26 September 2009, The Lindsey Theatre, Cleethorpes
Peter S Jones
Artistic Director Sharon Watson’s Fast Lane is a vibrant and exciting new work that examines the pressures and circumstances we all face in life, filling the stage with stunning choreography and vivid colour and sound. Technically complex the work plays with relationships and alliances by using complex patterns. At a fast pace throughout there is a sense of urgency and edge to the piece that is driven on by Peter S Jones’ dynamic music.
Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, Sharon danced with Spiral and Extemporary Dance Theatre before joining Phoenix as a dancer from 1989 to 1997. Whilst there she worked with choreographers such as Michael Clarke, Donald Byrd, Bebe Miller, Darshan Singh Bhuller and Philip Taylor. She was also heavily involved in Phoenix’s education programmes and delivery.
Sharon choreographed Never Still and Shaded Limits for Phoenix as well as creating new works for the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, National Youth Dance Company and Union Dance. In 1996 she choreographed a piece specially commissioned for the opening ceremony of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Her own company ABCD was formed in 1998. Focusing largely on working with live music, ABCD has toured both nationally and internationally.
Returning to Phoenix in 2000 as the company’s Rehearsal and Tour Director, Sharon toured extensively in the UK and USA for 6 years. In 2006 she embarked upon a fellowship with the Clore Leadership Programme for which her secondment took her to the Sage Gateshead where she delivered a Choreographers and Composers course. Sharon also continued her freelance work mentoring emerging artists, lecturing in vocational dance schools and delivering bespoke training programmes.
Danced to Leeds Rhinos’ anthem Hold On, composed by Carl Davis, Sharon created and delivered Dancing with Rhinos in 2008 as part of the regional cultural Olympiad for Yorkshire. Forming part of the practice research for her Performance Works MA from Leeds Metropolitan University, the piece was based on the game of rugby and performed by a mixed group of professional dancers and members of the community.
In 2008 Sharon was one of 26 aspiring leaders from around the globe selected to attend Dance East’s fourth Rural Retreat, an intensive four day think-tank exploring the challenges of the role of Artistic Directors in the 21st century. Prior to taking up post at Phoenix she also spent eight months as Director of Learning and Access at Northern Ballet Theatre.
Sharon was appointed as the 7th Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre in May 2009 and in 2010 was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch, a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK selected by a distinguished panel made up of figures from the cultural and creative industries. Since returning to the company Sharon has choreographed Fast Lane for Phoenix’s Ignite tour, Melt for Phoenix’s Reflected programme and re-worked Never Still into Never 2 Still. She is currently undertaking Leadership Advance, funded by Arts Council England.
Peter studied at the Royal College of Music with Humphrey Searle and Herbert Howells, and piano with Maria Donska. He composed the music for John Field and Anne Heaton’s BBO Ballet Syllabus and was a regular accompanist at DanceWorks and The Place, where he became Chief Accompanist. He works as a mastering engineer for Big Noise Association and has composed several scores for Kate Simmons Dance and Tracy Baxter. In 2006 he was awarded a Fellowship from the British Ballet Organization for his services to Dance and to the BBO.
Since graduating from the University of Ripon and York St John in 1995, Julie has worked in house and toured internationally with Nottingham Playhouse, Teatro Kismet and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Over the past 14 years Julie has worked on over 100 shows, designing, plotting and operating production lighting for theatre, dance, musicals, circus and education work.
Julie now works freelance, most recently for Hype Dance Company's tour of Routes 09.