Current Projects


Matthew Hawkins – Ready

In August of this year DRS had the pleasure of hosting a solo performance by the independent artist Matthew Hawkins. The beautiful work was titled ‘Ready’ and was inspired by a box set of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, left to Matthew by his father. The performance was followed by a very interesting Q&A discussion with the small guest audience. DRS is delighted to launch both a short film of the performance – filmed and edited by Flavia Bertram – along with the full recording of the Q&A.

Click here to watch


Reflections from an Artist Residency: Tara Silverthorn

Dance Research Studio was delighted to have the artist Tara Silverthorn in residence for a week in August this year. Artistic Director Jacky Lansley had the opportunity to observe some of Tara’s interdisciplinary process, which combined movement, voice and work with objects in a unique and beautiful way. Her questions around ‘uncertainty’ and ‘knowledge’ seemed highly relevant to our times and Jacky invited her to expand on her ideas in response to some questions she put forward.

Previous Projects


‘We Are Animals’ Interdisciplinary Research Project

‘We Are Animals’ is a research project which aims to engage with the urgent cultural momentum driving forward awareness about environmental sustainability and animal extinction – and make a valuable research contribution through remembering that we too are animals.

The artists are exploring  a wide range of cultural, political  and ecological narratives, which both celebrate the human animal as part of human subjectivity and also degrade the animal as the opposite of everything human beings aspire to. These sources will provide a framework for creative research, which aims to achieve some understanding of human symbiosis and empathy with other animals and to ask fundamental questions about an idea of ‘civilisation’ which separates ‘us’ from ‘them’.

‘We Are Animals’ is  curated  by Dance Research Studio. The research artists involved are: Jacky Lansley,  Jreena Green, Esther Huss, Ingrid Mackinnon, Fergus  Early and Tim Taylor. Click here to read their research.


Ursula Early  Swimming Wild

Director and performer Ursula Early is researching a new piece of site-specific storytelling, set in wild swimming spots around the UK.  

Wild swimming is one of the purest and most pleasurable experiences we – humans – can enjoy, it allows us, for a short time, to feel at one with nature. This multi-disciplined (theatre, dance, music and film) piece will aim to engage and entertain audiences – both new and established – with performance and the beauty of wild swimming. 


Photo by Martin James Burton, Colin Dale & Mille


Bones Collective are a newly formed collective of activists and trained artists looking at a creative response to the planetary emergency through ritual, physical theatre, movement, myth and grief. They are Alana Bloom, Alex Cordrey, Freya Jenkins, Becca Huggins, Sofia Zervudachi and Shaun Amos.

We are working with a collection of deer skulls, to go back to the very truth of the living experience; that we come from bones, we are made of bones and that we will return to them. That we are innately interconnected and below the skin most creatures are made of bones. They are the last thing that is left of us before we turn to dust and sink back into the endless cycle of renewal and death.



KUDERA+MPEARSONATER make hybrid fashion and dance performance by-products. Alena Kudera (CZ/Liverpool) is a garment and accessory designer/maker instinctively going against the grain of quick fix disposable fashion. Mary Pearson (US/Liverpool) is a multi-disciplinary performance maker exploring collaboration and improvisation as a FAILURE Lab.
Together they are creating an immersive performance installation and fashion collection highlighting consumerism, plastic waste and environmental crisis. Performed by Laura Döhler, Anne Gäelle Thiriot and Mary Pearson. Live electronic music by Barry Han and set design by Yoav Admoni.

Anthropo+Screen by-products, episode ii

What have we become? Ensnared by our own disposable by-products. As if a plastic bag could kill me, I would eat myself to death, suffocate in bliss, not notice we were dying we were experiencing so much pleasure. As if my body needed reminding it was there, as if otherwise I would float away. As if nobody cared, as if anybody cared, as if there is no time to care. As if care equals stuff.


Emilia Robinson and Sara Ismail

Emilia Robinson and Sara Ismail were the studio’s first ARP residency and through the process the duo were able to expand their ongoing collaboration. Their practice, alongside sound artist and collaborator Lloyd Allen, is autobiographical in focus and explores shared personal experiences. During the residency they used the R & D studio time to develop ideas and experiment with form through the investigation of dreams, wonder-lands and nightmares.

 “The Artist Residency Programme at Dance Research Studio offered us the best R&D opportunity we could have hoped for.  It provided us the physical and mental space, and place, to re-examine our main premise. The support we received from our mentors Fergus Early and Jacky Lansley was crucial to the development of our work, and the process by which we make. ARP gave us the time to create at a pace that has been most productive for our work.”


Blink Dance Theatre

Blink Dance Theatre includes performance practitioners Delson Weeks, Francis Majekodunmi, Katherine Gill, Vicki Anderson and guest sound artist Mathew Hawkins. The company’s project, Four Corners, had been shown previously at Amici Open Door event and at Motus Dance Festival and was developed further during their residency with support from experienced mentors. The company used the R & D studio time at DRS to develop their innovative and interdisciplinary work which explored everyday actions, objects and sounds to uncover wider and more personal themes concerning race, gender and disability.

“As emerging artists it is a huge challenge for us to find support to spend time researching and developing work in a process which allows time and space for reflection.  To be able to access this support and to receive guidance from leading practitioners was a fantastic opportunity for us. The Artist Residency Programme at DRS is a unique opportunity and without it would have been nearly impossible for us to research and develop Four Corners in this way.”


Eleven Farrer House

DRS welcomed Eleven Farrer House to the residency programme in March 2015. The company is a collaborative enterprise involving Gaelin Little, Tara Silverthorn, Lucille Teppa and Cat Westwood. During ARP, Eleven Farrer House developed their work Species of Spaces a project which they described as a catalogue of many choreographic works. Through this framework, the company worked with chance, authorship and audience performer relations.

“Dance Research Studio is a friendly, peaceful and open environment which provided the perfect conditions for us to work independently and efficiently.We are very much aware that benefiting from complementary rehearsal space is a rare opportunity for London-based professional dance artists so we were very proud to receive the trust and support of an independent research centre such as Dance Research Studio”. 

Susan Kempster web image

Susan Kempster

Susan Kempster, working with collaborators Julia Warr, Nicholas Minns and Jodie Cole, completed her Artist Residency at the end of 2015 with an informal sharing of process and discussion at the studio. Susan sees the body as the storehouse of information, memory and knowledge and is interested in how the imagination can come alive when there is a state of resonance and deep connection between body and space. The group used the time and mentoring provided by DRS to explore these ideas and take full advantage of a research space offered without pressure to produce.

 “For me it has been invaluable, a place to articulate thoughts and work through questions…it has also been a place of joy and camaraderie!”

Image by Rosie Coop ( Nunns Yard, Norwich 1
Vivian Chinasa Ezugha; Photo Rosie Cooper

Vivian Chinasa Ezugha’s Because of hair

“I am interested in how history is performed by society and by individuals. The identity that we carry comes from our history, be it biological or political. My work, Because of hair the dichotomy of culture and identity, looks at hair as a material and an object that can be used to depict social and personal politics. My practice engages within the personal and the universal – and my inspiration for the project came from my experience of growing up in Nigeria and the difficulties I experienced in the UK because of my hair. I have since moved on to look at hair as a mechanism for depicting black experience in the West.”

Sans Paroles by Marcelle Hanselaar

Maria Ghoumrassi’s A Tree Without Leaves

The research involves a creative workshop for a group of women exploring issues around fertility. This is followed by practical studio research in response to the material collated. The collaborative team – performers Jreena Green, Anne Muddiman and Ivana Ostrowski, music artist Natasha Lohan and film artist Roswitha Chesher, will explore and capture findings, to present at a sharing. The painting Sans Paroles by Marcelle Hanselaar will inform the aesthetics of the research. Maria will be mentored by practitioners Jacky Lansley and Rene Baker.

A sharing of this work will take place at Greenwich Dance on the 9th February at 4pm. The R&D is supported by Arts Council England in partnership with Greenwich Dance, Spoken Word Ltd/One Dance UK, Spare Tyre, Dance Research Studio, Fertility Fest, Fertility Network UK and Emma Cannon

zinzi newletter
Zinzi Minott

Zinzi Minott’s What Kind of Slave Would I be? (WKOSWIB?)

Whilst walking through an exhibition of Tudor portraits Minott took the invitation from the exhibition to think back and historicise herself – and she imagined a slave. Realising to think that far back is to have to ask “What Kind of Slave Would I be?” It is to WKOSWIB. Throughout her research as Artist-in residence at The British Library within the archives, Minott will ponder this question, and the result will culminate in a performance at Rich Mix on Saturday 22nd April and workshops and discussions on Sunday 23rd April 2017. This body of work will be mentored by Jacky Lansley and Lea Anderson, and funded through the Arts Council England.

Photo: Luna Pérez Visairas

Sally Dean’s POP ‘Portals of Perception’

POP is a collaboration between artists and researchers from the fields of somatic movement and performance, costume design, cognitive psychology and neuroscience. It builds on research designs, performances and collaborations generated by the Somatic Movement, Costume & Performance Project, founded by dance/theatre artist Sally E. Dean (2011) in collaboration with costume designers Sandra Arroniz Lacunza (Spain) and Carolina Rieckhof (Peru). The project is supported by Dance Research Studio, London Contemporary Dance School, London College of Fashion (Design for Performance and Well-being Research Hubs), Wellcome Collection through their Open Platform event and Birmingham Arts and Science Festival.

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