Creative Summer 2021

Creative Summer at Dance City

Dance City is delighted to announce the dance artists and companies that will be provided with creative space during its annual Creative Summer programme. Artists taking part in the programme will have access to studios and facilities in the Dance City building for five days, and supported with engaging audiences, producers and programmers during their time at Dance City.

Pelican Theatre

Ellie Trow and Pagan Hun

Pelican Theatre is a physical theatre partnership between Ellie Trow and Pagan Hunt, who share a passion for making work that is worth making.

“We are driven by our desire to create authentic, multidisciplinary and thought-provoking art, with the power to remind people of things they didn’t know they had forgotten.”

Patricia Verity Suarez

Patricia Verity Suarez

Patricia is an independent artist and Movement Director based in Teesside and London. Her movement work is exciting, dynamic and has a deep lyricism to it. She also makes work about the experience of being British and Latinx, and about our connection to the traditional and family stories we love.

Penny Chivas

Penny Chivas

Penny Chivas (she/her) is a Glasgow based dance artist with interests in multidisciplinary collaborations, climate activism and community work. As a performer, she has worked with artists such as Vanessa Grasse, Brian Hartley, Ian Spink and is currently developing her solo dance theatre work “Burnt Out” in for both theatre and film. Penny is part of Equity’s Green New Deal steering group and is currently on the MEd programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Susan Moir

Susan Moir

Susan uses flamenco as a jumping-off point for a conversation between other forms of dance and performance, personal narrative, queer identities, local and global cultural heritage.  She is currently developing a contemporary flamenco work with Madrid-based Chilean choreographer/dancer Natalia Garcia-Huidobro.  Susan has lived in the north-east since 2009.

Charlie Dearnley

Charlie Dearnley

Charlie Dearnley is a trans, non-binary performance artist, trainee Dance Movement Psychotherapist and a healthcare support worker. In their practice they use dance, music and spoken word to present binary-melting stories with autobiographical beginnings, troubling ‘normal’ to nourish an acceptance of difference.

Jane Park

Jane Park

Jane Park is a north east aerial dancer and teacher and a fine artist working around concepts and community. This year she was granted a DYCP award to see how these two strands of her work might be intertwined. The Creative Summer residency is giving her the opportunity to try out some ridiculous ideas in the air with her aerial family.

Jennifer Essex

Jennifer Essex

With a background in both physical theatre and contemporary dance, Canadian contemporary dance choreographer Jennifer Essex is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance at Teesside University and was previously selected as a contemporary dance BENCH Fellow. Artistic Director of Fully Booked Theatre, which creates interactive dance theatre for children and families.

Jesse Salaman

Jesse Salaman

Jesse Salaman is a queer Jewish dance artist who makes live dance work. Currently in their practice they are exploring using drag, voice and objects to explore spiritual identity and narratives around isolation and self-governance. During the Creative Summer residency they will be exploring some of the lyric poetry from ‘Sea-Witch’ by Never Angeline Nørth.

Andy Gardiner – Society of Strays

Andy Gardiner

Society of Strays is a Dance Theatre collective established in 2019 led by Andrew Gardiner (Dancer, Actor, Dramaturg, Protein Dance, bgroup, Riccardo Buscarini, Curious Seed, Zoielogic Dance Theatre, Simon McBurney DNO Rakes Progress, RVZ dance).

“We are interested in people and how we function in the face of adversity, where the only choice for humanity is to ascend or descend. Our work crosses many performance-based artforms.”

Society of Strays works with a clear relationship between voice and movement whilst delving into the spaces in between. The work is devised, so grows from improvisation (physical and vocal), writing, sound, observation, art with an abundance of research in its arsenal. Ideas are then explored through the lens of dark comedy, physicality, voice and song, absurdism, and character-driven narrative, exposing the complexity and dichotomy of humankinds’ potential for good and bad.

“We ask existential questions and aim to answer them in a light but dark, poetic way with laughs.”


Creative Summer Lates


Lily Dooks, Maria Giacchetto and Erin Hughes

Erin Hughes, Lily Dooks and Maria Giacchetto are recent graduate artists that have decided to embark on a creative venture together. The trio have a shared desire to create collaborative works, around socially-conscious themes, which they reflect on through shared political and social beliefs.

Benedicta Valentina Mamuini and Lila Naruse 

Benedicta Valentina and Lila Naruse

Benedicta Valentina Mamuini and Lila Naruse are mixed-heritage, mixed-cultured North East-based freelance dance artists, who’s work together has developed through close attention to their creative passions.

Benedicta is interested in the psychology of lived in human experiences and is currently on the journey of rediscovering her wild, gut led and curious side, both in her professional and personal life. She is company dancer and resident artist with BalletLORENT. Her freelance work includes collaborating with companies; Fevered Sleep, Ella Mesma CompanyParadox Pictures, Company of Others and Ellen Hathaway Dance Company.

Lila Naruse is a dance artist from the North East with mixed Japanese heritage. She is passionate about creativity, challenge and discovery. Using the emotional, philosophical and physical connection of the whole body as inspiration she wishes to address themes concerning humanity, social and environmental issues, within her work.

Lila is currently focusing on performance and collaboration within her dance. She has most recently worked with Company of Others, Fertile Ground and Northern Dance.


Eve Taylor and Annie Lewis 

Annie and Eve are third year professional dance degree students at Dance City in Newcastle. 

Annie continually aspires to create dance that broadens the mind of what contemporary dance can be perceived to be, allowing the audience to find a deeper connection and relevance in the movement.  Annie strives to be an artist that isn’t restricted to a set routine or system in her work and instead wants to promote a creative and explorative community through a collaboration of different digital and visual art forms together to make work that is new and celebrated. 

 Eve aspires to be an artist who creates with social intention at hearth, wanting to use a collaborative form of art to influence social change and serve a purpose. She believes that dance as an artform can be monumental in broadening people’s perspectives of societal issues and strives to explore the use of contemporary dance in aiding social justice. 

 Both Annie and Eve are passionate about exploring movement and its relationship with music and use their passion of listening and watching live music of all styles alongside ideas of freedom and expression in society to be a driving force for their choreography together. 

Annie Lewis

Eve Taylor