Surf the Wave announces the curatorial committee, who will review all of the work submitted through the open call out and support the final decision on the work that will be performed at the showcase in May 2019.

The committee are:

Eckhard Thiemann, Committee Chair

Eckhard Thiemann is an independent curator, programmer and arts manager, specialising in contemporary Arab culture, dance and international cultural programming and exchanges.

He is Artistic Director of Shubbak, London’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture ( Shubbak 2017 presented over 130 artists across 40 venues including Royal Opera House, Barbican, Southbank Centre, Sadler’s Wells,  British Museum, Cinema Lumiere and reaching an audience of more than 50,000 people.

He is also is Programming Associate – Dance for The Lowry (, one of UK’s largest arts centres, where he develops an international dance programme across its three venues, presenting over 25 dance productions across the year.

Eckhard was Associate Artistic Curator for CODA – Oslo International Dance Festival (  in October 2017.

He was freelance producer for the digital platform The Space (, for which he delivered co-commissions with Tate Modern, National Theatre of Scotland, Aldeburgh Music, National Theatre Wales, Barbican and Serpentine Galleries. He worked twice with Siobhan Davies Dance as interim Creative Producer, significantly enhancing the company’s international profile. He was a producer for the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad and curated the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival 2011 and acted as adviser for the 2014 festival. He curated OUTSPOKEN – NEW PERFORMANCE FROM ARAB ARTISTS for International Dance Festival Birmingham (2010), and produced African Crossroads for Dance Umbrella (2009). He programmed the opening season of Pavilion Dance and the conference Digital Futures in Dance. Previously he was artistic director of Woking Dance Festival, and Year Of The Artist coordinator for South East Arts.

Zannah Doan, Chief Executive, PDSW

Zannah Doan, Chief Executive of Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW).  A Winston Churchill Fellow, Common Purpose graduate and a UK Social Entrepeneur. She holds an MA in European Cultural Policy from the University of Warwick and a 1st Class degree in Performing Arts from Leicester Polytechnic. During her performing arts degree she danced in pieces by Fergus Early and Lea Anderson but her comfort zone was not in performing but in producing work. She’s been behind the scenes ever since – working in dance, across art forms and in contexts ranging from theatres to landscapes to pubs to schools. She is looking forward to working with the other Curatorial Committee members to select a diverse dance programme for the small to mid-scale which can work in different contexts and for different audiences.

Cath James, South East Dance

Cath has worked at South East Dance for 6 years, initially as Programme Director. She has over 35 years of professional dance industry experience from a range of perspectives.

Originally trained as a dancer at the conservatoire in Brisbane before performing with a number of Australian dance companies (Expressions Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, Dance North), Cath spent six years as leading dancer at Rambert Dance Company, and was a founding member of Jeremy James & Company. She went on to dance with Siobhan Davies Company for a further 12 years, before stepping offstage and into the company office as the Company and Tour Manager. She has taught professional class for Company Wayne McGregor, New Adventures, Rambert Dance Company, Scottish Ballet, The Place and the Dalston School in New York City.

Cath was producer and performer for SNAG, a women’s performance collective, invited by Deborah Bull to curate the Royal Opera House summer independent

dance season Snagged and Clored for three years. Cath was producer for bgroup, a company based in the UK and directed by Jerwood award winning choreographer Ben Wright, whilst also being appointed Director of Dance at Take Art in Somerset. Cath was a mentor for both the Dance UK Artist Development programme and the Peter Darrell choreographic award. Cath was chair of the Merlin Theatre Trust in Frome, and on the board of trustees at Pavilion Dance South West. Cath currently sits on the board of Brighton Digital Festival.

Freddie Opoku-Addaie, independent artist and programmer

Freddie Opoku-Addaie is a London-born highly experienced and critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer/performer and the recipient of many choreographic awards and commissions. Freddie’s Ghanaian heritage and partly being raised there informs his performance art in which he weaves together disparate movement styles, ritualistic folk practices and structured choreography to make affecting work. The results are viscerally affecting works that reflect diverse contemporary notions of the group, the individual and the outsider.

Freddie is a recipient of the Robin Howard Commission, One Dance UK (Dance of the African Diaspora) Trailblazer Fellow/Champion (co-curating their annual showcase events at The Place in 2016) and former Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House – ROH2 (London).

He was twice a finalist choreographer/performer in The Bloomberg Place Prize; and his work has been presented at Aerowaves/ Dance Across Europe, Jardin d’Europe (Romania), B-Motion (Italy), Attakkalari Biennial Festival (India), Royal Opera House (UK), Horniman Museum and Gardens (UK), Musée de la Civilization (Canada), Tate Britain & Tate Modern (London), amongst others.

Freddie is currently a Studio Wayne McGregor Dance Artist, Queen Mary Visiting Fellow Artist, and Guest Programmer at Dance Umbrella international Festival curating ‘Out Of The System’ (London).

Helen Dawson, Dance East

I graduated from DeMontfort University in Leicester with a degree in Arts Management in 2008. Shortly afterwards I began working at Déda, in my home town of Derby, initially working on the box office and in marketing, before moving in to programming. I have been in my current role as Producer at DanceEast in Ipswich for three years, managing the theatre programme, leading on external projects and events and working closely with artists to support and develop their ideas.

Chris Ricketts, Cardiff Dance Festival

A seasoned producer, programmer and arts manager, Chris Ricketts has been working in the performing arts for thirty years. Chris is Showcasing Strategy Director for Surf the Wave, leading the development of a new showcasing strategy for UK dance that will be published in September 2019.

Chris is a partner in Fieldwork and the artistic director of Cardiff Dance Festival, a biennial festival he founded with Ceri Jones in 2015. He is currently working with Candoco Dance Company, providing maternity cover for the company’s Programme and Touring Producer.

Through Fieldwork Chris has supported the work of a number of Wales based choreographers, Jo Fong, Eddie Ladd, Simon Whitehead and Joanna Young included.

Chris was Director of Sherman Cymru from 2007 to 2013 and Director of Wales Arts International from 2002 to 2007. Earlier experience included roles with Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Everyman Theatre Liverpool, Theatr Brycheiniog, the Arts Council of Wales, Theatr Powys and Powys Dance Project.

Kate Wood, Activate Performing Arts

Kate Wood is the Artistic and Executive Director of Activate and Co-Artistic Director of Inside Out Dorset, the biennial international festival of outdoor arts.  Kate has been chair of the Dorset Theatre Promoters Consortium and is part of the dance and theatre partnerships in the South West that look strategically at the development of the sector. She is on the creative advisory panel of the Bournemouth Arts By the Sea festival and a partner in a number of international partnerships such as Sura Medura, Green Carpet and LAND – specialising in presenting and producing arts in the public realm.  A former member of the Area Council of Arts Council England South West, Kate has over 20 years’ experience of working in the arts, from performing, tour management, producing and artistic direction of festivals.  The Director for Activate for over 10 years, Kate has led the organisation in presenting dance and theatre and the production of the Inside Out Dorset festival, alongside managing programmes of artists support, youth programmes and community engagement.  The organisation is specialising in producing work in the landscape, across rural and urban sites and has a partnership approach to its delivery, both locally and internationally.

Phil Hargreaves, Déda

Phil Hargreaves is a Freelance Producer with a specialism in Dance, Circus and Outdoor Arts; he currently works with Déda as a Creative Producer.

Over his career Phil has worked in a variety of roles involving UK & International Touring, Strategic Development and Programming.

He has a passion for creating development platforms where the Dance and Circus Sectors can build, nurture and develop audiences.

Phil has a significant understanding of the UK touring ecology and prides himself on putting audience development at the heart of his practice.

Over the last five years Phil has worked on some innovative and outstanding projects that have introduced new audiences to Dance and Circus.

Oliver Carruthers, Gulbenkian

Oliver Carruthers is Director of Gulbenkian, the University of Kent’s arts centre. Prior to taking up the post at Gulbenkian Oliver was Artistic Director of Rich Mix in London, responsible for a multi-arts programme of 600 shows per year, championing  the voices of diverse and emerging artists.



Lucie Mirkova, DanceXchange

Lucie Mirkova has worked in the dance sector for over 20 years in a variety of roles – as a performer, teacher, choreographer, producer, manager and programmer. Currently she works as Interim Artistic Director at DanceXchange, where she leads on the strategy planning, development and delivery of all dx’s Artistic programmes including Artist Development schemes. She’s also led artistically Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018 and worked on a strategy for the festival’s further editions 2020 and 2022.

Originally from Prague, she completed her MA in choreography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 2006. Before moving to the UK in 2010 to pursue her MA in Arts Management and Policy at Birkbeck College in London she worked as Producer with Prague based professional dance company DOT504. During the time with the company she produced and managed numerous dance projects that she was touring internationally.  She worked for Retina Dance Company in Nottingham, managing finances and tour logistics before joining DanceXchange in 2013. In June 2015 Lucie completed The Clore Leadership short course.

Hakeem Onibudo, Independent artist and Changemaker at The Place, London

Since 1995 Hakeem Onibudo has been an influential force within the international dance community. An accomplished artistic director and founder of IMPACT DANCE, Hakeem is a choreographer, performer, mentor and British Council ambassador. His portfolio includes work for organisations such as the The Royal Ballet School, The Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, the British Council, the BBC, Nickelodeon, CH4, Endemol, ITV and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

He is the creator and host of LIVE VIBE, a performance platform created in 2008, with previous residency at Sadler’s Wells, The Peacock Theatre and Rich Mix. In partnership with the British Council, the concept was taken to Hong Kong in both December 2010 and 2013 as well as being recreated in Zimbabwe in February 2012. In April 2017 an edition of LIVE VIBE took place in Caracas, Venezuela and on 2 December 2017 it was staged in London at The Place (The Contemporary Dance Trust).

Hakeem recently received the CHANGEMAKERS award from Arts Council England, which allows him to lead on a number of projects at The Place which aim to increase the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people who engage with the organisation.

Beyond his work in the dance community, Hakeem is an experienced and professional event host who regularly presents and entertains on the red carpet at high profile London film premieres. His clients include Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Brothers.

Sheila Creevey, Project Director, Surf the Wave

Sheila Creevey is Head of Performance at Pavilion Dance South West, responsible for programming, artist and art form development. Sheila has over 16 years’ experience of project management and producing, working with artists, producers and complex partnerships in the design and delivery of festivals, development programmes, residencies and international conferences. Her interest and experience has crossed art forms and borders between Ireland, the UK and across Europe, having worked with companies and agencies in roles that both delivered and supported the delivery of professional arts practice and creative learning.

Sheila held the position of Chairperson of Dance Research Forum Ireland from 2010 to 2014, and from 2013 to 2015 was a selected participant of the European Dancehouse Network EU Leadership programme. She has an MBA in Arts Management, a MA in Dance Performance, and a BA(Hons) in Dance Studies and Music.

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