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ID was created by independent dance artists in the 1980s to further the professional practice of dance artists, and has the longest running year-round training programme in the UK. We act as a hub to develop dialogue beyond our own borders.
We are based at Siobhan Davies Studios in central London.
For information on ID’s beginnings and recent past see the Timeline.
Heni Hale – Co-Director
Henrietta Hale sets the overall artistic direction for Independent Dance, and develops the year-round programme in collaboration with the ID team, artists and partner organisations. She also develops opportunities and partnerships for Independent Dance relating to H.E.
Henrietta is an independent artist, working as a choreographer, performer, researcher and educator in diverse contexts with a collaborative focus, with dancers, musicians, film-makers and visual artists. Much of her work has been realised as co-director of Dog Kennel Hill Project, a collective company of performance makers with Rachel Lopez de la Nieta and Ben Ash. They produce and tour work for theatres, screen, galleries and non-traditional sites in the UK and internationally, working with a range of partners such as Dance4 with whom they were associate artists 2010-2014, Dance Umbrella, Modern Art Oxford, Whitechapel Gallery, The Barbican, Imagine Watford Festival, and Stour Valley Arts.
As well as teaching professional classes she was a regular lecturer in dance technique, choreography and performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, and choreographed for a variety of groups in higher education.
Henrietta’s practice involves experimentation and play drawing from experiential anatomy, yoga training, and improvisation methods, as well as studies in psychology, in particular social interaction and processes of attention and perception. Currently her interests lie in unpicking how and where dance gets valued, from its processes of production and making, to its realisation in relation to an audience.
Henrietta performed as a collaborative dancer for fifteen years with companies and artists including Ricochet Dance Productions, Rosemary Lee, Angela Woodhouse, Yolande Snaith Theatredance, and Russell Maliphant.
Gitta Wigro – Co-Director
Gitta Wigro provides executive direction for Independent Dance, across organisational, creative and financial work.
Gitta has been working in dance management since 2000. Before joining ID in 2012, she worked for Arts Council England as a dance relationship manager in the London team, and was a key member of the Artist Development team at The Place for several years.
She also works as a programmer, curator, lecturer and mentor for international dance film projects, and leads a module on dance film programming and curation for the new MA in screendance at London Contemporary Dance School.
Gitta trained and worked as a choreographer, dancer and teacher in England and Germany. She holds a BA from London Contemporary Dance School (1999) and an MA in choreography from Laban (2003).
For more information about Gitta’s work in dance film, visit her website at https://gwigro.wordpress.com.
Clare Brzezicki – Administrator
A graduate of Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Clare has worked with artists/companies including Maresa Von Stockert, Stephanie Schober, Pablo Bronstein, Liv O’Donoghue, and aboutNOWish. This comprises site specific work, film, installations and theatre for children, including young people with Autism and learning difficulties.
Since 2013 she has been teaching English to a range of people, from young learners to business executives. Communication, exchange and finding a common language across disciplines is central to her work, and Clare’s practice focuses on the relationship between movement and language.
Kirsty Alexander – MA/MFA Creative Practice Programme Lead Tutor
Kirsty is the module leader for the MA/MFA Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway course run by Independent Dance and Siobhan Davies Dance in collaboration with Trinity Laban.
After studying law and then training in contemporary dance Kirsty performed with a diverse range of artists including Gill Clarke, Gaby Agis, Rosemary Butcher, Michael Clark, Michel Laub and Station House Opera. Her own choreographic work is generally site specific and in collaboration with artists from other disciplines.
She has been involved in educating dancers within the higher education sector for over 15 years, including as Head of Undergraduate Studies at Laban from 2000-2004 and as Assistant Director of London Contemporary Dance School from 2005-2010.
As a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique her approach to the philosophy of education has been significantly influenced by somatic practice and she is associate editor of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.
Being curious about how kinaesthetic experience could influence wider philosophical and educational thinking she undertook the MA Values in Education at the Institute of Education, London and in October 2010 was awarded a University of Stirling PhD studentship in order to approach the question of a just education from a kinaesthetic perspective.
From February 2015 to December 2017, Kirsty was co-director of Independent Dance, setting the overall artistic direction for Independent Dance, and develops the year-round programme in collaboration with the ID team, artists and partner organisations.
ID and SDD jointly host 30-week placements from University of Surrey’s BA Dance and Culture programme.
We value that many of the former placements continue their relationship with ID in one way or another.
Jonathan Lui 2017/18
Claudia Tonietto 2016/17
Sarah Teasdale 2015/16
Georgina Batchelor 2013/14
Alana Jones 2012/13
Rachel Gildea 2011/12
Julie Havelund 2010/11
Siân Goldby 2009/10
Dawn Threadkill 2007/08
Iris Chan 2006/07
BBC PERFORMING ARTS FUND FELLOWSHIPS
ID would not be the same without the support of its dedicated volunteers.
Ambassadors offer their help at ID events and are advocates of the organisation in their professional lives.
Our first cohort of Ambassadors (then known as ‘Angels’) started in November 2011:
Margarita Zafrilla Olayo
and new Ambassadors joined the group since 2013:
Sumi Méi Cheng