Recent Coventry University dance graduate Luke Sheppard was awarded a Dance Fellowship grant in 2011. The £10,000 award has allowed Warwick Arts Centre to host Luke throughout 2012, giving him the opportunity to develop his choreography skills under the guidance of professional mentors.
One of the first opportunities Luke was given was the chance to create his own work. Using rehearsal space at the centre and working with a small company of 4 dancers and 1 musician, his first piece debuted in January 2012 to an invited audience who were asked to provide feedback to help him refine his work and further develop the piece.
This has been a great beginning for me as a choreographer.
“This has been a great beginning for me as a choreographer,” says Luke. “Being handed space and other minds to bounce ideas off does not happen all of the time. This has been an enormous help especially at the start of my career.”
Over the course of 2012, Luke will also be participating in the centre’s on-going ‘Boys Dancing Project’ which enables young men to work with artists to create new dance works. Luke will join a team of dance artists that will help to create 6 dance films called ‘The Quiet Man Suite’.
This type of project is a new experience for Luke and one he is enjoying being a part of: “This is the first project of its kind that I have had the opportunity to work on and so far I have found it to be informative and inspiring. Seeing how this project has been able to reach out to young men with dance is such a pleasing thing.”
Luke will also be working on ‘Colour and Shape’ as part of his Fellowship. This is a project for local children aged five and six where they are encouraged to dance inspired by abstract visual art located around The University of Warwick Campus. Luke will be participating in workshops with teachers, planning meetings with the artists and the Warwick Arts Centre Education Department, and shadowing the lead dancer as he works with the children and providing support for him during performances.
Following on from his choreography debut at Warwick Arts Centre in January, Luke will begin work on a solo piece for a dancer he has not worked with before. “This will be a challenge but is something that I am very excited about,” Luke says. “I am looking forward to the chance to push my boundaries as a choreographer and to possibly create something that will surprise even me.”
John will work with balletLORENT for one year as a dancer. This will become his first engagement with a professional dance company since graduating from EdGe in 2011. His Fellowship placement will give him enviable experience and knowledge to compete in the professional dance world.siness management.
Emerging producer Chloe will assistant a Project Coordinator at Plymouth Dance on at least one citywide dance project, helping her to develop her existing project management and support skills whilst benefiting from high quality, hands-on training.
Throughout his Fellowship with Swindon Dance, choreographer James will have the opportunity to create and preview new work. He will also curate work such as Cross Currents April 2012 and be given the chance to work with the Youth Dance Academy and to mentor a youth dancer.
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