Northern Connections '22 - Riley Theatre

At the Riley Theatre

northern connections ’22
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Friday 11th March 2022

Ones to watch.

This year's selected Northern Connections artists Jake EvansChandenie Gobardhan and John-William Watson share the results of their choreographic residencies at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Each artist has spent 3 weeks researching and developing their ideas into short new works, addressing topics including queer identity, gender politics and the absurd. Be among the first to see these fresh new works in a unique triple bill.

Northern Connections nurtures and profiles some of the most promising emerging choreographers working in the North of England today. Find out more

Warning: This performance contains strong language



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 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.”


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.”