The North East of England’s repertory touring dance company Fertile Ground will be sharing its exciting Twilight Dances programme with audiences at Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne as the Company prepares for the Autumn leg of its 2019 tour.

Audiences will have the chance to watch Fertile Ground’s current cohort of four young female professional dancers from the North East take to the stage as they perform new work created by artistic directors and former Rambert dancers Renaud Wiser and Malgorzata Dzierzon. Opening the evening will be a new film commission by celebrated movement and theatre artist Wendy Houstoun, featuring Fertile Ground dancers.

Wiser and Dzierzon used Schubert’s beautiful String Quartet No.14 composed in 1824, also known as Death and the Maiden, as inspiration to create a 45 minute piece that audiences will be able to enjoy with live musical accompaniment performed by international Montreal based string quartet Quatuor Voxpopuli. As Renaud explains:
“Schubert’s String Quartet No.14 is known for its dramatic and lyrical nature and provided us with the perfect starting point to create a dance that looks at the eternal quest for youth and immortality. We are combining movement and live music as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Audiences can expect to be transported by the beauty of the music and by the performance of the dancers and musicians.”

Fertile Ground collaborator Wendy Houstoun has worked with amongst others DV8 Physical Theatre and also made two films, Touched and Diary of a Dancer for the BBC with David Hinton. Top and tailed by pop video format Houstoun’s new short film is a hybrid affair. Channelling voices and movement, the performers are cast as philosophers who ask: What is watching? When is Now? and Why Dance? For this new film commission, created with Fertile Ground dancers, Houstoun filmed on iPhone and accessible technology in Newcastle and Sunderland to create a film that is more experimental than blockbuster.

Every year Fertile Ground recruits a new company of talented professional dancers with strong connections to the North East of England. The experience the dancers gain during their time with Fertile Ground helps them develop new professional skills, supporting their career development. The Company this year includes 23 year old Kiran Kumar, originally from Leeds, and 25 year old Ashling McCann, originally from Bristol, who both relocated to Newcastle upon Tyne to train as professional dancers. They perform alongside 23 year old Megan Otty from Sunderland and 25 year old Olivia Paddison from Darlington.

As Kiran Kumar said:
“Fertile Ground is unique in that it offers dancers, like me, who are in the early stages of their career an opportunity to perform high quality work created by nationally and internationally recognised choreographers as part of a professional company. It has been an amazing experience to be part of the Fertile Ground team.”

2019 marks Fertile Ground’s first season under the artistic directorship of choreographers Renaud Wiser and Malgorzata Dzierzon. Together Wiser and Dzierzon’s ambition is to produce work of the highest quality that is inspiring and unexpected. As Malgorzata explains:
“We are thrilled to be sharing our first season as artistic directors of Fertile Ground. Our ambition for the company is to present dance that breaks new ground, that can be experienced by audiences in a range of formats and locations and that will encourage them to reevaluate their perceptions of contemporary dance.

“We are building on the work started by the founding director Dora Frankel and want to continue to nurture, challenge and inspire a new generation of dance artists from the North whilst creating and presenting inspirational and accessible dance.”

Fertile Ground: Twilight Dances will be performed at Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 17 October at 7.30pm as part of its Autumn tour which includes dates at Stone Nest in London on Monday 21 October and at Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in Oxford on Wednesday 23 October.

Fertile Ground’s 2019 tour has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, Sir James Knott Trust, Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, Thirplow Trust and the Polish Cultural Institute and is supported by Sunderland College, Newcastle College and Dance City.

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Notes For Editors:

About Fertile Ground

Fertile Ground is a professional dance company dedicated to talent development and retention in the North East and North of England. It aims to nurture, challenge and inspire a new generation of dance artists and to develop and present inspirational and accessible dance for the people of the North. During 2019 Fertile Ground will extend its reach and present work both regionally and nationally.

The Company’s vision is to help make the North East of England the place to dance. About Fertile Ground’s Artistic Directors
 Malgorzata Dzierzon and Renaud Wiser have collaborated on a number of occasions and bring to Fertile Ground exceptional choreographic artistic vision, leadership and curatorial ambition. Both are members of New Movement Collective (NMC), an Associate Company at Rambert, and have worked internationally as well as closer to Fertile Ground’s stomping ground in the North East. Malgorzata was commissioned by Fertile Ground in 2016 creating Eight Steps; Renaud was a recipient of Dance City commissions in 2013 and 2015. Most recently Dzierzon and Wiser collaborated with English National Ballet creating Uncharted – a major dance work involving seventy young dancers from North London schools and English National Ballet’s Youth Company, performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.


About Dance City

Established for over 30 years Dance City is the North East’s leading development organisation for dance, which exists to lead and support a thriving dance ecology in the region. We present a regular programme of dance performances from contemporary to ballet, world to breakdance bringing leading North East, British and International dance to Newcastle. We also commission original new works, which premiere in our theatre.

We offer over 65 weekly classes in more than 40 different styles of dance – open to all ages and for absolute beginners as well as more experienced dancers.  From contemporary to hip hop, ballet to ballroom, belly dancing to pilates, from bumps to babies and for adults with learning disabilities – our classes are an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, learn new skills, have fun and meet new people.