New site from August 2019

I have a new site at

Thanks to Janine Harrington for the help!


Nikki Tomlinson is an independent producer, advisor and dramaturg with a background in curation and performance-making. She works closely with artists to facilitate their projects, supports individuals and organisations strategically and advocates for better working conditions in the field.

Her specialist interests are in performance, participation, social justice and interdisciplinarity, advocacy for and with artists and widening access in every sense to experimental work.

As a producer, Nikki is currently working on performances to be presented in 2019/2020; APPARITION APPARITION and SLUG HORIZONS by Florence Peake and Eve Stainton; NUTCRUSHER and W.A.Y. (We Are You) by Sung Im Her, INCHOATE BUZZ and A BODY RITES ITSELF by Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome. She is working with a number of artists as advisor /mentor and is one of Jerwood Arts’ Artist Advisors in 2018-19.

Recent work includes producing Florence Peake's 3-year project RITE: on this pliant body we slip our wow!, culminating at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018) and the De La Warr Pavilion (2018).

From 2004-2019 Nikki worked with Artsadmin across artist development, producing and curatorial areas of the organization. As Lead Artist Advisor/Producer, she looked after an extensive artist development programme, leading on the UK-wide Artists’ Bursary Scheme, curating performance labs and engaging with many hundreds of artists each year through one-to-one sessions and workshops. With Manick Govinda she curated Town Hall Artworks (2009-2012), commissioning 25 artworks permanently housed at the Town Hall Hotel, London, including work by Peter Liversidge, Claire Morgan, Bernd Behr and Corinne Felgate. While with Artsadmin she became passionately involved in developing collaborative ideas with European partners, initiating BE PART, a 4-year project focused on the politics of participation led by Santarcangelo Festival, Italy. As a producer with Artsadmin, Nikki developed a longstanding relationship with Stacy Makishi, which grew from a coffee into a joy-filled decade of producing her projects across the UK and internationally.

Nikki comes to all her work from a background as an artist and performer. She trained in dance and music from a young age, studied History at Manchester University and taught English in Spain and Hackney before coming back to dancing. In her mid-20s she studied Humphrey Technique and improvisation, leading to a Postgrad at Birkbeck College in Performance Studies and Choreography. From her 30s she started making solo and collaborative work, presenting in the UK and occasionally abroad. As a dancer and cellist she has performed in pieces by Florence Peake, Jennet Thomas, Athina Vahla, Rosemary Lee and Augusto Corrieri.

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU : Love Letters to a (post) Europe

Edited by Lisa Alexander and published by the Live Art Development Agency, this new publication marks a critical moment in Europe's recent past and travels with us into the present through the singular, intimate address of the letter, and the power of performance to bring people together. The publication builds on responses to Love Letters to a (post) Europe, Athens (2015), a festival of short works performed in the context of a rapidly changing Europe and in a city whose country was bearing the brunt of austerity.

Letters, poetry, prose and postscripts by Kate Adams, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Brian Catling and David Tolley, cris cheek, Robin Deacon, Tim Etchells, Alec Finlay, Matthew Goulish, Guy Harries, Steven C Harvey, Catherine Hoffman, Wendy Houstoun, Mikhail Karikis, Brian Lobel, Claire MacDonald, Georgios Makkas, Ivana Müller, Mariela Nestora, Florence Peake, Kira O'Reilly,Erica Scourti, Maria Sideri, Anna Sherbany, Jungmin Song, Yoko Tawada, Nikki Tomlinson; a correspondence between Lisa Alexander and Mary Paterson; and an essay by Claire MacDonald.

For this I created a performance :

1. lack of good sense; foolishness.
2. a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose
3. a cabaret-style performance, typically with female performers

Performance : Nikki Tomlinson
Music : “Heroes” by David Bowie, written by David Bowie and Brian Eno

Publication extract : postscript

F O L L Y was an act of accompaniment, an absurd attempt to share a stage with David Bowie, a singular gesture of trying to meet his soaring voice and spirit in virtual space. Working with the material, I thought about Berlin’s changing fortunes and the longer narrative of “Heroes”; how each time Bowie played it in Berlin, the city’s position in the world was utterly different. In the frame of the Love Letters curatorial proposition, I thought about solidarity, power and the changing nature of this huge, unwieldy and yet to me beautiful beast the European Union – beautiful in the sense of its peace-guarding cooperative ideal. In October 2015, the focus was pulled towards Greece’s relationship with the EU, exposing the extreme disparity of wealth between European powers and the intrinsic vulnerabilities of the system. The focus has since swung to the fragmenting folly of Brexit – arguably the biggest threat to the stability of the EU since it was formed. And arguably the biggest threat to the well-being of the UK since the world wars.

Of course Bowie died, on 10 January 2016, having staged a perfectly orchestrated album release despite being terminally ill – in a way his last reinvention. Performing this part of FOLLY again in 2018, it could perhaps be seen as a homage to Bowie – which it never quite was. If it was about anything, it had more to do with seeking a thread between audiences in live and recorded time, a moment of company across space and time. An attempt at transmitting solidarity, however small.

Photography : StudioMaba

From the back of the bus; institution to freelance : May 2019

It is 3 months since I left Artsadmin, an organisation I worked with for 15 years. It has been quite a wrench and I miss many aspects (and Artsadministas) dearly. But it is also a change that felt due, opening up space for new challenges and collaborations, some time to think about how strands of work might come together with more focus, what I'd like to do next..that kind of thing.

I have so many meandering thoughts about the shift from institution to freelance, it is hard to know how and whether to convey any of them at all. I am not really a blogger or someone who publishes much about their practice; a lot of what I do is more in the hinterland of making work and is mostly about facilitation in one way or another. But so much is staring me in the face and so palpable right now, I'll cast a few thoughts out here and maybe elaborate on some of them later. Of course many of these are not new - and nor are they revelations - but they have been reinforced and sharpened by being freelance, and certainly felt more keenly.

In no particular order :

The weight of risk falling on the independent artist and producer; the massive power imbalance between those creating artwork and those able to offer resources; the lack of much-needed structural support for freelance producing; the vast invisible, unpaid bank of labour and expertise of artists and producers - and unpaid overtime of salaried workers - shoring up a flawed system; the dangerous level of isolation and frustration this work often entails; the alienation of the cafe shuffle and the benefit of a base; the barriers to sustaining relationships, practices and livelihoods; the relative lack of spaces in the UK which can support 'challenging' work (compare, for example, the number of well-resourced museums and theatres frequently presenting performance in Paris and London); the dwindling presentation budgets of many venues; the counter-artistic nature of most application processes; the need to show what work is about (and god help you if it's not about something) before it is made; the emphasis on impact; timelines paralysing artistic momentum; the sheer tenacity it takes to keep going; and the incredible volume of brilliant work going on despite all the above.

The latter is in itself testament to the dynamism of artists who are compelled to do what they do even when they can't pay the rent let alone take a day off. Jumping to the macro, it is a question of status; of how art and culture is valued. And while I'm not into reducing everything down to economic worth, it is relevant to say that the arts contribute more to the economy than agriculture (please see Mark Brown's article in the Guardian, 17 April) and that the arts contribute far more than they receive in subsidy.

Well, I could go on. I'm saying these things knowing it is a privilege to have developed experience and a network over nearly 20 years, mostly from within regularly-funded organisations. I am starting out anew, but not from the beginning. Right now I am starting some research into artist-led producing structures in Europe, without a grand plan but to see where it takes me. I am also very open to sharing thoughts about any of this stuff - in fact, would really welcome it.

Do get in touch if you want to hear more about this research or chat about any of the above - my email is


Waterweek is a free festival of art, history, performance, stories, walks and workshops exploring and celebrating water in Hailsham, Eastbourne and surrounding areas. Organised by local artists Clare Whistler and Charlotte Still on a gift economy basis, Waterweek is in its 6th edition.

Circling around this year's theme,'vital', events include a day in collaboration with Plastic Free Eastbourne at Holywell, beach clean-up, guided walks with Graham Keen of Wealden Walks, a walk with South East Water around Arlington reservoir, screenings at Leaf Hall, Eastbourne, myth-telling in Powdermill Woods and an evening with Natural England and Sussex Wildlife Trust to introduce the Pevensey Levels and Cuckmere Catchment Partnership at Herstmonceux Castle. Waterweek includes an exhibition at Gallery North, Hailsham running 1 – 31 March.

Contributors include Gonzalo Alvarez, Robert Bathurst, Christine Binnie, John Bleach, Andrew Durling, Fiona Durling, Mike Hutchinson, River Jones, Graham Keen,Deboarah Kelly, Simon Lohrey, Claudia Naylor, Catherine Pinhorn, Kay Syrad, Charlotte Still, Morah Stirling, David Stopp, Nikki Tomlinson, Clare Whistler, Freya Wyn-Jones.

Full listings and how you can take part at

For Waterweek I am creating a simple participatory piece, DEW PONDER. This involves a walk and reflective time at a dew pond in Crowlink (near Seven Sisters), followed by a gathering in my studio nearby and a reading by poet Kay Syrad.

Saturday 23 March

Duration : 90mins
Location : given on booking
Access : please get in touch to let us know any requirements in advance
Booking : very limited capacity for this event due to the nature of the site. To book, please contact Clare Whistler at


(not in date order)


BAR PERSON, Lass O'Gowrie Pub

SHOP ASSISTANT, Chinese Medical Centre

TYPIST, Call Centre



CLEANER, various


REFUGEE ADVISOR, Hackney Community College

MARKETING ASSISTANT, Chisenhale Dance Space

PRODUCER, various



CLERICAL WORKER, BBC Taxi Receipt Reconciliation Centre

MENTOR, various


EXTERNAL REVIEWER, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


PROGRAMME MANAGER, Chisenhale Dance Space




TRUSTEE, Dance Art Foundation


TOILET CLEANER, Glastonbury (green field)

PERFORMER, various

OFFICE JUNIOR, Finers' Solicitors

VOLUNTEER ADMINISTRATOR, Featherstonehuaghs & Cholmondeleys

, Women Into College, Hackney Community College

STALLHOLDER, Granada Market

CURATOR, various


CO-CHAIR, Chisenhale Dance Space


USHER, Screen on the Hill Cinema


BUSKER (recorder), various

DRAMATURG, various

NUTCRUSHER by Sung Im Her at ARKO, Seoul : 18 - 20 January 2019

Performer: Yen Ching Lin
Photo : Nikki Tomlinson

As a woman, performer and migrant, Sung Im Her is interested in how these three identities intersect, especially in relation to the #metoo and #timesup movements that began in the west and since had a huge impact in Korea. Starkly repetitive and energetic, Nutcrusher looks at sexual objectification and power. Nutcrusher (2018-19) premieres at ARKO, Seoul in January 2019.

Performed by : Yen Ching Lin, Martha Pasakopoulou, Sung Im Her
Music : Jamie Hamilton
Dramaturg : Philip Stanier
Lighting : Patricia Roldan Polo
Korea Producer : Eun Hae Yang
UK Producer : Nikki Tomlinson

With support from Korean Arts Council, Creative Performance Scheme
Full information at

TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU : 4 - 6 October 2018, London

In the midst of rapid change, polarisation and crises of social imagination in the UK and mainland Europe, small acts of imagination and friendship become radical interventions. Curated by Lisa Alexander, TO YOU TO YOU TO YOU is a gathering of love and dissent that seeks to connect, exchange and witness through performance and assembly, and through the action, idea or form of a love letter. Over twenty artists from the UK, Europe and beyond take part in a programme of performance over two evenings including commissioned work. There is an accompanying publication edited by Lisa Alexander being launched at LADA on 4 October.

This two-day programme at Toynbee Studios builds on Love Letters to a (Post)Europe at Bios, Athens in 2015, in which 26 artists created short works. For this programme I am revisiting and presenting FOLLY.

Friday 5 October:
Brian Catling & David Tolley / ESKA / Tim Etchells / Catherine Hoffmann / Mikhail Karikis / Claire MacDonald / Ivana Müller / Daniel Oliver / Florence Peake / Maria Sideri

Saturday 6 October:
Kate Adams / Dean Atta / Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir / Season Butler / Robin Deacon / Matthew Goulish & Lin Hixson/ Brian Lobel / Erica Scourti / Marikiscrycrycry/ Nikki Tomlinson

"Love Letters to a (Post)Europe connects artistic practice and intervention with solidarity, as a mode of visibility."
– Diana Damian Martin, Exeunt Magazine 2015

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and by Live Art Development Agency, Artsadmin and Counterpoints Arts.
Full info at

RITE by Florence Peake at Palais de Tokyo, Paris : April 2018

Performer : Susanna Recchia
Photo : Anne Tetzlaff

Florence Peake’s RITE explores the idea of the primal body as a vital force for change. RITE offers a reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in modernism’s history: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, composed in 1913 for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, the original performance is notorious for the riot it provoked at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on the first night, when theatre-goers apoplectic with anger had to be forcibly removed from the venue.

Peake transposes Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s iconic ballet to what she describes as ‘performative sculpture’. Taking ritual, sacrifice, labour, community and fertility as themes, RITE celebrates the primal power of the body as an expressive force against conservatism.

For Do Disturb//Festival 2018 at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Florence created a 3-women version of RITE, performed by Katye Coe, Iris Chan, Susanna Recchia.
Rehearsal director : Susanna Recchia
Sound : Beatrice Dillon
Producer : Nikki Tomlinson

RITE was developed in 2017 with support from the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project 2017 with partners Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Cambridge Junction, Dance4, Greenwich Dance, LIFT, London College of Fashion, Sadler's Wells, Site Gallery and Tintype Gallery and through public funding from Arts Council England. RITE was developed at Somerset House Studios and through a related residency at Cass Sculpture Foundation and West Dean College. The 3-person version premiered in April 2018 at Palais de Tokyo, Paris and the full cast version premiered at De La Warr Pavilion in May 2018.

Full information at

RITE by Florence Peake : research period at Somerset House : August 2017

RITE - research from florence peake on Vimeo.

Documentary about the making of RITE at Somerset House with dancers Susanna Recchia, Iris Chan, Katye Coe, Antonio de la Fe, Sam Kennedy.

Rehearsal director : Susanna Recchia
Production manager: Steve Wald
Dramaturg : Martin Hargreaves
Sound artist : Beatrice Dillon
Costume design : Clover Peake
Videographer : Becky Edmunds
Producer : Nikki Tomlinson

Supported by Jerwood Choreographic Research Project and Arts Council England.

F O L L Y in Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe at BIOS Athens : 3 October 2015

I will be showing new work F O L L Y at BIOS Athens in Love Letters to a (Post-) Europe, a two-day festival curated by Lisa Alexander in the context of a rapidly changing Europe and in a country bearing the brunt of austerity. This 2-day event asks artists to respond with 'the action, idea or form of a love letter. Of now. It may also be ending it. An action approaching another, a double listening'.

F O L L Y ia a short live performance accompanying a video of David Bowie performing "Heroes" in post-Wall Berlin, in 2002, having written it when he had a studio beside the Wall in 1977. It is intended as act of accompaniment, an absurd attempt to share a stage with Bowie, a singular gesture of trying to meet his soaring voice and spirit in virtual space. Working with the material, I have been thinking about Berlin’s changing fortunes and the longer narrative of “Heroes”; how each time Bowie played it in Berlin, the city’s position in the world was utterly different.

Participating artists: Kate Adams (UK), Demosthenes Agrafiotis(GR), Brian Catling (UK), cris cheek (UK), Robin Deacon (UK/USA), Vassiliki Dimou (GR), Tim Etchells (UK), Alec Finlay (UK), Matthew Goulish (USA), Guy Harries (UK), Steven C Harvey (UK), Catherine Hoffmann (UK), Wendy Houstoun (UK),Mikhail Karikis (GR/UK), Brian Lobel (USA/UK), Claire MacDonald (UK), Georgios Makkas (GR), Ivana Müller (HR/FR), Mariela Nestora (GR), Kira O’Reilly (IE/UK),Florence Peake (UK), Erica Scourti (UK/GR), Maria Sideri (GR), Anna Sherbany (UK), Jungmin Song (KR), Yoko Tawada (JP/DE), Nikki Tomlinson (UK)

Friday 2 & Saturday 3 October 2015 at BIOS in Athens

Florence Peake : The Keeners : Performance 19 September 2015

Florence Peake 'The Keeners', 2015. Courtesy of the artist and commissioned by SPACE.
Image credit Tim Bowditch.

Performance in London Fields, E8 : Saturday 19 Sept, 12noon-4pm
(If raining, the performance will move to Space Studios, Mare St E8 3RH
Exhibition of film and objects from the performance launches on Thursday 1 Oct, 6–8pm
and runs until 1 December.

The Keeners takes its title from the notion of ‘keening’, where professional mourners in Irish and Celtic traditions grieve others' losses on their behalf. Peake’s work abstracts this tradition and presents a collective grief in the form of a public performance to mourn the commodification and instrumentalisation of art in the corporate world, enacted by a chorus of dancers on a glossy mirrored dance floor.

A public open call asked for people to submit notions of what they feel they have lost culturally. Every one of these submissions is read out and then mourned by the dancers. The performance is situated in London Fields, which is classified as common land (Lammas Rights for grazing animals), and links to its history as a plague burial site.

Highlighting a framework of collective support and a platform for discussing the notion of ‘artwashing’, personal ethics and moral dilemmas the piece is also a playful and slyly ironic comment on the hypocrisy that faces us in daily life.

A commissioned essay on The Keeners written by Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt will be available online and at SPACE.
The Keeners is by Florence Peake. Performed by Charlie Ashwell, Lizzie Lequesne, Susanna Recchia, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid

Florence Peake : performances at the Hayward as part of Mirror City (Oct 2014 - Jan 2015)

27 performances
Ends 4 January 2015

For Hayward's major exhibition MIRROR CITY, Florence Peake is showing 'Swell the thickening surface of', testing the multiplicity of readings and images that surface and thicken from the singular action of shaking. Using surfaces of other bodies, the floor and walls to propel the action of shaking through the body, the performers play between states of awareness throughout the galleries and stairwells of the Hayward.

Performed by a rotating cast, with two performers each time : Gaby Agis, Luke Birch, Neil Brown, Rachel Gildea, Nando Messias, Lizzie le Quesne, Catherine Long, Hamish Macpherson, Joe Moran, Florence Peake, Amaara Raheem, Carolyn Roy, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid. Volumes Project, which is the performance programme running throughout MIRROR CITY at the Hayward, has been conceived by Frank Bock, Nicola Conibere and Martin Hargreaves.

In an era when so much time is spent in the digital realm, Volumes Project focuses on the physical body as a means of exploring actual space. The invited artists including Florence Peake will present performances on this theme. Rather than being conventionally staged, these events will take place in ‘in-between’ spaces in the gallery.

Please see full schedule in the post above for details of dates, times and performers. Each performance lasts 2.5 hours - please come and go as you like.

Tickets for Mirror City are £10.90 and include access to the performance programme. To book please visit here

Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre
Belvedere Rd
London SE1 8XX

GRAFT : 28 May 2014 : The Place

I'm happily back in the studio with the inimitable Mamoru Iriguchi who is developing another new work - this time at The Place, London. Commissioned for Spring Loaded 2014, GRAFT explores the shifting landscape of body and space through displacement of body parts via multiple monitor screens.

GRAFT started life at Choreodrome last year and will be presented at The Place on 28 May in a triple bill of Mamoru's work, to include his One Man Show and international touring piece Projector/Conjector. I'm working on these three pieces together with co-dramaturg Selina Patsoupeli.

The audience are invited to remain in the theatre during one of the intervals for a mid-show talk. Hosted by Nicola Conibere (Artist and Senior Lecturer at Coventry University and Brian Lobel (Artist and Senior Lecturer at Chichester) who will discuss the surrealist world of Mamoru’s work. Mamoru will be resetting the space right behind Nicola and Brian, wielding a seemingly excessive amount of cables and digital devices and dipping in and out of the conversation.

All Suffering SOON TO END! screening at Tate Britain

Jennet Thomas' single-screen film All Suffering SOON TO END! gets another outing, this time as part of the Assembly - Ceremony II programme at TATE Britain on 9 December.(7pm - 9pm, Tickets £5 from TATE).

All Suffering SOON TO END! was first presented at Matts Gallery in 2010.
Thomas takes a contemporary evangelical pamphlet as her inspiration. The pamphlet describes the ‘the end of days,’ and is both tender and lyrical in part, then suddenly savagely violent and ridiculous.

An imagined characterisation of the pamphlet’s author acts as the film’s main protagonist. This passionate and sinister Purple Preacher is a conflation of fundamentalist preacher and cartoon super villain from 60s and 70s Marvel comics, The Purple Man, whose superpower lies in his ability to instantly convince and persuade.

Calling at the comfortable home of an elderly suburban couple the Purple Preacher uses his sinister allure on the unwitting residents. A hypnotic slide show, life-sized Adam and Eve rubber dolls, a visit from a mysterious green nun, a disconcerting trip to a miniature model village in which perfect and parallel imperfect worlds are portrayed, and an impromptu gig in the garage, are amongst the surreal tools the preacher employs to illustrate his sermon, whilst unwittingly foretelling his own destruction.

At moments sinister and disturbing whilst at others charming and enchanting, this mesmerizing world of surreal repetition bombards the senses. A speculative exploration into cultural forms of ‘belief’ and representation, this darkly comic work satirizes the persuasive rhetoric of fanaticism, and begs the question:


Still from All Suffering SOON TO END! Tiago Gambogi and Nikki Tomlinson as Adam and Eve.

'Swell the thickening surface of' by Florence Peake at DRAF (2013)

Image : Florence Peake, Swell the thickening surface of, 2013. (Dancer Nikki Tomlinson). Photo Josh Redman

'Swell the thickening surface of', a new movement work by Florence Peake comprising of two duets and a solo.

"First you were my mother or a landscape, soon a votive figure dissolved into a humping dog, maybe something more explicit; this quake is liquid and transitory, unfixed, ready for distillation."

Swell the thickening surface of is performed in collaboration with dance artists Gaby Agis, Amaara Raheem, Nikki Tomlinson and Rosalie Walfrid. Costumes designed by Corinne Felgate.

Florence Peake's MAKE at BALTIC (2013)

6 - 7 July 2013
Performed by Iris Chan, Katye Coe, Rachel Gildea, Amaara Raheem, Susanna Recchia, Laurel Tentindo, Nikki Tomlinson, Rosalie Wahlfrid.

Next performances :
MAKE : V22 Young London : 27 October 2013, 3pm - 4pm. Free.

MAKE : Axis Arts Manchester : 7 November 2013, 7.30pm - 8.30pm. Ticketed.

MAKE by Florence Peake is produced by Dance Art Foundation and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Florence Peake is an Artsadmin Associate Artist 2012-14.

REMAKE, an extract from MAKE, performed over a number of hours : BOHUNK Nottingham : 12 October 2013, 1pm - 4pm. Free

REMAKE : Moving Museum, London : 12 October 2013 7pm - 10.30pm. Free


Just home from a wonderful few days working with Florence Peake at PAF in St.Erme

May - August 2013

Some news on current work..
Mamoru Iriguchi is following up his residency at the National Theatre Studio with a further fortnight of R & D on two projects; one looking at making a live work in a cinema and the other at ideas revolving around body image, pain and mortality. I'm working with him as dramaturg together with Frankfurt-based dramaturgs Susanne Zaun and Philipp Schulte.

I'm also very happy to be working with Florence Peake as performer and advisor in the run-up to her presenting MAKE, a piece with a cast of ten which unveils the hidden labour of making and maintaining sculpture through a choreographed performance. Developed and first shown at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2012, MAKE goes to the BALTIC in Newcastle this July, to V22 in London in October and to MMU Manchester in November.

I've begun work on a new project influenced by Chardin's still lifes, figurative paintings by William Scott and classical sculpture. This together with some other ideas forms the basis for some early-days research with Florence at PAF (Performing Arts Forum) in France this August.

Working with Florence Peake during her Dance Art Foundation Atelier residency at Moving East, April 2013
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Plainsong by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall. Image by Caroline MuellerPlainsong by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall. Image by Caroline Mueller© Maia Satz Cros© Maia Satz Cros© Maia Satz CrosFolk Dance by Nikki Tomlinson at La Caldera, Barcelona (2008)
Folk Dance by Nikki Tomlinson at La Caldera, Barcelona (2008)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)
Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Plainsong at Christchurch Spitalfields (2010)Cast at Chisenhale Dance Space (2004)Cast at Chisenhale Dance Space (2004)Cast at Chisenhale Dance Space (2004)

Plainsong (2010, 30min)

Plainsong by Nikki Tomlinson and cellist Hannah Marshall is based on a shared score and composed in real time, with each performance building on the memory of the last while responding to its new site.

Plainsong references the simple lines of plainchant and two paintings; a grid-like abstract work by Juan Uslé, 'Soñé que revelabas (Inquieto)', meaning 'I dreamed you were revealed' and The Water Carrier by Goya.

The movement in Plainsong is almost entirely in profile to the audience, shunting backwards and forwards as though the body is scanning the space, never quite stopping, but looping like a swimmer from wall to wall. The sound is also composed in real time, within a structure that allows us to be more or less influenced by each other, or deliberately counter each other.

For From Morning, curated by Florence Peake at Christ Church Spitalfields, three versions of Plainsong were performed; at 9am, midday and dusk.

Images from Plainsong at Clarence Mews Space, London 2009. Colour stills from video documentation by Carrie Mueller, black and white photographs © Joe Green

"a beautiful performance... time disappeared" Mildred Rambaud

"such mesmerising time and attention, the resonance between the strings and your body, resonance through the space and light but also across time and memory. I was absorbed and moved" Theron Schmidt

Plainsong was made during a residency at La Caldera (Barcelona) and through mentoring with Rosemary Butcher on Independent Dance's Critical Pathways project.

Versions of Plainsong have been shown at :
Christ Church Spitalfields, London (May 2010) and at Clarence Mews' Moving Architecture weekend, London (July 2009); Arcola Theatre, London (June 2009); Siobhan Davies Studios, London (June 2009)

Plainsong (short edit), created by Nikki Tomlinson with Hannah Marshall from ashley michael briggs on Vimeo.

Plainsong (16min edit), film by Ashley Briggs. from ashley michael briggs on Vimeo.

Staithe (2007, 6mins) showing at The Place : 14 December 2012

Staithe by Nikki Tomlinson and Lucy Cash is being shown at The Place on Friday 14 December 2012 (3pm - 6.30pm) within Dance & The Other, a programme curated by Joe Moran with students at London Contemporary Dance School. The programme features live and installation work by Stina Nyberg, Florence Peake, Stephanie Skura, Joe Moran, Alex Howard, Henry Montes, Marcus Coates, Rahel Vonmoos.
Full info here

Staithe is a video distillation of a 3-year performance project, saw/sore/soar, looking at memory, habits and the nature of change. Filmed on Burnham Overy beach in Norfolk in 2005, here it is re-cut by artist Lucy Cash as a single-screen video. Earlier versions involved a performance operating as a duet between live and pre-recorded material. The original version was a 25min solo performed live with no film, and with sound by The Magnetic Fields and Blondie.

saw/sore/soar was shown in London at: The Place, Hoxton Hall, Hackney Empire, and at Sensitive Skin (Nottingham); Spring Collection at The Point (Eastleigh); San Francisco Fringe Festival; Masdanza (Gran Canaria).
Staithe has previously been shown in London at the Intimacy Across Visceral and Digital Performance symposium at Goldsmiths; Falling Wide's Outsider Dancing programme at Toynbee Studios; the Chisenhale Biennale curated by Richard Layzell and Alana Jelinek at Chisenhale Studios.