Lucy Suggate - Next Choreography Festival

An interview with Lucy Suggate - Guest Artist for the Siobhan Davies Dance Next Choreography Festival

Lucy Suggate - Next Choreography Festival


Lucy's first interaction with dance began when she was 3, and was sent to ballet lessons. She remembers having a curiosity and energy to dance but ballet just wasn't her thing. Aged 11 she was introduced to the Outreach Programme from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. This first interaction with contemporary dance, which she went on to train in, gave her a sense of energy.

"Once I learnt to do it on my own, it was one of the biggest confidence boosts ever."

She feels that a lot of artists today are very resilient, in both their discipline; such as dance, but also to life in general. In terms of where dance will take her in the future Lucy describes dance as an art which can "take you anywhere" – "it feels like my whole body can move through space". Her enthusiasm and enjoyment of dance are heart-warmingly apparent in a society where the arts are continually being pressured and overlooked, she is a reminder that art has both importance and meaning.

"For every single culture across the globe, dance is part of what makes us human."


Inspired by her daily practice, "Pilgrim" is a series of solos based around the idea of daily practice. As part of her work Lucy explores the body and its limits, in terms of physical movement and the psychological state your mind is in when you dance. She comments on its almost holistic nature, and the positive energy created when you're in a state of movement.

"Perceptual playground challenging the reality of your capability"

Described by Lucy as "me placing my physical practice in dialogue with James Holden's musical practice", Pilgrim is a piece that has had months of preparation in terms of practice to be in a state of performance capability and choices as to what it should be made up of. In her performances Lucy is "questioning and reminding us all, including myself, why we dance".

When asked about what she hopes the piece will achieve when performed, she replies she wants the audience to "sink into the work, sink into themselves". Through this work she is trying to create an ambience which both integrates the role of the spectator by allowing them to connect and relate to the work but to also experience something entirely individual.

"Encounter something, engage with something, leave feeling something."


Led by artist facilitator Charlotte Spencer, students come together on a weekly basis over an academic year to examine choreography and dance practice in a broad setting. It highlights important contemporary issues that young artists will face. It offers an insight into practical training but also the artistry of creating pieces of dance. Lucy is one of the guest choreographers that have been brought in to work with the Next Choreography team of young people. She feels that this is particularly important in showing the development of dance in its relation to theory, and that while we can learn from the reflection on past work, we learn equally from the work of current artists around us.

Lucy's role has been to facilitate the participants of the programme, and to share aspects of her practice with them. This allows participants, (whose ages range from as young as 14 to 21) to develop their own knowledge and practice as individual artists. As a choreographer, Lucy has taught the score of "Swarm Sculptures", a movement installation piece, which will also be performed as part of the festival.

The Next Choreography Festival is this Sunday the 3rd of July, and applications to be part of next years programme are open until the 10th of July.

Some of the shows are ticketed and some workshops you will need to book in advance, which you can do here.

If you are currently doing an Arts Award you can get in for FREE! This is on a first come first served basis so book your spaces as soon as possible.

Siobhan Davies Dance is also an Arts Award Supporter - more info can be found here.

Photo Credits: Jakub Wittchen


Neha Lakhanpaul

Neha Lakhanpaul Activist

19. Law student. Dance and art. London. Twitter: @NehaOldSoul Instagram: @nkl96For me art is an opportunity, a way to express and be heard, a chance to make a change.

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