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Powerful, technical and emotive, ELEMENT is set to various pieces of music by Kronos Quartet, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the African Tribal Drums, this fresh piece created by Martin Hylton sees four ESD dancers grounded in the elements of human emotion, building to fill the stage with gripping, intense movement that connect to each other.

Promo Images 



Choreographer Martin Hylton

Dancers Lian Draycott, Nathan Keenoo (Apprentice), ​​Niki Tsonopoulou, Trace Yeames


Skeletons by Brainchild

Snowden's Jig (Genuine Negro Jig) by Carolina Chocolate Drops 

Infinite Possibilities by African Tribal Drums

Last King Words by Kronos Quartet, Rhiannon Giddens

New World In My View by King Britt, Sister Gertrude Morgan 

Property Designer and Costume Martin Hylton

Premiere at Alnwick Playhouse, 11 November 2021

In conversation with Martin Hylton

Rehearsal Images 


The Choreographer 

Martin Hylton began dancing at the age of nine joining Harehills Youth dance Group under the direction of Nadine Senior MBE. He then went on to train at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and in 1998 was named the C&A Cosmopolitan young dancer of the year. After graduating from the NSCD he joined Nye Carte Blanche Dance Company in Bergen Norway. This was the beginning of a special relationship with Scandinavia as Martin went on to work and perform with companies such as Skanes Dance Theatre, Malmo, Sweden and Mari Brilin Tani in Arhus Denmark. He also worked with various Scandinavian choreographers such as Ina Christel Johannesen, Solvi Edvarsen and Kjesti Alverberg.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Arts, Business and Creativity and is a Clore Fellow having completed the Clore Leadership Programme in 2012 and was the recent interim rehearsal director for Phoenix Dance Theatre.


Through the Clore Leadership Programme and his extensive experience in the dance industry, Martin founded Gateway Studio Project in 2012 in Gateshead. Gateway Studio Project offers a wide community dance programme whilst supporting local professional artists. 

Eliot Smith Dance acknowledge the support for ELEMENT from Arts Council England, Gateway Studio, and Carlos Martinez.

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