Octagon Theatre and Take Art Dance launch £5,000 dance bursary

22 May 2013


This open call is targeted at dance companies (not National Portfolio Organisations) who have made and successfully toured a show for evening performance. The bursary is being offered twice, over two consequetive years, each bursary one running for nine to 12 months. This call out is for the first bursary, to commence in August 2013.

The Octagon Dance Associate bursary will be a unique combination of space provision, financial support and specialist expertise for the development of an artist or company drawn from a nationwide call-out opportunity. Deadline for applications is noon Friday June 21st 2013.


1. £5000 bursary to support the company/artist in residence, creation of a new work, which will be presented within The Octagon Theatre’s programme and support the range of participatory and audience development initiatives that are part of this project, which include regular artist talks throughout the period of the associateship - ‘Developing the Dialogue’, and performances in and around the Yeovil area in unusual spaces.

2. 40 hours (1 week, based on 8 hours per day for 5 days during the theatre’s ‘dark’ period) free stage rehearsal time and 24 hours production time onstage with the full support of the Octagon’s technical department to produce the Octagon Associate’s new work for performance.

3. A performance of the new work at the Octagon Theatre, with introductions to the network of presenting venues that the Octagon is in partnership with.

4. Organisational development support, plus marketing and administrative support and technical expertise from Take Art and the Octagon’s management teams.

5. An opportunity to develop the Octagon Associate’s professional practice over the year with support from the dance development agency - Take Art. This can include one to one advice sessions, with the agenda set in dialogue with the Associate should this be appropriate and useful.

6. An opportunity to develop the Octagon Associate’s participation programme with support from the Take Art Dance’s Children and Young People specialist, working with the Octagon’s youth groups and local and regional young people.

In return, as resident artist, you will:

  • Allow The Octagon to present a performance of your show at a negotiated fee
  • Develop as a mentor for one or more of Somerset’s emerging dance artists (timing and frequency of meetings to be discussed with the Arts and Entertainment Manager depending on availability)
  • Lead Professional open class when in residence.
  • Provide feedback for the emerging artists platform, to be held in conjunction with Somerset Graduate Dancers and the Octagon Theatre
  • Deliver one professional development session during the Associateship year as part of the bursary
  • Undertake classes, workshops and creating work with The Octagon’s dance community as negotiated with the Associate and the Octagon
  • Offer open rehearsals, while in residence, to The Octagon’s dance community (through negotiation with the Manager)
  • Have an ongoing engagement with The Octagon’s social networking systems – blogging/interviews for the website and promotional material
  • Enable The Octagon to develop a ‘dance hub’ group (which may include the Young Curators Group to follow your progress and become key responders to the work.
  • Act as a advocate for The Octagon and Take Art and their aims
  • Ensure that the Octagon and Take Art’s logos are visible on all company marketing materials


If you would like to apply for this 2013/2014 Associateship, please send us one sheet of A4 (as a word document/PDF) stating what you can bring to this Associateship, with supporting documents including reviews, images, links to online video of your work, previous touring schedules, previous education/participation projects, and letters of support from partner organisations or venues that have supported your work.

Please send all documents to Adam Burgan at the Octagon Theatre. If your images are large, please send a link to a dropbox or wetransfer.

For more information about the Associateship, please contact Cath James, Co-Director of Dance, Take Art.