The new directorship marks a dynamic time for us both artistically and organisationally. This change arises from Siobhan Davies’ desire to hand on leadership of the organisation and ensure a strong future, bringing the wealth of independent dance practice to audiences. In conversation with artists in the dance sector, SDS have had the opportunity to reflect on current practice and plan a future in which we can meet changing needs. We want to respond flexibly to the needs of a diverse community of artists pushing the boundaries of dance and choreography. This will involve a shift from producing toward a more flexible approach that redirects resources in support of a greater number of artists.
Annie Pui Ling Lok and Kat Bridge comment:
“We want to acknowledge the huge point of change for Sue, the whole Siobhan Davies Studios team and the wider dance community and we extend our appreciation at being trusted to join them for this chapter. Our vision builds on Siobhan Davies’ uncompromising spirit; always exploring where dance can go next.
Percentages of Black and People of Colour professionals working in the arts and in leadership and academic roles are still incredibly low and our appointment is an opportunity for change to pick up some much-needed pace, particularly for underrepresented and marginalised individuals and groups who are working, who want to work and want to participate in dance and the arts.
These are complex and urgent times where we must collectively imagine and secure a future for dance working alongside artists, neighbours and peers. We are advocating for a dance space where anyone feels welcome crossing the threshold and for the necessity of real presence, human contact and physical interaction especially in these times of increased disembodiment and distancing.
In the next 8 months, prior to taking up the post in April 2021, we will be spending some time with Sue, the team and Board to begin a radical process of transition for the organisation along with forward-looking change for the sector and beyond."
SDS 1988-2020 Artistic Director Siobhan Davies said:
“I am delighted that Annie and Kat have been chosen. They are a great partnership. I have already experienced their far-sightedness, attention to detail, commitment to hard work and good judgement. They are generous in spirit and sensitive listeners. I have also experienced Annie’s delicious sense of humour while working with her.
I would also like to mention the incredible commitment to dance that the other applicants, and their supporters, demonstrated during this process. I wish to thank them very much for their hard work and contributions. I was very moved by how each of them have both a distinctive and collective sense of what dance can be for now and in the future.
A new generation of dance artists are addressing contexts very different to those I needed to when I began to dance in 1967 — and I feel an acceleration in artists’ need to negotiate the complexities we all live within now. I wish Annie and Kat well with all my heart and will be there for them if and when needed.”
Emma Gladstone, Chair of the Board Siobhan Davies Studios said:
“Together with the Board of Trustees, I am truly delighted to welcome Annie Pui Ling Lok and Kat Bridge as the new Artistic Directors of Siobhan Davies Studios. As befits a major change such as this, with founding Artistic Director Siobhan Davies leaving her leadership of the organisation after decades of creativity and invention, it has taken time and much valued input from artists, colleagues, trustees and our partners in Independent Dance to get to this point. We are excited about Annie and Kat’s vision for the future in these challenging times and look forward to working with them as SDS launches into the new chapter of its journey.”
This information is also available in the press release.