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Awards Announced for the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project

DanceXchange, one of the UK’s leading dance houses, is pleased to announce the award recipients of the second edition of the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project (JCRP II), a National Dance Network initiative supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and delivered by DanceXchange.

JCRP is an innovative investment model designed to kick-start ideas and research into challenging and exciting choreographic concepts and to stimulate new thinking in choreography by enabling artists and creatives to think, dream and experiment freely. The funding partnership includes 37 Contributors from a wide range of UK organisations, along with Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Shonagh Manson, said: “As a founding funder we have helped to bring contributors on board by providing match funding and brokering introductions to the project for organisations from outside of dance who are interested in choreographic research and in joining the rich network of commissioners this project opens up. We are very excited to see the range of artists’ projects which will be supported. Each has an exceptional list of co-commissioners on board, which has levered substantial additional in-kind support. Importantly, each project prioritises valuable research space which will open up opportunities for new ways of thinking and making to thrive.”

Over 250 applications were made requesting £5.5 million in funding. Representatives from the 37 partner organisations deliberated for two days to choose the eight projects that will be supported this round. The fund will distribute a total of £136,000 in cash and over £50,000 of in-kind support, and the eight projects have generated an additional £50,000 in direct funding and support.

A core aim of the JCRP is to attract investment from Contributors whose primary focus is not dance, such as galleries, thereby facilitating a broader dialogue about, and championing of, choreographic development. Giles Maffett, Assistant

Curator at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, said: “We are interested in blurring boundaries between different artistic disciplines, especially when such crossovers can address current issues and contribute towards change. The JCRP is an important opportunity for artists to push the boundaries, to transcend typical notions of choreography, and to foster new relationships between their field and ours.”

The chosen research projects will explore a range of disciplines and interests including dance, sculpture, architecture, robotics, disability, Kung Fu, acrobatics and meteorology. 45% of the projects will be taking place outside of London, proving that JCRP is a vital mechanism in supporting work throughout the UK. Announcing the recipients of JCRP II, David Massingham, Artistic Director of DanceXchange, said: “JCRP II has already been an incredibly rewarding journey, meeting new collaborative partners and artists, and exploring what it means to do choreographic research. This year the concepts and ideas in the awarded projects are really wide-ranging and will undoubtedly affect the future of choreographic forms going forward. I am looking forward to the outcomes in the coming two years!”

The JCRP II recipients are:

• Finn Beames and Paloma Gormley: Researching the significance of spatial agency in contemporary urban society, with four dancers and 5,000 compressed earth blocks. “Being part of the JCRP means having access to a totally unique kind of support. Having the backing of not one but multiple organisations, all of whom produce brilliant work, means we can head into the unknown with confidence, inspired and energised by a collective belief in our nascent ideas. This rare level of trust is characteristic of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and DanceXchange, and we know how lucky we are to be working with LIFT and to be supported by Southbank Centre, The Lowry, Pavilion Dance South West and Stone Nest. We’re thrilled to be involved and can’t wait to begin our research.”

• Dan Daw and Mark Maughan: Dissecting the notion of “inspiration” and exploring the wider notions of inspiration beyond disability and its relationship to audience need and expectation. “Recent events in the news have led me to want to question why we think, feel and believe the things we do. Receiving this support is absolutely brilliant. Furthering my choreographic practice by collaborating with theatre director, Mark Maughan allows me to investigate how choreography and dramaturgy can intersect to prompt an audience’s understanding of the origins of their own inspiration. This research support has come at an important time as I take my practice one step further to make work on an ensemble, rather than having work being made on me.”

• New Movement Collective and Bill Vorn: Developing the potential of audience-wearable robotic structures to expand the perception of where choreography exists and the evolving role of machines in relation to the human body. “New Movement Collective are thrilled to be the recipients of the JCRP II and excited about the new research this unique award will enable. We would like to thank all the contributors to the project and look forward to working with our associated artists and partners.”

• Andy Field: ‘Rain Dances’ will experiment with new relationships between performance and weather, in particular with rain and exploring the chorographic possibilities that emerge when you step into the rain and embrace the downpour. “This research project is a journey into the total unknown for both my collaborator Laura and myself; a first few tentative steps towards imagining a new relationship between performance and the natural world. I can think of no better context in which to begin that journey than that provided by the JCRPII. We’re really grateful for the support we’ve received and excited at the range of organisations that are joining us as we venture out into the rain.”

Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton: Research into everyday female gesture and traditional women’s
dance from around the world, and exploring large-scale participation for women of all backgrounds, ages
and professions. “Securing JCRP funding is a major stepping stone for our research. Rarely do you come
across a fund that is willing to commit both substantial financial support as well as mentoring and in-kind
assistance at the fragile research stages of a project. The JCRP will enable us to get over 50 people in a room
to test our ideas about female movement in a serious and committed way. It feels like the research stage is the
hardest, getting off the ground in order to pick up momentum is difficult on your own. The JCRP – all the weight
and power of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, DanceXchange, Sadler’s Wells and all the amazing companies
that contribute to this enterprise – is exactly the driver that will make this momentum possible.”
• Hetain Patel: Exploring the choreographic potential of two silent physical languages not seen as dance
– Kung Fu and Sign Language.
• Florence Peake: Research into a sculptural interpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring through dance
and building with clay. “I am thrilled to receive support through the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project
and am looking forward to working with artist collaborators and partner organisations to research in depth a
project I have felt fascinated with and passionate about for a long time.”
• Nikki and JD: An investigation into how the physical risk and fear of acrobatic movements can affect
choreographic narrative.

• Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton: Research into everyday female gesture and traditional women’s dance from around the world, and exploring large-scale participation for women of all backgrounds, ages and professions. “Securing JCRP funding is a major stepping stone for our research. Rarely do you come across a fund that is willing to commit both substantial financial support as well as mentoring and in-kind assistance at the fragile research stages of a project. The JCRP will enable us to get over 50 people in a room to test our ideas about female movement in a serious and committed way. It feels like the research stage is the hardest, getting off the ground in order to pick up momentum is difficult on your own. The JCRP – all the weight and power of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, DanceXchange, Sadler’s Wells and all the amazing companies that contribute to this enterprise – is exactly the driver that will make this momentum possible.”

• Hetain Patel: Exploring the choreographic potential of two silent physical languages not seen as dance – Kung Fu and Sign Language.

• Florence Peake: Research into a sculptural interpretation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring through dance and building with clay. “I am thrilled to receive support through the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project and am looking forward to working with artist collaborators and partner organisations to research in depth a project I have felt fascinated with and passionate about for a long time.”

• Nikki and JD: An investigation into how the physical risk and fear of acrobatic movements can affect choreographic narrative.

For full details visit http://www.dancexchange.org.uk/programmes/jcrp/

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