About the artist

Nicole Vivien Watson is artistic director and founder of Surface Area Dance Theatre and has had a long term relationship with Dance City, having developed shown and premiered works with us in the past. She’s achieved phenomenal success with Surface Area, having been commissioned to produce work internationally, including a recent, critically-acclaimed production in New York.

‘When asked to describe my interests, I consistently refer to an understanding and empirical knowledge of Butoh, which can be described as a contrastive spectrum of philosophy, performance and socially concerned activities. Equal to my knowledge of Butoh is a persistent consideration of non-spoken communication.’

Nicole began studying British Sign Language (BSL), seven years ago with support from the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund and is a British Sign Language advocate and communicator to the Deaf artistic community in Northern England and London.


About the work

Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones, is an exciting, new and artistic, choreographic work that is influenced by British Sign Language and will be made in dialogue with regional dance artists: Charlie Dearnley, and Alex Rowland, and London based deaf and professional dance artist, Chris Fonseca. The work will also feature interdisciplinary elements by Northumberland based visual artist, Graham Patterson and sonic elements offered by award-winning London based composer, Tom White. The overarching source of inspiration that Nicole will use as stimulus, through the entire body of research and live presentations, borrow attributes from the Japanese philosophy of ‘Ma’. The word ‘Ma’ means space/pause/interval. The concept of which encourages mindfulness and when mapped onto the entire body, the philosophy can be interpreted as one who is a sensitive listener; this awakening the possibility, for the entire body to become a sensitive listening body.