VERVE 21 Choreographers - Northern School of Contemporary Dance


Friday 8th November 2019, 12:27pm VERVE 21: Choreographers announced


Applications to be part of VERVE 21 are now open. Click here to apply.

Create brand new work with international choreographers and their collaborators, restage a seminal work by one of the world’s most renowned artists. Tour across the UK and Europe, grow your artistry with VERVE Artistic Director Matthew Robinson and a variety of guest artists, develop teaching skills and participate in international exchanges with peers.

Next year (2020/21) the company will present work by:





apply now

VERVE is the prolific postgraduate company of Northern School of Contemporary Dance and all dancers are enrolled on the School’s MA in Contemporary Dance Performance.

Course info How to apply

Akram Khan

Akram Khan is one of the most celebrated and respected dance artists today. In just over 18 years he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as Until the Lions, Kaash, iTMOi (in the mind of igor), DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.

An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographers/dancers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Israel Galván, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost.

VERVE will work with the Akram Khan Company team to restage extracts of Vertical Road.

Watch: Vertical Road

Caroline Finn

Caroline Finn trained at the Arts Educational School UK, then gained her BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School, New York.

Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales from 2015 to 2018, she is currently the company’s Resident Choreographer. Her work Folk (NDCWales 2016) earned her the Wales Theatre Award for Best Female Artist.

Caroline performed with BallettTheater Munich, Ballet Preljocaj and Compagnie Carolyn Carlson and has created works for companies such as Ballet National Chileno, Tanz Luzerner Theater, Phoenix Dance Theatre and National Dance Company Wales.

She received the production prize at the Copenhagen International Choreography Competition (2010) and the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographer Award (2014). Caroline has also collaborated as a choreographer with Music Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera and Opernhaus Bonn.

She teaches and choreographs at various conservatoires and universities around the world and is also a member of Tanztendenz München e.V.

Watch: previous work

Barnaby Booth

Combining his skills in lighting design and dynamic movement composition, Barnaby creates theatrical worlds with which he can explore themes of human social interaction, personality and psychology, celebrating the miraculous power of imagination and storytelling in an unorthodox form.

Barnaby has created work internationally for companies including Bodhi Project, TRAK Dance Ensemble, ENO, Los Little Guys and Dantzaz.

Barnaby is an award-winning choreographer and lighting designer working in the UK and internationally. He is a graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD).

Watch: Previous Work

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson is Artistic Director of VERVE, and former Rehearsal Director and dancer for Scottish Dance Theatre.

Matthew has performed and/or rehearsed/assisted in the creation of work by artists including Damien Jalet, Sharon Eyal, Hofesh Shechter, Anton Lachky, Fleur Darkin, and Victor Quijada among others.

Matthew’s first work for VERVE – NEVERSINK – toured to over 20 venues in 2018, being performed to thousands of audience members across the UK and other European countries. This will be Matthew’s fifth year as VERVE Artistic Director and his fourth curated programme.

Watch: previous work


*All information subject to change

Statement from Matthew Robinson, VERVE Artistic Director:

I am thrilled by the range of artists our 2020/2021 company will be working with, each choreographer with their unique choreographic voice and enquiry. Alongside the choreographers we work with exceptional practitioners across many movement practices in the development of the dancers in the company. Drawing artists from all over the world to Leeds.

We recognise each dancer has their unique journey, and support them in exploring their unique potential rigorously. We develop physical ambition and specificity, qualitative and performative nuance and bravery. I am delighted by the success of our alumni, performing in companies all over the world, and/or forging ahead with their own choreographic work and practices.

Leeds is an exciting, dynamic place to grow as an artist, I look forward to welcoming dancers to our auditions in January 2020 at NSCD.