Phoenix Dance Theatre
Founded 32 years ago by three young black men in inner city Leeds, Phoenix Dance Theatre has grown to become one of the leading contemporary dance companies in the UK, and is the largest scale, longest established and most high profile contemporary dance company outside of London. From its base in Leeds, the company tours nationally and internationally with the aim of bringing inspiring and entertaining contemporary dance to the widest possible audience by presenting unique and dynamic work. Underpinning this professional programme of work is the company’s Access & Education department that is thriving with projects regionally and nationwide.
Phoenix has performed internationally in the US, Western Europe, South America and the Caribbean. In 1996, they were the sole representative of British dance at the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta and the following year were commissioned to perform at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh. In more recent years they have been awarded the Grand Prize for Ballet Theatre at the International Choreographic Competition in Bagnolet, France, a Digital Dance Award, and were nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award.
Sharon Watson was appointed as Artistic Director in May 2009. Under her Phoenix has re- introduced diverse mixed programmes of work, including classic pieces from the company’s extensive repertoire. In October 2010 Phoenix moved into purpose-built new premises in the Quarry Hill area of Leeds alongside Northern Ballet. With the company having just celebrated 30 years of outstanding dance, the world class facilities of this new home give Phoenix Dance Theatre the platform to continue producing work of the highest quality for the next 30 years and beyond.