Dance Futures

Untold Dance Theatre, Women-Wise

Bristol Dance Futures is a consortium of organisations and independents committed to making Bristol a place where everybody can move and be moved by dance. 

We are currently looking for two dancers/choreographers to join the steering group. Find out more and apply here.

Bristol Dance Futures has arisen out of work led by Theatre Bristol and independent artists in 2016, supported by Pavilion Dance South West and Bristol City Council. The consortium is currently led by a Steering Group consisting of Mel Scaffold (Theatre Bristol), Rhiannon Jones (Trinity Community Arts), Kieran Swann (Arnolfini), Nic Young (Circomedia), Helen Cole (In Between Time) and independents Katy Noakes and Lauren Scholey. Laïla Diallo has been artist representative for the past 4 years.  We now want to double this, to ensure artists’ voices are represented and to widen representation beyond contemporary performance. We hope this group will change and evolve over time, starting with new artist representatives who reflect the breadth of Bristol’s practice. 

Our vision is for Bristol as a city where every body has the opportunity to move and be moved by dance. Our mission is to work with artists and organisations to provide leadership and create opportunities for everyone to experience the transformative power of dance. We work to:

  • Nurture talent development for all types of dance artists
  • Grow new audiences and participants for dance
  • Fly the flag for Bristol’s diverse and innovative dance identity

From 2016-2018 we undertook research and consultation with the independent sector, including employing Dance Futures Advocate Ruth Hecht to scope and promote dance in Bristol, followed by a short term by Katy Noakes to submit bids and develop vision and governance . 

We mapped a wide range of distinctive, professional dance touring nationally and internationally, audiences of thousands watching dance every year, and 4000 participants taking part in social dance weekly. In addition to the city’s reputation for independent performance practice, Bristol is a hotspot for social and socially engaged dance, youth dance and dance for health, including RISE Youth Dance Company, Dance for Parkinsons and social prescribing.

We want to build on this wealth of great practice to improve training, knowledge sharing, profile, connections within and beyond the sector – and ultimately more opportunities for people to experience and participate in brilliant dance in Bristol. 

We are happy to have secured funding from Arts Council England and Bristol City Council to develop strategic programmes over the next two years that aim to embed dance across Bristol, increasing knowledge, capacity and high quality public engagement. The main project is ‘Moving Bristol’. We have appointed Deborah Baddoo as Dance Futures Producer to coordinate this work.

You can find out more about the history of Bristol Dance Futures here:

Deepraj Singh, still from a short film by Sam Pearson






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