Renowned choreographer and designer Theo Clinkard takes up his new role as lead artist of the Talent Hub this week, as a new cohort of dance artists with a learning disability or autism meets for its third residential training week.
Durham-based TIN Arts, which this year celebrates its 20th year delivering inclusive dance activities and programmes, and Yorkshire Dance have recruited ten talented dancers from across Yorkshire and the North East of England. Under Theo’s guidance, they will begin this week to create new work for national touring in late 2019 and throughout 2020.
The week-long residency at Kala Sangam in Bradford will also offer the Talent Hub members a programme of dance and personal development led by Artistic Director Tess Chaytor.
The dance artists have all been receiving individualised ‘wrap-around’ support, wherever they live, and have already spent two intensive periods of training and rehearsal together in Northumberland and County Durham.
The Talent Hub is a professional development programme made possible by awards from Arts Council England’s National Lottery-funded Ambition for Excellence Fund programme and from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The Talent Hub is supported by Inclusion North, which exists to make inclusion real for all people with a learning disability and their families.
With the principles of co-design at its heart, the Talent Hub aims to provoke a step change in the sector, enabling dance artists with a learning disability, autism or both to progress professionally into dance companies or emerge as independent dance makers.
Martin Wilson, co-founder of TIN Arts, says, “We are thrilled and delighted that Theo is working with the Talent Hub dance artists. I have personally been a huge fan of his work for a long time and cant wait to see what will be created. It is crucial that our dance artists get to work with the very best in the industry to challenge and push them onto new heights and to realise new possibilities. It’s a fantastically exciting time for both the Talent Hub and for the wider dance sector”.
Theo Clinkard himself says, “Following months of anticipation and planning, I am incredibly excited to finally meet these dancers and get moving together in the studio. Whenever I approach the first day on a new project, I actively let go of any specific expectations and prepare to dive into leading a process that is a response to the people in the room. I know this group are going to teach me a great deal and I can’t wait to start dreaming together about what this creation could become.”
The names of the dancers will be announced after the residency is over.