The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership announces the next generation of Compass Commissions


Following the enormous success of its inaugural year, The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership announces a new generation of Compass Commission artists for 2015-16.

From the hundreds that applied, four dance makers have been selected to benefit from this unique opportunity: Dan Daw, Rahel Vonmoos, Sarah Dowling and Wendy Houstoun.

Each will develop and premiere a brand new dance performance piece in the coming year with support from The Greenwich Dance & Trinity Laban Partnership underpinning the work throughout.

Dan Daw's new solo BEAST draws on the work of photographer Joel-Peter Witkin, developed in collaboration with Copenhagen-based choreographer Martin Forsberg and designer Jenny Nordberg, looking at notions of normality and abnormality.

Rahel Vonmoos will create a piece about displacement with a cast of professional dancers and local people, combining live performance and film.

Sarah Dowling and Kath Duggan will choreograph and perform Waiting, an absurdist dance inspired by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.  

Wendy Houstoun’s Done and Dusted (working title) is a new short solo taking its feel from vaudeville and variety and will be a ‘monologue for mouth and body’ versus a theatrical machine in breakdown.

Dan Daw says: "Being commissioned as one of the artists for the next phase of Compass is incredibly exciting as a self-producing disabled artist. It provides a unique opportunity to refine my artistry, showcase my work and critically engage with audiences throughout my creative process in an attempt to further the current discourse on dance, disability and a 21st century aesthetic."

Sarah Dowling adds: “Receiving the Compass Commission is like we have stepped into a supported oasis of time, money and space where we are given an opportunity to concentrate fully on simply making our work. It’s a rare luxury in a time where we spend a lot of our artistic energy on seeking ways to making work happen.”

The selected artists will each receive between £3,000 and £4,500 financial support, performance opportunities at Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban, plus rehearsal space and production development support at the Performance Laboratory - the only dedicated production space for small to mid-scale dance performance in the UK.

Kat Bridge, Artistic Director at Greenwich Dance comments: “Compass is an artist-led project with proven value, and we are looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural year. This year’s commissions include collaborations and performance opportunities for the public. It’s also fantastic to see that three of the four strongest applications were from female choreographers.”

Brian Brady, Head of Laban Theatre Programme adds: “The Compass Commissions demonstrate exactly how resources and expertise from two very distinct organisations can be combined to fuel innovation in the industry and provide a model of best practice.”

In 2013, the first recipients of the Partnership’s Compass Commissions were Tara D’Arquian’s In Situ, a site-sensitive performance in a Peckham chapel, Robin Dingemans and Nick Bryson’s The point at which it last made sense and circus and street theatre company Mimbre’s family show Bench. 

 Picture - Rahel Vonmoos