Jump to content

Press Release: Autumn Tour Programme announcement from Tom Dale Company

Recommended Posts

Tom Dale Company Presents


STEP SONIC : Parts 1 & 2


Digital soundscapes triggered by motion


UK Tour: 17 October –  27 November 2019


The worlds of electronic dance music and contemporary dance collide in choreographer Tom Dale’s exciting new touring programme Step Sonic which commences its inaugural tour of the UK from 17 October 2019.


Comprising a two-part programme, Step Sonic is a celebration of the impact of electronic dance music on the contemporary dance world. Step Sonic: Part 1 redraws the traditional choreographer/dancer/composer relationship allowing the dance itself to collaborate in the music-making process. With significant funding from the PRS Foundation, the work explores new ways to create, perform and showcase electronic music. Using an array of microphones and bespoke equipment, the dancers perform within a sonic playground which allows the sounds of their movement to be captured, amplified, processed and structured. The result is a mesmeric performance experience and a digital soundscape that has been entirely triggered by motion.




Step Sonic: Part 2 takes as its focus the personal impact that music has had on each of its choreographers respectively. Featuring two new commissions for Tom Dale Company: Resonance of Air by Eleesha Drennan and a new work by Jamal Burkmar; the premiere of Tom Dale’s solo Surge completes the programme. Step Sonic commences its UK tour at Derby’s DEDA on 17th & 18th October before taking in LPAC, Lincoln (25 October), Theatre Royal, Portsmouth (31 October), Riley Theatre, Leeds (7 November), The Place, London (14 November), Lakeside Arts, Nottingham (19 November), Cambridge Junction, Cambridge (21 November) and Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry (26 & 27  November).


Tom Dale and Jo Wills have been collaborators for over a decade with Jo creating compositions for three of TDC’s previous dance performances; Rise, Digitopia & Roam. Through their research period for Step Sonic: Part 1, Tom and Jo have been able to experiment with and develop new sounds and instruments, as well as new compositional and choreographic processes. Sound artist and craftsman Sam Mumford joined Tom and Jo to help see the innovative project through to fruition. Together they designed a purpose-built acoustic space comprising a combination of contact and shotgun microphones, large-scale instruments, plate reverbs and a textured floor which sets the stage for the dancers to effectively become ‘the band’. The dancers are joined on stage by Wills, and while the amplified space captures the sounds of the dancers’ breath, their physical effort and the sound of their bodies impacting, Wills samples and processes these sounds in real-time creating a completely unique soundscape live at every performance. Step Sonic: Part 1 represents a new way of creating music from dance and a new way of creating choreography which foregrounds sound creation, not just movement in the choreographic process.


Part 2 of the programme sees the premiere of Ellesha Drennan’s Resonance of Air. The new work takes the surprising rhythms of bat echolocation which punctuate the score for a virtuosic display of visually articulated echoes. American singer-songwriter Janelle Monae has provided the inspiration for Jamaal Burkmar’s choreography; soulful rhythm and blues, funk and pop combine with classical influences in an eclectic fusion of influences. Completing the programme is Tom Dale’s solo Surge showcasing furious urban contemporary dance in an adrenaline-charged and awe-inspiring performance featuring one of the UK’s rising stars Jemima Brown.


Tom Dale says of his new programme: "Music has played an essential role in shaping new dance aesthetics throughout history. The question I wanted to explore is whether dance can offer something back to music in return? Step Sonic: Part 1 aims to showcase the inherent, visceral musicality within the dancer’s body and soul and offer something back to music.”


Tom Dale Company (TDC) is one of the UK's leading contemporary dance companies. In 2018 TDC was made a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England. Combining dance, electronic music and digital media, TDC is a leader in its field, producing world-class work which is simultaneously bold, exciting and constantly evolving. Its award-winning participatory activities for young people deliver exceptional transmedia programmes across Nottinghamshire and further afield. The synergy between dance and the digital arts is the major artery pumping through TDC’s practice and is woven into all of the company’s programmes of work. The company’s vision, through its collaborations with the digital arts, is to re-imagine dance and to explore new ideas, aesthetics and techniques with an exceptional team of dancers, digital artists, electronic musicians, poets, writers, designers and visual artists.


Notes to editors


UK Autumn Tour Dates 2018


DEDA, Derby

17 & 18 October


01332 370911


LPAC, Lincoln

25 October


01522 837600


Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

31 October


023 92649000


Riley Theatre, Leeds

7 November


0113 2193018


The Place, London

14 November


0207 1211100


Lakeside Arts, Nottingham

19 November


0115 846 7777


Cambridge Junction, Cambridge

21 November


01223 511 511


Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

26 & 27 November





Tom Dale

Tom Dale graduated from Laban, winning the centre’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography. He danced with leading choreographers and companies, including Mathew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures, before focusing on creating his own work and forming Tom Dale Company. It is here that Tom is able to pursue his artistic vision, bringing together artists to collaborate on bold, exciting, innovative projects that interrogate art in motion and have a particular synergy with the digital arts and electronic music. As well as creating all of the company’s work to date, including critically acclaimed pieces Rise, I Infinite, Refugees of the Lost Heart and Digitopia, Tom has created A New Chimera for Fertile Ground, Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red with Sinfonia Viva, Subterrania which was part of In the Dust for 2Faced Dance Company, Dance Please produced by TPO/Crying Out Loud/Theatre Is and I am a believer for artist Reza Aramesh. Tom also leads educational projects throughout the UK and internationally, working with Sinfonia Viva, all of the UK’s major conservatoires for dance and for National Centres for Advanced Training.


Jo Wills

Jo is a composer and sound artist from the South West, currently based in London. His composition credits range from commissions for the BBC to collaborations with video artist Sophie Clements and Brian Eno. His extensive discography includes releases on WW Records, Gold Panda, Test Card Recordings and Clay Pipe Music. His installation work has been shown at the Barbican Centre, Bath International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Dolby labs. He is the co-founder of WW Records and Artistic Director of Drum Works (Artistic Associate at the Barbican Centre).


Sam Mumford

Sam is a guitarist, singer, composer and sound artist with a diverse range of credits that have seen him making art and music all over the world, as well as working internationally as a facilitator for social music projects. He recently launched his EP Scatter on WW records.


Eleesha Drennan

Eleesha Drennan is an award winning choreographer and dance artist based in London. In 2014 she became the recipient of the prestigious Sky Academy Arts scholarship award which enabled the launched of her company, Eleesha Drennan Dance. A Northern School of Contemporary Dance graduate, Eleesha began her choreographic career while dancing for National Dance Company Wales. Choreographic commissions include those for Studio Wayne McGregor, The Place, London Contemporary Dance School, London College of Fashion, Grace & Growl Dance Company, Maiden Voyage Dance Company, Selfridges, London Studio Centre, Fertile Ground, National Youth Dance Wales, RDC Youth and The Roundhouse, London. Eleesha is an Inaugural FreeSpace Artist at Studio Wayne McGregor. She is currently working on a new dance production from Eleesha Drennan Dance called, Infinite Glimpse, funded by Arts Council England, Sky Arts and the Arts Foundation (25th anniversary awarded artist) with a new score by Adelphoi Music.


Jamaal Burkmar

A graduate of the Northern School for Contemporary Dance, Jamaal’s first creation as a student, Ocean, was commissioned for VERVE, the school’s postgraduate company. ‘Ocean’ proved successful with audiences in UK and beyond has since been reworked times for various companies and performed at several highly prestigious events. During this period Jamaal was also successful in gaining his first Arts Council England Grants for the Arts award for the creation of a short work called Sonder. In 2015 Jamaal won the highly prestigious New Adventures Choreography Award.


Tom Dale Company dancers:

Jemima Brown, Juan Sanchez Plaza, Rose Sall Sao


Step Sonic is commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre. TDC gratefully acknowledges support from PRS for Music Foundation, Idlewild Trust and The Place.  Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


Image by: photographer Alicia Clarke






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...