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#LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursaries artists announced

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

Scotland’s leading arts organisations – Citymoves Dance Agency, Dance Base Scotland, Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre and Tramway – are pleased to announce the names of the twelve dance artists receiving the #LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursaries, a unique programme of support for artists as they return to their practice post-lockdown.

Image credit: White & Givan - Mikaela Bodlovic

The #LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursary programme has been created in collaboration by the four partners and will deliver a nationwide programme of in-kind and financial support for Scotland-based professional dance artists. This programme offers them the time and space to re-engage with their creative practice after this very challenging 18 months, and with a process and timescale that works for them.

#LoveDanceScotland highlights the importance of working in partnership, and of enabling artists to take the lead by making in ways which they determine, with no predefined outcome.

Artists receiving the Bursaries will devise and deliver their projects, either digitally or in-person, between November 2021 and January 2022. Each project will involve an element of audience engagement to help artists, audiences and venues reconnect after this period of separation. From supporting the R&D process to aiding mental and physical recovery, from working in communities to forging new creative connections, the Bursaries are set to support a dozen unique and important Scottish projects.

A total fund of £70,000 has been allocated and this will be further supported by in-kind space, mentoring and production support from the four partners. The #LoveDanceScotland Recovery Bursaries are supported through the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, thanks to support from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government. This new fund builds on the success of the #LoveDanceScotland Commissions which were awarded in 2020.

Artist projects and biographies

Andre Anderson

Andre Anderson presents a new, interactive, intergenerational performance experience aimed at children under the age of 5: Playing Together. Visiting New Galloway’s CatStrand on 13 and 14 November, the show is about the power of play and its importance for everyone recovering from the effects of the global pandemic.

Andre Anderson works for Licketyspit Theatre Company supporting play sessions and creating memorable events and experiences for young children and their families. Alongside this, Andre is also a freelance performer, facilitator and theatre-maker with a multi-disciplinary approach. He has worked across Scotland and the UK creating experiences through ambitious projects. Andre has an Msc in International Events Management from Edinburgh Napier University and a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts from the University of Cumbria.



Aniela Piasecka

Aniela is an artist working within predominantly collaborative interdisciplinary contemporary artistic contexts and a motivation to question the delineation of artistic practices and our singular understandings of authorship and the creative process underpins my practices. She works as a solo artist but also collaboratively as part of performance project STASIS, one half of artist duo Proudfoot & Piasecka, as well as with other artists, writers, musicians and researchers. In both collaboration and solo research, a strong and never-ending will to explore the link between affect and space underpins the work, a continual curiosity regarding how different environments impact on social behaviour, and vice versa, with an affiliation to queer, feminist, and disability politics.

Solo and collaborative works have been shown in a variety of contemporary art contexts such as galleries (IMMA Dublin, Soy Capitan Berlin, Galleria Marselleria Milan), film festivals (Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Paris 360 Film Festival), digital platforms (Nowness, This Is Tomorrow), art festivals (Glasgow International Art Biennial 2016/2018, Dance International Glasgow), and performance venues (The Place London, La Fabrika Madrid) as well as nightclubs and parties. Aniela’s current research engages in choreographic, textual, aural, filmic and sculptural explorations in response to research, both archival and more broadly socio-political. She frequently creates work that is site-specific and cultivated by the concept of psychogeography as well as being deeply invested in the relationality between individuals as well as between individuals and their settings.

Aniela feels an urgent desire to keep open certain doorways that the pandemic unlocked, prioritising access and new ways of thinking about time, which are increasingly threatened by the mainstream desire to come back quicker, faster, stronger. She understands this desire as something that is flawed at best and insidious at worst because the temporality of a chronic condition threatens the established paradigm of ‘healing’ and offers a different perspective to this current moment where forces at play direct us to ‘move on from’ the pandemic and its effects. Aniela sees this drive as concurrent to the imperative that healing relies on an idea of ‘personal choice’ which constructs the persistence of symptoms as a defect. As we aim to purge our societies of Covid-19, there is something that unsettles me about this renewed rejection of illness and human vulnerability. At the beginning of the pandemic, as Aniela considered ways to continue working, she was drawn to the idea of aural choreography–choosing to move away from hyperdrive of online dance-watching and towards the act of listening to dance. With this bursary Aniela intends to re-visit the initial work and re-prioritise the aspiration to place the audience experience at the centre of artistic decisions. Two central questions will inform this research: How can a restful space for individual and collective somatic experiences be designed? How can we hold on to the opening up of spaces across different confines that online experiences permitted? The project is motivated by an urgent intention to keep open certain doorways that the pandemic unlocked, prioritising access and new ways of thinking about time, which are increasingly threatened by the mainstream desire to come back quicker, faster, stronger. This desire is something that is flawed at best and insidious at worst because the temporality of a chronic condition threatens the established paradigm of ‘healing’ and offers a different perspective to this current moment where forces at play direct us to ‘move on from’ the pandemic and its effects. It is concurrent to the imperative that healing relies on an idea of ‘personal choice’ which constructs the persistence of symptoms as a defect. As we aim to purge our societies of Covid-19, there is something that is particularly unsettling about this renewed rejection of illness and human vulnerability that feels necessary to probe through continued choreographic research.


Dance Ihayami

Dance Ihayami and Priya Shrikumar present A Happy Namaste which will see them working with older Asian women to explore key moments in their migration to the UK using music, storytelling and movement. Priya will also create a new solo work alongside those created by the older dancers and bring in a live musician for a sharing or presentation of the works.

Priya Shrikumar, is artistic director and founder of Dance Ihayami. Priya has over 30 years of experience as a Bharatanatyam practitioner and is arguably the most easily recognised classical Indian dance artist in Scotland. Priya and the company have been guest performers and co-project developers for such Scottish companies as Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Edinburgh Quartet, Paragon Ensemble, Dance Base, St. Magnus Festival, Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, and institutions including Scottish Museums, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. In addition to regular tours and their highly regarded educational and outreach work, the company has performed internationally in places as diverse as the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, France, India and New Zealand





Grace Turner

Grace Turner is an aerial dance artist based in Clackmannanshire, since 2012 she has been touring the UK performing and teaching dance, aerial circus and contemporary theatre, finally settling in Scotland in early 2020. Grace runs TurnAround Dance Theatre with her sister Ellen who is a contemporary dancer and community dance facilitator. Ellen and Grace have been creating performance work that inspires, engages, and makes memories since their first piece ‘Trudy’ in 2013 this was a duet about family relationships with someone who has Alzheimer’s. Their most significant touring work is ‘The Thief, the Fox and the Phoenix’ an aerial, dance and singing adventure for family audiences that toured the UK between 2016-2020. Over the pandemic there has been limited opportunity for collaborative, creative development therefore, they have been working independently. Early in 2021 Grace received funding from Scene Stirling to create ‘The Airthrey Dance Trail’, a solo dance film series set in and inspired by the areas of natural beauty around University of Stirling, this was a great way to connect with audiences in a Covid safe way.

The #LoveDanceScotland bursary is an ideal opportunity for Grace and Ellen to re-establish their creative connection in the studio and, also to develop a new collaboration with Hannah Uttley an aerialist and community theatre maker. Hannah is based in Stirlingshire and has been working as a community theatre maker for the last ten years. Hannah makes work for and with vulnerable individuals and communities who wouldn’t normally access the arts, previous work includes projects with Armed Forces Veterans, Police Scotland and people from BAME communities. Her work centres on sharing the stories and experiences of these communities.

These three women are coming together to conduct research and development on a topic that is very important today; female identity and the seemingly never-ending battle to combat Violence Against Women and Girls. The trio are excited to get back to working collaboratively to develop aerial and ground based dance movement and particularly to move towards engaging real life audiences again.





Jack Webb

After 20 months of almost no dancing or dance making due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Jack will be engaging in a 4-week solo project that focusses on the return to the dancing body, re-establishing his practice as a choreographer and dancer. Jack will dedicate considered, sensitive and extensive time to the practicalities of returning to dance and choreographic practice in the new normal, dedicating time to rebuilding physical fitness, stamina and dance technique whilst exploring new choreographic ideas that are rooted in the dancing body, simplicity and purity of movement and image and gimmick free choreography.

Jack is an award-winning independent choreographer/director, movement director, dancer and teacher based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been working internationally for the past 15 years. He creates evocative and compelling dance performance that is strongly rooted in the dancing and moving body. His practice is concerned with a variety of enquiries that explore ways in which to transform and deconstruct the body, states of consciousness and being, distortion of the body and creation of dynamic softness and flow. His work is often influenced by and attempts to connect to the goings on in nature and in society, is of an existential nature and attempts to zoom in on the inner and outer emotional and physical landscapes of the performer and audience. Jack's current enquiries are focused on finding choreographic languages that hone in on the human experience, purity of movement and image, life and movement in the in between spaces and themes of belonging, loneliness and place that explore the longing for connection and meaning that exists within all of us.


Follow his bursary progress

Jemma Stein

Jemma Stein’s work centres around human connection and questions ‘can connection build hope for the future?’. Her work for the #LoveDanceScotland recovery bursary will see her bring together artists from the 4 major cities in Scotland. She will be researching what it means to come home to Scotland, with the project also involving workshops and developing new work with a sharing at the end which takes place at Dance Base on 12 November.

Jemma is a Scottish artist who started her dance journey in the youth dance scene in Scotland. Performing internationally with Fusion Youth Dance Company, Horizons Youth Dance Company and The National Youth Dance Company for a number of years. She gained professional training at the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, The Northern School of Contemporary Dance and most recently studied acting at The New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Her choreographic journey started in 2016 when she became a young creative for OneDanceUK. Since then her work has been showcased at Rambert, Royal Opera House, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dancelive, Flock Festival and various online platforms.

Most recently her film ‘Project C’, which brought together 33 different artists from across the globe gained international recognition. Highlighting the importance of connectivity in a time of world isolation. From ‘Project C’ she was commissioned by CREATE Paisley to speak at their Open Mind Summit about the positive impacts dance has on mental health. She was then asked to direct the 10,000 miles project with Right2Dance and Yellowwheel, connecting the two companies for a number of months to create a final dance film encompassing their time together.



Jenna Corker

With a #LoveDanceScotland bursary Jenna plans to spend time in coastal areas and forests across Scotland collecting and exploring, both during the day and at night.

Jenna often moves and writes in response to being outdoors and in nature. With this bursary she will have a chance to develop her creative practice - moving, writing and using the voice. She will also be collaborating with composer and pianist Carla Sayers.

Jenna Corker is contemporary dance artist interested in the performance of dance and all that comes from making and sharing with others. Based in Edinburgh, Jenna has been making, teaching and supporting dance in Scotland for the past two years. She values inclusivity and knowing everyone has the chance to find joy from dance.

Since graduating in 2019 Jenna’s choreographic work has been programmed by Brighton Fringe, Surge, Visual Arts Scotland, and most recently by The Work Room, Dance North Scotland, Citymoves Dance and Tramway. Jenna was part of the DEBs programme in 2019, mentored by Angus Balbernie. She is also a member of Vaiven Dance Collective and regularly collaborates with dancers Alexandra Tsiapi, Carmen Berbel and Francesca Till.



KAM-RI Dance Theatre

KAM-RI exists to forge dynamic international creative partnerships and to make Dance Theatre work of the highest level. KAM-RI reflects on borders, inter-cultural competence and exchange, and attaining the standards of excellence achieved by working with artists of outstanding quality.

For their #LoveDanceScotland bursary, KAM-RI continue the digital and live preparation of their work " KILL ‘EM WITH LOVE - The Fury of ARI UP of The Slits ", a captivating piece of Dance Theatre, directed by Kerieva McCormick in collaboration with choreographer Adesola Akinleye, original member of the band Tessa Pollitt, Don Letts, and Adrian Sherwood of ON-U SOUND, touring 2022




Robbie Synge

After a challenging period of various family commitments and work struggles, the #LoveDanceScotland bursary supports Robbie’s return to a period of physical practice. This will involve spending time moving and working with cameras on his own as well as continuing to build on offering the local participatory and audience opportunities that were interrupted by the pandemic.

Robbie will spend time on two connecting aspects: somatic practice and developing filmmaking ideas. He hopes to involve anybody interested in the local area in both aspects. They will move in forests, moors, peat bogs, etc. This means walking, functional and playful movement and navigation. Bog forest parkour. Robbie is also investigating the use of wildlife camera traps as camera lens and their potentials in capturing footage by chance and design, fixed and left alone, events later retrieved and revealed. It should prompt thinking around place and our relationship to ecosystems around us.

Robbie Synge lives and works around Nethy Bridge in Badenoch and Strathspey. Initially studying biological sciences, his artistic practice pursues physical, tactile connections and possibilities between bodies, other living things, materials and the natural and built environment. He works with people of various ages and relationships to arts practice to make films, objects and performances for theatres, galleries and outdoor spaces. Robbie is currently collaborating with Elizabeth Reeder and Amanda Thomson as an artist in residence with Cairngorms Connect, part of the European-wide Endangered Landscapes Programme focused on areas of land restoration and biodiversity. This investigates specific physical work interventions in the landscape that will shape the future for the land and people who live and visit, well beyond our lifetimes.



Skye Reynolds

#trolleyscores #2 This bursary supports a period of self-directed research to sustain and enrich Skye Reynolds’ artistic practice. Her enquiry springs from a new solo work inspired by Joan of Arc’s story & the creative potential of shopping trolleys, recently supported by What Moves You? Skye will explore fresh perspectives stimulated by this project, working with cross-disciplinary collaborators to experiment with questions such as: how personal & everyday stories interweave with the epic narrative of heroines and empowered female figures; restaging outdoor work for new audiences; and the choreographic potential of dancing with a shopping trolley, reimagining its uses as a playful, symbolic prop. Taking time for reflection, connection & invention will expand Skye’s current practice as a performance maker and deepen her creative partnerships. Thanks to Lyra for studio space & storage; Curious Seed for creative mentoring-in-kind; & What Moves You?

Skye Reynolds is a Scottish-based artist, performance-maker and educator, her creative practice navigates the edges of dance, drawing upon text, comedy & the politics of real life. She has collaborated on projects and developed solo commissions with: Curious Seed, Jo Fong, Janis Claxton, Susan Worsfold, Imaginate, Derevo & What Moves You?/Dawn Hartley. Upcoming projects include: S/He in the Flesh a new duet with Khamlane Halsackda; and devisor-performer in Remedy for Memory with Tess Letham. Skye is a co-curator with Something Smashing improvisation platform; and an artist in residence with Starcatchers, developing movement experiences in the early years sector. As an educator she has worked with people of all ages & abilities in different contexts including: schools, post-war zones & Paris Summer Academy. She is a mother, a member of The Work Room & is currently training in The Feldenkrais Method.




Tess Letham

Six for Six

Tess Letham has invited a collective of 6 improvising dance artists to work collaboratively over 6 days, to share and discover each other’s practices’, delve into conversations and creative activity that will develop improvisational performance work together now and for future projects and events. The project is devoted to the practice of improvisational methods that develop questions surrounding group dynamics and instant performance, stemming from her 60 Days training with David Zambrano at Tictac Art Centre in late 2019.

Tess’s interest in improvisation lies in achieving a deep state of listening and the search for an authentic manifestation of the self in the present moment. Through this heightened sensitivity comes the ability to compose instantly in time and space, through the constant negotiation within herself and with others. Tess is continually researching the idea that there are infinite stories archived in the individual body, stories of our own and stories of other people. Within this project, time will be devoted to discovering how the viewers active involvement can enrich the experience in our research and practice, building a deeper connection with audiences for improvisational performance.

Tess Letham is an independent dance artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland, working as a

performer, teacher, dance theatre maker and curator. Performance projects have included work by Curious Seed, David Zambrano, Gracefool Collective, Cagoule, Bridie Gane, Shotput, Cultured Mongrel, Rob Heaslip, Anahat Theatre, Alan Greig Dance Theatre, PanicLab, All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre and Mairead McClean/The Wapping Project.

She has trained extensively in the methods of Flying Low and Passing Through, created

by internationally renowned teacher David Zambrano, the main focus of her teaching

practise, an ambassador of sharing this work across Scotland and further afield. This is a

fundamental part of her movement practice and philosophical understanding of what

dance represents in the wider context of community and culture. Improvisation is at the core of her current research and she is a co-organiser of Something Smashing – a regular event for improvising dancers and musicians to experiment together in spontaneous performance. Her inaugural show, a self-choreographed solo titled How to Survive the Future, was programmed at festivals across the UK, including the Dance Base Fringe 2018. She is currently working on a new show titled Remedy for Memory with an all-female team of collaborators, supported by Creative Scotland, The Work Room, Dance Base and Citymoves Dance Agency, premiering in Spring 2022.

White & Givan

This residency will enable White & Givan to continue to progress their creative practice in the development of their new creation Grace, allowing time to maintain a high level of integrity with regards to what they want to create. Time is fundamental to White & Givan’s artistic vision, enabling them to focus on their creative, emotional, physical and mental recovery by working towards the creation of a new work that they are extremely excited by. The duo say that this investment from #LoveDanceScotland is extremely important to their recovery as creatives based in Scotland and, is key in how they begin again. With the guidance and support of Dance Base they both know this residency will be intrinsic to their recovery and return.

As choreographers, performers and educators Errol & Davina have over 30 years’ experience. Errol is a recipient of the Dance Europe Magazine’s Critics Award for Best Male Performer, the Marion North Mentoring Award for Choreography and the Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship Award.

Throughout her career, Davina has received several awards including the Critics Award by Dance Europe Magazine (Best Female Performer), The Mitchell Dance Award and a nomination for the highly prized Outstanding Young Artist category in the Critics Circle Dance Awards.

White & Givan’s productions include the successful and critically acclaimed works Three Works (2009), IAM (2012) and Breathe in 2014. Throughout spring 2016/17 White & Givan toured Breathe taking the work to venues across Scotland & UK, receiving critical acclaim from reviewers and audiences. In 2015, White & Givan were invited to work with Orla O’Loughlin, Artistic Director and Joint CEO of the Traverse Theatre in the capacity of Movement Directors and Choreographers, these include Swallow by Stef Smith, Tracks of the Winter Bear, Milk, Grain the Blood, Girl in the Machine and Meet Me at Dawn by Zinnie Harris for the Edinburgh International Festival in 2017.

White & Givan were invited to lead the DEBS programme for Dance Base during 2019 and in 2019 White & Givan were awarded funding from Creative Scotland for the creation and tour of their new production Worn, due to Covid 19 the tour was cancelled and in 2020 with support from Creative Scotland, CityMoves and The Lemon Tree Aberdeen they created the critically acclaimed film version of Worn.




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