Step into the world of dance and become a part of an extraordinary creative journey!
For over a decade, Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) has been setting stages ablaze with unforgettable contemporary dance experiences that transcend boundaries and inspire hearts. We're not just any dance company – we are proudly LGBT-led and committed to the creation of inclusive, high-quality work. Our passion knows no bounds as we traverse the villages, towns, and cities of North East England, bringing dance to the heart of local communities.
Last season, we brought you the mesmerising "ESD Presents Paul Taylor" in our vibrant hometown of Newcastle upon Tyne. This biennial dance event was more than just a performance; it was a celebration of creativity and a catalyst for thought-provoking conversations about Paul Taylor's profound impact on dance worldwide. And now, the excitement mounts as we announce our ground-breaking collaboration with the iconic Paul Taylor Dance Company!
(Image: ESD Dancer Yamit Salazar. Photographer Darren Irwin)
In January 2024, two of ESD's phenomenal dancers, Yamit Salazar and Rowan Parker, will embark on a transformative journey to the legendary Taylor Studios in New York City. For two weeks, they will immerse themselves in the exquisite choreography of Paul Taylor's "DUET," masterfully staged by Carylon Adams, the Director of Education at The Taylor School. But that's not all – our visionary director, Eliot Smith, will be building bridges with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and forging connections with dance luminaries at Jacob's Pillow and throughout the New York dance community.
"DUET," set to the timeless music of Franz Josef Haydn, captures the essence of love – a love that is not new but tried and true. This classic piece, recently showcased at the illustrious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, is a testament to the simplicity and clarity of Paul Taylor's craft. And now, ESD is poised to premiere "DUET" in May as part of our spring 2024 season, a season filled with thrilling surprises to be announced in the New Year.
(Image: Paul Taylor's DUET. Photographer: Jack Mitchell. Dancers: Carolyn Adams and Danny Williams)
But here's where you come in. This incredible journey is not just an opportunity; it's an expensive undertaking. The Paul Taylor Dance Foundation has generously joined hands with us to make this dream a reality for ESD and for audiences in the North East of England and beyond. Your support is the key to unlocking the potential of this beautiful work and making it accessible to all.
Join us in this creative endeavour and become a vital part of our story. Your investment in ESD is an investment in unforgettable contemporary dance experiences that inspire. With your generous support, you'll gain exclusive access to the behind-the-scenes magic, and you'll witness the joy of creation first-hand.
Be a part of something extraordinary. Be a part of ESD. Together, we'll create dance that resonates and inspires for years to come. Support us today, and let's make magic happen!
Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) is a not-for-profit organisation with a passionate commitment to sharing the magic of dance. We've been fortunate to receive vital support from grant makers, which has allowed us to pursue our ambitious projects and bring dance to the heart of our communities. But as the financial landscape grows more challenging, with a higher demand for funding, our success rates are being tested. That's where you come in.
With this Crowdfunder campaign, we invite you to become an integral part of the creative process. By investing in us, you'll not only help us reach our Crowdfunder goal, but you'll also strengthen our case when we seek support from grant makers in England to take our work on tour. Your contribution will fuel our mission and amplify the power of dance in our lives.
(Image: Paul Taylor's DUET. Photographer: Sarah Tondu. Dancers: Kristin Drauker and Michael Apuzzo)
What's in Store for Our Supporters?
As a token of our gratitude, we're offering a front-row seat to the artistry of dance. During the Taylor residency, we'll host online studio showings of our works in progress, open conversations with our dancers and creative team, and so much more – all exclusively for our Crowdfunder supporters. Explore our enticing rewards; each one is carefully designed to provide you with exclusive access to the staging of "DUET" and bring you closer to the ESD family.
Where does the money go?
Our Crowdfunder goal represents just a fraction of the resources required to bring this magnificent dance work to life. We need your help to make this dream a reality. Here's a glimpse of what your investment will support:
- Commissioning Fees: Empowering artists to create their masterpieces.
- Dancers, Creatives, and Artists Fees: Recognising and valuing the talent behind the magic.
- Rehearsal Costs: Providing a space for innovation and creativity to flourish.
- Music: Setting the rhythm for unforgettable performances.
- Costumes: Enveloping our dancers in the essence of the performance.
- Lighting and Set Design: Crafting the visual symphony that accompanies dance.
- Documenting the Creative Process: Preserving every step of this remarkable journey.
- Marketing: Sharing the beauty and power of dance with the world.
- Travel and Housing: Ensuring that our dancers can embark on this artistic adventure.
December 2023: The Crowdfunder Project concludes, and we express our gratitude by thanking all backers on ESD's social media and website. The first rewards are delivered.
January 2024: ESD's Dancers and Creative Director embark on their journey to New York City, sharing online updates with our backers about the process.
January - February: Online and Studio Showings of "DUET" in Gateshead, England, where our backers will receive updates directly from the Creative Director.
Late February: We unveil ESD's spring 2024 season, which includes the highly anticipated "DUET."
May - June: Rehearsals, Premiere, and the grand Tour of "DUET" in England.
July: An exclusive ESD webpage will showcase the impact and legacy of "DUET," with backers receiving further insights from our Creative Director.
Paul Taylor is one of the world's most accomplished artists and helped shape and define America’s homegrown art of modern dance from the earliest days of his career as a choreographer in 1954 until his death in 2018. Discover more about Mr. Taylor by clicking here.
Carolyn Adams is the Director of Education at The Taylor School. Ms. Adams joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1965. During her 17-year career with the Company, she created roles in such Taylor masterpieces as Esplanade, Airs, Cloven Kingdom, Arden Court, Polaris, and Big Bertha, and distinguished herself in Taylor’s classic Aureole.
With her sister Julie Adams Strandberg, she co-founded the Harlem Dance Studio, Dancing Legacy and the Repertory Etudes Collection. She is a faculty emerita at The Juilliard School and former director of education at Jacob’s Pillow. She is the founding artistic director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Dance. Ms. Adams serves as chair of the external affairs committee of the Taylor Board of Advisors.
Ms. Adams received the 2019 Martha Hill Award for Lifetime Achievement, a Dance Magazine Award in 2016, an award for Artistic Excellence from the International Association of Blacks in Dance in 2010, and the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching from the American Dance Festival in 2009.
Richard Chen See is the Director of Licensing at Paul Taylor Dance Foundation. Mr Chen See was a featured performer of Paul Taylor’s Dance Company from 1993 through 2008 and has been staging the dances of Paul Taylor since 1999 while he was still actively performing, originating and assuming numerous roles from the choreographer’s extensive repertory of works, dating from 1954. In 2018/19 Richard Chen See was a Fulbright-Nehru Grant Recipient at the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) in New Delhi, India for several months. Since December 2021, he has been part of the administrative management of Paul Taylor American Modern Dance as Director of Licensing.
Eliot Smith is the Founder and Creative Director of Eliot Smith Dance (ESD). During his studies at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS), Eliot presented his first contemporary dance work, MISSA (2011) at Westminster Cathedral and subsequently founded Eliot Smith Dance. Upon graduating from LCDS, Eliot studied for a short time in New York at The Martha Graham School (MGDS) in 2013. Eliot returned to MGDS in 2017 as part of his successful project 'Inviting Martha Graham back to the UK', supported by Arts Council England's Artists' International Development Fund, and later self-published a book "Martha & Me" which traces his passion for Martha Graham. As a result, and with the imprimatur of The Martha Graham Dance Company, Eliot founded and directed 'Graham in UK' in 2018 - a platform for dancers and others passionate about the life and work of the great American choreographer Martha Graham.
On behalf of ESD, Eliot has created 19 works for the Company, alongside commissioning award-winning international choreographers to create new works for the Company. Eliot was shortlisted for One Dance UK's People's Choice Award in 2018 and won The Green Dance Award in 2022 for ESD. Eliot was also nominated for their Dance Personality of The Year in 2019. Eliot was an Associate Artist at Dance City in 2017, an Artist in Residence at The Bowes Museum in 2018 and joined their Board of Trustees in autumn 2021. In October 2022, Eliot was invited to become an Honorary Friend of the British Federation of Festivals in recognition of the contribution he has made throughout his career in the performing arts. Eliot retired from dancing in summer 2021 to focus on leading ESD and his choreographic interests.
Yamit Salazar An exceptional dancer, born in Colombia, Yamit Salazar was raised in Central London. He attended the BRIT School of Performing Arts, later graduating from Bird College of Dance. He joined Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) in 2013 and has performed lead roles in ESD's repertoire, including works by Eliot Smith, Maggie Boogaart, Maurice Causey, Mathieu Geffré, Mark Baldwin, and Balbir Singh.
Yamit stepped down as a full-time freelance Company Dancer in autumn 2017 and accepted the position of freelance Rehearsal Director and Guest Dancer at ESD. In summer 2021, Yamit was commissioned by ESD to create his first major work for the Company titled, Bloom. As well as his work with ESD, he has danced on Celebrity X Cruises and has performed in five consecutive pantomimes as a dancer and dance captain and choreographer in 2022 at The Capitol Theatre, Horsham, a dancer in Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ for her launch dates at the London Palladium, as well as dancing in La Forza Del Destino at the Royal Opera House.
Rowan Parker Based in Nottingham, Rowan trained at Central School of Ballet and has performed works by Matthew Bourne, Liam Scarlett and Malgorzata Dzierzon.
Rowan has performed in 'A Night of 100 Solos' and 'Oriente Occidente Festival' as part of the Merce Cunningham Trust as well as performing with the Michael Clark Company undertaking their Australian and European tour. Rowan danced the role of Swing for Robert North's The Snowman at Peacock Theatre in London's West End and UK tour. Rowan joined ESD in summer 2023 and credits include: BLOOM, Coalfield to Landscape, and The Three Jolly Ghosts of Christmas.
Featuring: ESD's Chair Steph Edusei, Creative Director Eliot Smith, ESD Dancers Yamit Salazar and Rowan Parker
Filmed and Edited by: Eliot Smith Dance
Footage of DUET: Courtesy of Paul Taylor Dance Foundation. Filmed by Ted Steeg. Music by Franz Josef Haydn. Choreography by Paul Taylor. Danced by Carolyn Adams and Danny Williams.