FOUNDER AND CREATIVE
Pronoun He / Him
A critically acclaimed British dancer and choreographer, born in 1990 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Eliot Smith is the founder and creative director of Eliot Smith Dance (ESD).
Eliot was shortlisted for One Dance UK's People's Choice Award in 2018 and won The Green Dance Award in 2022 for ESD. Eliot was also nominated for their Dance Personality of The Year in 2019. He is continuously supported and commissioned by leading UK dance agencies, venues and funding organisations.
His artistic inspiration for his diverse portfolio of work is created using traditional techniques (Martha Graham based), and through his collaboration with award-winning composers, musicians, and designers, he aims to create works that are dynamic, diverse, and relevant.
His dance works, whether arranged for stage, outdoors, or non-traditional venues, have all toured extensively across the North of England and other parts of the UK, and further afield, with performances in Paris, New York and Rome.
On behalf of ESD, Eliot has commissioned award-winning international choreographers to create new works for the Company, with the aim of broadening the experience of his audiences and exposing them to different perspectives in contemporary dance.
Upon graduating from The London Contemporary Dance School, Eliot studied for a short time in New York at The Martha Graham School (MGDS). He returned to MGDS in 2017 as part of his successful project 'Inviting Martha Graham back to the UK', supported by Arts Council England's Artists' International Development Fund, and subsequently self-published a book "Martha & Me" which traces his passion for Martha Graham. As a result, and with the imprimatur of The Martha Graham Dance Company, Eliot founded and directed 'Graham in UK in 2018', a platform for dancers and others passionate about the life and work of the great American choreographer Martha Graham,
Eliot was an Associate Artist at Dance City in 2017, an Artist in Residence at The Bowes Museum in 2018 and joined their Board of Trustees in autumn 2021.
In October 2022, Eliot was invited to become an Honorary Friend of the British Federation of Festivals in recognition of the contribution he has made throughout his career in the performing arts.
Eliot retired from dancing in summer 2021 to focus on leading ESD and his choreographic interests.
“Dance is a universal language; it can transform lives; bring communities together; champions culture and heritage; and creates a space for inspiration to grow.”