Eliot Smith Dance begins crowdfunding for Human show to tour Newbiggin, Berwick and Warkworth this summer

Crowdfunding has begun for a contemporary dance performance to tour Northumberland after it struggled to secure grant funding.
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Eliot Smith Dance (ESD) has started an online fundraiser for the operating costs of the company’s latest show, entitled ‘Human’, and associated community initiatives.

The show is due to perform in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Warkworth, Darlington, Gateshead, and online in May and June 2023.

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Choreographer Eliot Smith, 32, who runs ESD, said: “We found it has been quite difficult these past six months, in terms of trying to secure funding.

Yamit Salazar is the solo performer in Human, ESD's new contemporary dance show.Yamit Salazar is the solo performer in Human, ESD's new contemporary dance show.
Yamit Salazar is the solo performer in Human, ESD's new contemporary dance show.

“What is also quite critical about this is that regardless of it being very difficult for us as a company, we also hear that impact from our audience and the young people we work with.”

The show will offer free tickets to shows for people struggling with the cost of living and is planning free dance workshops in schools.

Workshops are based around a climate action theme and involve the company’s dancers helping children who would not otherwise have access to dance in school create a performance.

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Eliot, who lives in Warkworth, said: “Some of these children might, and we have witnessed this recently, go on to attend dance classes outside of ESD.

Eliot Smith's dance company is putting on the show, which he has choreographed.Eliot Smith's dance company is putting on the show, which he has choreographed.
Eliot Smith's dance company is putting on the show, which he has choreographed.

“Our aim is so that they can be the next big thing.”

The company’s projects have received government funded grants for past projects, but Eliot said the cost of living crisis has dried up funding opportunities for the arts.

The show itself explores the human impact of the crisis through Eliot’s choreography, music composition by Adam Johnson, and a solo performance by Yamit Salazar, who has been with ESD since it was founded 12 years ago.

Eliot said: “It is allowing everyone, those who would not normally go and see dance to people who would, to have that experience.

Music composition for the show is by Adam Johnson.Music composition for the show is by Adam Johnson.
Music composition for the show is by Adam Johnson.
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“I think we need this more than ever. Because of the current circumstances that we are in at the moment, people just want to be inspired.

“ESD is very grateful for the support that we have received over the years, more so now, and if any of you out there are able to contribute to our crowdfunder, we are so grateful.”

You can contribute to the crowdfunder here, with a range of rewards on offer for supporters.