Dance Consortia North West



The Consortia is a partnership of dance development organisations, venues, companies, independent artists and HE institutions that have co-authored its purpose, ambition and values and secured Arts Council England investment. Established in 2017, it operates through a range of working groups intent on championing dance and inspiring the audiences, artists and professionals of today and tomorrow.

Cheshire Dance is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and is acting as the accountable body for funding relationships for DCNW and employer of the Partnerships Director post.

For further information, please contact Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance, on 01606 861770.



The DCNW Spring 2020 Newsletter is available here. However, please be advised that due to COVID-19, the performances, CPDs, training sessions and professional classes in venues have been cancelled until further notice.



New Partnerships Director at Dance Consortia North West

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Smith to the role of Partnerships Director at Dance Consortia North West.
Dance Consortia North West (DCNW) is knitting the sector together to meet the following aims:

* Grow the quality and range of dance entering, generated in and emanating from the North West
* Nurture regional talent, enable artistic ambition, production and presentation
* Develop audiences, engagement and sector knowledge
* Attract regional, national and international attention for dance in the North West 

In the second year of the four year programme, DCNW will be working with experienced arts leader Paul Smith as Partnerships Director to achieve a better connected dance sector, reflect local talent with a diversity of practice that is reaching for excellence, gain better exposure and generate greater national and international regard for the North West’s artists, choreographers, practitioners, companies, venues, HEIs and programmes.
Drawing on the DCNW’s expert Task Groups concentrating on artists, participation, venues, education and professional development, Paul will work across the sector to meet DCNW’s aims for the four year project and to create a shared Dance Plan for 2020-2026.

Executive Director of Liverpool Biennial for the last 12 years, Paul has extensive experience of both the arts and business in the UK and the US, having worked with organisations including Festival Dance, Belfast Waterfront Hall, The Grand Opera House, Prime Cut Productions, Santander and Bank of America. 

He has worked with Arts & Business, concentrating on learning, business and organisational development to create stronger and more extensive business and arts partnerships. He has worked closely with Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC), a collaborative grouping of senior arts leaders which seeks to use their combined influence to create sectoral, cultural and civic change.

This wide-ranging experience has provided knowledge and skills in a number of art forms and in creating partnerships, investment, business management, cross-sector working and governance. Paul will offer this expertise to consortium members to enhance the DCNW vision, development plans, and strategic communications.

To get in touch with Paul, please email:




January 2020: Dance Consortia North West Partners Celebrate New Investment in Dance

In November 2019, Dance Consortia North West (DCNW) announced the recipients of the first two DCNW co-commissions for creating new dance works in the North West of England, namely Company Carpi and Movema – and today; DCNW is delighted to announce that these co-commissions have been successful in their Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant applications.

Company Carpi’s dance piece 'When You Light A Candle You Also Cast A Shadow', co-commissioned with Lancaster Arts and Culture Warrington will be presented in October 2020 at the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and at the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster Arts.

As its title suggests, ‘When You Light A Candle You Also Cast A Shadow’ investigates creation & destruction, affect & effect, order & chaos and, in light of the current climate crisis, we ask how we can work together to effect positive change.

For this project, considering the gallery and museum spaces in which it will be performed, live music will make way for a soundtrack presented in quadrophonic - which includes text specially written for the piece by the award winning author Mary Talbot - and featuring the three fabulous dancers (and frequent collaborators) Paige Lyon, Gabrielle Orr and Lauren Tucker.

Company Carpi was formed in 2017 by dance artist Bettina Carpi and composer Gary Lloyd to give expression to their joint projects. The Company’s aims are to create bold yet accessible hybrid dance theatre works with strong societal and human topics in conjunction with text by outstanding writers, with live music and the desire to reach crossover audiences.

Bettina Carpi reveals: “This is a truly exciting opportunity for the company to grow and learn whilst also having the chance to share Company Carpi’s signature hybrid dance theatre work with new audiences and in new places. We are hugely grateful for this opportunity and we are very excited to be able to contribute to the cultural landscape of the North West and beyond, and to share our passion for the arts and for dance in particular.”

Movema will present ‘Taking Flight’ at SpareParts Festivals in Crewe (trAction Crewe) and Fleetwood (Fleetwood Festival of Transport) in July 2020 and Now Northwich (an International Dance and Street Arts Festival from producers Cheshire Dance) in October 2020.

‘Taking Flight’ is inspired by Movema’s experiences of migration and also those of the refugee and asylum seeker communities with whom they work. Working closely with the Lantern Company, the piece will use the concepts of symbolic birds to represent 4 futuristic cyborg ‘flocks’ whose bodies are part aircraft, part bird, part human: the Phoenix from Chinese culture, the Peacock from Indian culture, the Sankofa bird from Ghanaian culture and the Liver Bird to represent British/Irish culture.

Movema was established in Liverpool in 2009 by Penny Caffrey, Ithalia Forel, Maria Malone and Pei Tong to combine modern and traditional world dance styles with cutting edge theatre practices.


Elevate Funding

With another reason to celebrate, Movema has also been awarded £100,000 from Arts Council England’s Elevate programme – a programme to enhance the diversity of the arts and cultural sector by strengthening the resilience of diverse-led organisations.

This funding will support Movema to create 2 new roles: Business Manager & Associate Artist. The funding will also be used to design a Diverse Practitioner Trainee Programme, to develop new strategic partnerships and to create a new long-term strategic plan.

Maria Malone, Co-Director of Movema says: "We've had a great decade and we've been planning this new chapter in our story to explore more creative opportunities to increase our impact and focus on resilience and diversity in our organisation. We're so grateful to the Arts Council, DCNW and all our partners for supporting our vision both creatively and strategically, and we're looking forward to the next decade."

Another NW based company to secure Elevate Funding is Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. Having been awarded £87,094, Fallen Angels will look to extend its reach and continue to support people in recovery from addiction. Transforming lives, the company will share recovery journeys through dance, performance and creativity, and is set to strengthen resilience, develop new sources of income, broker partnerships and enhance collaborative working partnerships.
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre“We are overwhelmed with gratitude to be awarded this funding. It will enable us to reach out further to support people in recovery by strengthening our organisation.  We are absolutely over the moon!” says Artistic Director Paul Bayes Kitcher.

Movema and Fallen Angels comprise 2 of the 8 organisations in the North (and 2 of only 6 dance organisations nationally) that have successfully received a share of over £740,000 round 2 Elevate Funding in the region.


Other January updates and news from Dance Consortia North West Partners can be found here.


If you have any funding news that you would like to share and celebrate, please send text to be published along with an image to


December: Dance Consortia Northwest Seeks a Partnerships Director


Dance Is Growing and Diversifying In The North West.
We need a highly motivated Partnerships Director to join the artists and organisations that are making a real difference.


Salary             £42,000
Terms             8 months fixed term contract

(Renewable: Arts Council England funded for the 2nd year of a four-year intervention.)

Hours             Full time 35 hrs per week - time off in lieu system operates
Holidays        17 days (25 days pro-rata).

Cheshire Dance, on behalf of Dance Consortia North West (DCNW), wants to appoint an insightful and highly motivated arts professional experienced in building strong, trusting partnerships.  The post-holder will be required to operate across the Consortia and beyond to foster artist development, audience development and encourage partner and stakeholder investment in the regional dance infrastructure.

DCNW values diversity in both staffing and its programme of work.  We want to attract applicants from all backgrounds and additionally welcome a job share.  The successful candidate will have a background in dance or the wider arts and be able to demonstrate how they would transfer their skills and knowledge into the role.

The Consortia is a partnership of dance development organisations, venues, companies, independent artists and HE institutions that have co-authored its purpose, ambition and values and has secured Arts Council England investment.  Established 3 years ago, it operates through a range of working groups intent on championing dance and inspiring audiences, artists and professionals of today and tomorrow.  Cheshire Dance is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.  It is the accountable body for funding relationships and the employer of this post.

Download an application pack from

For any enquiries please contact Adam Holloway, DCNW Co-ordinator and Director of Cheshire Dance, on 01606 861770. 

Please forward completed applications to


Application deadline:   Midnight Friday 17th Jan 2020
Interviews:                  Thurs 6th Feb 2020 at Cheshire Dance, Winsford
Start Date:                   Negotiable with successful applicant.


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DECEMBER 2019: DCNW Mentorship Programme Update


Back in March, Dance Consortia North West announced the launch of its first initiative; a Mentorship Scheme for Dance Artists in the NW region. This initiative was in direct response to the needs expressed in a survey of nearly 100 dance artists across the North West.

Nine months on, DCNW is delighted to confirm that 13 mentor/mentee relationships have been established and monthly mentoring sessions have been taking place since July. Industry professional have been coming together with dance artists – freelancers, employed artists and those that form part of organisations – who are now benefitting from support with the development of their practice, career and learning.

The pool of mentors within the programme includes Artistic Directors of dance companies, a dance agency Artistic Director and a CEO, artists with 20+ years’ experience, university dance lecturers and a venue dance programmer.
These mentorship relationships will continue until May/June 2020 at which stage, an evaluation will be carried out to measure the impact of the programme.


NOVEMBER 2019: DCNW launches Networking Programme with support from Surf The Wave

In November, and with input from both venue programmers and independent artists, DCNW launched its first in a series of networking events for artists and programmers, designed to build and deepen relationships in the North West.

These collaborative events offer a space in which programmers, independent artists and dance companies meet as equals, and have been informed by European cooperative programme working in the field of Artists’ Moving Image, On And For.

The first event brought together 36 programmers and artists at The Manchester Art Gallery on 22nd November, and included facilitated open space discussions, collaborative problem solving and time for reflection.

This Network Programme is supported by Surf the Wave.


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DCNW has announced the recipients of the first two DCNW commissions for creating new dance works in the North West of England, namely Movema and Company Carpi.

* Movema will present ‘Taking Flight’ at SpareParts Festivals in July 2020 and Now Northwich in October 2020.

* Company Carpi will present 'When You Light A Candle You Also Cast A Shadow' in Warrington Museum & Art Gallery and the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster Arts in October 2020.

Find out more here.



October 2019: 'The Guide' To Be Produced by DCNW

DCNW receives grant from the Granada Foundation to create new resource for the dance sector

Following support from the Granada Foundation, DCNW has begun the production of a guide of venues, festivals, producers and programmers in the North West. This will fill an identified gap and will meet the needs of both artists and programmers as evidenced through consultation. The Guide will be updated annually by the Consortia as part of its core annual programme, and will provide consistent information from each venue and festival on their artistic policy, as well as ways in which they support artists, specifications for their spaces for dance and lead times for programming. It will also include contact details for a named person within the organisation and will list dance producers and freelance dance programmers.

The Guide, which is being compiled by partner MDI (Merseyside Dance Initiative), will be dance-specific and will not just include venues that have a reputation for programming dance, but also other performance venues who regularly present dance – including commercial venues and local authority venues. The Guide will also feature festivals.

The creation of The Guide will have secondary benefits: it will assist dance companies from outside the region to see new opportunities for touring. It will also support and give context to funding bids from independent artists and dance companies by showing the breadth of venues and festivals presenting dance in the North West. This will thereby enable artists to position themselves within a healthy and supportive dance ecology.


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September 2019: DCNW CALL OUT: THE LOWRY CLASS OF 2020

This September, Dance Consortia North West is partnering with The Lowry to create a space on the Class Of 2020 artist development programme for a North West-based dance artist.

Now in its second year, the Class Of programme is a year-long scheme aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the performing arts - industry, production and general survival - for a select group of artists and producers.

As well as committing to monthly training sessions, the Class Of 2020 cohort will benefit from additional offers such as Class Trips to go see and discuss interesting new work, scratch opportunities and mentoring support from the Artist Development team at The Lowry and Dance Consortia North West partners.

Find out more here.


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July 2019: Two commissions for new dance works announced

Dance Consortia North West is delighted to announce two opportunities for dance artists who live or work in the North West of England:

* A commission and support to make a new dance work for outdoors in partnership with SpareParts Festival and Now Northwich

* A commission and support to make a dance work for gallery spaces in partnership with Culture Warrington and Lancaster Arts.

We are looking for imaginative proposals to take existing ideas or creative partnerships to new heights. In addition to a commissioning fee, Consortia partners will provide space and support to take your work through to public presentation between May and October 2020.

We are particularly interested in applications from artists with a disability or from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic artists.

There are two information packs to find out more about these opportunities and the partners who support them. Information on the commission for outdoors is here and the one for gallery spaces is here. Or download both as a zipped file here.

Closing Date: 13 September 2019



Dance, Education and EBacc:

Since the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) was introduced in 2011, there has been a dramatic decline in students sitting GCSEs in creative subjects.

Between 2012 and 2017, entries for performing arts subjects at GCSE fell by 26%.

Dance is one of those subjects being edged out. This impacts on our young people and on the future health of the dance sector.



At Dance Consortia North West, we have some suggestions on how you can help. Click here and help us take action to ensure dance forms part of the curriculum!




Mar 2019: Calling North West based Dance Artists and Mentors

Today, Dance Consortia North West launches its first initiative, a new mentoring scheme for Dance Artists.

This is in direct response to the needs expressed in a survey of nearly 100 dance artists across the North West. Mentoring can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively to address these professional needs, and has the potential to shift significantly the prospects and development of the artistic community.

Mentoring is a tried a tested approach widely used in the arts. Utilising the vast riches of expertise and knowledge both within and increasingly beyond the dance sector, including the insight of artists themselves, is an utterly bespoke way to support artists' practice, careers and learning.

To find a mentor to work with to tackle both short and long term ambitions is something the Consortia can enable from the outset. Whether its about 'refining the way I communicate about my work' or 'looking at the challenge of choreographing a full-length piece with new creative collaborators', there is advice and support available.

Whatever your ambitions in dance, your area of practice, whatever you're background, working with a mentor may well be an effective way to make progress. If you think this could be for you, read on.....

We're really keen this initiative responds to the diversity agenda. Mentoring can respond well to diverse needs through its person-centred approach and by using the breadth of mentors across the Consortia. In turn, it will support and develop more diverse voices within the artistic community over time.

Equally, if you think you could offer artists the benefit of knowledge and expertise you've already developed, join those Consortia members who’ve already agreed to become a mentor on the scheme by reading on....

You can apply to be a mentor for others as well as a mentee. Pairing will be progressed sensitively and by careful agreement of both mentee and mentor. Applications (including a video option) sought by 17th April.


Feb 2019: A New Era For Dance in the North West

Dance Consortia North West (DCNW) is progressing a new vision for collaborative dance development in the region having secured £48k strategic investment from Arts Council England for the first year of a four year intervention. To drive this vision forward, DCNW have appointed Ivan Wadeson as Partnerships Director.  

Ivan has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in the cultural sector in the North West.  His role will establish new collaborative commissioning and talent development opportunities for dance artists and companies. By year four, the vision for DCNW is a truly connected dance ecology that draws in substantial new investment for artists and artistic production, supports entrepreneurialism and pioneers new models of touring and distribution.

Ivan Wadeson, until recently Chief Executive at The Dukes in Lancaster, will lead on establishing the infrastructure and conditions for long-lasting partnerships, linking the region’s 100+ member strong independent dance artist network Artist-Led for Artists (ALFA), NW Dance HE Consortium of universities, arts venues and promoters, dance agencies and companies.

DCNW is democratic in its thinking and is fast becoming a powerful alliance responsive to the strengths, needs and specialisms of the region’s artists and organisations and to the North West geography, whilst also learning from and collaborating with the wider dance and cultural sector including the new Dance Hubs created in Leeds, Birmingham and elsewhere.

Ivan Wadeson said: “I'm thrilled to take on the role of Partnerships Director for Dance Consortia North West. This role will draw on different aspects of my experience both in terms of art form from my six years at Sadler’s Wells in the 90s and in terms of geography from creating All About Audiences, the first audience development agency for the North West, in the 2000s. However this role and the work of DCNW are both about facing forward. I look forward to harnessing the passion, ambition and expertise of Consortia members to deliver the first phase of the compelling vision for the future of dance development in the North West.”

Cate Canniffe, Director Dance at Arts Council England commented: “We are really pleased to see the dance community in the Northwest coming together to look at how dance can be developed across the whole region over the next four years.  It is great to have someone with Ivan’s experience to lead that work on behalf of the Consortium and we look forward to working with him.

Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance said: “This is an exciting appointment.  We are all absolutely delighted and this is great timing too. Ivan is joining a highly committed group of artists, professionals and organisations that have come together in the North West to make things happen.  Together we create new opportunities for dance in the broad cultural landscape that would otherwise not be possible.  As a whole group, we are really appreciative of Arts Council England support and investment.  It strengthens the foundations laid so far and increases the growth potential of the dance sector here in the North West.”

For more information or to contact Ivan Wadeson, please email:



The Consortia is a partnership of dance development organisations, venues, companies, independent artists and HE institutions that have co-authored its purpose, ambition and values and secured Arts Council England investment. First established in 2017 without any funding, it operates through a range of working groups intent on championing dance and inspiring the audiences, artists and professionals of today and tomorrow. Cheshire Dance is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and is acting as the accountable body for funding relationships for DCNW and employer of the Partnerships Director post. For further information, please contact Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance, on 01606 861770.

Dance Consortia North West Partners (Updated Sept 2019)

Executive Group
Cheshire Dance
Co. Chameleon
Culture Warrington
Higher Education Reps
Lancaster Arts
Ludus Dance
Merseyside Dance Initiative
The Lowry
Wired Aerial
Independent Chair, Sue Harrison
Arts Council England observer(s)

Connected Groups
Dance HE NW Consortium
Edge Hill University
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool Hope University
Salford University
University of Bolton
University of Central Lancashire
University of Chester
University of Cumbria

Artist Led For Artists (ALFA)
ALFA is a 100+ strong, open membership group of NW dance artists.  It has come together to advocate for dance artists, their connections to the wider dance sector, champion diversity and visibility of artists as well as share resources and knowledge to further the development of the art of dance.

Venues Group
Albert Halls, Bolton
Blackpool Grand
Bluecoat, Liverpool
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
Contact, Manchester
Dance House, Manchester
HOME, Manchester
Lyceum, Crewe
Storyhouse, Chester
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
The Lowry, Salford
New Adelphi, Salford University
Unity Theatre, Liverpool