NSCD staff and alumni commissioned for Leeds 2023


Monday 8th November 2021, 6:06pm NSCD staff and alumni commissioned for Leeds 2023


We are delighted to announce that several members of NSCD staff and alumni have received seed commission funding from LEEDS 2023 to produce new work.

NSCD staff and alumni in receipt of the 5 Dance Seed Commissions in partnership with Leeds Dance Partnership are:

  • Akeim Toussaint Buck (alumni)
  • Gary Clarke (alumni)
  • Keira Martin (alumni)
  • Joseph Mercier (staff)
  • Douglas Thorpe (staff)

Working closely with LEEDS 2023 and Leeds Dance Partnership they will each develop inspiring new projects that showcase the world-class dance the city has to offer.

NSCD alumna Lydia Cottrell also receives a LEEDS 2023 Seed Commission.

LEEDS 2023 Seed Commissions are designed to offer support for the development of new work and encourage artists to explore new ways of working in the run-up to 2023.

Akeim Toussant Buck

NSCD alumnus Akeim Toussaint Buck will collaborate with Ashley Karrell to create Beat Motion Mass, a flash mob experience where a multitude of people will meet in public to perform as a dance and vocal ensemble.  Akiem creates performance work fusing dance, film, poetry, beat-box and singing to tell stories for a wide range of audiences.

Born in Jamaica and raised in England, Akeim is an interdisciplinary performer and maker. Akiem creates performance work fusing dance, film, poetry, beat-box and singing to tell stories for a wide range of audiences.

Gary Clarke

NSCD alumnus Gary Clarke, Artistic Director of Gary Clarke Company, will explore Leeds’s rich history and relationship with the River Aire. Using the river’s course as a pathway, Gary will create a fast-flowing river of people using movement, choreography, costume, and live music.

Currently regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent contemporary dance artists Gary has worked with some of the world’s most prolific dance companies and choreographers and has developed a growing reputation for creating his own extraordinary dance work of various sizes and scales.

Keira Martin

Irish contemporary dance artist, musician and NSCD alumna Keira Martin will collaborate with award-winning picture book author, Richard O’Neill, to develop a production of Ossiri and the Bala Mengro.

With an international career spanning over 20 years, Keira is a versatile storyteller, telling stories of the underrepresented through mesmerising Irish-Contemporary dance, music, song and culture. From a working-class background, Keira’s work openly highlights social and political issues related to identity, gender, social justice, culture and class.

Joseph Mercier

NSCD Lecturer Joseph Mercier will work alongside Alexah Tomey-Alleyne to bring together 23 Leeds and West Yorkshire based emerging dance artists who experience difference or otherness, because of their race, gender, (dis)ability, class or sexuality.  They will collaborate to create a series of solo performances which will all be connected through a group improvisation.

Alexah is a mixed Afro-Caribbean female artist from Leeds whose work balances making, performing, writing and advocacy. Her practice draws upon her culture and heritage as a means of exploring the moving body; her black identity is central within her work which she uses to explore blackness.

As well as being a lecturer at NSCD, Joseph works as an independent artist and also as co-director of performance collective PanicLab.

Douglas Thorpe

NSCD staff member Douglas Thorpe (Director of Mad Dogs Dance Theatre) will create a new physical dance theatre production based on stories from working as a local taxi driver in Leeds. Douglas will collaborate with Director Rod Dixon and Writer Andrea Heaton.

Douglas was a member of Phoenix Dance Theatre and performed for over twenty years. Since then he has developed highly physical dance through Mad Dogs Dance Theatre including commissions for ACE Dance and Music, VERVE and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Lydia Cottrell

Leeds-based artist and NSCD alumna Lydia Cottrell receives a LEEDS 2023 Seed Commission to develop a performance called ‘Mr Brightside’. Part dance theatre, part spin class, Lydia aims to build a temporary community with a common goal: Work out, work hard, work on yourself.

With her background in dance, live art and music, Lydia creates multi-disciplinary performance work that provides social commentary and focuses on the ‘Performance of Self in online spaces and the magic healing potential of memes’.