As a dance artist, I look to contemporary dance as my platform to reach out and discover collaborative interdisciplinary ways of working. Each collaboration may challenge, surprise or shock, it can allow us to discover and overcome boundaries, to play and manipulate the borders of our art form and our culture, it can allow us to see for the first time things that we may otherwise overlook.
Kay Crook is a freelance dance artist and director of Chhaya Collective, a contemporary dance company working between UK and India since 2013.
Kay's current work KHAOS, is a full length dance and live music production, featuring three musicians and six dancers. KHAOS was developed and previewed in Portugal in Autumn 2017, with further development and tour to follow in 2018. Kay is also directing an on going Live Stream project between UK and India, allowing artists to connect, share and choreograph collaboratively across two continents.
In Spring 2017 Chhaya Collective collaborated with international dance artist Rakesh Sukesh at Tanzart - Kirschau in Germany, researching themes of spiritual pilgrimage within eastern and western culture; working with ancient indian martial art Kalaripayattu and contemporary dance.
Kay's work also includes Time & Tide (2016) in collaboration with filmmaker David Snowden, Musician Cameron Murray and cast of dancers, with a small scale tour of Portugal and UK in Autumn 2016. Chhaya's Falling Light Project (2014), and Falling Light in Liminal Spaces (2015), a duet with Indian dance artist, Ajeesh Balakrishnan, developed in collaboration with Indian artists Nakula Somana, Nirup Divankaran and Abdul Raheem; performed in India, Portugal and UK in 2015. In 2013 Chhaya created Antara in collaboration with director Amanda Knott, Interwoven Productions, PDSW and Asian Arts Agency.
Kay works as a dancer for Heather Walrond Company, touring The Rising nationally and internationally in 2016/17, including HIFA Zimbabwe '17. Kay teaches in collaboration with State of Emergency, Earthfall, Exeter Phoenix, Falmouth University, Bridgwater College, Tacchi Morris, Dartington Arts and Cygnet Theatre in the UK and Attakkalari, Shoonya and Lshva in India. Kay is also the director of Chhaya's Exeter Youth Dance Company, established in 2015 and supported by Dance in Devon and Exeter Phoenix.
Kay toured the UK with Map Dance Company in 2011, working with choreographers Ben Duke (Lost Dog), Darren Ellis (RADC and Random) Yaara Dolev (Tel Aviv), Gregory Maqoma and Rose English. She achieved a Masters in Dance Performance (2011) and a First Class BA hons in Dance from The University of Chichester, receiving the ‘Lea Anderson Award for Choreographic Excellence’ (2010) and the ‘Valerie Briginshaw award for Dance writing and Academic Excellence’ (2012).
Kay is an invaluable member of the professional dance community who brings something special and unique to the mix in Devon through her connection with Indian classical dance. She has a passion not just for her own dance but for sharing it with others and is very committed to helping develop the local dance sector.
- Gillian Dale, Executive Director Dance in Devon