Production Lab 2016 launches at DanceXchange, Birmingham

14 Oct 2016


DanceXchange, the Midlands-based dance house, is pleased to announce Production Lab 2016, an exciting new opportunity for choreographers, dance artists and producers to develop their production skills. 

Taking place at DanceXchange’s city centre studios over three days, 26 and 27 October and 2 November, industry experts will deliver a series of workshops on a variety of topics in partnership with Birmingham Dance Network.

Lucie Mirkova, Programme Manager – Performance and Artist Development at DanceXchange, said: “We are so excited to team up with Birmingham Dance Network and offer this fantastic opportunity as part of our commitment contributing to the development of artists in the region. We hope Production Lab 2016 will provide dance artists and producers with new skills and knowledge that would assist their further development.”

Becca Thomas, Creative Producer at Birmingham Dance Network said: “This is an opportunity not to be missed! Production Lab is a chance for dance artists to delve into the secrets of lighting design; to explore what role dramaturgy could play in creative process, and to get into the nitty gritty of how to tour work, manage a company, market effectively and build strong partnerships. It’s going to be brilliant and we can’t wait to see you there!”

Over the three days Production Lab will offer fascinating insights and practical help:

Wednesday 26th October //

The Business of Dance with Sarah Shead & Phil Hargreaves

A whistle stop tour of how to realise an artistic idea, from conception to delivery and everything in between; planning cycles, fundraising, partnership building, marketing/promotion and tour booking. Phil and Sarah, both have extensive experience in the sector.  Sarah is the founder of Spin Arts and Phil is currently Creative Producer with DEDA and producer at 2Faced Dance and Joss Arnott Dance.  They will be joined DanceXchange’s Lucie Mirkova, Programme Manager – Performance and Artist Development who will be talking about DanceXchange’s approach to programme booking.

Thursday 27th October //

Light Me Up with Jackie Shemesh

Make the most of technical rehearsals by getting hands on with lights and design. Working in DanceXchange’s Patrick Centre with respected lighting designer Jackie Shemesh, participants are introduced to the tricks of the trade and learn to communicate ideas and intentions to lighting technicians and designers.

Wednesday 2 November //

The Dance Dramaturg: Don’t (let your work) be seen dead without one! with Lou Cope

Drawing on her years of experience working with both high profile and emerging practitioners across Europe, Lou will demystify the role, and will seek to help participants make the best of their processes.

The deadline for applications for Production Lab 2016 is 21 October.  To find out more visit

DanceXChange’s autumn performance season runs at the Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome until 3 December offering something for everyone from the English premiere of a charming, family-friendly show at Christmas, to a visually mesmerising production at the cutting-edge of dance and digital technology.

DanceXchange is also well-known for its hugely popular dance classes which begin a new term on 19 September with a free taster week from 12 September offering the ideal opportunity to sample a style. 36 classes are on offer in 14 different dance styles including new classes featuring Bollywood, Flamenco and Jazz. Classes are for all abilities.

To find out more about the Autumn Season including sneak previews of the shows or to check out the full range of dance classes visit 

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Notes to Editors:

DanceXchange (dx) is an internationally known charity dedicated to producing, promoting and presenting the best of UK and international dance. dx produces International Dance Festival Birmingham, and creates innovative site-specific commissions and large-scale performance events in both professional and community contexts. dx coproduces a range of touring productions, and develops work for theatres and for outdoor places and unusual spaces.  dx also engages people from all backgrounds in dance activity, supports artist development and nurtures gifted young people to help shape the dance artists of the future.

DanceXchange // Birmingham Hippodrome // Thorp Street // Birmingham // B5 4TB

Birmingham Dance Network (BDN) was founded by independent dance artists Genevieve Say, Patsy Browne-Hope and Becca Thomas. BDN aims to create opportunities to connect, network and discover other artists, choreographers and teachers. BDN works across the city and regionally, connecting with other arts organisation to try and create the best professional development opportunities for Birmingham’s dance artists.

BIOGRAPHIES Production Lab 2016:

Sarah Shead

Sarah Shead is a reputable Creative Producer and Consultant working across the UK. She has over ten years of experience working in artistic and business development roles for organisations such as; Dance4, Creative Partnerships, Yorkshire Dance, Cida Co and 2Faced Dance.

In 2011 she founded Spin Arts; through fundraising, consultancy, training and producing Spin Arts supports artists to realise and exceed their creative ambitions.

 Phil Hargreaves

Phil Hargreaves is a Producer working in the Arts across the UK and Internationally. With a particular focus on Dance, Circus & Outdoor Arts, Phil has worked with some of the most dynamic and cutting edge artists including Phoenix Dance Theatre, 2Faced Dance Company, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Gandini Juggling, DEDA, Joss Arnott Dance & ZfinMalta Dance Ensemble. This work includes UK & International Touring, Strategic development, Fundraising and Programming.

 Jackie Shemesh

Jackie Shemesh is a designer of lighting and space. He works internationally in dance, theatre, music and with performance and visual artists. Most recently in London he worked with choreographers; Hetain Patel, Ben Duke, Alexander Whitley, Arthur Pita, Eva Recacha and more.

Jackie designed the lighting for many dance companies including Batsheva Ensemble, Ballet Boyz, National Dance Company Wales, Scottish Dance Theatre, CanDoCo, Protein and Avant Garde among others. Jackie has designed for many theatre productions in the UK including works for Lyric Hammersmith; Almeida Theatre; Barbican Centre; Bristol Old Vic; Duchess theatre West End; The Young Vic; Bush Theatre; Curve Theatre Leicester and more. Other collaborations around Europe include the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Steirischer Herbst Festival Austria, The JRMIP congress Hebbel Berlin, Susanne Sachess and action collective CHEAP and several projects with artists Yael Bartana, Phil Collins and Dana Yahalomi.

Lou Cope

Lou Cope is a performance dramaturg who works with performance makers in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Malta, Scotland, Ireland and the UK. Lou is Dramaturg in Residence for South East Dance. Current or recent collaborations include working with Gary Clarke on COAL, Tim Casson, StopGap Dance, Jose Agudo, Gwyn Emberton, Fleur Darkin & Scottish Dance Theatre, Hannah Ringham (SHUNT), Helder Seabra, Reckless Sleepers, Robin Dingemans & Hagit Yakira. Past work includes working as dramaturg to: ACE, Phoenix Dance Theatre; Koen Augustijnen & les ballets c de la b (BE); Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (BE) and Damien Jalet (BE/FR) on the double Olivier Award, and Benois Prize for Dance, winning ‘Babel (words)’ designed by Antony Gormley – now in its 6th year of global touring; & dramaturgical consultant on Cherkaoui and Gormley’s ‘Sutra’.