This year Dance City has had more applications than ever to choose from and the standard of applicants was extremely high.

The panel included professional dance artists from both inside and outside of the region, providing a fresh artistic eye to the selection process.

We selected three full length commissions which we will help to produce and will be presented as part of our professional performance programme in 2018/19. These were awarded to:

Lizzie J Klotz – Dance City’s Associate Artist 2017/18 will create her first full-length production, a show about Lying and an exploration into the good, the bad and the ugly of lying. “I am delighted to have been commissioned by Dance City to create This is a show about Lying. As my first full-length work, This is a show about Lying is a really exciting opportunity to build upon my portfolio of small-scale works of Fawn, Dancing with My Dad, Millionfish and To Suit.”

Patrick Ziza – Patrick Ziza’s commissioned idea challenges the views on black masculinity. Using Dandyism as its vehicle, this piece will explore, undermine and subvert the preconceptions of how a black male should act, dress or communicate his personality.

State of Grace – State of Grace’s Director Ben Ayrton will create The Silver Dog – dynamic dance-theatre based on the extraordinary journey of two young sisters who set out from the 1980s rural American Deep South aiming for New York. “It was a genuinely lovely moment, learning of the commission. 3 years of hard work came to a perfect culmination – it was a powerful acknowledgement, not just for me, but for everyone closely involved in the State of Grace journey. I’m so happy for them and grateful to everyone who has supported us so well. And to be working hand in hand with Dance City is a fantastic thing. We will embrace this opportunity and try our best to use it to become fully-expressed.”

We also selected three early stage commissions:

Debbie Harbin – The D Project’s artistic director, Debbie Harbin will be developing HEDGE (working title), a dance theatre production for children age 4+ and their families. HEDGE will envelope children in a familiar world that is ever-changing, exploring the story of a hedgehog waking up from hibernation and everything is not as it once was. “I was thrilled to hear the news about the early stage commission, the initial ideas for this piece have been in process for a long time now and I can’t wait to have the time, space and support to see where it goes!”

Alice Henry – Alice’s new solo piece will physicalize living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, recognising how much this mental illness is often dismissed, poked at, and thrown around carelessly. “I was so happy and excited when I found out that I had been successful in getting the commission to create this piece. I am extremely grateful to Dance City and am honoured to have been considered and successful for this opportunity.”

Anthony Lo Giudice –  With Alex Rowland, Anthony is developing Overcast, a story between two men exploring human connection through brutality and tenderness. “I was a previous recipient of a Dance City commission back in 2012, when I created my first production, ROMA. Five years on, it’s a privilege to once again be commissioned and supported by Dance City to explore the early stages of a new work. I look forward to taking the trajectory of five years learning and putting it into this next project. Overcast has been an idea I’ve put on the back burner for some time, so I’m very much looking forward to getting into the studio and exploring with my team.”