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JOHN Workpack now available

Thursday, 16 July, 2015

The PDF workpack includes a foreword by Artistic Director Lloyd Newson, tasks for students and teachers and a scene-by-scene synopsis.
To download the pack visit our Students page.

Archive News

Wednesday, 1 July, 2015

See below for past DV8 News

JOHN - New Tour Dates Announced

Wednesday, 24 June, 2015

JOHN is back for an Autumn Tour. We are pleased to announce that we will visit the following venues later this year: 

15th - 17th October
Teatros del Canal, Festival de Otono a Primavera

22nd - 24th October
West Yorkshire Playhouse

2nd - 4th December
Le Grand T 

9th - 19th December (excluding 13th)
Festival d'Automne, Grande Halle de la Villette

"JOHN is a powerful and absorbing piece full of innovative visual touches"
- Lyndsey Winship, The Evening Standard

Leading Choreographers Raise Concerns Over UK Contemporary Dance Training - Full Press Release

Thursday, 9 April, 2015

Press Release - Background History

In 2013, myself/DV8, Helen Shute/Hofesh Shechter and Farooq Chaudhry/Akram Kahn - supported by other prominent companies/choreographers/dancers - approached the senior management of London Contemporary Dance School, to express our concerns about the lack of rigour and technique of many LCDS graduates.

After 5 months of emails, calls/conversations and meeting with LCDS senior management, but making little progress, we decided to request a meeting with the Chair of LCDS’s board.

We provided a list of suggestions in advance of this meeting, called “WAYS FORWARD”: ideas and pointers, to be jointly discussed, to help refocus the training LCDS offer and improve the standard of their graduates. We asked the school to provide their past 5 years of employment figures (Destination of Leavers), showing clearly who got work in the dance sector as a more objective way of measuring the issue and moving forward.

Meanwhile conversations with students, teachers and choreographers suggested many of the problems we were identifying extended to Trinity Laban and Northern School of Contemporary Dance, as well as LCDS; three of the UK’s key contemporary dance-training institutions.

So we then approached Trinity Laban to provide us with their Destination of Leavers (DoL) statistics. The figure quoted on their website of 98.9% includes non-dance work as well as further study, so we asked them to clarify how many of their graduates were specifically in paid dance employment as performers, teachers, or choreographers.

As both LCDS and Trinity Laban couldn’t provide the DoL statistics we asked for, we contacted HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) to obtain these figures for the three schools.  The statistics reinforced what we had originally suspected (see statistics below) – that students from these colleges were three times less likely to work as a dancer or choreographer than leading comparable schools internationally e.g. Juilliard Dance Division (NY) and PARTS (Brussels).

We accept the situation is complex, but felt that unless we made our concerns public, there would be a continued lack of urgency about addressing and improving the quality of UK contemporary dancers.  We need and want these three training institutions – they have produced many great artists: choreographers, dancers and teachers - we would just like them to produce more.

- Lloyd Newson, Artistic Director, DV8 Physical Theatre

The Press Release in Full:

Britain’s leading dance companies, Akram Khan Company (AKC) , DV8 Physical Theatre and Hofesh Shechter Company (HSC) have raised concerns over the standards of training in UK contemporary dance schools. All three companies are having to employ dancers from overseas because they cannot find British trained, contemporary dancers of sufficient calibre.

There are three main contemporary dance schools in Britain: London Contemporary Dance School, Trinity Laban, and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Artistic Directors Khan, Shechter and Newson have decided to go public with their criticism of these institutions, as they are increasingly dismayed by the declining standards they witness when holding UK auditions. They are unconvinced that the schools are able to provide training that reflects the demands and needs of the professional dance sector.

“As leading contemporary dance companies, we would hope to employ graduates from these institutions, which are all in receipt of public subsidy as well as student tuition fees. Unfortunately the students, more often than not, lack rigour, technique and performance skills. I have spoken to ten other British Dance companies who share this view.”
- Lloyd Newson, Artistic Director, DV8 Physical Theatre

'My dance training has been and still is like an old friend, who guides me, who I debate with and who helps me through many obstacles, in my life and in art. I am concerned, that somewhere, somehow, the training the young dancers go through in the UK are not supporting them in the rigour, technique, and discipline that I am looking for in a dancer. Instead, the 'training' of the UK dancers today, have become the very obstacles that the training was meant to overcome.'
- Akram Khan, Artistic Director Akram Khan Company

“Working in the UK I get to know and care about the under-graduates of our major training institutions who attend our workshops and company classes. It’s disheartening when it comes to auditions to see these UK students with potential and enthusiasm consistently outclassed by fitter, stronger and more versatile counterparts from Europe, Asia and the USA. We must find a way to level the playing field and work together as a sector to address the widening gap between our requirements as employers and the skills with which UK graduates emerge which starts with a complete lack of high quality, professional contemporary dance training for school age children in the UK and continues into a passive approach to addressing this already existing disadvantage head on at undergraduate level.”

- Hofesh Shechter, Artistic Director, Hofesh Shechter Company

"Are the schools really serving their students and the wider dance industry? I certainly believe their teaching methods have fallen behind the needs of the market.”

- Farooq Chaudhry, Producer, Akram Khan Company

Khan, Shechter and Newson wanted to find out how many of the school leavers of recent years actually found work in the sector. While not all dance students might envisage a career as performers, the three choreographers felt that this was still the main measure to judge the schools against. Destination of Leavers figures provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), highlight the low number of UK contemporary dance graduates finding paid employment as dancers or choreographers; for the three main contemporary dance schools this figures lies between 31 and 35%. In comparison, the Juilliard School in New York has a 90% employment rate.

Since 2000, Akram Khan’s company have employed 51 dancers; only 4 were UK trained. In contrast 57% of the dancers they employ have graduated from P.A.R.T.S, (Brussels). Khan, Shechter and Newson are adamant that action is required if we hope to reverse this trend.

Comparing Destination of Leavers Statistics:

Destination of Leavers figures provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for the three main UK Contemporary Dance Schools, highlight the low number of UK contemporary dance graduates finding paid employment as dancers or choreographers:

2012/13 NSCD LCDS Laban Juilliard
No. of graduates working as full or part time
paid dancers or choreographers
35% 33% 31% 90%

In comparison, 90% of graduates from The Juilliard School, New York are working as paid dancers or choreographers.

Additionally, Arts Educational Schools London (ArtsEd) have provided us with details of the per-cent of their Musical Theatre graduates who are working within performance within a year of graduating:
2012 - 96%
2013 - 100%
Although these students have studied Musical Theatre rather than contemporary dance, we feel that these statistics are a clear indication of what UK performance graduates could be achieving.

Foot Notes:
- Information for NSCD, LCDS and Laban sourced from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Destination of Leavers Survey and Student Record
- The "Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE)" survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation.
- The figures for "No. of graduates working as full or part time paid dancers or choreographers” were checked and verified by HESA on the 8th of April 2015
- Juilliard statistics provided by Juilliard (Sarah Adriance and Katie Friis)
- ArtsEd statistics provided by ArtsEd (Chris Hocking)
- 2012/2013 were the most recent figures that were available from HESA at the time of data extraction as student surveys and records for 2013/14 graduates had not yet been collected/compiled (for LCDS, NSCD, Laban).

For further information please contact Clióna Roberts on [email protected]


Take Class with DV8 dancers

Wednesday, 18 February, 2015

When possible, DV8 Physical Theatre run open company classes that professional dancers can apply to attend.

As the company are currently away on tour, there are no open classes scheduled at this time. When we are able to run open classes we will announce them on here and on our social media; @DV8PhysTheatre, so look out for updates. 

How to Apply:
Spaces for these classes are limited. To be considered dancers should email [email protected] with both a CV and showreel. Please note that we only book people in one week in advance of their chosen class. Participation in open class is at the company's own discretion.

Development Workshop and The Big Give!

Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

What would you pay for an opportunity to learn from DV8 dancers?

This summer, we’ll be hosting a development workshop* giving emerging professional dancers an opportunity to work with some of DV8's dancers. How much does it cost? Nothing… it’s FREE.

Details on how to take part will be available in the new year… but until then, we need your help. 

The workshop will ONLY take place if we raise £10,000 before the end of the year.

Remember how we asked you to think of how much you’d pay for an opportunity to work along side DV8 dancers? Consider making a donation of that amount, or even half of it, to the project to help see it to life.

Donate before 5PM on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 for a chance to have your donation matched! Your £25 could be worth £50!

To donate, or for more information, visit here.


About DV8’s Development Workshop:

DV8 is hoping to host a 2-week intensive development workshop for contemporary dance students and recent graduates this upcoming summer. It will provide an indication of the standard and skills required by future employers. The workshop will enable participants to work alongside professional dancers whilst gaining experience of DV8’s working practices and audition process. The workshop is to be free of charge and will include a bursary. Follow this link for more details. Please not that this workshop will only go ahead if we raise 10,000 before the end of the year. 

*All development workshop participants will be required to undergo an audition process

Making Verbatim Theatre - A Panel Discussion between Newson, Blythe and Goode

Monday, 22 September, 2014

October 8th, 7pm - Queen Mary University London

In this talk, Lloyd Newson (DV8), Alecky Blythe (Recorded Delivery) and Chris Goode (Chris Goode and Company), who have all created successful verbatim plays, will explain why they chose this medium. They will compare their different working methods and discuss why truth, authenticity and responsibility are recurring themes in the production of verbatim plays. This talk will be chaired by Dr Maggie Inchley, lecturer in drama at Queen Mary University.

This event is free but spaces are limited; click here to book your tickets. 

This event was made possible by funding from the Leverhulme Foundation and forms part of Lloyd Newson's residency at QMUL.

Verbatim Dance Theatre Workshop/Field Project - Vienna, 12th-16th August

Thursday, 26 June, 2014

As part of the ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival in Vienna, DV8 will be running a five day workshop/field project from the 12th to the 16th of August from 10:00 until 16:00 each day. Lloyd Newson (DV8 Artistic Director) and Hannes Langolf (DV8 Creative Associate), supported by Ian Garside and Andi Xhuma (DV8 performers), will conduct the workshop with pre-selected male participants

The material for this field project will be based on the company's latest production JOHN. Recorded interviews, which formed the basis of the piece, will be used in the creative sessions. Participants will learn to develop ways of interweaving this text with movement and, in addition to learning some of the company's repertoire, will also have a chance to create their own material employing some of the tasks used in DV8's devising process. There will be rigorous feedback. Please be aware that this workshop is not for the faint hearted. The sessions will deal with themes concerning male sexuality.

Please visit the ImpulsTanz website for more information and details of how to apply. 

Please note, this Project is open to male dancers only.

John - 2014 Tour Dates Announced

Friday, 20 June, 2014

Following on from preview performances in Stockholm and Oslo, DV8's new production JOHN will now embark on an international tour. We are pleased to announce the following dates:

Premiere: 5th August – ImPulsTanz Wien, Vienna International Dance Festival, Austria. For tickets, please visit the ImPulsTanz website.

7th – 9th August - ImPulsTanz Wien, Vienna. For tickets, please visit the ImPulsTanz website.

10th – 12th September – Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, France. For tickets, please visit the Biennale de la Danse website.

1st - 3rd October - Trafo Center, Budapest, Hungary. For tickets, please visit the Trafo Center website.

12th – 15th October – Onassis Cultural Center, Athens, Greece. For tickets, please visit the Onassis Centre Website.

23rd - 24th October - Playhouse, Liverpool, UK. For tickets please visit the Playhouse website.

October 30th – January 13th 2015 – The National Theatre, London, UK. For tickets please visit the National Theatre's website.

2015 dates will be announced soon!



Wednesday, 11 June, 2014

DV8's latest production JOHN, recently previewed at both Dansens Hus, Stockholm and Dansens Hus, Oslo.

"Outstandingly effective and gripping dance theatre…a brilliant performance by Hannes Langolf (John)"

Dagens Nyheter

"Smart and innovative"


Following on from the previews, JOHN will premiere at the Vienna International Dance Festival, ImPulsTanz on 5th August, with additional shows from the 7th - 9th August. For tickets, please visit the ImPulsTanz website.

The production will then embark on an international tour. Further dates will be announced shortly, including information on our extended run at the National Theatre, London.



Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

Human rights activist Maryam Namazie recently posted a blog about the reluctance from Channel 4 and the BBC to produce a film adaptation of Can We Talk About This?

Here is a statement from DV8 Physical Theatre:


Monday, 6 August, 2012

Lloyd Newson was contacted by Jenny Morgan, Miranda Pennell and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead in August 2012, who asked him to sign a letter of protest against the appearance of the Israeli dance company Batsheva at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Lloyd refused their request and his response, along with the original letter, can be found below.