NSCD's graduating class of 2021 spent 5 weeks earlier this year working with dance artist Alexandrina Hemsley and producer Nancy May Roberts (aka Yewande 103).
The results of their collaboration were compiled into an interactive digital publication titled 'An Anatomy of a Phoenix'. Featuring a mix of choreography, text, image and sound, it "occupies themes of embodied visibility, speculative futures, the body as fluid and multiple and cycles of repair within systemic oppression." [Scroll down to view]
Working under their company name Yewande 103, Nancy and Alexandrina facilitated the creation of 10 new mini-works by the students alongside an improvised movement score for the whole year group. Throughout the process, third year students were empowered to share their own artistic vision and voices, supporting them in their development as artists in their own right.
“Yewande 103 lives as compassionate, embodied advocacy in action through choreography, production, artist support and mental health discourse. We are anti-racist, anti-ableist, trauma-informed, disabled, neurodiverse and survivor-led.”
Formed in July 2020, Yewande 103 formalises the past 10+ years of Creative Director Alexandrina Hemsley‘s work in the contemporary dance field as a choreographer, performer, writer, mentor and educator. Alexandrina’s practice is expansive but tends towards the sensorial, the bodily, and multiple subjective positions – as ways to find breath and voice amidst the unjust and inequitable.
Executive Producer Nancy May Roberts works with Alexandrina on the company. Driven by an interest in the ethics of production, Nancy occupies a hybrid practice (producer – project manager – facilitator – dance movement psychotherapist) incorporating work in various settings – dance, live art, mental health and social health care, previously for Body and Soul Charity, NHS CAHMS, Siobhan Davies Dance, Pirate Studios and Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art.