Phoenix Dance Theatre
Contact: Charis Charles, Director of Access and Education
Phoenix Dance Theatre, a diverse and international company, has a commitment to access and education in dance, including a Youth Academy and a Saturday school. However, its relationship with Higher Education is generally ad hoc, although more formal links have been established with the Northern School.
Phoenix Dance Theatre has tailored some modules for Leeds Beckett University including a one day a week course Dance in the Community which ran for a full semester and will be repeated next academic year. This residency style course with dance students included written work assessed by Phoenix Dance Theatre.
The company has also run a project on costume design for the BA programme at Scarborough. This partnership included writing the course, allowing students access to the company’s dancers for research purposes and assessment of the final piece.
The company enjoys other on-going relationships with vocational courses at Northern School and with conservatoires such as London School of Contemporary Dance, Laban and the Royal Ballet.
For Surrey University, Phoenix Dance Theatre hosted part of a degree course, providing a 30-40 week placement.
It provides apprenticeships of 8-9 months duration, which are almost like a post-graduate development opportunity.
There are challenges in delivering university courses. Graduate students face uncertainty about their futures, especially in the north of England.
Although there is diversity among the company’s performers, the profile is less mixed in other parts of the company and the dance industry.