A new theatre company has been selected to join Derby-based regional dance house Déda for a year-long Resident Artists support programme.
WinterWalker is led by Belper-based Kitty Winter and Wayne Walker-Allen.
Kitty and Wayne will use this time to become established and develop their physical theatre work which is aimed at families and young audiences - an area which Déda is committed to developing further.
WinterWalker's key area will be to develop their first major performance Three Keepers - a funny and physical play without words, set on an offshore lighthouse - which will debut at Déda in Chapel Street in February 2015 and then tour around the UK.
The Déda|Artists scheme was launched in 2007 to provide support for artists based in Derby, the East Midlands and nationally.
Past Déda|Artists have included local theatre company Maison Foo, who created Memoirs of a Biscuit Tin which went on to tour nationally following huge success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
WinterWalker has worked together as a freelance creative team since 2007 making shows with Theatre Hullabaloo, Nottingham Playhouse, Kali Theatre and The Gramophones. They are now expanding their company to produce and tour their own shows with the help from Déda over the next 12 months.
Kitty Winter is a director, movement director and choreographer. She trained in contemporary dance and choreography at Laban, and then in movement direction at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Kitty’s work combines theatre and dance, sometimes using words or puppets or clowning, but always rooted in movement.
Wayne Walker-Allen is a musician and composer, working in dance and theatre. He plays percussion, accordion and “stringy things” alongside a plethora of other instruments from around the world.
Déda's Head of Dance Development and Learning Clare Limb explained: “Since launching Déda|Artists, we have found that by offering our resources and expertise, the artists we have worked with feel supported in all areas allowing them to concentrate on making fantastic new work.
"We are delighted that Alice Vale – last year’s Resident Artist– will continue to be closely associated with Déda, teaching our gifted and talented young dancers and the students on the new BA Hons Dance Degree which will be based here from September.
"The Déda|Artist programme brings new ideas into the organisation and we are particularly pleased that we will be jointly working with WinterWalker, a young but highly talented company, on productions that will be aimed specifically at young audiences.
"This is an area where we already have a good track record both in terms of classes and activities for young children and in staging productions that are specifically geared towards this age group – introducing them to contemporary dance in a fun and interactive way."
Kitty Winter continued: "We are hugely honoured to have the opportunity to work closely with the Déda team whose expertise in all aspects of the arts – from finance and marketing to developing and staging a production – will be invaluable to our own growth as a company.
"We are particularly looking forward to working with the first students on the BA Dance degree, which will be based at Déda, to create a theatrical piece to celebrate the opening of the new facilities at the venue in early Autumn. It will be a fun, family-friendly performance taking place all over the building, and linking into the national Family Arts Festival, which is really exciting."
Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945665; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors
Déda (formerly known as Derby Dance) is a unique venue located in Derby city centre offering a dance-focussed arts programme. The building houses two performance spaces, two professionally equipped dance studios, conferencing facilities and the CUBE café|bar.
With a class curriculum of almost 50 classes a week and an extensive community development programme Déda is one of the key cultural organisations in the city.
Déda receives funding from Arts Council England and Derby City Council.
About Arts Council England
The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk