Birmingham Dance Network is the go-to support network for independent dance artists, choreographers and teachers who live and work in and around the UK’s second city.
BDN is brought to you by a team of independent dance artists with diverse portfolio careers spanning performance, teaching, community dance, choreography and more. To find out more about us, pop over to our Team Page. BDN aims to create opportunities to easily discover and connect with other artists, choreographers and teachers, as well as opportunities for professional development and training. As artists, we know how tough the industry is, but it certainly becomes easier once you feel part of a community. Our main focus is contemporary dance, but we welcome artists with a range of artistic practices. BDN works across the city and regionally, connecting with other arts organisations to try to create the best professional development opportunities for the city’s dance artists. To date, we have received support from Arts Council England, DanceXchange, Dance Hub Birmingham, mac Birmingham, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Dance Workshop, ACE dance and music, Vivid Projects, Sense TouchBase Pears, Heart Work Studios and Impact Hub.
Some of our most notable additions to Birmingham’s dance scene are:
In 2014 BDN established professional contemporary classes in Birmingham, making sure that any dancer in the region could access weekly classes at an affordable price. BDN soon partnered up with DanceXchange to ensure the continuation of class in DanceXchange’s beautiful dance studios on Thorp Street. Since 2019 BDN has been a steering group member and co-organiser of the Birmingham Pro Class membership scheme, which is a bold new approach to sustainable professional classes. Led by DanceXchange and working with companies and individuals who deliver professional class in the region, the scheme is working to offer at least two classes a week at different locations around the city. See the most up-to-date class schedule on our Events Page or check out Birmingham Pro Class membership options.
Introducing… is our platform for new dance, and it has been held at The Dance Workshop, ACE dance and music, mac Birmingham, Vivid Projects and TouchBase Pears, and in Birmingham’s Bullring centre as part of Birmingham Weekender. It is a vital test bed for choreographers to get honest feedback from their audiences. Hosted in BDN’s theatrical style, this sell-out show has been well received by critics and audiences alike.
A debate forum that brings a panel of established artists from around the country to discuss pressing topics with the local dance community. Combined with performance work and held in a bar in the city, Salon BHAM! is an informal and buoyant environment in which dancers can discuss and debate.
We bring internationally acclaimed choreographers and teachers to Birmingham to lead intensives for dancers. These have formed an essential addition to professional development and continued training for local artists.
Production Lab is an opportunity for dance artists to develop skills that sit around the art form. In 2018 we worked with DanceXchange to deliver a two-day Lighting Lab with Jackie Shemesh.
Production Lab feedback:
‘Particularly loved the lighting day.’ ‘I am concentrating on performing but it’s so important that I know about all aspects of dance and production so I can improve my own practice.’ ‘Very relevant. Empowering.’ ‘Thank you very much, make these sessions happen more.’
Being a freelance, independent artist can be incredibly rewarding and liberating. But it can also be pretty lonely. As independent artists, we understand the importance of hanging out with like-minded people, and we also understand the importance of coffee. And cake. So, once a month we gather together to talk about upcoming opportunities and connect with each other as real-life humans, not just via social media! This is a great opportunity to meet other artists and could even result in new collaborations….who knows? Everything BDN does is in response to the needs of the dance community, and our socials are also the best and most direct way for us to get a sense of our community’s wants and needs.
If you have an idea of something you would love to see happening in Birmingham, then get in touch via our Contact Page, or come to our next Social where you could talk it through in person.