Dance agencies from Scotland and the north of England offer a fresh taste of dance in Leeds

Friday Firsts #36: Live Bites
at Yorkshire Dance, Leeds
Friday 4 December, 7.30pm
Tickets £8.00 | £6.00 concessions
Yorkshire Dance Box Office 0113 243 8765
or book securely online
Age guidance: 12+

Yorkshire Dance – the Leeds-based dance development agency for the Yorkshire region – is joining forces with other dance agencies from Scotland and the north of England for the fifth year running to present an evening of new works by some of the most exciting choreographers in their areas.

Northern Platforms is a joint initiative of five agencies – Yorkshire Dance, Dance City (Newcastle upon Tyne), DanceBase (Edinburgh), Merseyside Dance Initiative & Dance Manchester – to increase the visibility of dance artists and companies outside their respective regions.

Each member of the partnership has recommended a new dance work to be included in Live Bites, the annual showcase at Yorkshire Dance’s base in Leeds. Yorkshire itself is represented by two artists, Keira Martin and Grace Surman.

Barnsley-raised Keira Martin’s Here Comes Trouble draws on social and cultural influences from Yorkshire, Ireland and Jamaica – and on her own personal experience – to expose the prejudices and stereotypes we unwittingly use to misjudge people. Featuring a potent mix of clog-dance, reggae, spoken-word – and one very sharp kitchen knife – it tells hard-hitting and heart-warming chapters of Keira’s life.

Ilkley-based Grace Surman’s THINGS STACK UP is a playful and powerful solo performance in which a woman steps up to ask why we allow ourselves and our children to be told to sit still and be quiet instead of learning with energy and emotion.

Representing Dance City is Lizzie J Klotz with her new work, To Suit – a dynamic, dance-theatre exploration of interaction and relationships between men and women, inspired by the movement and courtship rituals of birds.

DanceBase has nominated Skye Reynolds to represent Scotland with Pitch, created in collaboration with Jo Fong – a solo work-in-progress that explores the idea of ‘selling’ oneself through pitch or promotion.

The north west of England is represented by Merseyside Dance Initiative’s choice – Lauren Tucker – with Someone Worth Imitating, an honest, entertaining account of the life and times of her Great Grandmother, Florence Hockley, asking what we can learn from the great women of the past.

Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance, says, “I’m very pleased that Northern Platforms can present work of such variety of approaches to dance making, reflecting the different ways dance is supported across the North. There’s a real northern powerhouse of dancemakers at work in Scotland and the north of England – and it’s a particular pleasure this year that – by chance – all five artists presenting work are women.

“In an industry where women are still underrepresented at the highest levels of leadership, it’s a privilege and a responsibility to support female artists to make the work they want to make, be that bold, smart, personal, provocative or athletic..”

Friday Firsts is Yorkshire Dance’s series of evenings showcasing work by independent choreographers and dance companies working on the small scale. Each evening has its own theme, helping artists experiment and develop their work, as well as providing a fantastic night of wit and thought-provoking entertainment for the audience.