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North East dance company Fertile Ground, hits the road with its new Twilight Dances tour

Updated: May 29, 2019

Fertile Ground: Twilight Dances 
An inspiring evening of dance and live music 
 Artistic Directors: Renaud Wiser & Malgorzata Dzierzon 
Performed by Kiran Kumar, Ashling McCann, Megan Otty & Olivia Paddison

2019 TOUR DATES: Monday 20 May, Sunderland College, Arts Academy
 Monday 27 May, Jarrow Hall
 Friday 7 June, The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed
 Sunday 9 June, Gosforth Civic Theatre
 Thursday 17 October, Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne

London and Oxford dates to be announced soon.

The North East of England’s premiere touring dance company Fertile Ground is preparing to hit the road with a new cohort of dancers for its exciting 2019 Fertile Ground: Twilight Dances tour. This year audiences in Sunderland, Jarrow, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, London and Oxford will have the chance to watch four young female professional dancers from the North East take to the stage as they perform new work created by Fertile Ground’s artistic directors and former Rambert dancers Renaud Wiser and Malgorzata Dzierzon.

Schubert’s beautiful String Quartet No.14 composed in 1824, also known as Death and the Maiden, has been used as inspiration by Dzierzon and Wiser to create a 45 minute piece of contemporary dance that audiences can enjoy with live musical accompaniment. As Renaud explains:

“Schubert’s String Quartet No.14 is known for its dramatic and lyrical nature and provided us with the perfect starting point to create a dance that looks at our eternal quest for youth and immortality. We are combining movement and live music as a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Audiences can expect to be transported by the beauty of the music and by the performance of the dancers and musicians.”

Every year Fertile Ground recruits a new company of talented professional dancers from or trained in the North East of England and gives them the opportunity to develop as artists. The company this year includes 23 year old Kiran Kumar, originally from Leeds, and 25 year old Ashling McCann, originally from Bristol, who both relocated to Newcastle upon Tyne to train as professional dancers. They perform alongside 23 year old Megan Otty from Sunderland and 25 year old Olivia Paddison from Darlington.

As Kiran Kumar said:

“Fertile Ground is unique in that it offers dancers, like me, who are in the early stages of their career an opportunity to perform high quality work created by nationally and internationally recognised choreographers as part of a professional company. It has been an amazing experience to be part of the Fertile Ground team and I am really looking forward to performing at venues across the North East and further afield.”

2019 marks Fertile Ground’s first season under the artistic directorship of choreographers Renaud Wiser and Malgorzata Dzierzon. Together Wiser and Dzierzon’s ambition is to produce work of the highest quality that is inspiring and unexpected. As Malgorzata explains:

“We are thrilled to be sharing our first season as artistic directors of Fertile Ground. Our ambition for the company is to tour and present contemporary dance that breaks new ground, that can be experienced by audiences in a range of formats and locations and that will encourage them to reevaluate their perceptions of contemporary dance.

“We are building on the work started by the founding director Dora Frankel and continue to nurture, challenge and inspire a new generation of dance artists from the North whilst creating and presenting inspirational and accessible dance.”

Audiences at The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne will also get the chance to see a new film commission by celebrated movement and theatre artist Wendy Houstoun.

Wendy has worked with amongst others DV8 Physical Theatre and also made two films, Touched and Diary of a Dancer for BBC with David Hinton. For this new film commission, created with Fertile Ground dancers, Wendy is using accessible technology and mobile recording devices to create a piece made and presented from multiple perspectives: from outside eye to close up, from intimate and personal to displayed and broadcasted.

Fertile Ground: Twilight Dances will be performed in Spring 2019 at Sunderland College’s Arts Academy, Jarrow Hall, The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Gosforth Civic Theatre before heading to Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne, London and Oxford in Autumn 2019.

Fertile Ground’s 2019 tour has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, Sir James Knott Trust, Newcastle Culture Investment Fund, the Polish Cultural Institute and Thirplow Trust and is supported by Sunderland College, Newcastle College and Dance City.

For more information about tour dates, to watch the trailer or to buy tickets visit

Notes to Editors:

2019 Tour Dates 
Sunderland College, Arts Academy

Monday 20 May, 7pm

Jarrow Hall
 Monday 27 May, 1.30pm

The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed 
Friday 7 June, 7pm

Gosforth Civic Theatre 
Sunday 9 June, 5pm

Dance City
 Thursday 17 October, 7.30pm

Details of the London and Oxford venues, presented as part of the Autumn 2019 tour, will be announced soon.

Age suitability: 8+


About Fertile Ground
 Fertile Ground is a professional dance company dedicated to talent development and retention in the North East and North of England. It aims to nurture, challenge and inspire a new generation of dance artists and to develop and present inspirational and accessible dance for the people of the North. During 2019 Fertile Ground will extend its reach and present work both regionally and nationally. 

The Company’s vision is to help make the North East of England the place to dance.

About Fertile Ground’s Artistic Directors
 Malgorzata Dzierzon and Renaud Wiser have collaborated on a number of occasions and bring to Fertile Ground exceptional choreographic artistic vision, leadership and curatorial ambition. Both are members of New Movement Collective (NMC), an Associate Company at Rambert, and have worked internationally as well as closer to Fertile Ground’s stomping ground in the North East. Malgorzata was commissioned by Fertile Ground in 2016 creating Eight Steps; Renaud was a recipient of Dance City commissions in 2013 and 2015. Most recently Dzierzon and Wiser collaborated with English National Ballet creating Uncharted - a major dance work involving seventy young dancers from North London schools and English National Ballet’s Youth Company, performed at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

About Malgorzata Dzierzon

Malgorzata is a dance artist and producer. Born and trained in Poland she performed with Rambert, Gothenburg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet amongst others. Her most recent choreographic credits include Flight for Rambert, Sleepless for Ballet Central and Rasputin11 for Wroclaw Opera Ballet. Working with New Movement Collective she produced and co-choreographed Casting Traces, Nest, Please Be Seated and Collapse. Malgorzata is a Clore Cultural Leadership Programme Fellow.

About Renaud Wiser 
Born in Lausanne and trained with the Ballet Junior in Geneva, Renaud Wiser is a former dancer with the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Genève, Ballet National de Marseille, Gothenburg Ballet, Rambert and Bonachela Dance Company. He is the Artistic Director of Renaud Wiser Dance Company. His work is known for its crafted and intricate vocabulary and has been presented throughout the UK in venues including Dance East, Pavilion Dance, Dance City, Platform Theatre and Greenwich Dance. 

About Wendy Houstoun

Wendy Houstoun has established an artistic life creating solos, performing with companies and collaborating with artists across many genres. Her strongest associations have been as a performer with DV8 Physical Theatre, Forced Entertainment and Tim Etchells, performance artist Rose English, film maker David Hinton, artist Vlatka Horvat, icon Nigel Charnock, and theatre maker Charlotte Vincent. Her work straddles large and small stages, specific sites, film and installation and more recently writing. 

The Company
 About Kiran Kumar 
Kiran Kumar is 23 years old and is originally from Leeds. After beginning her training at Creative and Performing Arts College in Wakefield, Kiran then obtained a FdA from Newcastle College and a BA Hons from Dance City, in Newcastle upon Tyne. She now works as a freelance Dance practitioner; performing, teaching and choreographing. She has worked with choreographers such as Vanessa Grasse and Ella Mesma and has lead various dance projects around the North East, working with a myriad of primary and secondary schools and community groups.

About Ashling McCann 
Ashling McCann is 25 years old and originally from Bristol, relocated to Newcastle upon Tyne to complete a BA Hons in Contemporary Dance and Creative Enterprise at Newcastle College, validated by Teesside University for which she achieved a First. She trained as an apprentice of Springs Dance Company and toured the UK and Canada as part of Elevate Dance Company. In 2012 Ashling performed at the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony before continuing her training at Bird College. Following The Infinite Bridge, a multi disciplinary project at The Royal College of Music, Ashling relocated to Newcastle to complete her degree. She has since been involved in North East based projects with Arcus Animation, The Occasion Collective, and Ella Mesma whilst also developing a solo Moving Sound which she performed at Dance City, Yorkshire Dance and at Summer Stage Festival, Lisbon Portugal. 

About Megan Otty 
Megan Otty is 23 years of age and is from Washington, Sunderland where she attended Biddick Academy. Megan trained on the BA Hons degree programme at Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne. After graduating she went on to complete a Masters as part of Mapdance performance company in Chichester, West Sussex, where Megan performed and toured works around Britain and Israel. Megan now teaches on the Centre for Advanced Training programme at Dance City and in various different primary schools and secondary schools around the Newcastle.

About Olivia Paddison

Olivia Paddison is 25 years of age and grew up in Darlington, where she attended Egglescliffe School in Stockton-on-Tees. She went on to graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with a BA Hons in Contemporary Dance in 2015. While there, Olivia performed works by Marie-Gabrielle Rosie, Anna Williams, Zoi Dimitriou and Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, amongst others. She has since worked with Madrid-based companies Compañía CaraBdanza as an apprentice and as a company dancer for Elephant in the Black Box Company's 2017/18 international tour of Romeo & Juliette. Prior to joining Fertile Ground Olivia was involved in the European-wide research project 'Performing Gender - Dance Makes Differences' through Yorkshire Dance in Leeds.

Quatuor Voxpopuli

Quatuor Voxpopuli is an international string quartet from Montreal who perform high quality music in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Quatuor Voxpopuli concerts appeal to both devoted music lovers and newcomers.

Media Contact:

Claire Cockroft 
 T: 07970322783

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