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Play, Pause, Repeat

Fertile Ground presents

Play, Pause, Repeat

A Dance City & Gillian Dickinson Commission Touring the North East this Spring from Friday 8 March to Friday 12 April 2024

SPRING 2024 TOUR DATES: Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne - Friday 8 March, 7.30pm (Press Night) Sunderland College Theatre Eighteen Tuesday 19 March, 7pm The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed - Friday 12 April, 8pm

Audiences are being invited to the world premiere of Play, Pause, Repeat, a stunning new contemporary dance programme presented by Fertile Ground at Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne, on Friday 8 March at 7.30pm.

Showcasing some of the best-emerging dancers from the North East of England, this Dance City and Gillian Dickinson Trust commission features two new pieces by former Rambert artist Patricia Okenwa and award-winning choreographer Jamaal Burkmar. The works explore 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.

As Renaud Wiser, Artistic Director at Fertile Ground, explains:

“We are thrilled to be returning to Dance City for the premiere of Play, Pause, Repeat. This will be the first chance for audiences in the North East of England to see work by choreographer Patricia Okenwa, who has collaborated with London-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Quinta to create a new work exploring how we start again and again.

"Alongside Patricia, we're proud to be working with Jamaal Burkmar, winner of the New Adventure Choreographer Award 2016. Jamaal's work, which has music and improvisation at its heart, explores love, relationships and the angst and discomfort involved in the not knowing."

Every year, Fertile Ground recruits a new company of dancers to present specially created work by some of the country's leading choreographers. Bringing Play, Pause, Repeat to life on stage will be Daisy Dancer, who grew up in Hexham and studied at The Place in London before completing a Master’s Degree with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance post-graduate company VERVE, where she toured nationally and internationally; Pagan Hunt, from Shropshire, has been based in Newcastle since 2019 when she completed her MA in Advanced Dance Performance at Dance City. She then worked with several companies, including EQ Dance, Northern Dance and Mad Dogs Dance Theatre, before co-founding North East based dance company Pelican Theatre; Alex Thirkle, from Sunderland, trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. While still in training, he was an apprentice with Humanhood Dance Company and began work with Russell Maliphant Dance Company, touring internationally. In 2023, he joined Tavaziva Dance to tour Boy’s Khaya, and Hayley Walker, who grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Upon graduation, she joined the post- graduate company Emergence, touring works by Joss Arnott and Sharon Watson. When Hayley moved back to the North East, she completed two tours of Jumpers for Goalposts with Meta4 Dance.

Play, Pause, Repeat will open at Dance City on Friday 8 March at 7.30pm before touring Sunderland College Theatre Eighteen on Tuesday 19 March at 7pm and The Maltings in Berwick on Friday 12 April at 8pm.

After the performance at Dance City audiences can join a short free post-show talk in the foyer with Fertile Ground's Artistic Director Renaud Wiser and the company of dancers to discover more about the performance and have any questions answered.

Founded in 2013, Fertile Ground is the UK’s only professional dance company dedicated to the professional development of emerging dance artists from the North East.

Play, Pause, Repeat is a Dance City and Gillian Dickson Trust commission which has also been made possible using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and The Barbour Foundation.

For more details about tour dates and to book tickets, visit

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