An animated dancer stands leaning over to the left with her back to the audience. She has a long legged blue unitard on and pinky purple long flowing hair.

A Barnsley Dance Symposium

A Barnsley Dance Symposium, a partnership between Tala Lee-Turton Productions, Barnsley Civic, and Barnsley Council was held on the 25th April 2024.

An inspiring day brought together a cross section of the dance ecosystem in Barnsley and London. Key objectives were to share Barnsley’s current cultural dance offering and explore how it fit with programming strategies further afield, particularly exploring a co-production model between Barnsley and London venues. 

The event started with a showcase of draft works from artists including Tala Lee-Turton Productions, Phil Sanger of We are Ramped, Carlos Pons Guerra of DeNada Dance Theatre and Keira Martin.

Following the showcase, a facilitated discussion was led by sector advocate Eva Martinez, delving into the current landscape of dance in Barnsley, examining both the hurdles and the pathways to success, with a focus on fostering Barnsley-centric productions.

The symposium offered a rare opportunity to engage with leading figures in the dance community, including Gary Clarke of the GARY CLARKE COMPANY, who shared insights from his journey as a celebrated Barnsley dance artist, achieving success as an NPO and touring company.

It was a chance to contribute to a meaningful dialogue, discover new talents, and forge connections to shape the future of dance in Barnsley and beyond.

A cellist is playing and a dancer leans on her right side and lifts her right leg into the air. She is in pointe shoes.
A woman with long dark curly hair is on pointe and leans back on the floor onto both arms.
Four dancers are on stage - one is in arabesque with her left leg behind her and it is being held by one dancer. Two others lean into her as she outstretches her arms.

Photos by Elly Welford featuring Sanafah, No Time Like The Present and Pia.

Event details:

Date: Thursday, 25th April 2024

Location: Barnsley Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley, S70 2HZ

Time: 11am – 4pm.





Overview of the showcase and running order:

Experience excerpts from the following dance performances, each telling unique stories through powerful movement and innovation:

  • Edward II by DeNada Dance Theatre: A queer dance adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s play, the tragic story of the real English king who was in love with a male court favourite. Written in the 1590s, the play resonates with many issues the LGBTQIA+ community is facing today.
  • parler femme by Tala Lee-Turton Productions: A triple bill celebrating women’s stories across cultures and generations, featuring the award-winning film “Chinese Laundry,” the explorative “Sanāfah” and the dream-pop infused “No Time Like The Present.” 
  • Off-Centre by Ramped: Led by Phil Sanger, this site-responsive piece delves into the societal impact of bodies through cascading, environment-responsive choreography.
  • Here Comes Trouble by Keira Martin: An award-winning blend of traditional and contemporary influences from Yorkshire, Ireland, and Jamaica, exploring themes of identity and belonging.
  • Pia by Katya Bourvis, presented by Tala Lee-Turton Productions: A ballet about memory, heritage, and astral dreams, set to an original score by Hannah Peel
A dancer leans back with her right hand at her shoulder and her left arm pulled back by two other dancers.
A woman in a short red Irish dancing dress and long curly blond hair stands slightly leaned back with her mouth open. She is holding a trophy and wears the number 13.
Two dancers stand facing each other holding their respective left and right hands in the air.

Photos by Elly Welford featuring Off-Centre, Here Comes Trouble, Edward II.

Five dancers expressing emotion and surprise.
Five dancers in rehearsals stand in a line intertwined and they hold out the arms of the middle dancer.
Five dancers in a line holding their hans over their ears.

Rehearsal images by Camilla Greenwell

Creative Team:

parler femme is produced by Tala Lee-Turton Productions, bringing together diverse collaborators from new talent in film and dance, and presenting dance across multiple disciplines.  The production features official selections at international film festivals, returning ACE funded work and the premiere of Here Lies, developed as part of a Genesis funded, residency at Yorkshire Dance in September 2022.

Act I: The Subject is Speaking

Chinese Laundry – Creative producer – Tala Lee-Turton, Director – Patricia Zhou

What Are We Doing – Director, Sophie Park, Katya Bourvis

Un-spoken words of a Heartist – Director, Nadine Baboy

Act II: Here Lies

Creative producer – Tala Lee-Turton

Choreographer – Krystal Lowe

Music artist – Roxanna Albayati

Dance artist – Tala Lee-Turton

Act III: No Time Like The Present

Creative producer – Tala Lee-Turton

Choreographers – Zhongjing Fang and Katya Bourvis 

Composer – Grace Stubbings

Dance artists – Winnie Dias, Sera Maehara, Lowri Shone, Patricia Langa, Tala Lee-Turton

Five animated dancers in brightly coloured catsuits pose, facing away from the camera; the middle dancer wears a pink wig.
An animated dancer wearing a pink wig looks intently at the camera
Five animated dancers leap away from the camera.

Animation stills by Ed Swales.

For any additional information about the event, please contact: 

This project was commissioned and funded by Barnsley Council’s Regeneration and Culture service, as part of their South Yorkshire Shared Prosperity Fund programme Culture at the Heart of Communities.

Accessibility Toolbar