Thought-provoking contemporary dance programme coming to Berwick

A new contemporary dance programme presented by Fertile Ground is coming to Berwick next month.
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Showcasing some of the best-emerging dancers from the North East, this Dance City and Gillian Dickinson Trust commission features two new pieces by former Rambert artist Patricia Okenwa and award-winning choreographer Jamaal Burkmar.

Play, Pause, Repeat, explores the complex and often contradictory nature of human connection and what makes us want to play, explore, learn and share again and again.

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Renaud Wiser, artistic director at Fertile Ground, said: “We are thrilled to be returning to The Maltings with our new performance.

Dancers Hayley Walker and Alex Thirkle.Dancers Hayley Walker and Alex Thirkle.
Dancers Hayley Walker and Alex Thirkle.

“This tour will be the first chance for audiences in the North East of England to see work by choreographer Patricia, who has collaborated with London-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Quinta to create a new work exploring how we start again and again.

“We’re also proud to be working with Jamaal. His work, which has music and improvisation at its heart, explores love, relationships and the angst and discomfort involved in the not knowing.”

Every year, Fertile Ground recruits a new company of dancers and four dancers will bring Play, Pause, Repeat to life on stage.

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Daisy Dancer grew up in Hexham and studied at The Place in London before completing a Master’s Degree with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance post-graduate company VERVE, where she toured nationally and internationally.

Pagan Hunt, from Shropshire, has been based in Newcastle since 2019 when she completed her MA in Advanced Dance Performance at Dance City. She then worked with several companies before co-founding North East based dance company Pelican Theatre.

Alex Thirkle, from Sunderland, trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. While still in training, he was an apprentice with Humanhood Dance Company and began work with Russell Maliphant Dance Company, touring internationally. In 2023, he joined Tavaziva Dance.

Hayley Walker grew up in Newcastle and trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Upon graduation, she joined the post-graduate company Emergence. When Hayley moved back to the North East, she completed two tours of Jumpers for Goalposts with Meta4 Dance Company.

Play, Pause, Repeat will be performed at The Maltings on Friday, April 12 from 8pm. To book tickets, go to

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