grand finalist in BBC Young Dancer 2019. Matthew is interested in theatre, technology and queer art. He is excited to research play and nurture his choreographic voice as part of Accelerate.
Bristolian and proud, Ruby Portus trained at London Contemporary Dance School (First Class BA Hons) and Northern School of Contemporary Dance (MA Dist as a dancer with VERVE). She now works as a freelance dancer and choreographer and is a Young Associate at Sadler’s Wells. She is excited to develop a new idea with the support of Accelerate and Yorkshire Dance.
“My name is Stephanie and I am a dance artist originally from the West Midlands now living and working in Leeds. Accelerate is such an exciting opportunity for me, especially at this stage of my career. I am looking forward to developing my work and practice with other dance makers from the region, learning ways I can approach producers, dramaturgs, dance houses and interacting with other industry professionals.”