ELIOT SMITH DANCE (ESD)
Eliot Smith Dance, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, is a touring contemporary dance company led by its Artistic Director, Eliot Smith.
The Company comprises technically and theatrically accomplished male and female dancers drawn from the UK and throughout the world. Dancers have come from as far afield as Italy, Germany, France, Colombia, New Zealand, Spain and Cyprus. They perform dance works created by Eliot Smith and invited internationally acclaimed choreographers.
The dance works created by Eliot Smith are built on strength, physical speed and rich emotional narratives. His music choice combines rhythmic excitement, raw emotional power and spiritual reflection.
The Company enjoys working in theatres and non-traditional venues such as cathedrals, museums and local memorial halls, aiming to excite and inspire its audiences regardless of their dance experience or knowledge. ESD has performed by invitation in Paris, Rome and New York.
ESD prides itself on bringing new audiences to contemporary dance with its accessible dance programmes which it tours throughout the region in both urban and rural settings.
Over the past 9 years the Company has made significant developments in terms of audience attendance, sell-out performances, website and online social media activity, outreach programmes, and exciting collaborations with some of the region’s major museums, galleries, universities, cathedrals and dance organisations.
The Company’s achievements over the past 9 years include:
70% sold out performances;
A 70% average audience attendance;
50% of the Company Spring Tour audiences were first time attendees;
Reaching over 18,000 people via our north east tours, national and international performances, events, and our participation/education programme;
Reaching 60,000 audience members online through our website and social media activity;
Collaboration with some of the UK’s outstanding museums, galleries, universities, cathedrals and dance organisations.
In Spring 2020, in light of the global coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent postponement of all performances and other events, ESD launched ESD DIGITAL on 01 April, a refashioning of ESD’s current season of activities into a digital form, tailored to allow people to continue engaging in and benefiting from dance and culture during a period of self-isolation.
From 11 January 2021, ESD launched Virtual ESD, whilst working towards their 10th anniversary celebrations in late 2021.
Eliot Smith was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and trained at Dance City's Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) Programme. In 2008 he completed a one year Dance Foundation course at Lewisham College whilst being part of Laban CAT Scheme. In 2012 he graduated from London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS) and studied further at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 2013.
Eliot's first major work was premièred in Westminster Cathedral in 2011, during his time at LCDS. His work is inspired by a diverse range of influences: his North East cultural roots, his spirituality and his fascination with interrelationships. Eliot's work, be it for stage or non-traditional venues, has toured extensively across the North of England as well as other parts of the UK and Europe.
He has commissioned award-winning international choreographers to create new works for the Company which have extended the experience of his audiences and exposed them to different perspectives in contemporary dance.
In 2017 Eliot returned to The Martha Graham Center in New York as part of his successful project 'Inviting Martha Graham back to the UK', supported by Artists' International Development Fund. As a result, in 2018 Eliot founded and directed 'Graham in UK', a platform for dancers and others passionate about the life and work of the great American choreographer Martha Graham, with the imprimatur of The Martha Graham Dance Company.
Since 2014 Eliot has received numerous grant awards from Arts Council England for Eliot Smith Dance, allowing the company to excel, and enabling Eliot to be acknowledged as one of the UK's contemporary dance choreographers 'Ones to Watch'.
Eliot was an Associate Artist at Dance City in 2017 and has observed on their Board of Trustees. He was an Artist in Residence at The Bowes Museum for 2017/18.
He was nominated as a Finalist in the‘Performing Artist of the Year’ category at The Journal Culture Awards 2018, was shortlisted for‘ Dance Personality of The Year' in the One Dance UK 2018 Awards, and was again nominated at the One Dance UK 2019 Awards.
Eliot Smith Dance acknowledges the company dancers alumni: Nicci License | Parsifal James Hurst | Jessica Butler | Alyssa Lisle | Ellis Saul | Carys Applebee | Jennifer Handley | Juliane Bauer | April Martin | Imogen Mansfield | Jack Boswell | Lauriane Nabet | Nicholas Tredera | Paloma Galiana Moscardo | Duncan Anderson | Natasa Demetriadou | Niall Tyzack-Carlin | Thomas Harden
Eliot Smith Dance acknowledges the company guest dancers alumni: Niamh Creedon-Wilks | Rebecca Hall | Aria Jacobs | Kristin Kelly Abbott | Marina Piniatorou | Tanya Rudzovske | Natasha Wade | Ayman Safiah | Catherine Muckle | Ricardo Cecielo | Christopher Scott | Sooraj Subramaniam
BOARD & STAFF
Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
D E Young
Beverley Gray (Vice Chair)
EDUCATION & BEYOND
Gemma Paganelli (Interim)