Dance City is delighted to announce that we have appointed Gillie Kleiman and Erica Charalambous as joint MA and BA Programme Leaders. Erica and Gillie will undertake the role as a job share on a permanent full-time basis.

Anand Bhatt, Dance City’s Artistic Director and CEO says of the appointment:

“It is a pleasure to welcome Gillie Kleiman and Erica Charalambous to lead the MA and BA Programmes that Dance City delivers in partnership with University of Sunderland. Their combined experience, breadth of practice and commitment to the highest standards in dance will continue to lead the programme to a bright future. Dance City has a strong tradition and track record of training dancers to have careers which have made an impact on the ecology of the North East and internationally. Working alongside Dance City’s established and committed faculty and staff, as a team, they will together give endless opportunities, support and nurturing to future dance makers and trailblazers.”

Gillie is an artist and academic with experience of teaching and leading in Further and Higher Education, and in informal settings. She holds a PhD Dance Studies and MA Performance and Creative Research from University of Roehampton.

Gillie’s creative practice encompasses the conception and realisation of complex, relevant projects related to dance and choreography with multiple outputs, including performances, texts, events and socio-pedagogical encounters, as well as curatorial, writing, and mentoring work.

Most recently, Gillie has been a Lecturer in Dance at Leeds Beckett University, leading and teaching across the BA programmes Dance; Theatre and Performance; Performing Arts, and the MAs in Choreography and Performance. She has also lectured at Northumbria University, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Gateshead College and Newcastle College.

Gillie is a Trustee of People Dancing, the foundation for community dance, and an advisor to Jerwood Arts.

Gillie says:

“I am delighted to continue to work on Dance City’s Higher Education programmes after a period as the Interim MA Programme Leader. I look forward to collaborating with my esteemed new working partner, Erica Charalambous, to support the BA (Hons) Professional Dance and MA Advanced Dance Performance to go from strength to strength, building on the work done by our predecessors and continuing teams. In particular, I am excited to continue to develop relationships with the many members of the north east’s dance community whose contribution to the programmes is incalculable.”

Erica Charalambous is a dance practitioner and researcher with a wide-ranging knowledge and experience in leading dance programmes and multidisciplinary art projects internationally.

Erica’s passion lies in the fusion of art and science, drama and cognitive neuro-aesthetics, and cultural memory and digital cultural heritage. Her research focuses on dance digitisation and explores dance transmission in the context of practice, pedagogy, critical analysis and performance. She is a Cotutelle (dual award) PhD researcher at Coventry University UK and at Deakin University Melbourne, has an MA CoDE Arts degree in Dance Studies from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt, Germany and a Dance Education degree, Rallou Manou Academy of Dance, Athens, Greece.

Erica aspires to nurture, advance and develop dance training and education at Dance City and support a high level of dance performance and education in an environment of equity, diversity and accessibility for a new dance ecology for the north east region.

Erica says of her appointment:

“I am delighted to take on and share the role of BA/MA programme leader with my colleague Gillie Kleiman. As an experienced dance manager, dance practitioner and dance researcher I am aware of the complexities and challenges that dance education is facing globally and locally and want to be part of a community of dance specialists that contribute to the further development of the dance sector in the North East. I am aware that managing a department as interim manager and then leading the BA and MA degree programme will be complex and challenging at the beginning but I am more than willing to make this work and I believe that this will be a great collaboration within a healthy and productive environment here at Dance City. I am very happy to be part of the Dance City team and feel very positive and motivated for a great start in the new year and a prosperous future.”

Dance City delivers one of the leading dance degrees in the UK, attracting students both nationally and internationally to study its unique programme which is renowned for producing graduates with a truly rounded set of skills in performance, management and education.

The MA Advanced Dance Performance launched in 2019 and has already proved popular with dance graduates wishing to extend their performance training and gain a postgraduate qualification that helps them stand out from the crowd.