3 – 21 August 2020

The Cohan Collective is a residency program for the creation of new choreography and music composition.  We are a collective that gives time, space and support to develop and inspire artists working in dance and music through investigating the art of collaboration.

The goals of the Cohan Collective are to further develop artists’ creative skills, to deeply investigate collaborative relationships and to maintain the spirit of Sir Robert Cohan’s artistic legacy.

In 2018, the Cohan Collective, in association with Pavilion Dance South West and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, launched a new round of our three-year residency cycle:

Phase One: In 2018, a two-week residency brought together four choreographers and four composers to explore the art of collaboration. The collaborating artists were mentored by choreographer Kim Brandstrup and Kate Flatt and composer Kenneth Hesketh, with founding directors Robert Cohan and composer Eleanor Alberga leading the residency. Guest speakers were Mark Bowden and Shobana Jeyasingh.

Phase Two: In 2019, following on from the 2018 two-week residency, four composers and three choreographers returned to work together in three groups for this Development Week with dancers from Phase One joined by musicians from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Mentors Kate Flatt and Kenneth Hesketh returned to support the artists, while founders Cohan and Alberga directed the week. Co-Founder Yolande Yorke-Edgell led each day with a Cohan technique or ballet class before all the artists came together in teams to create a short work that was shared with a public audience at PDSW at the end of the week. 

Phase Three: 2020 marks the pilot of Phase 3 of the Cohan Collective—the Realisation phase. Artists were chosen to return for this final phase, bringing all they have learned through Phases 1 and 2 to a final 3-week creative period. The third phase was due to conclude with two sets of artists in residence at PDSW, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the residency will now take place in London, with only one set of artists. Directors, mentors and invited audiences will participate remotely throughout the three-week rehearsal period as the team of collaborating artists complete a new 20-30 minute work.

Beginning 3 August, choreographer Edd Mitton and composer Edmund Hunt will be working in the studio with four dancers and three musicians. Hunt and the musicians will be working remotely until the final residency sharing. Cohan Collective director Yolande Yorke-Edgell will be on hand to run the residency while Sir Robert Cohan and new artistic director of Music, Philip Feeney, as well as mentors, Kate Flatt and Kenneth Hesketh, will be on hand virtually to guide the artists as work is completed. A final performance of their creation will be streamed for an invited audience on 21 August and recorded for viewing by future audiences. 

Although the pandemic has forced the CC to work in London, the Collective wants to remain connected to artists in the South West, particularly associated artists of PDSW, to offer remotely, as much as possible, what they would have shared had the residency taken place in person in Bournemouth. 

There are several ways that PDSW artists can participate throughout the three-week residency:

(These opportunities are geared towards working artists)

On Thursday 6 August, the Collective will live-stream a lecture/discussion on designing for dance, hosted by Founding Director Sir Robert Cohan with guests Adele Keeley, costume designer and Zeynep Kepekli, lighting designer. The event will also be recorded for later viewing. [yy1] 

On Monday 10 August, from 1115-1245, Founding Director Robert Cohan will lead a masterclass in his dance technique which is informed by his experience dancing with the Martha Graham Company. Cohan refined this technique teaching at the school he co-founded, London Contemporary Dance School (now The Place) and the classes he developed for his company while directing London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He brings to this class over 70 years of professional experience –a rare opportunity to learn from one of the great masters of contemporary dance. Accompanying class will be Cohan Collective director of Music, Philip Feeney.

Throughout the three-week residency, the choreographer and dancers will be live in the studio while the composer and musicians dial in to collaborate via Zoom. Each week’s work will conclude with a sharing of the work in progress, with dancers performing the developing work for a Zoom audience immediately followed by feedback from the mentors and directors.  

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 1445 there will be a live-stream camera in the studio where you can watch the artists at work during their afternoon session. On each Friday, at 1630, you can also watch the sharing of the work in progress followed by the feedback session.

The live-stream of final sharing of the work created during the residency will take place on Zoom on Friday 21 August at 1630. The event will also be recorded for later viewing. 

If you would like to attend any or all of the above events, please contact Cohan Collective Associate Director, Stephen Pelton between now and 20 August: sp.yorkedance@gmail.com Zoom links for the events will be sent out as the residency develops. 

Follow the Cohan Collective on social media.

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