The North East’s leading dance charity, Dance City, has announced Farooq Chaudhry OBE of Fengling Productions as the organisation’s Associate Producer. The relationship between Dance City and Fengling Productions comes following the successful music and technical residency development of ‘Nine Songs’ in January this year.

The partnership will involve Fengling Productions engaging in development of programmes at Dance City including education, artist development & production development.

Fengling Productions was born out of Farooq Chaudhry’s curiosity with Asian artists, stories and perspectives. His profound interest ignited a strong desire to cultivate meaningful international collaborations in dance, music, and theatre.

Farooq Chaudhry, a renowned dance producer, has played a significant role in shaping the British dance scene. Born in Pakistan and raised in London, Chaudhry embarked on his dance career in the 1980s and later pursued an MA in Arts Management from City University.

In 2000, Chaudhry joined forces with artist Akram Khan to establish the internationally acclaimed Akram Khan Company. Through his visionary leadership style, Chaudhry prioritized creativity and developed innovative business models to support Khan’s artistic aspirations.

Chaudhry’s deep passion for the arts, strong business acumen, and genuine desire to connect with communities worldwide led him to serve as a creative producer for various international artists and organizations. Notable collaborations include the English National Ballet and iconic Chinese choreographer Yang Liping, where Chaudhry significantly enhanced their global status and reputation.

As a producer, Chaudhry has made a lasting impact on the global artistic community. Moreover, he has also contributed as an educator, sharing his expertise through consulting, mentoring, and lecturing at esteemed institutions such as London Studio Centre, Goldsmiths University, and the
London Business School.

After two decades of challenging conventions, Chaudhry has earned recognition as a global cultural leader. His remarkable contributions were honoured with an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University and Goldsmiths University. Additionally, he served as a Tate Trustee from 2019 to 2023 and received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his outstanding work in promoting diverse talent in the dance industry.

In 2021, Farooq Chaudhry founded Fengling Productions, a company fuelled by a profound curiosity for Chinese and East Asian artists, narratives and aesthetics. The goal is to produce significant international collaborations in dance, music, and theatre. The company’s vision is to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary worlds, presenting works that exude integrity, grace, and inventiveness.

Students on the Dance City BA(hons) degree, in partnership with Sunderland University, will have guest lectures from Fengling Productions whilst artists and producers will benefit from artist surgeries to help with structuring their creative projects. A longer-term producer development programme is also being conceived and Fengling Productions will have creative technical space at Dance City. The next residency planned for 11th April 2024 will be for the production company’s new project ‘She Dances in April’. The residencies will provide professionals with a window into Fengling’s creating of stage-based dance works, as well as for the community to access open rehearsals and sharings.

Anand Bhatt, Artistic Director and CEO of Dance City goes on to say, ‘Farooq Chaudhry OBE is a dance producing pioneer. His stellar productions with Akram Khan, English National Ballet and Yang Liping have earned him and his works numerous global accolades such as Olivier Awards and Critic’s Circle Awards. I admire Farooq’s unwavering commitment to excellent quality art. Farooq is incredibly generous with his time, always supporting artists with mentoring, project guidance and connections.’

In January 2023, Fengling Production’s “Nine Songs” open sharing was attended by an audience of over 200 at Dance City. Alex Dentith, Senior Marketing Manager at Dance City adds, ‘That is an astonishing number of people to see a work in progress, and speaks to the draw that Fengling Productions has. It lays the foundation for more in the coming season, we are really excited by this partnership.’

Artistic Director of Fengling Productions, Farooq Chaudhry OBE, goes on to say, ‘Newcastle has a special place in my heart. It was here at British Dance Edition over 20 years ago, when Janet Archer was Director at Dance City, that Akram and I were invited to present some work. That moment was significant. I look forward to making many more significant moments possible as a collaboration between Fengling Productions and Dance City.