One of the UK’s most influential dance organisations, Independent Dance has been led by artists since 1984. With learning and collaboration at its heart, our programme runs throughout the year, offering classes, labs, research, small festivals, events and an MA/MFA.
ID is supported through an ACE-funded consortium with lead partner Siobhan Davies Studios (SDS), and is based in their building in London.
Our aim at all times is to be future-thinking, inclusive, anti-racist and environmentally responsible, agitating for positive change and justice within ID, the arts and society at large.
Our public programme includes classes, labs, research initiatives, talks and small-scale festivals. We offer paid work to 100+ artists a year and collaborate with them and with partner organisations transnationally to facilitate critically-engaged activity for artists, participants and audiences.
ID also forms a bridge between professional and academic spheres, co-delivering MA/MFA Creative Practice : Dance Professional with Trinity Laban and SDS and running a range of initiatives connected to higher education.
As such, ID is a thinktank and a research hub for meeting and learning that spans generations. It is considered a ‘home’ organisation and reference point by a wide community across the world.
Collaboration, exchange and enquiry are at the heart of everything we do. The hallmark of ID’s programme is the depth of engagement it offers artists and audiences, whether they are presenting or participating. ID is ambitious in both its rigour and scale of offer as a micro-organisation.
We work to support dance artists to play multiple interconnecting roles – as teacher, maker, performer, producer, activist, facilitator and more – and we aim to create the conditions for artists and the artform to evolve in tandem.
By providing a space for learning and collaborative development, we aim to enhance the way artists work within their own projects and with participants, companies, students, venues and the wider public. By doing so we foster greater diversity; not only in terms of aesthetics or style, but also how work is made, by whom, with whom and for whom.
We value dance as a form of knowledge, and as a method of generating knowledge and understanding. We champion the distinct contribution of learning and research through dancing, teaching and making.
We champion the value and relevance of embodied learning and its multiple benefits and seek connection with people and practices beyond the field of dance.
Our programme is influenced by improvisational forms, somatic practices, and a wide range of dance forms and choreographic approaches. This means that ID’s approach to learning focuses on what movement feels like, rather than imitation of an ‘ideal’ form; as such it is inherently accessible to people of all physicalities.
We believe our organisational model should be dynamic and agile; learning from and flexing to shifting circumstances and artistic concerns, holding a space for critical reflection and agitating for change. At the heart of this is Richard Sennett’s concept of ‘recursion’, where learning is an organic process of adding to, testing, recalibrating, adapting. In this sense, ID seeks vibrancy through renewal rather than expansion.