How can participatory choreography bring people together through the experience of collaboration?

For this year’s Great Exhibition of the North, Dance City has proudly partnered with Yorkshire Dance and choreographer Vanessa Grasse to bring the people of Newcastle together with dynamic choreographic research project ‘MESH’. On selected dates between the 22nd of June and the 5th August an eclectic group of professional dancers and local residents will take to the streets of Newcastle to perform a series of interactive dance pieces that explore how collaborative choreography and can offer an experience of togetherness.

MESH is an ongoing research project by Sicilian born, Leeds based choreographer Vanessa Grasse who’s characteristic work embraces improvisation, cross art-form collaboration and site-specific performance. Grasse has been working with a cast of ten professional dancers and local residents to develop the choreography’s foundation which will be adapted during each performance in response to the environmental and social landscape of various spaces across the city centre.

MESH invites its audiences and passersby to partake and engage with the performers as they climb and weave their way through the streets, creating cooperative, self-organizing and sculptural formations. The project has so far taken place in Leeds and Wakefield city centers as well as The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery.

“Being in Newcastle is allowing us to develop MESH in response to the unique vibrant social and welcoming vibe of the city. We’ve had a fantastic first week of rehearsal with an enthusiastic response from passers by in the city centre who enjoyed watching and participating. We look forward to discovering more of the city, meeting more people and sharing our experience of interconnectivity.”

Vanessa Grasse – Choreographer.

You can catch MESH taking place on Northumberland Street, Baltic Square and at Greys Monument on a number of dates throughout June, July and August. To find out more visit


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