THE FOUNDERS of a new dance festival say it will fill a gap in Brighton’s cultural calender and appeal to the city’s desire for the “unusual”.

Undisciplined, the brainchild of South East Dance, consists of four events – three at The Old Market and one at ACCA – put on by choreographers and dancers who “dare to take risks”.

Cath James, programme director for SED, said audiences can expect the shows to question the act of performance itself.

“This is work whose makers stir and shake the art form, cross boundaries and explore the outer reaches of what dance can be. I think this micro-festival fills a gap in the cultural life within the city – a city that has an appetite for the unusual, the creative, the otherness, the edge”.

The performances that make up Undisciplined include a double bill from the Candoco Dance Company, a group made up of disabled and non-disabled dancers who performed alongside Coldplay at the London 2012 Paralympic closing ceremony.

Meanwhile Amy Bell presents Tombo(y)la, a show based around questions of identity and gender, and Project O stage Voodoo, a work that focuses on race politics among other themes. The closing performance sees Eleanor Sikorski showcase her piece Comebacks I Thought Of Later and Jan Martens display his solo performance Ode To The Attempt.

Cath says that the programme – and the whole ethos of the festival – is experimental by its nature, “and Brighton audiences love nothing if not the experimental”. As well as the actual spectacle of the dances, South East Dance were keen to explore the broader context of society today and how art reacts to it.

“We want people to think about social, political, race, gender and identity issues,” says Cath. “The artists presenting work are totally in involved in what is happening in the world, their world, and their take on what is important to address. Their work provides a lens for us to reflect upon these issues – as a proposition, as a challenge, as a question.”

The debate over whether art can instigate chance rumbles on, but what is undeniable is that it can at least impact the way people think about the world. With that in mind, Cath was keen to try and make a personal connection to festivalgoers.

“We think it’s important that the festival is relevant to today’s audiences and their lived experience,” she says, “and we hope that there will be something within it that each member of the audience can take away.”

Undisciplined is the springboard to an exciting few years for South East Dance. They will open their new home, The Dance Space, on Circus Street in Brighton in 2020, a hub that will host a plethora of workshops and schemes aimed at public involvement.

Cath says that Undisciplined is a good introduction to the ideologies of the group and their forthcoming venue.

“Undisciplined shines a light on the style of work and calibre of artists we will embrace and champion when The Dance Space opens. We will welcome everyone in. Dance is the movement of and within the human body, and this is something we can all do.”

The Old Market, Hove, and the Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts, Falmer, April 18 to 20. To see the full programme and to buy tickets visit