Belgrade ascends with new talent development scheme

Published: 17 August 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Supported company: Ascension Dance

A Coventry up-and-coming dance company will be the first to benefit from a new talent development scheme started by the city’s Belgrade Theatre.

Ascension Dance Company has been named as the Belgrade’s first supported company and will be offered access to rehearsal and performance space as well as support for marketing and publicity over a two-year period.

The new scheme sits alongside the Belgrade’s Springboard programme which currently provides tailored support to five emerging companies: Underground Lights Community Theatre, Maokwo, Richard and Rishard, Gertrude and Radical Body.

Ascension Dance, led by Ashley Jordan and Ben Morley, has “developed its own distinctive style of contemporary dance fused with elements of breakdance and parkour, which it employs in a variety of exciting live performances as well as several youth and community projects”.

Performances are focused on human interactions and relationships, using “raw physicality and high-velocity encounters to explore what it means to connect to the people and places around us”.

Belgrade Theatre general manager Vera Ding said, “we have a long history of working with Ben and Ashley as individual performers, both as young people and more recently in projects such as our Shoot Festival showcase and our site-specific show Read All About It!

“With their focus on creating high-quality professional work and participatory programmes, they’re a natural fit for our ethos at the Belgrade and we can’t wait to develop our current relationship with them further.”

Jordan added, “Ben and I have performed at the Belgrade on many occasions, always full of nerves and brimming with excitement about a piece of work we’ve been rehearsing for weeks. Every time, we’ve felt thoroughly supported by the staff and by the fantastic audiences who’ve come to see us.

“Now, as directors of our own company, we’re proud to continue to build our relationship with the Belgrade.”