Dance City partners with BALTIC to offer funded dance artist residencies

Three exceptional North East dance artists are able to occupy a stunning creative space at BALTIC in June thanks to a new collaboration between the flagship contemporary art gallery and Dance City.

The Level 1 performance space at BALTIC will be offered as rehearsal space, free of charge to three different artists/companies, together with a cash bursary for successful applicants.

The three artists that have been offered the space are  Nicole Vivien Watson, Esther Huss and Robby Graham.

The first artist to be awarded the residency and bursary at BALTIC is established North East dance artist and creative, Nicole Vivien Watson who is Director of Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC.

“Beginning a new collaboration is similar to starting a previously uncharted travel route; Louise Stern and I welcome the opportunity to be present at BALTIC for a period of creative research. The combined Dance City and BALTIC residency offers the opportunity to be active in Level 1’s structurally versatile environment. Louise and I intend to approach our week experimentally and welcome the opportunity to explore BALTIC’s parameters”.

A recent relocation to the North East has led to a nascent relationship with Dance City for dance artist Esther Huss, who has also been offered a BALTIC residency.

“I’ve spent almost two decades of my dance career exploring multidisciplinary work. Since moving to the North East in 2019 I’ve focussed that interest toward bringing together dance and visual arts. BALTIC excels in hosting thought provoking, experimental and inspiring contemporary art. Dance City has provided a supportive, creative home for me, and their development of a partnership with BALTIC to explore wider realms for dance seems a natural fit for my work. 

I’ve always felt a performance space is an extension of the work itself, therefore the opportunity to work within the context of BALTIC feels very exciting, and a timely opportunity for my work. I’m interested in repurposed industrial architecture and how history and the spirit of buildings can seep into a piece. Having worked extensively in an aged mining welfare institute turned dance studio, I’m eager to explore what a flour mill turned gallery can bring to my work.  The residency at BALTIC in partnership with Dance City will enable me to further investigate work that I have already begun with visual artist Claudia Sacher, in a context that feels new and very suitable, with the focus I have yearned for and vision that I can’t wait to implement.”

Robby Graham is an award-winning dancer and is the Director / Choreographer of Southpaw Dance Company.

“We are delighted to be recipients of this residency opportunity with BALTIC and Dance City. As a live performance company we have spent our time during the pandemic investigating innovative ways to connect with our audiences, including via AR and VR. This opportunity will allow us the space to develop an approach that merges digital and live performance into an exciting new audience experience. We look forward to sharing our progress and working towards a safe and successful return to live audiences in the very near future.” 

Due to COVID-safe policies the public will not be able to view the work of the artists in residency at BALTIC, however Dance City has commissioned a film maker to document some of the experience of the dance artists.

Robby Graham of Southpaw Dance Company

Esther Huss

Nicole Vivien Watson