AZZURRA ARDOVINI

Lecturer in Dance

MA Dance Teaching and Facilitating (due to finish in 2024)
MA in Performance with Distinction
BA Hons in Contemporary Dance with First Class

Additional qualifications

Therapeutic Massage Therapist
Certified Coach for the Co-active Fundamentals (CPCC), Co-Active Training Institute

Role and responsibilities:

Lecturer in Performance, Contemporary Techniques, Contact Work and Rehearsal Director during student performance periods.

Who am I?

I have always been a very active child so my mum, driven by the desire to have some quiet time in the house, took me to Ballet classes. I immediately fell in love with the freedom of movement and the possibility to express myself in any way I wanted. And then I had my first experience of being on a stage…. feeling the lights, seeing the dark of the auditorium, the costumes and above all that exhilarating feeling of being completely present in the moment and having the power to connect with different people through performance. I loved that feeling and I still do, the infinite sea of possibility, of allowing strangers to connect and experience something special through dance. I think that there is very little that compares and I enjoy enabling other people to experience that exuberant feeling.

Moving to London by myself when I was 19 was a life-changing moment for me, which challenged and enriched me in equal measure. It marked the beginning of a wild adventure that is still carrying on. My passion now is about diversifying and nurturing the new talents who will shape the future of dance and theatre and act as a springboard for what those future generations want.

I have two young sons and I now feel like my mum must have felt when I was little…. I am ready to take them to dance classes just so that I can have some quiet time in the house. 

Career History

Azzurra is an independent dance artist who has worked in the UK, Belgium, China and Italy as a performer, choreographer, rehearsal director and producer in dance for the last 20 years. She has made work both as a solo artist and within the dance collective Sardoville and her work has been supported and commissioned by the Arts Council and other Yorkshire-based bodies. Azzurra was nominated in the category of ‘Outstanding Female Performer (Contemporary)’ by the Critics’ Circle Award and she was awarded the Leadership Mentoring Scheme from One Dance UK.

Azzurra was born in Florence where she started her training in Ballet and Contemporary. She moved to the UK to continue her studies at London Contemporary Dance School. In 2006-07 she was part of Edge Dance Company; whilst there she began working professionally as a freelance artist, which continued after. During that time Azzurra worked with Rosemary Lee, Jonathan Lunn, Freddie Opoku-Addaie, English National Opera, Royal Opera House. In 2008 she joined Henri Oguike Dance Company and in 2009 she moved to Phoenix Dance Theatre. During her time there she danced with many choreographers, including Lost Dog, Douglas Thorpe, Alitta Collins, Sharon Watson, Richard Alston and others. In 2012 she worked with Akram Khan Company and from 2013 she freelanced, working widely across Europe and Asia with choreographers such as Kim Brandstrup, James Cousins, Jorge Crecis, De Nada Dance, Opera North, Vincent Dance Theatre, Judith Clijster and Luca Silvestrini, amongst others.

Professional activity

Program Leader for Centre for Advance Training (CAT) at NSCD

Rehearsal Director – Vincent Dance Theatre

Research interests

2021: Motherhood in the Arts. Open forum group discussing the challenges of being a mother in the arts.

2021: Restaging of Signal on Phoenix Dance Theatre as part of their 40th birthday tour, choreography by Henri Oguike. 2021-22 national tour.

2021: Women, Dance Performance, NSCD CAT, The Riley Theatre

2019: For Only An Hour, queer manifesto advocating LGBT+ visibility and integrative fields. Supporting producing for national tour and Edinburgh Fringe run.

2018: One night together, Dance Performance, The Place CAT, The Place Theatre

2018: When at last I saw a crowd. Dance Performance, Leeds Beckett, The Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds.

2017: A Matter of Impression. Dance Performance. Barnsley Civic, Kings Lynn, The Corn Exchange, March 2017, The Lowry, Manchester, April 2017, The Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds.

2017: Whilst dancing together, Dance Performance, St. John’s Fisher, Harrogate Theatre.

2016: Grit, Professional development intensive for recent graduates and early professionals, Yorkshire Dance, Leeds.

2016: Wave, NSCD Summer Intensive, The Riley Theatre.

Azzurra has also created collaborative work on Phoenix Dance Theatre dancers, Northern Ballet dancers and on Phoenix Youth.