Youth Review / PuzzleCreature

Libby an ACE Youth group dancer and current member of Birmingham Centre for Advanced Dance Training reviews Neon Dance / PuzzleCreature after attending our 17th October performance at the Patrick Centre in Birmingham…

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PuzzleCreature was a fascinating fusion of arts pulled together to create an inspiring trio accessible to an extensive amount of people. The concept of the piece came from architectural designs by Arakawa and Madeline Gins; these often looked into science and experimenting, but most famously their expedition which explored the theme death. Within the piece the use of British and Japanese sign language alongside spoken description was a great asset as it made it an expression of inclusion which in itself is something to be celebrated.

From the moment we arrived outside the theatre we knew this was not a normal performance. As we entered the inflatable dome and were able to explore the ‘stage’ and sit anywhere you pleased; we could get up close to the artefacts hanging from the ceiling, much like molds of different body parts which later were incorporated into the choreography. The incredible set design set the imagination free before the dancers even entered the immersive space.

The dancers climbed into the set with absolute composure where they shared the stage with their audience members. The articulate movements alongside the dancers impressive technical abilities allowed for mesmerising choreography including complex contact work, with their bodies intertwining organically yet fluidly. The artefacts were wearable and came into play as they seemed to manipulate the dancers and influence how they moved individually and in partner work which I found thoroughly intriguing.

We then stepped out of the dome and joined the dancers on top. Slightly deflated, they used the remaining air in the set beneath them to manipulate and send ‘wave-like’ impulses across the space; it cleverly acted as an catalyst for more movement, which I thought looked physically extremely effective especially as the audience were invited upon the dome so you really felt a part of the performance.

I really enjoyed the experience as not only have I never been involved in anything like this, the movement style and inventive set designs really grabbed my attention and made me really invest in the whole production. I’m fortunate enough to be working with the choreographer Adrienne Hart in April 2019 as part of the Birmingham CAT programme so I am intrigued and excited to learn more about the work and embrace some of these concepts for myself as a dancer.

Catch our final tour date at Swindon Dance on the 16th November!

Cultural Connectors Respond

At the beginning of September we recruited a series of Cultural Connectors between the age of 18 - 24 and gave them the brief to find inventive ways to encourage their peers to watch Neon’s latest work PuzzleCreature. We had a fantastic group join us from around the UK and we’ve been loving their unique responses to the work so far. We’re really happy to share a few responses and reactions to PuzzleCreature below. Explore Youtube dance poetry, a postcard design and a graphic artwork, all responding to the PuzzleCreature performance experience. A massive thank you to Izzy, Rin, Lucia, Jorja, Arseca, Christiana and Abbey for taking part.

Where was I? Being within a structured space: my response to 'PuzzleCreature', a new multi-disciplinary dance performance inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakawa and Madeline Gins. The piece was choreographed by Adrienne Hart. I worked with the company as a Cultural Connector, and saw a performance at The Place, London on 13th October.

 Graphic artwork by Rin Terada.

Graphic artwork by Rin Terada.

 A postcard design inspired by PuzzleCreature, created by Saiko Otake.

A postcard design inspired by PuzzleCreature, created by Saiko Otake.

Neon Dance’s ‘Cultural Connectors’ has been a paid opportunity made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England Project Grant funding.

'Drum Pyramid' premieres on Fluid Radio

A track from PuzzleCreature’s score premieres on Fluid Radio!

Neon Dance commissioned composer Sebastian Reynolds to create new work PuzzleCreature’s score for 8 speakers. ‘Drum Pyramid’ (stereo mix) is now available to stream online exclusively via Fluid Radio and features guest percussionist Greig Stuart.

Watch PuzzleCreature live:

5th/6th Oct – Tramway, Glasgow
10th – Cornerstone, Didcot
12th/13th – The Place, London
17th/18th – DanceXchange, Birmingham
16th Nov – Swindon Dance, Wiltshire

The Funambulist interview

Neon's Artistic Director has been interviewed in the upcoming issue of The Funambulist magazine due out in early September. The Funambulist is a digital and printed bimestrial magazine dedicated to examine the politics of space and bodies, with new images taken from our Puzzle Creature creation process, issue number 19 "The Space of Ableism" can be ordered now! ✨

Become a Cultural Connector


Neon Dance seek two Cultural Connectors (age 18-24) in 5 locations across the UK to work alongside Neon Dance's Artistic Director Adrienne Hart to act as a bridge between Neon Dance’s work Puzzle Creature and their local community.

Fee: £500

Role: This role is task based, not hour-based. We work flexibly and remotely, operating on a trust basis. As long as tasks are complete, you define when and how they get done.
Deadline: 12 noon, 3rd September 2018
Interviews: 5th September

Your Responsibilities
You’ll find ways to record and describe the production on your own terms, exploring ways to engage your community with the work and Neon Dance. We want you to tell people about it (locally, physically & digitally), excite them and engage them in a conversation about it.

You will have an important role in the physical and local digital campaign to reach (face to face) people in your community who may not have engaged with the arts before. You will be responsible for a ticket budget of £150 to ensure those in your communities who are unable to purchase a ticket (for whatever reason) are still be able to attend the performance.

We expect you to attend at least one of the performances and create your own response to the work (GIF, poem, film, blog, song, review, art work etc.), which would be shared online afterwards.

PuzzleCreature is inspired by artist/architect duo Arakawa and Madeline Gins and is a 60-minute work that brings together contemporary dance, a newly commissioned surround sound score and immersive set design to enable our audience to question their attitude to ageing and the body. Audiences occupy the same physical space as Neon’s world class performers with the theatre ‘black box’ transformed to affect body perception. We are exploring the (in)visibility of access with this new production, having built in bespoke access solutions for audiences with visual & auditory impairments with audio description, British Sign Language and Japanese Sign Language.

Puzzle Creature will tour to: Glasgow (5+6 October), Didcot (10 October), London (12+13 October), Birmingham (17+18 October) and Swindon (16 November).

Cultural Connectors follow on from our paid Media Intern initiative, which has given a creative self starter the opportunity to work with Neon Dance during the creation of new work for the last three years. As we embark on UK touring of new work PuzzleCreature we are looking to expand our reach and provide more entry level employment to young people interested in pursuing a career in the arts.  

How To Apply
If you think you are a good fit for the role, please tell us:

Why you suit the role

How you will tackle the responsibilities

You can do this via a written (1 x A4 page maximum) or recorded (3 minutes maximum to audio/camera*) statement. Send your application to by 12 noon, 3rd September 2018 with:

  • Your CV (maximum 1 page A4)
  • Names and contacts for 2 referees

*For emailing large files, please use We Transfer.

Skype interviews will take place on 5th September. Please make sure you’re able to participate in an interview on that date if you apply for this role

Equality and Diversity

Neon Dance values representation and strives to promote equality and diversity at all levels. We welcome and actively seek applications from those currently underrepresented in our workforce and the arts community.

We will guarantee an interview to any D/deaf or disabled candidate who fulfils the minimum criteria for the role and we are open to proposals of ways this role might be undertaken if our proposed structure presents barriers to any applicant. 


If you have any specific access requirements please tell us what they are and whether you are registered for an Access to Work grant when you apply.

Meet our new Media Intern!

Thank you to everyone who applied for our paid media internship! Happy to announce, our 2018 intern will be Lucia Fortune-Ely. Lucia is a Third Year Geography undergraduate currently at the University of Bristol. Having danced from a young age, Lucia is an alumna of the National Youth Dance Company and the Centre for Advanced Training at London Contemporary Dance School. Now nearing the end of her academic studies, she is interested in arts management, administration and combining her interests of geography, philosophy and politics in the creative arts. Lucia will join us during the making of 'Puzzle Creature' at Swindon Dance from next week!

Hello everyone! I am really excited to be a part of the team this summer! As both a geography student and a dancer I am incredibly intrigued about this piece, how the physical body can architect space, co-constructing it through affectual experiences. I very much look forward to documenting your new creation through a social media campaign, so expect me to be milling about the studio!
— Lucia Fortune-Ely

Media Internship Call Out!


We're on the look out for a Media Intern to support our Puzzle Creature creation process!

Working alongside Neon's Artistic Director Adrienne Hart and mentored by Float PR founder Sofia Ilyas, the successful candidate will record and describe Neon’s new production on their own terms, exploring new ways in which to engage their peer group with the performing arts. We're looking for a creative self-starter aged 18 - 25 years old who is based in the Southwest region. 

To apply:

Send your CV and a cover letter or a short video (5-minutes max) describing your experience / interest in the role, alongside the below equal opportunities form to:

Ian Abbott -

Equal Opportunities Form (click to download)

Deadline: 30th June 2018

Fee: £650 Bursary (travel inclusive)

Applicants must be able to commit a minimum 5 days to the project between 23rd July – 17th August 2018. All working days/hours are negotiable.