Programme 'Extravaganza' autumn 2022

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Autumn 2022 // Extravaganza


OUR STORY Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) is a North East England leading contemporary dance company.

Over the past 10 years ESD has made significant developments and achievements, including:

The group is based in Gateshead (England) and rehearses predominantly in Northumberland. Led by its Founder and Creative Director Eliot Smith, the Company performs for audiences in their hundreds across North East England and other parts of the UK, and has performed by invitation in Paris, Rome, and New York.

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70% sold out performances.

Reaching over 60,000 people via national and international performances, events, and its participation/education programme.

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Since its founding in 2011 (and opening in 2012) the Company has comprised technically and theatrically accomplished dancers drawn from the UK and throughout the world.

Dancers have come from as far afield as Italy, Germany, France, Colombia, New Zealand, Spain, Cyprus and Greece.

70% average audience attendance. 50% of audiences who were first time attendees.

Reaching 200,000 audience members online through its website and social media activity. Collaboration with some of the UK’s highprofile museums, galleries, universities, cathedrals and dance organisations. Gaining a following of loyal audiences and supporters which resulted in the establishment of the Friends of ESD.

In spring 2020 in light of the pandemic, ESD efficiently refashioned and adapted its season of activities into digital form. It was one of the first independent dance companies in the UK to test indoor rehearsals safely in November 2020.

ESD performs dance works using classical techniques, working in collaboration with carefully chosen composers, musicians, and designers.

The company returned to live performances in July 2021 and also celebrated their 10th anniversary.

The Company has built up a rich repertoire, consisting of more than 27 works and still growing, created by Eliot Smith and guest choreographers from the UK and around the world – aiming to create works that are dynamic, diverse, and relevant.

The Vision ESD creates unforgettable contemporary dance experiences that inspire.

ESD performs in theatres and non-traditional venues such as museums, local halls, and cathedrals, as well as outdoors, aiming to excite and inspire its audiences regardless of their dance experience or knowledge.

Dance is a performing art and ESD believes that art can support people in helping them to understand themselves and each other. Dance can open the mind and heart to find new ways or new solutions that go beyond words. Dance is an education for living, presenting a diverse perspective on our surroundings. Dance is a healer, of both our health and our wellbeing.

The Company prides itself on bringing new audiences to contemporary dance, with its accessible dance programmes alongside its Education and Beyond programme, in both urban and rural settings.

ESD believes in the art of dance.


Photo: © Darren Irwin

A warm welcome from ELIOT SMITH DANCE to our Autumn 2022 season

This season Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) has been exploring the freedom of movement in an all new Extravaganza, focused on providing an opportunity for children, young people and adults in the community to be active and creative, and enjoy a confidence-building experience with the added benefit of meeting friends and working with ESD dancers and artists. For 8 weeks the participants have engaged in multiple dance and other arts-related workshops to explore one of the biggest challenges of our time: the effect of “Fast Fashion” on climate change, and its impact on the environment. The result is a short theatrical performance, Fashion This! ESD finds itself increasingly taking its work to communities and thus enabling participants for whom dance is new and invigorating to experience the creativity it can bring. This approach, which is inclusive, recognises different ages, abilities, talent and degrees of fitness. I have personally found this season inspiring, meaningful and joyful, and I thank all of the participants for their enthusiasm and dedication. I extend this gratitude to Newcastle Culture Investment Fund / Community Foundation, Newcastle City Council, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Green Heart Collective and to members of the public, for their generous donations. In normal circumstances, and even more so in these continued challenging times, we rely on the generosity of organisations such as these to realise our ambitious plans, many of the activities we undertake being supported by trusts, foundations, collaborators, Friends of ESD, and supportive individuals. To find out how you can add your support, please visit We hope you enjoy these outreach performances.

Eliot Smith

Creative Director, Eliot Smith Dance November 2022


PERFORMANCES ST CATHERINE’S PRIMARY SCHOOL Newcastle upon Tyne Tuesday 22 November 2022 Performed by children in Year 5 CONVERGE AT NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY Newcastle upon Tyne Wednesday 23 November 2022 Performed by Converge students ST TERESA’S PRIMARY SCHOOL Newcastle upon Tyne Thursday 24 November 2022 Performed by children in Year 5


FASHION THIS! a reflection by Eliot Smith Following an extensive research period with various climate and environmental campaign groups, Fashion This! came about whilst choreographing Life for ESD's professional dancers in 2021. I was shocked to find out the stark reality of the effect of “Fast Fashion” on climate change and the ongoing climate emergency that the planet is facing right now. “Fast Fashion” is a term used to define a highly profitable and exploitative business model that is based on copying and replicating high end fashion designs. The clothes are mass-produced in developing countries. The workers often work in inhumane conditions, and the clothes are purposefully designed to be frail with a limited lifespan as designs change quickly and are cheap to produce. To raise awareness on how clothes are linked to climate change, and keeping within the spirit of community involvement, I have been working with a cohort of children, young people and adults in the community, and, in an effort to bring their voice to the climate crisis, the participants have created this dance work. Fashion This! draws attention to the detrimental effects of the fashion industry’s systemic overproduction of goods. The idea was to re-create the Atacama Desert in Chile—perhaps surprisingly, the home to mountains of discarded clothes—and symbolising a total disregard for nature. Consequently the set design has been created using discarded or unwanted clothes.



On 29 October 2022 Eliot Smith Dance won the first ever Green Dance Award at the prestigious One Dance UK Awards. This award celebrates any form of work that uses dance as a tool to spotlight and respond to the environment and climate crisis.



Narrative A fire breaks out on June 11th in Chile’s Atacama Desert. It burns for 11 days. This releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which accelerates global warming and effects our wildlife, marine life, sea life, nature, and our entire ecosystem. But how can a fire break out in the world’s driest desert? What is there to burn? The answer is clothes. Unwanted, discarded clothes. In 2021 around 39,000 tons of “Fast Fashion” was dumped in the Atacama Desert. The ‘mountains’ of clothes being dumped there will take 200 years to decompose. Clothes are very much linked to climate change. “Fast Fashion” is the term that describes the quick turnover of fashion trends and the move towards cheap, mass-produced clothing, sometimes made in inhuman conditions. Every year, around 59,000 tons of second-hand and unsold clothing, often made in China or Bangladesh, reaches Chile – Latin America’s biggest importer of second-hand clothing – after passing through Europe, Asia and the United States. The fashion industry contributes to around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, due to its long supply chains and energy intensive production. The industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined. The fashion industry also uses a lot of water. A pair of jeans takes around 8,000 litres of water just to grow the cotton. Then the washing and dyeing process only adds to this incredibly water-intensive process. Denim dye is even turning some of our world's rivers blue. A report from Water Witness International (WWI) found that some of the rivers in southern Africa were so polluted they had turned their rivers blue from denim dye. How can we reduce our fashion footprint? Companies should make clothes from organic and recycled materials which is more sustainable. But that does not solve the biggest problem overconsumption. Together we need to:

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Wear clothes more often and for longer. Swap clothes with friends or organise a clothes swap. Take more care of our clothes and wash them less often. Try to buy nothing new. Think carefully about what we do with unwanted clothes. Sell online and donate clothes to charity shops. Upcycle into something different. Find a place that takes rags. Think twice before throwing out our clothes.


Narrative continued ... “There’s enough clothing on the planet right now to clothe the next six generations of the human race.” (Patrick Grant) We all love clothes, and they can become personal and can be a way of expressing ourselves. But this is our planet, and we will Fashion This! for a better and greener world. We dance on for change.

Creatives Conceived and Directed by: Eliot Smith Guest Artist: Yamit Salazar Choreography and Dancers: The Participants Music arranged by: Eliot Smith Text by: Eliot Smith and Participants Set Design and Costume: Eliot Smith and Participants, with support from Green Heart Collective.

Order of Music Wild Crackling Fireplace (Crackling Fire Sounds) by Fire Sounds Milonga (Latin American Guitar Festival) by Gerald Garcia Wildlife Sounds (99 Relaxing Tracks) by Sound Dreamer Tamarind (Aboriginal Beats) by F. Elendra Forest River Pt. 39 (Water Sounds: Forest River) by Water Sounds Shining Star (Aboriginal Beats) by P.Warri


FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS Eliot Smith Dance is forever grateful to many individuals, companies, trusts and grant-makers for their ongoing generosity in support of our work. Your support enables ESD to go from strength to strength. In early 2022, ESD successfully raised £1,055, more than the minimum £1,000 target, for the Kickstarter campaign to support our upcoming events in 2022. This is a tremendous achievement under the circumstances and bearing in mind the continued financial constraints. ESD would like to thank the 37 Backers who pledged their support: Carol Ainslie; Susan Burns; Sean Brailsford; Judi Davies; Janet Draycott; Sarah Dobinson; John Horsfield; Sue Jenkins; Darren Jootun; Pat Lenneberg; Anthony Loughlin; Alison Maw; Victoria Matthews; Terri Nelson; E. Raby; Allan Riach; Mark Russell; Jeannette Schmid; Dawn Skelton; G & B Smith; David Steele; June Svenson; Rachel Wicaksono; Chilly; Claudia; Elizabeth; Eve; Giacomo; Kirstie; Leidy; Nathaniel; Yesica; and those who wish to remain anonymous. We gratefully acknowledge the support received from the following Friends of ESD: The Late Robert Crane; Helen Redfern; Angeline Lucas; Gillian Mayne; June Svenson; June Atkinson; David Goodacre; Andrew Griffin & Partner; Mary Barber; Pat Pierpoint; LL Dawson; Sue Jenkins; Eileen Raby; Dawn Potkins; Judith Davies; Simon Barker; Maria Catlah; Sabena Monk; David Newton & Partner; Carol Wilson; Tony Loughlin & Partner; Frank Naylor; Carol Ainslie; Elizabeth Duggan & Partner; Angela Reay, and all those friends around the world who prefer to remain anonymous. Eliot Smith Dance acknowledges the support for Autumn 2022 // Extravaganza from:



FRIEND OF ESD “I was delighted to be given the opportunity to be the Friends' Representative for Eliot Smith Dance. It was through Eliot's teaching that I came to value dance as a way to express myself and, since then, I have got to know Eliot and the company dancers and appreciate their work. This was like entering a new enchanting world for me, and I look forward to being able to encourage others on that journey of discovery as part of this role.” Helen Redfern, Friends’ Representative

Benefits include:  a monthly e-mailed


 priority booking for

Photo: © Eliot Smith Dance

Become a Friend today!


 10% discount on ESD

performances and classes

 invitations to informal

Friends’ gatherings

 invitations to rehearsals

and previews of new works

 exclusive Friends’ Page

on ESD website

“Come and join us!”

Annual subscription rates:  Adult/Individual ONLY £20.00  Partner (2 adults) £30.00  Child/Student/Concessions £10.00  Family (2 adults + 2 children) £40.00

Subscribe on-line at 13

ELIOT SMITH DANCE Patron Her Grace The Duchess of Northumberland Board of Directors Heather Corlett Angela Reay Eliot Smith Creative Director Eliot Smith Rehearsal Director (with interim responsibility for Education and Beyond) Yamit Salazar Administrator (Projects) Pat Pierpoint

Administrator (Contracts & Finance) June Svenson

Company Mailing Address c/o Trinity Community Centre, High Street, Gateshead NE8 1EP Registered Office Address c/o Clarke’s Chartered Accountants 176 Portland Road, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1DJ

Website: Tel: +44 (0) 7947 482 944 Email: @eliotsmithdance Eliot Smith Dance is a trading name of Eliot Smith Company Limited, a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England & Wales. Company No. 9442391




Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) is committed to exploring ways to reduce the impact of its activities on the environment through its environmental policy. Whilst acknowledging that touring creates an unavoidable carbon footprint, we are actively seeking ways to improve and mitigate against this. We endeavour to promote best practice across our creative team and to raise awareness of the effects of climate change amongst our collaborators, partners, suppliers, friends, audience members, and the young people engaging in performances, events and our Education and Beyond programme.

Photo credits: Inside front cover: ESD Dancer Yamit Salazar (Photo © Chris Davis) Page 7: A St Catherine’s Primary School pupil (Photo © Eliot Smith Dance) Centre pages: One Dance UK Awards Ceremony (Photo © Dani Bower) Inside back cover: A St Catherine’s Primary School pupil (Photo © Eliot Smith Dance)

Programme Design and Production: Pat Pierpoint and Eliot Smith This programme is issued in both printed and digital form. The printed version was printed on recycled paper.