Northern Connections - Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Open Call

Applications to Northern Connections for 2021/22 are now closed


Northern Connections is an artist development programme for emerging choreographers based in the North of England. It aims to nurture and profile some of the most promising creative voices in the region.

The programme has already supported several dance makers, with many going on to successfully develop and tour their work. See previous artists.

We are looking for individuals with original ideas to develop their work.

If selected, you and your performers will undertake a 3-week studio residency at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and platform your work at Riley Theatre.

Northern Connections is developed by Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) and in 2021/22 is delivered in partnership with Dance City and Serendipity. Funded by Arts Council England.

Key Dates

26 September | Applications close

Week commencing 11 October | Interviews

13 – 17 December 2021 | Initial R&D week at NSCD

3 – 14 January 2022 | 2-week residency at NSCD

late January/ early February | platform with live, in-person audience (get-in and performance dates tbc)

The opportunity

  • A paid, 3-week studio residency for you and your performers (maximum 3 in addition to you) at ITC minimum rates (equates to £1800 per person for the duration of the residency and performance, plus expenses, invoiced at intervals)
  • Access to professional-standard studio space at NSCD plus facilities including media suite and library
  • Opportunity to platform your work for a public audience at Riley Theatre
  • Full technical support for staging your work at Riley Theatre
  • Marketing & PR support
  • Feedback and mentoring through NSCD & partners Dance City and Serendipity
  • Opportunity to build relationships with invited producers and programmers
  • Further platform opportunities with partner organisations Dance City and Serendipity



The panel considers applications that meet the following criteria:

  • The proposed work features live dance performance and is for the stage
  • The proposed work is new, or existing and requires further development
  • The choreographer is based in the North of England and can evidence this
  • The choreographer self-identifies as an emerging artist and is not in full-time education
  • Each company member/performer is over the age of 18 and is able to provide proof of their eligibility to work in the UK
  • The proposed work is a maximum 20 minutes in duration and is small in scale (no more than 4 performers in total)
  • The choreographer and their dancers can commit to the key dates

Please also note:

We believe that diversity is critical to our future development. We actively encourage applications from eligible candidates regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief.

Though previous applicants may apply, priority will be given to supporting artists who have not yet benefited from this development opportunity, subject to the strength of applications.

We are seeking applicants who are interested in engaging with the mentoring and workshops on self-producing, who seek feedback and who wish to develop both creative practice and entrepreneurial skills.

Ready to apply?

We ask for:

  • basic contact information (full name, email address, location and website – if you have one)
  • a statement (written or recorded)
  • your CV
  • video link(s) to example(s) of your work
  • referee contact details

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview to discuss your practice and ideas further with the panel. Specific feedback will be available from this stage, if requested.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions relating to your application or your eligibility, please email 


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