College announces first theatre residency

College announces first theatre residency

The first professional company to take residence at Sunderland College’s state-of-the-art theatre space has been announced.

FERTILE GROUND, the North East’s first professional graduate dance company, will perform its Spring 2015 tour at the college’s multi-million pound venue next month.

This exciting partnership will see the dance company perform four pieces of work devised by FERTILE GROUND’s Artistic Director, Dora Frankel, and high-profile guest choreographers Tom Dale and Eleesha Drennan.

Featuring the world premiere of Tom Dale’s A New Chimera and Eleesha Drennan’s Shields of Bone, these works will be accompanied by pieces from FERTILE GROUND which will challenge and inspire the audience, including company member Alys North’s new duet inspired by the North East rural landscape and our connection to ‘place’ - Land.

The company, whose new patron is Wayne Sleep OBE, consists of four young graduate dancers, including former Sunderland College student Kayleigh Fisk, who returned to Bede Campus with her colleagues in November to lead a series of dance workshops.

Kayleigh, who completed her BTEC First Diploma and National Diploma in Dance at the college, said: “The dance/performing arts department at Sunderland College always has such a welcoming atmosphere. Delivering a workshop to the students offered me the chance to show them there are opportunities for dancers in the North East and I was very pleased how productive and hard working the students were. It makes me proud to have studied at such a brilliant college.”

Dora added: “We are delighted to be residence at Sunderland College - for our graduate dancers to have the opportunity to work intensively with students to develop their skills and technique was wonderful, and we can't wait to bring our Spring 2015 tour to the brand new theatre.”

Sunderland College’s 220-seat theatre is housed in the impressive Visual and Performing Arts academy which opened in September, and also features bespoke dance, drama, media and art studios.

Jane Reed, head of visual and performing arts, said: “We are thrilled to announce our dynamic partnership with FERTILE GROUND, and look forward to welcoming the company to the fantastic theatre space at Bede Campus.

“We have a long-standing relationship with this inspirational dance company, and it is very fitting that FERTILE GROUND dancers will be the first professional performers to take residence in the state-of-the-art venue.

“It is a very exciting time for us as we develop a professional performance programme for the theatre and we are confident that we will soon become an established performing arts venue within the North East’s cultural scene.”

FERTILE GROUND will be in residence at Sunderland College’s Theatre, Bede Campus on Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm. Tickets are priced £10 (£8 concessions) and are available at Sunderland College.

Find out more about FERTILE GROUND.

Image is Alys North photographed by Louise Todd.

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Blockbuster West End shows are staged at the Sunderland Empire, the biggest theatre between Edinbugh and Manchester.

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