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Leicester’s Curve has announced the 16 Midlands theatre-makers and companies who will join the theatre as Curve Resident Creatives.
Curve’s commitment to supporting and developing talent from across the region continues with the appointment of the Resident Creatives who will play a key role in shaping the future of the theatre. The Curve Resident Creatives will be embedded in the life of the theatre and will be supported by Curve to create new work and develop artistic practice in Leicester.
The Curve Resident Creatives – who are based-in, from or committed to creating work in the Midlands – are: multi-award winning, female led company Burnt Lemon Theatre, who specialise in creating innovative new musicals; Nilima Devi MBE, performer, choreographer, educator and founder and Artistic Director of the Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD); LGBTQ+ focused new writing company Emmerson & Ward; dance theatre company Gerrard Martin Dance; artistic director, performer and choreographer of Morph Productions Subhash Viman Gorania; female led theatre company The Gramophones; playwright and community theatre practitioner Samson Hawkins; bilingual performance maker of Croatian origin Tina Hofman; experimental multidisciplinary artist Hal Mayer; dancer, choreographer, movement director and qualified Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI), Stacey McCarthy; South Asian arts and culture company Phizzical; Kathak dancer and choreographer Kesha Raithatha; Kathak artist, teacher, choreographer and mentor Sonia Sabri; movement company State of Flux; composer, lyricist and writer Jude Taylor; hip hop dance company Wayward Thread.
The artists and theatre-makers were selected following an open call-out and interview process.
Speaking about the Curve Resident Creatives, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:
“Our astonishingly talented team of Curve Resident Creatives represent the artistic heart and soul of what makes Leicester and the East Midlands such a unique and exciting place to make theatre.
“A diverse coterie of artists and companies at varying stages of their development, the Resident Creatives scheme aims to elevate and support these incredible artists as they make work which reflects the world around us, is provocative and created with a sense of mischief.
“Our Resident Creatives will also share their unique skills across our organisation and in our communities, as we come together to define our shared futures.”
As part of the announcement, Curve commissioned photographer Ellie Kurttz to capture each artist in a virtual photoshoot. The collection of images follows Ellie’s series of photographs of performers taken throughout lockdown in 2020, called ‘Portraits in Isolation’.
The Curve Resident Creatives will sit alongside Curve’s existing group of Associates, leading artists, practitioners and companies who, with the theatre’s support, create new work which is showcased at Curve and beyond. Curve Associates include Akram Khan Company, Lighting Designer Ben Cracknell, theatre company Sheep Soup and Composer Tasha Taylor Johnson.
To find out more about Curve Resident Creatives and see the full gallery of Ellie Kurttz’ photographs, click here.
About the Curve Resident Creatives:
Burnt Lemon Theatre
Burnt Lemon Theatre is a multi-award winning company led by Co-Artistic Directors Cara Baldwin and Hannah Benson and Producer Tanya Agarwal, who give rise to innovative new musicals. With fringe hits including Untapped Award winner Tokyo Rose, they tackle sensitive stories with tenderness, punch and precision.
“We are beyond thrilled to be working with Curve as Resident Creatives. Curve is an immense hub of inspiration, and at such a career defining point of our company’s trajectory, their support will strengthen our creative voice and help us grow towards our goals.” – Cara Baldwin, Co-Artistic Director of Burnt Lemon Theatre.
The Centre for Indian Classical Dance
The Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD), founded in 1981 by Artistic Director Nilima Devi MBE, passionately believes that South Asian Dance is for everybody irrespective of age, gender, ability, race and nationality. It acts as a teaching centre and a specialist dance agency in the East Midlands, promoting classical and other forms of Indian dance through classes, workshops, performances, exhibitions networking and partnerships at local, regional and national level.
“CICD is very excited to be part of CRC and look forward to working in partnership with Curve to contribute to the cultural heritage of Leicester’s community, creativity and bringing people from all ages and background to Curve to enjoy diverse artistic shows and feel connected socially.” – Nilima Devi MBE, Artistic Director of the Centre for Indian Classical Dance.
Emmerson & Ward
Emmerson & Ward formed in 2018 by Producer Max Emmerson and Writer Rob Ward, and are a new writing company with a focus on LGBTQ+ work.
“For several years we have been producing and touring our own work around the country and this opportunity to be a Curve Resident Creative will provide us with a creative base. For a venue as prestigious as Curve to offer us this chance represents to us a recognition of our work and a seal of approval from a theatre and creative team we admire hugely. We are incredibly grateful for this. We cannot wait to start work with Curve and the local Leicester community”. – Producer Max Emmerson and Writer Rob Ward.
Gerrard Martin Dance
Gerrard Martin Dance (GMD) is a project-based company, which was created in 2011 by dancer and choreographer Gerrard Martin. GMD produces dance theatre which is engaging, passionate, emotive and socially relevant.
The company teaches and facilitates creativity through dance, movement, and yoga. GMD enhances desire and passion for dancing, elevates self-esteem, and nurtures and encourages potential.
Gerrard Martin Dance believes in collaboration and engages artists across different art forms.
“Being given the opportunity to create and collaborate as a Curve Resident Creative is amazing! To be embedded within a nurturing, supportive arts community, not only helps my company in developing its mission, but will also promote dance to both traditional and new audiences alike. I am ready for the challenge ahead and feel excited to be given the opportunity in this new creative environment.” – Gerrard Martin, Artistic Director of Gerrard Martin Dance.
Subhash Viman Gorania
Subhash Viman Gorania (SVG) is Artistic Director, performer and choreographer for Morph Productions, which fuses both classical Indian dance practice and contemporary forms. There is sophistication of technical, design and musical languages embedded in narrative driven work, which delves into social issues such as the impacts of migration and bullying. With a desire to blend art forms and transform lives, SVG is exploring new ways to animate stories and the dancing body through digital mediums.
“Being a Leicester based dancer, performer and artist, it is a blessing in disguise during this lockdown period to have Curve, as an internationally renowned theatre, open up this Creative Residency to Morph Productions. This opportunity will provide the company with the tools and resources it needs to develop a new wave of animation in dance for digital platforms and live screening. Our partnership with Curve will enable a new network of support at this critical time for which we are very grateful.” – Subhash Viman Gorania.
The Gramophones are a devising theatre company based in Nottingham, led by Co-Artistic Directors Hannah Stone and Ria Ashcroft. They focus on telling stories that put women centre stage and often use aerial theatre, music and storytelling in their work. They are currently working on Aidy the Awesome, a new aerial theatre show about a grandmother and granddaughter superhero duo!
“To have Curve’s support at this time when the theatre industry is in such difficulties means a lot to a small company. We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Curve as we’ve developed and so we are very excited to formalise this by becoming a Curve Resident Company.” – Hannah Stone and Ria Ashcroft, Co-Artistic Directors of The Gramophones.
Samson is a playwright and community theatre practitioner from Northamptonshire. He specialises in creating rural relaxed theatre for everyone. He’s worked with The Nottingham Playhouse, The Oxford Playhouse and The Orange Tree Theatre. As well as being a Curve Resident Creative, he is a New Associate at New Perspectives, a Graeae Beyond member and part of the Royal Court Script Panel.
“I’m really looking forward to working with a theatre with such bold ambitions about the future of theatre and the Leicester community and hope that we can make some inspiring things happen together.” – Samson Hawkins.
Tina Hofman is a bilingual performance maker of Croatian origin, who works both independently and leads Notnow Collective. Her work is inspired by standing on the precipices, disruptions, migration and fantasy, and uses collaborative practice and movement as primary languages. Having mainly created indoor studio work, Tina is now moving into both digital and outdoor spaces, and aims to create strong international corridors of creativity. She is a core member of Migrants in Theatre movement.
“Becoming a Curve Resident Creative comes at a unique point in my career: whilst the pandemic put my practice through a massive spin cycle, this residency means developing on those new offerings that are arising from this unplanned and unpredictable period. I am excited to be part of this cohort with such a variety of artists and practices, and have the brilliant Curve team behind for support – we seem to share a strong drive to emerge into post-Covid times unafraid of responding to the New and the Unknown.” – Tina Hofman.
Hal Mayer is an experimental multidisciplinary artist, his work ranging from Film, Theatre, Immersive, Mixed Media and Visual arts. Within his rooted movement practice he channels Butoh methodology through Hip-Hop dance disciplines. Using styles such as Tutting, Popping and Krump to tell provoking and harrowing narratives.
“Having come to a place in my artistic journey where I’m bored in my practice, I’m hoping to feel invigorated again with the support of the theatre and the collaboration of my fellow Resident Creatives. Coming back home from a stretch in London, it’s great to have a base to work out of closer to home. I look forward to what’s to come.” – Hal Mayer
Stacey McCarthy is dancer choreographer, movement director and practitioner from Leicester, who is also a qualified Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) and provides access to the Performing Arts for the Deaf community and audiences. She regularly collaborates with and teaches young people. Stacey takes inspiration from art forms inspired by Black culture including contemporary and commercial styles of dance. She is currently working on some exciting shows, developing various projects of her own and is looking to further collaborate with Deaf and hearing creatives to bring more opportunities to the Midlands.
“I am delighted to be a Curve Resident Creative, this opportunity will allow me to explore new working relationships to instigate change whilst developing my own practice.” – Stacey McCarthy.
Phizzical tells tomorrow’s stories today. Informed by global narratives & South Asian culture, Phizzical has produced 49 projects (22 own), toured nationally/internationally & developed 27 projects for diverse artists since 2003. Phizzical is led by Artistic Director and CEO Samir Bhamra,
“It’s fantastic that Curve wants to enable us to explore and share stories from communities who are easy to ignore. We tell tomorrow’s stories today to benefit, entertain and integrate diverse and polarised communities. This residency will build on sharing creative inspiration, fuelling ambition and widening the doors to welcome everyone to learn from one another.” – Samir Bhamra, Artistic Director and CEO of Phizzical.
Kesha is a dancer and choreographer who embodies Kathak and Contemporary movement. She creates work that is rich in detail and experimentally reconsiders contemporary South Asian dance. Her curiosity and exposure to a wide range of movement training informs and invigorates her dance-making vocabulary. She is passionate about exploring her dance a way which allows the viewer to have a surreal and transcendental experience, but also as a means to be a voice for the collective.
“I am extremely delighted to have my long-standing relationship with Curve formalised at a time where artists really need a space to explore and belong. To create work in my home city that represents the local demographic and my personal journey makes me hopeful. It is a privilege and a very exciting prospect.” – Kesha Raithatha.
Sonia Sabri is a multi award-winning dance artist and choreographer. She is one of the world’s leading Kathak dancers and amongst the brightest and most inspirational of British born dancer-choreographers working in the twenty-first century. She has created a fresh, unique style of Kathak by reinventing it from within, by pushing boundaries and generating work that is original in concept and exciting and relevant to today’s audiences.
“I am so delighted to be selected for Curve Resident Creatives. I am looking forward to pursuing my creative investigations with an age old art form through the support and expertise of the Curve in a city that is bursting with new talent, innovation and dynamic energy.” – Sonia Sabri.
State of Flux
STATE OF FLUX is a movement company bringing their unique performance style and bold visual concepts to choreography, movement direction and live performance. The company is led by Artistic Director Laura Weston and Associate Artist and Producer Brad Foster.
“As Leicester born and bred artists we’re thrilled to be bringing our movement work to the city, the theatre and its communities and are really excited to be part of this new journey with Curve and the incredible Resident Creatives we are sharing it with.” – Artistic Director Laura Weston and Associate Artist and Producer Brad Foster.
Jude Taylor is a composer, lyricist and writer from Leicestershire. His work includes Steep Themselves in Night (The Other Palace, 2018) and Make Me Infamous (MP Theatricals, 2020). He is also an experienced workshop facilitator and teacher.
“Living locally, Curve has played a huge role in my life growing up and so I’m absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to be coming on board as a Resident Creative. The funding and training I received through Curve’s Young Arts Entrepreneurs scheme in 2012 kickstarted my career in theatre and education, and so I’m excited to be back to continue my journey almost 10 years on. I look forward to further developing my practice, working with a range of wonderful people, and hopefully taking my work as a musical theatre composer and writer to the next level.” – Jude Taylor.
Wayward Thread is a hip hop dance company led by Artistic Director Si Rawlinson. Rooted in break, the company uses hip hop styles, contemporary dance, physical theatre, spoken word and film to explore compassion, identity, and the dissonant relationship with a rapidly changing world.