Nicole Vivien Watson, Director and founder of Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC, Est. 2007.

As a passionate learner, Nicole places investigation at the centre - point of practice, within which are multiple and diverse, interdisciplinary processes. When asked to describe her interests, Nicole consistently refers to an understanding and empirical perception of Butoh, which can be described as a contrastive spectrum of philosophy, performance and socially concerned activities.

Equal to her knowledge of Butoh, is a persistent consideration of non - verbal communication. Nicole began studying British Sign Language (BSL), six years ago and with a scholarship from the Royal Ballet Benevolent fund, she is in the final stages of her BSL education. Butoh and BSL occupy a generative importance within her practice,  described by Nicole as “Luminous pillars, holding the support of continued personal and professional development”.

Recent works include: The Other Side of Me, (2018) in partnership with Northumbria University and Aycliffe Secure Centre in County Durham, UK.

 The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed & Raft (2017-18) supported by Arts Council England and performed at; CCA:Glasgow, Workplace Gallery, Berwick Visual Arts.

Where our Roots are Planted (2017) in partnership with Antoine Hunter SFO, Paul Miller and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, supported by Arts Council England.

伯父 UNCLE (2017), exhibited at Dance City, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and supported by  The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, Dance City and the Japan Local Government Centre.

 Project Godie Publication Launch (2017); in partnership with Cococara Art & Space, Tokyo; supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Japan Local Government Centre and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Auricular (2017); supported by Arts Council England and performed in partnership with CCA: Glasgow, Berwick Visual Arts and Turner Contemporary.

Project Godie, UK - Japan - NYC (2016); supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund; Project Godie  - Exhibition, in partnership with the Discovery Museum and the Laing Art Gallery, UK

A Mountain of Black Stones, (2016); made in collaboration with Yorgos Maraziotis (GR) and Klunks - NO and presented at Beton7, Athens

Performances and exhibitions include: BushBash - Tokyo (2016);  The Institute for Creative Arts Practice - Newcastle University (2014); Space In Between, in collaboration with the ARKA Group, London (2014); BALTIC 39, Newcastle upon Tyne, (2014); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2013); Battersea Arts Centre (2013);  La MaMa, East Village NYC (2012); Brooklyn Arts Exchange, NYC (2012); Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, NYC (2011);

Residencies and research periods include; Action Learning (2018). Facilitated by Independent Dance and Dancers Career Development, with support from the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund and Siobhan Davies Studios.

International cultural research; Investigation of the life and cultural legacy of Lafcadio Hearn – Koizumi Yakumo (1850–1904), writer, translator, and journalist. Taking place in North West Japan and North East England, commencing June 2018.

The Ohno Studio Japan, Yokohama 2007, 2009, 2016 and 2017. Japan Deaf Theatre, Tokyo 2017, Greek Deaf Theatre, Athens 2016,  Movement Research, NYC 2011 and São Paulo, Brazil in 2010

Awards include; Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation supported artist (2016 - 17), Artists International Development Fund - Arts Council England and British Council (2016 - 17), Royal Ballet Benevolent Award (2015), Daiwa Anglo- Japanese bursary holder (2015 - 16).


paul miller

Paul Miller is the founder and Director of Rory’s Studio and as a Deaf British Sign Language user, he strives to illuminate Deaf Culture within mainstream forums. Paul began his professional career as an illustrator, working in collaboration with writer Julia Donaldson. Since then he has worked extensively as an ambassador for Deaf awareness. In 2012, Paul was invited by the Paralympics to produce and direct Driving Inspiration, a live action short film that included disabled children from across the UK.

Paul was appointed a Director of Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC in 2015, and performed in the company's national tour of Auricular (2017)   CCA: Glasgow, Berwick Visual Arts and Turner Contemporary. In May 2017 Paul and Nicole travelled to Tokyo to collaborate with Japan Deaf Theatre, this is an ongoing international collaboration.

In September 2017, Paul and Nicole were invited by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (UK) to work  as guest producers for “Where Our Roots Are Planted”’ a participatory project led by internationally renowned deaf choreographer Antoine Hunter.

Students and faculty from the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland took part in the activity, Claire Lamont, Head of BA Performance in BSL & English commented, “It has been wonderful to connect with the work that Nicole Vivien Watson and Paul Miller are leading. Since the BA Performance programme was launched in 2015 as the first dedicated conservatoire training in the UK for deaf performers we have appreciated this relationship and the opportunity it gives us to share knowledge and practice. It is so important for our students to connect with deaf artists and to find out about their pathways into the industry and how they approach the work they are developing. We are incredibly grateful to Nicole and Paul and look forward to an ongoing relationship”.

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We are a limited company registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) on 14th May 2007. Company number 6245579