Choreographers & Composers Lab

Phoenix Dance Theatre will be hosting its second Choreographers and Composers Lab in summer 2019 at its studios in Leeds. Led by our Artistic Director Sharon Watson and Composer Shirley J. Thompson, the Lab is an opportunity to work collaboratively, innovate, and develop new ways of working in music and dance. Applications have now closed for the 2019 Lab.

Funded by Jerwood Arts with match funding from Leeds Dance Partnership, the Choreographers and Composers Lab 2019 will bring together four choreographers and four composers at a pivotal point in their careers to develop their skills in the art of collaboration and partnership working with artists from a different discipline.

The selected choreographers and composers will participate in an immersive programme over a two-week period, led by renowned dance and music experts in the creative arts sector, with the support of twelve professional dancers and four musicians, who will help to bring their collaborative visions and explorations to life. The focus of the Lab is on the experimentation process and less on the creation of a new work.

By participating composers can benefit from experimenting with creating original music for dance, and choreographers can learn how to communicate their choreographic vision to composers – in a safe and supportive environment.Phoenix Dance Theatre is keen to receive applications from female and BAME participants as we would like to work with participants from a broad representation of British society. The Lab aligns with our artistic mission to champion diversity and address under-representation within the arts sector society.


All participants (choreographers, composers, dancers and musicians) will be offered a bursary to facilitate their full-time participation in the two-week intensive. Choreographers and composers will also receive financial support to facilitate their participation in the creative sandpits.

Application Deadline

The call out for applications to recruit four choreographers and composers, four musicians and four dancers has closed.

More about the Lab

Phoenix Dance Theatre successfully held its first Choreographers and Composers Lab in 2015 with great reviews from the participants.

The Lab took me out of my comfort zone… and helped me [to] have a better understanding [of] how to work in collaboration, develop my practice and find new ways of exploring and generating movements …” Choreographer, 2015 participant

Artistic Director Sharon Watson believes the hosting of a second Lab “cements my vision of promoting, encouraging and providing hands-on learning and practice of collaborative ways of working between artists from different artforms. We’ve had a number of successes from our 2015 cohort of participants, in particular, the creation of Calyx by emerging choreographer Sandrine Monin and composer Roberto Rusconi, which I commissioned and is now part of our company’s repertoire and 2018 national tour. However, the focus of the Lab is on immersing oneself in creative explorations and taking the time to experiment without the stresses of creating a final piece of work.”

To read more about the 2015 Choreographers and Composers Lab, click on the link now and access our final evaluation report.