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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 learning programme in the UK. Based at Siobhan Davies Studios in central London, ID runs an international programme of classes, workshops, research labs and talks.
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.
Nikki Tomlinson – Co-Director
Nikki Tomlinson provides executive direction for Independent Dance, across organisational, creative and financial work.
Nikki is a producer and dramaturg with a background in curation and performance-making. Over the past 20 years she has developed interests in performance, participation, social justice and interdisciplinarity, advocacy for and with artists and widening access in every sense to experimental work.
Her previous roles have included Lead Artist Advisor/Producer at Artsadmin. For the past year she has been fully freelance, working with choreographers and visual artists to produce projects across the UK and internationally as well as developing her practice as a dramaturg.
Nikki is also a Trustee of Home Live Art and one of Jerwood Arts’ artist advisors.
Claudia Tonietto – Administrator
Claudia Tonietto supports the co-directors, administers the projects, events and on-going work of the company, and is the first point of contact for ID participants, contracted artists and the general public.
Claudia is a graduate of the University of Surrey’s BA Dance course, and Mapdance – MA Performance: Dance course at University of Chichester. Artists and choreographers she has worked with include Francis Angol, Liz Aggiss, Didy Veldman, José Agudo, Anthony Missen (Company Chameleon), Florence Peake, Pablo Bronstein, Jean Johnson-Jones. Claudia has taken part in projects spanning from live performances to interdisciplinary projects, including working with motion capture technology, photography, film and digital media. Much of her research and artistic interests draw from philosophical enquiries and their relevance within dance and movement.
Jay Yule – Administrative Assistant
Jay Yule’s role involves supporting the communications and marketing of the ID programme as well as monitoring and maintaining ID’s social media channels.
Jay works as a dance performer, choreographer and producer. Her work with dance artists Jo Fong, Theo Clinkard and Luca Silvestrini has fed into her creative practice, as well as her experience in puppetry, opera and immersive theatre. Jay is a member of the Yonis, a girl band crossing art forms, encouraging fellow women to take space and make noise. The content of her work is influenced by feminist philosophies, is of an existential nature and attempts to re-adress the audience and performer relationship. Jay creates a bi-monthly zine called Viva La Vulva with creative partner Leah Airey. This zine is created at live workshops with the aim of bringing people together, encouraging collective creativity and challenging the hierarchies of printed publication. Jay tries to foster an inclusivity into the way she creates, making art which can be viewed by anyone with the hope of imparting a sense of activism from watching or taking part.
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.
Mary Adams 2019/20
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 Xiaoméi Cheng