ID has a staff team of four part-timers, all of whom are practicing artists. They are supported by a Board of Trustees. The staff also work with freelancers who bring specialist knowledge to temporary roles; we are currently working with Renée Bellamy, Julia Pond, Aretha George-Tooley and An Endless Supply.
Henrietta Hale joined ID as co-director (0.6) in 2018. She steers the overall artistic direction and develops the year-round programme in collaboration with the team, artists and partner organisations. She is also Lead Tutor on MA Creative Practice : Dance Professional.
Heni is an independent artist, working as a choreographer, performer, researcher and educator in diverse contexts with a collaborative focus. Much of her work has been realised as co-director of collective Dog Kennel Hill Project. They produce work for theatres, screen, galleries and non-traditional sites in the UK and internationally, working with a range of partners such as Dance4 with whom they were associate artists 2010-2014, Dance Umbrella, Modern Art Oxford and Brighton CCA. As well as leading professional classes she was a regular lecturer in dance technique, choreography and performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance (2002-13) and has choreographed for a variety of groups in higher education.
Alison Thomas joined ID as Programme Coordinator (0.8) in June 2021. She coordinates the projects, events and on-going work of the organisation, and is often the first point of contact for participants, artists and the general public.
Alison is also a freelance producer and choreographer with a fascination for the human condition. Her interests stem from her degree in Human Geography and Social Psychology from the University of St Andrews, followed by a Creative Practice MA at Trinity Laban. She uses collected materials, improvisation, scores and play in her practice and is passionate about supporting emerging artists. Alison has been mentored by Gary Clarke and Lea Anderson and worked with Studio Wayne McGregor, East London Dance, South East Dance and Dance Exchange. As a producer, she has worked with a range of artists including Taylor Han, Sliding Doors Collective, Sababa Co., Reece Calver and Sung Im Her. She is also a Trustee of 2Faced Dance Company.
Nikki Tomlinson joined ID as co-director (0.8) in March 2020. She steers the overall strategic vision, contributes to programme development and leads on finance, communications and operations.
Nikki is also a freelance producer and dramaturg with a background in curation and performance-making. Over the past 20+ years she has developed interests in performance, participation, social justice and interdisciplinarity, advocacy for and with artists and widening access in every sense to experimental work. Her previous roles include Lead Artist Advisor/Producer at Artsadmin, Programme Manager and later co-chair of Chisenhale Dance Space, ESOL Course Leader and Refugee Advisor at Hackney Community College. Alongside her role with ID she is a Trustee of Home Live Art and artist advisory with Jerwood Arts. She continues to work freelance, supporting choreographers and visual artists as a producer and dramaturg on projects presented across the UK and internationally.
Jay Yule joined ID as Communications Assistant (0.2) in 2020. She supports the communications and marketing of the ID programme including looking after our social media channels.
Jay also works as a dance performer, choreographer and producer. Her work with dance artists Jo Fong, Janine Harrington and Theo Clinkard has fed into her creative practice, as well as her experience in puppetry, opera and immersive theatre. Her choreographic work is influenced by feminist philosophies, queer theory and is often of an existential nature. Jay tries to foster an inclusivity in the way she creates, making art which can be viewed by anyone and with the hope of encouraging a sense of activism from watching or taking part.
The Trustees role is to constructively guide the organisation to fulfil its purpose as a registered charity and realise its aims, support progression as the organisation moves forward, and keep it accountable and financially robust. Our board meet at least four times a year, when the co-directors update them and discuss programming, operations, finance and policy developments; our meetings our conversational and generative and affect strategic decision-making. A key current priority for ID’s Board is to develop the Board itself to be more reflective of our inclusive approach to programming and more representative of society at large, and to create fair and equitable conditions across the whole organisation.
Nicky Childs is co-Chair of our Board. She is Senior Producer with Artsadmin, where she has been an integral part of the organisation’s development over the past 35 years. Nicky has produced a huge range of artists’ projects across dance, performance, theatre and visual art internationally. Varying in scale and context these have ranged from touring and one-off commissions to site-specific, participatory and socially-engaged projects working in collaboration with theatres, galleries, festivals, schools and other educational institutions. Nicky has also coordinated festivals, produced artists’ publications and partnered on multiple European networks & initiatives.
Sara Reed is co-Chair of our Board. She is an independent academic, practitioner, researcher, writer & project manager and an Associate Editor for Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal – Training Grounds. She is also on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices and Dance, Movement and Spiritualities. Sara is Trustee for Wriggle Dance Theatre for children and families. She is a qualified Feldenkrais Practitioner and trained with Scott Clark and Elizabeth Beringer in London. Sara supervises PhD students in the areas of dance, embodied (somatic) practices, pedagogy and arts and health and has published widely on embodied practice and dance.
Iris Yi Po Chan
Iris Yi Po Chan is a freelance dancer, performer, and producer from Hong Kong. Moving to London in 2008, Iris’ journey into the dance sector began at ID where she was administrator from 2008-2013. She has since been working with a range of choreographers, artists, and organisations, traversing administration, producing, performing, teaching, and facilitating. Iris performs in contemporary dance and visual art contexts, recently working with Jo Fong, Sung Im Her, Janine Harrington, Hetain Patel, and Florence Peake.
As a freelance producer and manager, Iris has worked with companies such as Candoco Dance Company and Luca Silvestrini’s Protein. She is currently producing with Matthias Sperling and the interdisciplinary research project NEUROLIVE, and also Frame Rush, a screendance festival at The Place in London.
Mita Pujara is an artist, researcher and educator who has a background in applied theatre, movement and performance. She has been working in the field of socially-engaged arts for over two decades. As an artist and performer she toured internationally from 1997-2008 on productions for the British Council (Kenya, Bangladesh, China, India and Palestine), the National Theatre and Pan Intercultural Arts. She delivered education and community projects for The Place, Akādemi and the British Museum. As Associate Director of Pan Intercultural Arts, she founded and ran two refugee arts programmes which still run today.
Mita moved into research and evaluation after completing her Masters in Arts, Creativity, Education and Culture (Distinction) from the the University of Cambridge. Since 2011, she has been evaluating the effectiveness of arts and cultural programmes with underrepresented communities such as asylum seekers, refugees, female survivors of tracking and young people with an experience of care. She blends creative, participatory evaluation approaches with traditional research methods to create meaningful, inclusive and bespoke evaluations. She is a guest lecturer in Arts-based Reflective Practice on several MA courses at Rose Bruford College. Other key areas of research interests include ant-racism, diversity & representation in the arts, intersectionality, feminist ethics of care and embodied practice. Mita currently lives in Leicester and in her spare time supports local creatives of colour as a board member of Aakash Odedra Dance Theatre and the Centre for Classical Indian Dance.
Kimberley Harvey is a freelance dance artist, choreographer and teacher. She is also Director of Candoco’s Youth Dance Company. As a professional dancer, Kimberley works predominantly in contemporary dance but also physical theatre with companies such as ThisEgg and Moxie Brawl. She has her own inclusive contemporary dance company, Subtle Kraft Co. The work is centred around relationships in their various and complex forms with connection, communication and curiosity as core elements for their artistic and working practice. Kimberley is also a Trustee with Maresa von Stockert Limited and South East Dance.
Born of English and Chilean descent, dance artist and choreographer Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome’s practice involves dancing/voicing as divination and political gesture, presenting in institutions, outdoors, alternative spaces and clubs. She is interested in creating work which shifts perspectives, crafting spaces of potential, where dancing/ movement, sound/ music and attending to our environments can stimulate sensations and kinaesthetic responses in the body, allowing ourselves to tune to innate gut and bodily intelligence while in multiple attentive states.
Andy Wansell is Managing Director of YMU Business Management, part of the YMU Group who provide management services to elite global talent in the world of sports, music, and entertainment. His role is to lead their professional services division in working with a wide range of clients from emerging talent to legendary musicians. Andy came to ID through occasional visits to dance and theatre. He has stayed because he feels he can help the ID team support a community who need and deserve all the support we can offer. He has a particular interest in making ideas happen, is keen on spreadsheets and budgeting, forecasting and planning.
Kirsty Alexander is freelance curator, teacher, and consultant specializing in dance training and in the ongoing development of professional dancers. She co-directed Independent Dance from 2015 – 2018, also leading the core modules of the MA Creative Practice: Dance Professional which ID runs in collaboration with Trinity Laban and Siobhan Davies Studios. She has been involved in educating dancers within the higher education sector for over 25 years, as Head of Undergraduate Studies at Laban from 2000-2004 and as Assistant Director of London Contemporary Dance School from 2005-2010 and an associate editor of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices until recently. Kirsty is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique and in 2015 completed a PhD funded by the University of Stirling, School of Education.
Gill Clarke (1954 – 2011) was an independent dance artist and co-director of Independent Dance from 1996-2011. She was a founding member of Siobhan Davies Dance Company and also performed and collaborated with other choreographers including Rosemary Butcher, Rosemary Lee, Janet Smith, Kate Brown and Marina Collard. Gill regarded teaching as an integral part of her artistic practice. She regularly led masterclasses and workshops internationally for students, professionals and companies, and collaborated with filmmaker Becky Edmunds on a multi-screen installation – Stones and Bones. Head of Performance Studies at LABAN from 2000-2006, she founded MA Creative Practice : Dance Professional which ID continues to lead in partnership with Trinity Laban and Siobhan Davies Studios. Gill was an Honorary Visiting Professor at University of Ulster, a joint NESTA fellow and a Trustee of Dance UK. She received a London Dance and Performance Award, the Jane Attenborough Award from One Dance UK and an MBE, which she returned in protest of the UK government’s foreign policy in Iraq.
An obituary for Gill Clarke, written by Rosemary Lee and Siobhan Davies is here
Fiona Millward was co-director ID from 1996–2015 and co-led the organisation alongside Gill Clarke until Gill passed away in 2011. She received a joint NESTA Fellowship in 2001 to support the development of ID strategically. Having worked since 1985 as a dancer, teacher and choreographer, she values immensely the alchemy of collaboration that underpins these various roles. Her desire to bring those experiences into her work with others in various capacities, a deep respect for the resilience and mystery of the body, and a curiosity about how we move through life, she also works as a Certified Rolfer ™ and Rolf Movement ™ Practitioner, Franklin Method ™ Educator, Scaravelli Inspired Yoga Teacher and Somatics Exercise Coach. In 2021 she continues as part of Creative Europe “BET” – Body Experience Time through 45+ dancers and the Acting Our Age collaboration between choreographers Yael Flexer and Galit Liss with performers aged 23-74.
Gitta Wigro was co-director of Independent Dance from 2012-2019. She is a freelance dance film programmer and curator, and part of the team behind the MA Screendance at London Contemporary Dance School. She has worked in artist and artform development at The Place, Arts Council England, and Independent Dance, as well as in freelance roles. As a dance film specialist, she has worked with many international festivals, including Leeds International Film Festival (UK), COORPI (IT), Festival Quartiers Danses (CA) Dance Umbrella (UK), among many others. She co- ordinates the International Screendance Calendar and other resources to support the dance film field.
Each year, ID works with over 100 artists to lead the many activities that form our programme of classes, workshops, events, discussions and projects. To see a list of artists ID has worked with over the years, go here. To read more about how ID works with artists, go here.
ID would not be the same without the support of its volunteer ambassadors. The Ambassadors are all artists who take part in and support the delivery of the programme, acting as advocates for the organisation and giving feedback to the staff.
Our current ambassadors are Yma de Almeida, Renée Bellamy, Clare Brzezicki, Rachel Gomme, Julie Havelund Willett, Mira Hirtz, Christopher Matthews, Teresa Skamletz, Alisa Oleva, June Ting, Claudia Tonietto, Steph Townsend, Rosalie Wahlfrid, Sumi Xiaoméi Cheng.