September 28, 2016

Jerwood Charitable Foundation backs another two years of South East Dance’s Dramaturg in Residence programme following successful pilot year

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The programme aims to introduce more UK artists to the potential of dramaturgy within the creative process, providing them with the resources to collaborate with a dramaturg and develop their own learning in this area of practice. The activity for years two and three will take place between November 2016 and October 2018 and is set to include a variety of opportunities, from weekend intensives to a range of collaborative models that support artists to work with dramaturgs.

During the pilot year, dramaturg Lou Cope was South East Dance’s first Dramaturg in Residence. She will continue in her role as primary dramaturg for the duration of the programme, alongside Guest Dramaturg for year two, Martin Hargreaves.

In the first year of Dramaturg in Residence, South East Dance worked with 76 people, 100% of them reporting that the activity had challenged them in a positive way and that it should continue in the future. The programme has helped artists to focus on their creative development and how they make work through one-to-one sessions, workshops, an open investment pot to support working with a dramaturg, and the website In addition, the Dramaturg in Residence worked with the South East Dance staff team to help the organisation apply the principles of dramaturgy within its own work.

Dramaturg in Residence continues to be timely for South East Dance as it plans for The Dance Space, an ambitious new build in Brighton central to its vision to develop a home for choreographic research and development.

Jamie Watton, CEO/Artistic Director, South East Dance, said: “Dramaturgy is an often unrecognised ingredient in the creation of distinct and powerful performance. We are excited to be building on the success of our pilot year and look forward to offering artists this vital support, whilst growing the profile of dramaturgy within the UK dance sector.”

Lou Cope, Dramaturg in Residence, said:

“It’s so exciting that Jerwood have once again supported this project.  I’m thrilled to be able to continue working with South East Dance and look forward to collaborating with even more dance makers, dramaturgs and Martin to go deeper and further in this fascinating exploration of what performance dramaturgy can be and can do.”

Jon Opie, General Manager, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, said:

“The outcomes of the first year exceeded our expectations and showed how influential conversations around dramaturgy, its practice and its practical application to projects – and as it turns out organisational development – can be. We look forward to seeing these continue and grow over the next two years.”

South East Dance. Image: John Hunter