Uba – What Has Happened Since November 2018

And it’s that time again; to reflect upon my journey since my last blog submission. I’ve been busy to say the least. A little while back I held a somatic based workshop that explored the choreographic process and principles of my prize work ‘Oba’ (phase 2), with local professional dancers. I received some great, positive feedback, which approved its success; making me feel much more confident about what I had to offer to myself, to hull, and to others as an artist. It left me content and inspired to do more. To make, and continue my journey of the sentient self, focusing on my senses and proprioception.

I took part in the ‘senses and perception’ programme with Embodied Move which explored Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Body Mind Centering (BMC), in relation to our 5 senses and our perceptions of self and the environment around us. Sensing, feeling, perceiving and moving from them; acknowledging our experiences. It was enlightening, insightful, somewhat overwhelming yet honest and holistic. My time in London provided me with a deeper understanding of the prior knowledge I’d learnt during the final year of my MA. Paying attention; much more attention, to how and why we sense physiologically and anatomically whilst attuning to such knowledge in practical explorations.

Whether I implement some of the exercises directly into a making process or just practice them to encourage a greater understanding of why or how I’m moving; I’m not sure. I just know that I feel much more grounded in accessing my ‘embodied’ self my inner witness.  I recognise what I like, dislike and what I need to engage with further (in regards to BMC sensing and perception). I hope to continue further formal study into Somatic Movement Education (SME) at some point in the future.

I am in the process of moving again, for myself and for a choreographic purpose. YAY MAKING A NEW WORK. I have interests, so many interests which, I’ve no idea where they’re going to take me – Intuition, proximity, satisfaction, wholeness.  I am yet to figure it all out, but I am not worried about this. For now, my focus is allowing myself time to develop and discover movement from and of myself and another.

Carla Morrill

Hull Dance Youth Company 2019

Every Tuesday evening – Starting Tuesday 15 October,


Location – Horncastle Building, Hull College,

16 – 19 years     FREE

The company will work with Hull Dance Choreographic Prize Winner 2018 – Carla Morrill.

Classes will aim to develop dance technique whilst building confidence, creativity and dance and performance skills. Work towards performances at Creative Voice Dance and regional platform Fresh.

Carla will be supported by Seven Dance Youth Company

Come along and join in or email info@hulldance.com to find out more

Event: Hull Dance Pop Up Studio

Your thoughts from our previous Humber Street take overs in 2019: 

 “Love it! It is exactly what Hull’s pro community needs. It’s a hub and a place to connect with other dance artists.”

“Tonight made me realise that I can dance too”

“One of the best shifts I have done as an Absolutely Cultured volunteer, great people to work with, really involve you in a safe, friendly way, so glad I didn’t let my fears of dance stop me.”

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Uba – An Introduction

Hello, Hello!

Firstly, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Carla Morrill, a Hull based dance artist/choreographer and participant of the Hull Dance Prize 2018.

My dance journey began at 16 when I studied BTEC Dance at Hull College. It was here where I progressed through higher education achieving a first class honours degree in dance and PGCE in post 16 teaching. Since then, I have and continue to work as a freelancer, working on a number of professional and local projects with Hull Dance, East Riding Youth Dance and professional company Rosie Kay Dance; all whilst studying a Masters in performance at Leeds Beckett University which I have recently completed.

Whilst studying on my MA, I received mentorship from body based artist and research-led practitioner Victoria Gray, whose practice draws on slowness, stillness and cellular- attention in kinaesthetic sensations through Body Mind Centering processes. During this time, I gained a new understanding of ‘embodied knowledge’ through somatic based practices including authentic movement and body-mind centering principles (paying attention to our different bodily systems, lots of breathing, and imagery), to create movement. I felt a real connection to this kind of holistic work. I became more aware of myself, more aware of my body. Thus, moving forward, I began to nurture my somatic experiences into my artistic practice as a dancer and choreographer.

I had previously taken part in the Hull Dance Prize back in 2015/16 with Hull company LO:CUS Dance Theatre, which was a great experience; dancing with some great friends, just showcasing to people what we did and loved. We were lucky enough to win the audience prize two years running; which gave us a great boost in confidence as a company.  We had a great level of support from Hull Dance, friends, family etc. Although our time together was short, it was very sweet.

So why did I want to be a part of the Hull Dance Prize 2018? I applied for the prize as I felt it would be a great platform to showcase what I had been working on throughout my MA to friends, dance enthusiasts and professionals aside from academia. Having taken part in the with LO:CUS, I was a little apprehensive yet excited about returning as a solo performer. I felt it was time that I did something for myself and see how the work I’d created stood against that of other existing and emerging artists (which I must add were great this year). The prize offers artists with a varied portfolio of artistic interests a platform to share their work at the advantage that they could win some money to help towards future development. For that reason alone, I felt that this was the perfect opportunity for me to do just that. I didn’t want to miss out – especially since the event is Hull based; I’d have been stupid not to.  In addition, as mentioned, it’s hosted in Hull. As a local based artist, there isn’t much scope for sharing work, particularly of this kind of scale, with professionals and other artists to offer feedback.

Amazingly I managed to bag myself the audience prize (shared with the lovely Rachel), which was just ACE! Not only did it make me feel proud to be from Hull, but also proud of myself and the work created. People enjoyed it, happy days!  I was truly overwhelmed by the lovely, positive words and constructive feedback I received from audience members: friends, family and even more so from those who were perhaps strangers to me and my work, judges included. Needless to say, I have a long way to go in regards to personal and artistic development choreographically and dynamically. Overall, it has been a very valuable experience.

What are my plans for the future in terms of making? I’m yet to figure that out myself. However, I intend to spend some time reconnecting with my body and developing my somatic research for choreography. As part of my artistic development, I will be hosting a workshop on Monday 11 February 2019, at the Hull Dance Pop Up Studio on Humber Street 10am- 3pm. The session will be a practical exploration of the creative process of Oba. Drawing on the somatic tools used for movement creation including: principles of gaga, imagery, authentic movement and improvisation J

To give a bit more background about my practice and prize piece ‘Oba’ (for those who may not have seen it), I specialise in contemporary dance with my current choreographic practice sitting in the realms of somatic attention. More specifically the self-sensing experience of the body; exploring and perceiving the body through a kinaesthetic lens. Another interest that heavily influenced the making of Oba is Gaga movement research. An Israeli based somatic technique (devised by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company) that explores movement possibilities and dynamics via bodily sensations.

My body of works although still developing, privilege the body as site for movement; what does the body know, what doesn’t it know?  Listening. Trusting. Questioning. On this occasion, I’ve attempted to play with somatic based practices as tools for choreography; using my experiences of Gaga movement research to deepen the connection to movement, pleasure, honestly and intricacy. The working process requires a deep level attention and focus; so, it is important to breathe, and give time to allow different movement possibilities to occur.

Carla Morrill, January 2019


When I entered White Noise into the Hull Dance Choreographic Prize, I only expected to be walking away with some useful feedback from the judges for me to draw upon when continuing to develop the work. I had no idea that it would be received so well, and the moment it was announced that my work had won was both special and incredibly humbling.

Since the competition, it has been a complete whirlwind. The prize money and support offered by Hull Dance has invigorated the White Noise project, inspiring me to submit a bid to Arts Council England to apply for further research and development funding. Should it be successful (fingers crossed!), I’ll be exploring how White Noise can better portray how people who are Hearing and D/deaf or hard of hearing experience and communicate with each other as equals and the world around them. ​​I have also been looking into my own organisational development, and how I can use this opportunity to grow Rachel Clarke Dance Company in both Yorkshire (especially Hull) and in the North more generally.

I am completely overwhelmed with all of the wonderful feedback and support that I have received since the Choreographic Prize, and am looking forward to bringing Rachel Clarke Dance Company and White Noise back to Hull in 2019!

Rachel Clarke, December 2018

Dance sessions with people living with MS

A fun way to improve co-ordination, maintain movement and of course relax …

Sessions every Tuesday, as part of the Weekly Social and Support Group, at North Hull Community Centre, 37th Avenue, Hull. HU6 8AU

For more information about the class contact Keyna on 07889389590
For more information about the Social and Support Group contact Margaret on 01482 887585.

Steps in time – Dance Company 50+

This is a Dance Company for older dancers and perfect for complete beginners. Or perhaps you danced years ago and would like to feel the great pleasure of dance again.  Come along and try us out. You will be very welcome!

Classes alternate Mondays either at the New Theatre or the Mortimer Suite in the City Hall. For further details contact Carol on 07946099083 or carolhancock1@yahoo.co.uk


Walking towards, Rather than away

It is a rather unusual Monday morning, as I set out to Barton upon Humber with my hiking boots, a backpack and a mind full of ideas on the current political happenings. I am fairly recent resident of Hull, an EU Citizen, and today a collaborator in Rita Marcalo’s ‘One Last Dance – An Chéad Damhsa’.

Dance artist Rita Marcalo accompanied by film-maker Juliet Davis are walking to leave the UK. A slow farewell that is taking them through England towards Rita Marcalo’s new home in the Republic of Ireland. Motivated and guided by the Brexit referendum results and ongoing negotiations, their journey is joined by different collaborators along the way, who share, engage and perform their personal account of this politically loaded situation.

Brexit is a buzzword accompanying me since the moment I moved to the UK for work in 2016. The word is layered with frustration, confusion and desperation. While I am privileged to hold an EU passport, the current negotiations teach me how personal politics are. This linkage between the personal and the political shapes the collaborative experience of One Last Dance.

On this Monday morning, Rita and Juliet’s journey takes them from Barton upon Humber into Hull accompanied by three collaborators and current residents of the city. Step after step, personal stories are shared, landscapes regarded and the effects of the political circumstances discussed. Our conversations are continuously shaped by the surroundings encountered on our walk. The Bridge connecting two shores, dead wood washed up by the Humber or the ruins of former fishing docks allow metaphorical illustrations of our thoughts, opinions and experiences. I gather inspiration, insights and ideas along the way. Steps and words mingle in ways that allow strangers to become companions within just a few kilometres of their journey.

After several hours along the path, landmarks of the city come into sight and guarantee us a point of arrival. While the boots are taken off with joy, the final hours of participation require my creative n. In an act of translation, conversations and experiences are recaptured as artistic expressions. With a collective brainstorming and highly experienced direction of Rita, all three collaborators join the evening performance of ‘One last Dance’ organized by Hull Dance as part of Humber Mouth Literature Festival at the City’s Central Library.

My body engages with the sequences rehearsed. However, my mind needs more time to process the shared stories, emotions and trajectories that accompanied every step along the way.

Barbara Grabher

How did we get here?

A brief history of Hull Dance

In 2004 Hull City Arts Unit started to focus more on developing contemporary dance within the City introducing the @hulldance brand.  They then developed the Hull Dance Strategy in collaboration with Dep Arts and Jo Ashbridge and from this worked with them to deliver a programme of activity 2012-1013 comprising

  • Performances at different venues and events in Hull
  • A mentoring programme by Gary Clarke
  • Drop-in classes and networking opportunities for local professional dancers
  • Appointing a trainee producer
  • Establishing the ‘thisishulldance’ website and Hull Dance Prize

I joined the team at the end of this programme, including as part of the professional panel for the first Hull Dance Prize.  I then continued working as a consultant adviser giving a specialist dance voice to the City Arts Team as they planned what to do next.

The 2-years 2014-216 comprised a programme developed and agreed collectively with local dancers. It focussed on local dancers dancing and creating work together led by established dance artists. The dancers also met together to share skills a in a weekly class and were supported by individual mentoring and seed-funding to help them to begin finding, and having confidence in, their individual artistic voice. This rapid period of growth ended in 2017 when local dancers had the chance to be part of several large-scale performance projects during the year of culture.

Dancers are central to a thriving dance community, however we also need chances for people to be able to discuss, perform and watch dance. Hull Dance has worked with Hull Truck Theatre and Hull New Theatre to increase audiences for contemporary dance as well as programming edgier HU1 events at Fruit and introducing the Transgressions Contemporary Performance Festival in 2017.

Tara joined the Hull Dance team at the end of 2015 as part of the Creative Apprentice Programme offered by Hull City Council and Hull2017, she remains with the team as Associate Producer. The team is completed by Georgette Purdey who is a marketing specialist.

The hard work and clear planning has paid off and contemporary dance in Hull is at an exciting stage of development. JoinedUp Dance, Tenfoot Dance Company and the partnership of Tamar Draper and Jo Ashbridge have all received project funding from ACE (Arts Council England). The winners of last year’s Hull Dance Prize, Živilė Virkutytė and Ed Grimoldby are waiting to hear the outcome of their application – fingers crossed! There are more and more chances to watch and take part in contemporary dance in the City. Given this new emboldened landscape, in April 2018 Hull Dance began working as an independent not-for-profit organisation. This new website is one of the first signs of our new period or development, explore it and engage with us through activities, performances and on social media so we make the next part of our journey together.

3 October 2018

This Could Be You…

Participating in the ‘Hull Dance Prize’ has brought about many wonderful developments in my creative practice. Beyond the opportunity to achieve investment in projects through financial support, the opportunity to share developing work, building audience and forming new partnerships.

My first presentation at Hull Dance Prize, back in 2016, was with our work ‘Cloud’. On that occasion we didn’t win any of the specific prizes, but as a result of this presentation we were invited to then present ‘Cloud’ in Hull as part of a wonderful platform to present work in unconventional spaces. By performing at this event, it has enabled me to build new audience for my work, ultimately contributing to us being awarded the ‘audience prize’ at the following Hull Dance Prize, with our piece ‘Seedling’.

As a result of performing ‘Seedling’, at the 2017 Hull Dance Prize, I was also able to meet up with Ed Grimoldby (Grim Visions), who has subsequently become a collaborating partner for a new work called ‘Drift’, which we are delighted to bring to the upcoming 2018 prize event.

‘Hull Dance Prize’ is a fantastic opportunity to platform work and ideas, gain valuable artistic feedback from a highly experienced panel, exposure to a public audience and an opportunity to discover new creative relationships, long may it continue.

Anthony Middleton
September 2018