New Writing North is looking to identify a writer to work with on a digital writing and dance project, which we are producing in conjunction with partners in Sweden, Iceland and Norway in 2019 and 2020.

We are looking for a writer who is interested both in dance and in exploring LGBTQ+ themes and ideas in a collaborative project with European writers, dancers and theorists.

Once the writer is selected we will work with them to raise funds to enable them to participate in this project and to travel to Sweden in 2020 for the finale of the project. The project is a collaboration between Writers’ Centre West (Sweden), Norwegian Writers’ Centre (Oslo), Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature (Iceland) and New Writing North (UK). Our partner in the area of dance is the norm-breaking and inclusive dance company Spinn, from Gothenburg. The theoretical and artistic consultant throughout the project will be Hanna Hallgren, Associate Professor for Gender Studies at Linnaeus University, Växjö.

To write dance and to dance writing is a project that transcends genres through the exploration of the choreography of text, with dance and the written word as starting points. The project has an overall LGBTQ+ and inclusivity theme and is focused on developing relationships between people of all ages and gender identities across European countries.

The project is envisaged as an investigative process between dance and writing, art and theory and will facilitate encounters across national borders, both digitally and in person.

The choreography of the text is a way to provide personal experience with a language, to endow the vocabulary with a shape. We often face the unspeakable. Is this true for the LGBTQ+ community more so than for others? Is the silence different for a transgender person in Iceland (where transgender people account for less than 400 individuals) than for someone in Norway or Sweden?

To write dance and to dance writing asks questions such as: ‘How can we work with queer and gender-diverse perspectives in a dialogue between dance and writing?’ The choreography of the text is a guiding principle; it unites the two art forms and invites questions such as:

  • How does my text look when choreographed/danced?
  • How does my writing emerge when I consider dance/choreography?
  • Can I potentially craft/edit my text based on choreographic thinking, and how does that affect the process?
  • The title of the project, To write dance and to dance writing, also refers to what can happen when we interact between art forms and among writers: in digital meetings with new colleagues; in meetings with our own and each other’s imaginations; and finally in the meeting with danced texts.

The project starts in September 2019 with two days of digital introductions across country borders in which authors/dancers across the four countries participate. This takes place in the form of live streaming and/or pre-recorded lectures and seminars. The introductory days aim to establish a common frame of reference for all participating authors and dancers.

The introductory days are followed up by working remotely (in groups of two writers and one dancer), based on the method that suits each group best, such as email, Skype, or video. The groups will co-operate throughout the entire project.

The project ends with a meeting in Gothenburg and impromptu performances in West Sweden and Oslo in May 2020. All three groups will meet for the first time in Gothenburg where the groups will work for one day in Spinn’s studio. During the evening, we will open the doors for a public work in progress performance. The next day the participating writers and dancers will travel throughout West Sweden (including Strömstad, where they will be staying) to perform impromptu shows in three locations around West Sweden culminating in a performance in Oslo, with the Norwegian Writers’ Centre as their host. The project will be documented on film, which will then be shared by the partner organisations through their networks.

How to apply

Please give a biog of your experience as a writer, noting publications and performances of your work (500 words).

Please tell us why this project creatively appeals to you? (250 words)

Please tell us why you are interested in working on a dance collaboration project specifically (250 words)

Please tell us how participating in this project would enhance your creative development as a writer? (250 words)

Have you applied for Arts Council England funding previously? If yes, please give details of any successful applications (100 words).

For any enquiries about this project or your application, please contact Grace Keane grace@newwritingnorth.com

Deadline for applications: Friday 26th July 2019. Apply via our Submittable page