I had been looking forward to this week for a while now. The promise of busy studios and artistic dialogue and sharings as well as input from new people via our ambassador’s event.
Monday morning saw the arrival of artist Shelley Eva Haden, who was excitedly beginning her two-week residency at Déda and was given a warm welcome by our friendly staff team. Shelley is exploring ideas behind a Dance Manifesto, and we exchanged a few inspiring words about this and a possible Open Studio event, which she suggested might take place during her residency.
Alongside Shelley, artist and choreographer Gareth Woodward arrived to lead a week-long choreographic residency for Xzibit Young Creatives with 10 keen young dancers from the region. Gareth also spoke of guest artist Victoria Shulungu appearing on Friday to run a workshop with the young people.
In the middle of the week Déda hosted an Ambassador Engagement Event – inviting people to come and find out more about Déda and how they can become an ambassador. It was a truly buzzing and positive event, and we were very grateful to everyone who attended and gave their time and energy to it. Want to know more? Then there’s more information on how to get involved on the website.
Friday has come quick, and it has been so exciting to be around Déda today with artists from the region gathering in the theatre for the Open Studio event with SHE and Polly Hudson as well as the sharing for XYC choreographers and performers.
A great end to a brilliant week of artistic research and dialogue as well as public engagement and sharings.
Head of Dance Development and Learning
Shelley Eva Haden was nominated in the outstanding female performance category at the 2017 National Dance Awards, voted for by the Critics’ Circle. Shelley graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2014 with a First-Class BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance Performance, having become the first-ever student to achieve 100% on the solo choreography assessment – her ‘Silver Shelter’ is now part of the school’s repertoire. Shelley’s work as a choreographer, educator, and movement director is wide-ranging, spanning commissions, independent projects, TV/film work and opera. She most recently worked on the choreographic team for Birmingham2022 commonwealth games opening ceremony. Other credits include BBC Arts, Channel 4, ABBA, Gotts Street Park, StaatsOper Berlin, Royal Danish Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Birmingham Opera Company.
Polly Hudson: A teacher, artist, gardener, writer and dancer, Polly’s work focuses on process within an artistic practice, ethical approaches to teaching, leadership and interaction, Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT), and Eco-Somatics. She has made dance works that have been shown internationally to critical acclaim over a twenty-five year period. As a certified teacher of SRT, the principles of which underpin her approach to her work in all areas, Polly is curious about at what point a practice or an activity becomes art. Polly is currently Head of Movement at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She is Associate Director of CIPA, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Practice in the Arts, at Birmingham City University.