Northern Connections 2021/22 artists announced | NSCD


Friday 29th October 2021, 9:30am Announcing the selected artists for Northern Connections 2021/22

(L-R: John William-Watson, Chandenie Gobardhan and Jake Evans)

We are pleased to announce the recipients of Northern Connections 2021/22: Jake Evans, Chandenie Gobardhan and John-William Watson

The selected artists were chosen by a panel comprising Sharon Watson MBE (CEO & Principal, NSCD), Anand Bhatt BEM (CEO & Artistic Director of Dance City) and Pawlet Brookes (Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Serendipity).

Each artist on the programme will be supported through a paid, 3-week studio residency, a performance platform of their work for a public audience at Riley Theatre, plus feedback and mentoring through NSCD & partners Dance City and Serendipity.

Speaking of the selection process Sharon Watson said:

"We received an exceptionally high standard of applications from artists working and living in the North, which is testament to the strength and quality of dance being produced in the region today. Those selected are at the point of being ready to break through, and we are excited at the prospect of nurturing their talents through this process. Retaining and supporting talent in the North is essential to our mission and we can't wait to see what these artists platform in just a few months' time."

Read on to learn more about them.

Save the date  - Northern Connections platform will take place 27 January 2022.

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Jake Evans

Jake completed both his BPA and MA degrees at NSCD before going on to create and tour shows with Vincent Dance Theatre and Gary Clarke Company, among others. In his creative practice he seeks to incorporate his passion for writing, character work, and cabaret. His interest in queer identity and gender politics is further explored through his work as a drag artist. He is currently based between Leeds and Manchester.

“The studio time, mentorship, and platform that Northern Connections provides means I can continue to deepen my practice and grow as an artist in a nurturing environment, and in a city I called my home for almost 10 years. Through Northern Connections I hope to link with many more creatives in the region, gain a wider sense of who I am as an artist and where my work can go, and create work that reflects the British queer experience.”

Chandenie Gobardhan

Chandenie Gobardhan was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, and completed her BA at Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts before moving to the UK to study MA Contemporary Dance Performance (VERVE) at NSCD. Over the years, her movement vocabulary has been enriched by techniques including Bharatanatyam, hip hop, house, locking and contemporary dance. By continuing to search for new ways of approaching movement, she has been able to develop a language which fuses traditions from the East and West.

Building bridges where others might not see an overlap is something that intrigues her. With her work, she wants to leave the viewer disorientated as to what they are seeing and hopes to trigger minds to look at her art from different perspectives.

“There are different stories to tell from the ones currently being heard in the dance field and I believe Northern Connections will help me in my need to fight for new narratives and storytellers.”

John-William Watson

Originally from Leeds, John-William began his training at Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Youth Academy, CAPA College and the National Youth Dance Company; under the artistic direction of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Michael Keegan-Dolan. Having studied at Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen (BE), he is now based in the UK as a freelance dancer and dance-theatre maker and is currently a Young Associate choreographer at Sadler’s Wells.

John-William’s work focusses on abstracting and playing with the everyday; both from a physical and theatrical standpoint. Through a surrealist lens, he likes to explore the relationship between existentialism, the comedy of the mundane, nostalgia and time; influenced by his experiences as a gay and working-class artist.

“I’m incredibly thankful and excited to be able to have the space, support and time as part of Northern Connections to delve into my way of working further. To explore and play with how existential themes can lie beside the everyday and the mundane…to tell the stories around us in the way they are actually presented to us daily; often without sense, or reason.”