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Three dancer's silhouettes. The dancers' bodies are made up of a colourful paint splattered effect.

2024 PROGRAMME: Play, pause, repeat

Play, Pause, Repeat is a stunning programme showcasing some of the best emerging dancers from the North East of England. Including two new commissions by former Rambert artist Patricia Okenwa and award-winning choreographer Jamaal Burkmar, Play, Pause, Repeat explores the complex and often contradictory nature of human connection and what makes us want to play, explore, learn and share again and again and again.

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How to Decouple in an Ethical Way
Concept & choreography by Jamaal Burkmar
Performance & choreographic contribution by Daisy Dancer, Pagan Hunt, Alex Thirkle & Hayley Walker
Lighting design by Mark Parry
Music: "You belong to me" by Patsy Cline and the Jordanaires, "Holy Shit" by Father John Misty, "Arthur’s Theme" by Christopher Cross 

Winner of the New Adventure Choreographer Award 2016, Jamaal Burkmar's work, which has music and improvisation at its heart, explores love, relationships and the angst and discomfort involved in the 'not knowing'.

How to Decouple in an Ethical Way is a millennial love story told in three sessions and three songs. In a mix of improvisation and choreography, music and text, the piece goes on a journey exploring the short life of a new relationship.

3-Play, Pause, Repeat_Choreography Jamaal Burkmar_Dancers Hayley Walker, Pagan Hunt, Alex

The Messiest Drawer
Concept by Quinta & Patricia Okenwa
Choreography by Patricia Okenwa
Performance & choreographic contribution by Daisy Dancer, Pagan Hunt, Alex Thirkle & Hayley Walker
Musical composition by Quinta
Lighting Design by Mark Parry
Costumes by Patricia Okenwa

Choreographer Patricia Okenwa and composer Quinta's new work explores how we start over again and the morsels and moments we can create and recreate.

In The Messiest Drawer we find clutter, tangles, precious knick knacks- all the things we hang on to, as well as the many stories that tell us why and how. As we unpack, rediscover, and reposition, memories bubble up and move us in many ways: from getting stuck in a moment to holding them dear to our heart.

With grateful thanks to the loved ones who shared the contents of their messiest drawers with us and whose voices feature in this piece

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Reviews & Previews

"What these works share is really good contemporary choreography and a use of improvisation, allowing dancers to bring their own qualities as their different personalities shine through... A perfect double-bill."

British Theatre Guide Review

'Workshopped through a combination of improvisation and choreography, through a process of building connections between four dancers and embedding them in the region and the community, this duplet worked as a perfect pairing."
North East Bylines Review

Choreographers & The Company

Find out more about the dancers that will be bringing these performances to life on stage and more about the choreographers


Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne

Friday 8 March 2024, 7.30pm

Sunderland College Theatre Eighteen
Tuesday 19 March, 7pm

The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Friday 12 April 2024, 8pm

Fertile Ground, Play, Pause, Repeat image credits:

Image 1: Play, Pause, Repeat, Choreography Jamaal Burkmar, Dancers Hayley Walker, Pagan Hunt, Alex thirkle & Daisy Dancer. Photo Renaud Wiser
Image 2: Play, Pause, Repeat, Choreography Patricia Okenwa, Dancers Hayley Walker & Pagan Hunt. Photo Renaud Wiser.

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