Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme 2020/21 – Open Call

Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme (DEBS) – 2020/21

The Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme is now open for applications from individuals who have graduated from full-time professional training in dance or related disciplines within the last two years.

In response to the Covid-19 crisis the DEBS 2020/21 programme will now begin at the earlier date of May 2020 and run until July 2021. Over the summer months, while the Dance Base building is closed, the programme will provide online mentoring, guidance and artistic support for newly graduated dancers as they navigate this new landscape, with a particular focus on how to develop and nourish a regular practice in these strange and uncertain times. From September onwards we hope to return to the Dance Base studio to continue the programme with class, residency weeks and in person mentoring.

The DEBS programme was established by Dance Base to mentor and support newly graduated dance / physical performance artists as they transition from their period of training into the professional dance sector. Each year up to four artists are selected to work with an experienced dance / movement artist as they hone their practice and navigate their route forward.

We are delighted to announce that the DEBS mentor for 2020/21 is Lucy Suggate.


About Lucy Suggate and the DEBS 2020/21 programme:

Underpinning my work has been the commitment to and long-term development of a regular/daily practice. Having a practice has enabled me to teach, choreograph, perform, research and communicate my ideas beyond the studio and beyond my art form. My practice for the last decade has been routed in movement and in expanding and pushing the boundaries of what 21st century dance, movement and choreography can be.

The Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme is an opportunity for you to discover and unlock your own practice through movement, dance, choreography and performance. By participating in residencies, regular movement sessions and one on one mentoring you will develop a deeper understanding of current professional dance contexts and how to bravely, safely and ethically navigate your way forwards.

An interest in movement is important, and experience of improvisation or self-directing would be useful. A lot of the work will include an aspect of the “Micro & Macro” which means that while we will focus on movement material, we will also be looking at the bigger picture, the multiple contexts we find ourselves working and living in, be it social, political, ethical or economic.

--- Lucy Suggate


By becoming a DEBS member, you will receive the following from May to September 2020 (all delivered online):

  • One to one mentoring from experienced dance artist, Lucy Suggate
  • Group conversation and exploration with the other DEBS and Lucy Suggate
  • Practical creative sessions from Lucy Suggate to encourage a regular practice
  • Creative exercises to help develop research projects and inspire future live work
  • Practical advice and guidance from the Dance Base team on financial support, logistics and administration to support you now, and moving forward

From September 2020 (or when our building reopens) to July you will receive:

  • One to one mentoring from experienced dance artist, Lucy Suggate
  • Free weekly professional classes at Dance Base
  • Free selected community classes at Dance Base by negotiation
  • Two week-long group residencies at Dance Base with Lucy Suggate held in the Spring and Summer terms 2021
  • Free studio space, subject to availability
  • Support and connection with the Dance Base team


To Apply:

To apply please send a copy of your CV and a statement of interest to Kirsty Somerville, Programmes Manager, at This should include the following and be a maximum of 2 pages:

  • What interests you about the programme and working with Dance Base and with Lucy specifically
  • Why you think you would benefit from the scheme at this point in your career
  • Links to footage of you dancing and/or performing



Monday 11 May, 12:00pm

Selected applicants will be invited to attend an online interview with Lucy Suggate and Kirsty Somerville, Programmes Manager. This will be held on Thursday 14 May.

The programme will then begin the week of the 18th May with session dates and times agreed with the DEBS participant and Lucy Suggate.



Mentor Biography:

Lucy Suggate has been working as an independent dance artist for twenty years and is widely recognised for her articulate and engaging solo performances, choreographic installations and complex group-work public scores.

Her work has been commissioned and performed nationally and internationally. Recent highlights have included performing at the Louvre and Grand Palais (Paris), The National Gallery (London), Sónar Festival and Mercat de les flors (Barcelona), Tanz Im August (Berlin), Seoul international Dance Festival (Seoul) and De Parade Theatre Festival (Amsterdam).

Since 2015 Lucy has worked closely with Siobhan Davies Dance on researching dance in the context of visual arts through the EU Dancing Museums Project 2015-17. In 2019 Lucy was commissioned by CONTINUOUS – a partnership between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and Siobhan Davis Dance – to create Spirit Compass: Where There Is Movement There Is Change, a live dance installation work which premiered at BALTIC in October 2019 and was presented in visual arts spaces across the UK (Tramway, Turner Contemporary, Margate, Nottingham Contemporary).

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