At Laurie Grove Studios on 15 May 2013, Trinity Laban and Greenwich Dance announced the first Compass Commissioned artists and toasted the upcoming development of Laurie Grove Studio Theatre and Studio 3.
From September 2013, the studios will be transformed into a Performance Laboratory for use as a production development hub for dance artists. To celebrate the impending developments, the launch event was 'building site' themed, with artists, patrons and representatives from Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban mingling amidst artistically positioned tables of beer and bacon sandwiches, served by helmet-clad students.
Each Compass Commissioned artist will receive between £5,000-7,500 financial support, performance opportunities at both Greenwich Dance and Laban Theatre; rehearsal space and production development support in the new Performance Laboratory.
The first three Compass Commissions works to be supported by the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership, selected from a total of 137 entries, were announced:
From Belgium, Tara D'Arquian is a Trinity Laban Dance Theatre alumnus. She develops her research through different media such as live performance and film making, and her work is an intermingling of conceptual layers and remains very physical.
Tara's ground breaking site-sensitive work will combine live performance and film making to question the limits and relationships between animals, human beings and gods. The live performance will take place in the remarkable Peckham Asylum Chapel and will also result in a 'fictionalised' documentary film of the event.
Mimbre is a local and international circus and street theatre company, producing innovative and extraordinary acrobatic performance work and promoting a positive, strong image of women.
"Bench" is a show about the everyday dance of life, our urban landscape, and a cavalcade of characters that come and go; viewed through the eyes of a woman, who observes, makes friends, confronts or ignores the people who pass, occasionally turning upside down to see if the world looks better from that angle.
Robin Dingemans is a multi-award winning choreographer, performer and teacher. He has danced with companies such as Fevered Sleep, Station House Opera, DV8 Physical Theatre, Requardt & Rosenberg, Ricochet, Protein and many more.
Nick Bryson trained as a dancer at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds and as a choreographer at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, and was choreographer in residence at the Firkin Crane in Cork.
Their work, "The point at which it last made sense", is an exploration of beauty, from the profound to the superficial and everything in between, infiltrating and grappling with the image culture, modern and primal. It will be performed by Paralympian James O'Shea and Netherlands-based Rosa Vreeling.
Kat Bridges of Greenwich Dance said: "We were delighted by the rigour and vision of proposals and we look forward to working with these great artists to realise their ambitious performances."
Mirella Bartrip, Director of Dance at Trinity Laban, said: "Compass Commissions is a significant cultural offering… [which] supports these dance makers in the creation of innovative work and provides them with the opportunity to engage with other artists. It is wonderful to be in receipt of Arts Council funding through the National Portfolio Programme that enables the Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership to foster the artists of the future."
Performances will take place between Autumn 2013 and Summer 2014.