University of Leeds in step with new dance partner


The University of Leeds has announced the signing of a pioneering associate company agreement with the Yorkshire-based Balbir Singh Dance Company.

The agreement will see ideas, facilities and knowledge exchanged in the fields of performance and cultural industries.  It builds on a number of successful collaborations between Balbir Singh and the University's School of Performance and Cultural Industries (PCI), which will now be developed to include other areas of joint benefit. 

The agreement follows the highly successful double bill performance of Trespass #II (premiere) and Decreasing Infinity at PCI's 10th Birthday celebrations in September 2011, as well as subsequent lectures, workshops and summer schools with students, which highlighted the potential to expand the relationship.  Balbir Singh is currently choreographing Synchronised, a large-scale pool-based spectacular commissioned by imove, Legacy Trust UK's creative programme for Yorkshire. Synchronised is one of a number of Cultural Olympiad projects taking place across the region in the run up to London 2012. 

Balbir Singh Dance Company has emerged onto the national and international stage in recent years, creating dynamic dance through a synthesis of classical Indian Kathak, contemporary dance and live music. This synthesis of styles underpins Balbir Singh's partnership with the PCI, as the school is concerned not only with performance itself but also with the role that performance plays in the wider cultural and creative life of society.  In return for extensive use of PCI's world class rehearsal and performance facilities, including stage@Leeds, Balbir will lead and participate in student workshops and events, offering guidance, inspiration, and encouragement.

PCI graduates have had a major impact on the professional worlds of performance, and the cultural and creative industries, and the school has developed strong relationships with a wide range of high profile regional, national and international cultural organisations.  

Head of School Professor Sita Popat signed the agreement with Balbir Singh:

"This agreement allows us to develop a flexible platform for research-led collaboration between the university and Balbir Singh Dance Company, one which will hopefully deliver many mutual benefits. Much of the focus and passion of Balbir's work has a natural synergy with what we're trying to achieve at the PCI, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant research-led approach to teaching, with PCI students and staff engaging in a wide variety of community and industry activities. Close partnerships such as this one and others with a number of major cultural industries organisations, including Opera North, National Media Museum and West Yorkshire Playhouse can really help us to further the impact of shared knowledge. "

Balbir Singh agreed, saying:

"We really treasure this agreement with University of Leeds which has the potential for significant cooperation across a number of fields. Leeds is a world renowned university and with increased joint working we believe greater value can be realised for both parties." 

For further information please contact Sita Popat

Notes to editors

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.


imove is the Legacy Trust UK programme for Yorkshire; a new and imaginative celebration of human movement, bringing together the best creative talent from the region to produce a programme of events designed to inspire the public in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Imove is part of the Cultural Olympiad; the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games, designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012.

imove is one of twelve regional cultural programmes funded by Legacy Trust UK.

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email