Phoenix Dance Theatre

Phoenix Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance company founded 36 years ago, to entertain, educate and inspire audiences through the medium of dance. We are the longest established and most high profile contemporary dance company outside of London. A registered charity since 1985, Phoenix has been a recipient of Arts Council England regular funding (currently NPO) for over 30 years.

As a national repertory dance company based in Leeds, Phoenix tours a mixed bill of work with its company of professional dancers - performing over 30 shows in middle scale venues across the UK, reaching audiences of up to 20,000 last year. This includes our Rural Tour which takes a scaled down version of our mixed programme to small venues in rural villages. Over the decades, Phoenix has performed in the USA, Western Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Our mixed bills showcase an eclectic array of choreographic voices from seasoned professionals to emerging choreographers who create new works or re-stage contemporary classics for our expanding repertoire, reflecting an artistic vision that celebrates diversity and excellence. Recent commissions include works from some of the biggest names in dance such as Christopher Bruce CBE and Itzik Galili (knighted in the Netherlands) as well as emerging female choreographers like Caroline Finn and Sandrine Monin.

Phoenix has successfully delivered large scale commissions, sometimes as co-partnerships. Our most recent was a Yorkshire Festival headline event, Ghost Peloton (in association with NVA Public Arts) for the Grand Départ/Tour de France 2014; a large scale public art spectacle with audiences of up to 15,000. The film of Ghost Peloton garnered over 100,000 online views and was broadcast to over 100 million viewers worldwide during the opening leg. Other large scale commissions include: Frankenstein’s Wedding Live in Leeds (2011), a mass dance performance of 12,000, broadcast live on BBC 3 to over 450,000 viewers; Honour (2014), a multimedia live performance to 3,000 spectators staged by Quays Culture for the WW1 centenary; choreography for the BBC TV series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015) with an average viewing figure of 2 million each night; and a dance performance of over 400 young people for the Rugby League Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley in 2014 and 2015 to approx. 80,000 spectators.

Phoenix has received awards and nominations since its inception, such as the Grand Prize at the International Choreographic Competition in Bagnolet, Critics’ Circle Award, Best Arts Project Award and nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. Over the decades, Phoenix has made an indelible mark on the UK's dance landscape and will continue to transform and contribute to this vibrant arts ecology.

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