DEBS 2023/24

DEBS 2023/24

Every year, Dance Base offers a group of dancers and physical performers a place on our Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme. The scheme includes mentoring from experienced dance artists, free professional classes and workshops at Dance Base, free selected community classes, up to two week-long group residencies at Dance Base and free studio space.

Our 2023/24 group are mentored by independent choreographer and maker, Soléne Weinachter!

During the year Soléne will support the artists to find out what a sustainable practice as a dance artist means – practically, physically, creatively and politically. Soléne’s aim is to support the DEBS in discovering / working with what is alive for them (both as artists and as humans) and making that be the focus of their professional choices

Catriona O'Connor

Catriona is a freelance choreographer and performer from Stirling. She studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, gaining a first class BaHons in contemporary dance. Before moving to London, Catriona trained at Dance Studio Scotland in Glasgow and was a member of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland. She is co-founder of Chewed Pink, a queer female-led dance theatre collective, who made their premiere at Resolution Festival in London this year. Catriona is looking forward to being back in Scotland and establishing her creative base north of the border.

Catriona aims to find a sense of freedom and playfulness within her research. Her personal practice investigates ideas of identity, queerness and our relationships with others. She likes to create work that is bold, daring and intimate. Catriona draws from improvisational techniques, such as Jeanine Durnings method of non-stopping and is constantly inspired by art, music and fashion. She is really looking forward to embarking on this journey with Dance Base, Solène and the other DEBS participants.

Hannah Draper

Hannah is currently based in Edinburgh and works across dance performance, facilitation, writing, and producing. They work as an Assistant Producer with Tortoise in a Nutshell, a Support Worker for choreographer Laura Fisher, and as a Youth Arts Worker at Lyra. Dance work has included Curious Seed’s Field – Something for the Future Now and Goodchance Theatre’s The Walk with Amal, as well as two Hidden Door collaborator commissions Selkie Reflections and Microsteria: A Symbiotic Circus in 2022 alongside musicians, visual artists, costume designers and mask makers.

Hannah is interested in improvisation, slowing practices, playfulness, participatory and site-specific work, and ecological practices as form of building knowledge and connection with human and nonhuman life. Using dance to explore landscapes, histories and time through the body, Hannah is excited to continue current research ideas and to develop an expanded choreographic practice alongside others during the DEBS scheme.

Laura Mathana

I am a dancer based in Scotland. I started dancing from 12 years old, training in Hip Hop and Street, House and Afrofusion in the dance company Three60 and AKO. Currently, I do enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone to be the best I can be in all genres of dance such as; Experimental, Traditional dance (originating from my home country Botswana) and Afro. Nothing is really off limits for myself!

Rho McGuire

Rho McGuire (b.1999) is a Scottish artist and performer based in Edinburgh. Utilising dance, movement and spoken word performance, their practice incorporates a search for connection between people and planet. A transportable, ecological and alternative practice, mapped by encounters. They are on a search to discover our rhythms of living, overlapping the patterns of our habits and rituals. To carve out shared pathways McGuire disrupts co-creation and coproduction within performance art. Entangled in physical theatre, improvisation, drawing, soundscapes and contemporary dance. To choreograph rural spaces McGuire’s methods include durational walking, endurance running, wild swimming, analogue photography, writing and recorded conversations with friends. A deep dive into quiet, slow work, with an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach. Their work is based on gathering together, creating a calling in for people and not a calling out. Rho McGuire graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2023, with a BA First Class Honours in Contemporary Art Practice.