Faculty

Anne Bean
For over 45 years Anne Bean has exhibited work worldwide, which was described by the writer Guy Brett as a “ ‘magicification’ of the world.” Recently, a British Council Creative Collaborations award led to ongoing international work with women from countries of conflict and a Tate/LADA Legacy: Thinker in Residence Award, resulted in a major work, TAPS, including over 80 artists, engaged in improvisatory experimental practice. In 2015, she was artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery and in 2016 was awarded a Sidney Nolan residency. In 2016/17 her work was included in several group shows including Cooper Gallery, Dundee, INVISIBLE- EXPORTS, New York, Foundacion Joan Miro, Barcelona, DZIALDOV, Berlin and light/sound installations in Auckland and Wellington Festivals. Also in 2017 she had a solo exhibition at Coleman Project Space, Bermondsey and a commissioned presentation at ICA. Currently, she has just received funding for a book to be published by LADA and Intellect books and also for an exhibition, Orbituaries.

Sally E. Dean
Sally E. Dean (UK/USA/NO) has been an interdisciplinary choreographer, performer, teacher and writer for over 20 years across Europe, Asia and the USA. Her teaching and performance work is inspired by somatic-based practices, her cross-cultural projects in Asia and her background in both dance and theatre – integrating site, costume and object. Sally leads the collaborative ‘Somatic Movement, Costume & Performance Project’ (2011), designing Somatic Costumes that elicit psychophysical awareness and generate performative experiences. Her work has been supported by the Arts Council England and the British Council. She is as Research Fellow at Oslo National Academy of Arts, Norway.

Sally is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique, an Amerta Movement practitioner (with Suprapto Suryodarmo from Java), and a British Wheel of Yoga certified Scaravelli teacher. She also has a background in butoh, physical theatre, improvisation and playwriting. Sally has taught workshops and lectured internationally in university, community and festival settings to include Oslo National Academy of Arts (Norway), Welcome Collection (London), Impuls Tanz (Vienna, Austria), Dance Ability Finland, Aalto University (Finland), the National Arts University in Surakarta/Java, Sri Lanka Foundation, CIT Cork School of Music (Ireland) as well as the UK’s leading dance, theatre and costume design universities: Royal Holloway University, Trinity Laban, Central School of Speech and Drama, London College of Fashion, Roehampton University, Chichester University, Coventry University and more. She also teaches ongoing professional classes at Siobhan Davies Dance Studios and Dance Research Studios.

Esther Huss
Esther Huss graduated from London Studio Centre in 2003 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Theatre Dance. Since then she has worked as a freelance dancer, teacher and choreographer in both the professional and community dance sector. Esther’s professional appearances include several productions at the Royal Opera House London, and works with Kate Flatt, Aletta Collins, Jacky Lansley, Michael Keagan-Dolan, Ron Howell, Bernadette Iglich, amongst others. In 2012 she was awarded a grant to present work at BIG DANCE. In support of this work she published an article called ‘What’s the point of Community Dance’ in the National Magazine ANIMATED, published by The Community Dance Foundation. In March 2013, Esther Co-founded the Dandelion Collective, an inclusive dance company, aiming to empower the individual and encourage an inclusive society. Esther is an Associate Artist of the ‘Dance Research Studio – DRS’ founded by Jacky Lansley.

Sylvia Hallett
Sylvia Hallett is a multi-instrumentalist and composer moving between violin, Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, saw, accordion, electronics and found objects. Since 2009 she has composed the music/sound for h2dance company. She currently plays with The London Improvisers Orchestra. Other recent collaborators have included Evan Parker, David Toop, Jah Wobble, Anna Homler, Elaine Mitchener, LaXula, Opera North, Wonderful Beast, Miranda Tufnell, Eva Karczag, The Royal Shakespeare Company and BBC Radio Drama. She performs internationally as a solo improviser, having released three solo albums, and pops up regularly on the soundtrack of BBC TV’s Silent Witness. In July 2015 she was commissioned by the Livio Felluga Wine Company to create and perform a solo site-specific work on a hill in an Italian vineyard, and in August 2016 made a piece for All Hallows Church, Tottenham, for piano, birds and the underwater sounds of Lordship Rec.

Jacky Lansley
Jacky Lansley (UK) is a choreographer, writer and performance artist who has been practicing for over four decades. Her work combines visual and theatrical disciplines and is often created out of personal and political concerns. The artist was a founder of UK’s major independent dance studios – X6 Dance Space and Chisenhale Dance Space – and in 2002 she founded the Dance Research Studio which continues the innovatory legacy of these predecessors. DRS has curated a series of unique interdisciplinary performance and CPD training projects including: Stepping Stones (2014/15),  Crossing Paths (2016), About Us (2017-19) and We Are Animals (2019/20). Important partners on these projects have included: De Montfort University, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Dance4/iC4C, Oxford House Theatre, Chisenhale Dance Space and Modern Art Oxford.  During May-November 2020 DRS is delivering an off/ online programme of workshops, residencies and research opportunities, funded by Arts Council England, for independent/freelance artists during the Covid pandemic crisis, see www.danceresearchstudio.com for details.

Lansley directs the DRS bi-annual international CPD programme –  ‘The Speaking Dancer: Interdisciplinary Performance Training’, which she founded in 2008. In 2019/20 she worked in collaboration with CELL gallery, who curated the exhibition ‘X6 Dance Space: Liberation Notes’ to international acclaim. Lansley was a founding editor/writer of New Dance magazine and has published widely on dance and performance. She is co-author (with Fergus Early) of ‘The Wise Body’, published by Intellect Books, 2011; her more recent book ‘Choreographies: Tracing the Materials of an Ephemeral Art Form’ was published by Intellect Books in 2017. In 2018 she was awarded One Dance UK’s prestigious Jane Attenborough Award, for services to dance. She now balances her time between her own creative practice and supporting intergenerational artists and companies through mentoring, teaching and  directing DRS, which is forging an identity as one of the leading independent contexts for interdisciplinary dance research.

Ursula Early
Ursula Early is the Artistic Director and Producer of Big Bear Theatre Company and an actress. She trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has performed extensively in Theatre, TV and Screen. Big Bear specialises in producing vibrant, fresh adaptations of the classics as well as discovering and developing contemporary work influenced by the classics. All Big Bear productions have a parallel programme of workshops, designed, led and facilitated by Ursula and her collaborators. Ursula is an invited member of the Production Exchange and in 2012 she was chosen as a producer for Old Vic New Voices, TS Eliot US/UK Exchange. She is an experienced independent workshop facilitator and is currently running acting courses for City Academy. Big Bear is an Associate Company at DRS.

Fergus Early
Fergus Early OBE had an early career as a ballet dancer and later studied and then taught at the London School of Contemporary Dance before leaving to co-found X6 Dance Space and help develop its role as a leading force in the New Dance movement. He was also a founder of Chisenhale Dance Space and, in 1987, Green Candle Dance Company. The company works for and with children and young people and older people (60+), creating productions, running workshop programmes and delivering training for dance artists, teachers and health care workers. The company is currently running two ongoing projects for people living with early stage dementia. Fergus was awarded an OBE for services to dance in 2009 and an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University in 2010. His book, co-written with Jacky Lansley, The Wise Body: Conversations with Experienced Dancers was published in 2011.

Rose English
Rose English has been writing, directing and performing her own work for over thirty five years in venues as various as Tate Britain, Royal Court, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Adelaide Festival and Lincoln Center, New York. Her productions feature a diversity of co-performers including musicians, dancers, circus performers, magicians and horses. Rose’s shows range from her site-specific performances and collaborations of the 1970’s including QuadrilleBerlin and Mounting (with Sally Potter and Jacky Lansley), her acclaimed solos of the 1980’s including Plato’s Chair and The Beloved to her large scale spectaculars of the 1990’s including Walks on WaterThe Double Wedding and My Mathematics. A book about her work by Guy Brett: Abstract Vaudeville: The Work of Rose English; was published by Ridinghouse in 2015.

Anna Furse
Anna Furse has worked in theatre/dance professionally since 1978 in experimental, community/applied, site specific, repertory and international contexts. She has directed women-centred projects for companies as diverse as Bloodgroup, Graeae, Scarlet Theatre, Women’s Theatre Group (Sphinx), Women’s Playhouse Trust, Magdalena and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Over 30 years she has developed her own physical training methodology, which synthesizes a range of theatre, dance and martial arts techniques. Anna is currently Head of Department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she runs the MA in Performance Making and curates the Performance Research Forum. She is a Guest Professor in the Program Theater and Dance at Princeton University, USA and at the Academy of Visual Arts, Ljubljana. She is the author of Theatre in Pieces (2011) published by Methuen Drama.

Shira Hess
Shira leads Yoga workshops at DRS (Vinyasa Flow Tradition) which compliment the professional development programme; she says of her work: “My classes are strongly rooted in a vinyasa flow tradition (I trained with Claire Missingham); I try and draw on the rich world of yogic philosophy, so that the physical practice is not seen in isolation. For me challenging both the body and mind is what differentiates yoga and made it have such a profound impact on me. I enjoy nurturing through the practice and so hands-on assists are a vital part of my classes. I also work with mantras  and chanting  as participants move through the asanas; primarily participants will be moving mindfully with particular attention to breath, bandhas (energy locks) and alignment”.

Project O

Jamila Johnson-Small / Alexandrina Hemsley
Project O is a collaboration between dance artists Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson Small that aims to make visible positions of otherness, so that they will eventually no longer seem ‘other’. Spurned on by the general fallout from being black, mixed and female living in London today, Project O is continually trying to find different formats for presenting the intimacy and urgency of their politics, and to have a wider conversation. As well as working independently, Alexandrina and Jamila are both part of BELLYFLOP Magazine and work with other dance artists in various other formations including immigrants and animals (Jamila and Mira Kautto) and the Dad Dancing project (Alexandrina, Rosie Heafford and Helena Webb). Alexandrina and Jamila studied at Laban and The London School of Contemporary Dance respectively; they are Associate Artists with DRS.

Tony Thatcher
From large ensembles (‘De Ereprijs-Holland; ‘Muziek Lod’- Belgium) to percussion quartets (‘Studs’/Jim Fulkerson USA), Tony Thatcher is known for his choreography with live music. Thatcher was educated as a dancer/choreographer at Falmouth School of Art and Goldsmith’s College, England. He gained his MFA from Bard College, New York 2001. He was also educated as an Alexander Technique teacher at ATON Amsterdam under Arie Jan Hoorweg. His company ‘Dancework’, based in London (with Christine Juffs), allowed him to introduce new American choreographers and teachers into London’s developing dance scene and as a founder faculty member of CNDO/EDDC, he contributed greatly in helping establish it as a major centre for experimental teaching and performing in Europe (1989 – 2002). He is currently Head of the MA Programme in Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Lily Susan Todd
Lily Susan Todd trained as the ATV Repertory Theatre Trainee Director Scheme and at the RSC. After directing many productions in rep, she became active in feminist theatre through the Women’s Street Theatre Group, then as collective member of Monstrous Regiment, Her many productions since range from Tosca for Dublin Opera to two English premieres of Marguerite Duras’ work, to running  flagship repertory seasons of contemporary classics with Annie Castledine at Derby Playhouse. A committed teacher of acting, she has trained actors at Trinity College Dublin, Central School of Speech and Drama, RADA and other schools. She produced the event Remembering Buzz in 2005, to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of the remarkable director Buzz Goodbody with whom she was at Sussex University. She continues to teach and direct and is now also writing for the theatre.

Sally Williams
Sally Williams is a creative producer, choreographer,   performer and Artistic Director of Cscape, Cornwall’s leading dance company. Recent works for the company include: 2013: Glendurgan Gold, The Venus Flower and other Stories, If the Shoe Fits; 2012: Trelissick Gardens Christmas fairies, Tin Violin (collaboration with BishBashBosh). In 2006/07 Sally worked with Jacky Lansley  at the Hall for Cornwall  and Royal Opera House, Clore Studio, performing in View from the Shore and in 2008 / 09 worked with Kneehigh Theatre in the national and international tour of Don John in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Battersea Arts Centre (BAC). Sally has worked extensively as a specialist dance educator, producing and delivering dance projects with children and with hard to reach young people excluded from school or in care.  Sally is an Associate Lecturer at Falmouth University where she teaches on both the BA Theatre and BA Dance and Choreography courses.

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