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Surface Area Dance Theatre

On the 14 of May 2007, Surface Area Dance Theatre became incorporated as a Community Interest Company, under the Companies Act of 1985. We recognise our moral and social responsibility and our work aims to promote equality and diversity, in all aspects of our company activities. In 2018, we became a registered Level 2 Disability Confident Committed Employer, which is a scheme developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives.

In collaboration with artists, participants, academics and stakeholders, we continue to develop an original dance language that is formed by identity, reflecting the artistic and social commitments of our company -  achieved by dedicating the company's resources to periods of intensive research, the presentation of dance through live performance, interdisciplinary collaborations and international cultural exchange. Our company is Co-Directed by Nicole Vivien Watson and Paul Miller, we are representative of our community, and resources are maintained to enable a continued discourse with the D/deaf and hearing community, via communication channels in English and British Sign Language.

We use the definition from the Equality Act 2010, which defines a disabled person as someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activity.



"We would like to extend a massive thanks to Director Nicole Vivien Watson and our friend and choreographer Chris Fonseca who continue to utilise and experiment with our technology. Collectives like Surface Area Dance Theatre enable us to connect people from all walks of life with music and sound while also raising important issues and educating about the D/deaf and Hoh communities".SubPack Ltd


Hand In Hand (2019) choreographed by Chisato Minamimura and produced by Surface Area Dance Theatre. Presented at Dance City, in collaboration with visual artist Graham Patterson and musician Tom White. The finale of a week-long project led by Chisato, that involved twenty extraordinary D/deaf and hearing dancers from the North-East region, who were inspired to respond to Chisato’s unique creative practice. Supported by Arts Council England, Dance City, Moving Art Management and The Japan Foundation.


Selected Repertoire

"The strength of this piece was in collaboration and accessibility which was integral right from inception and this played beautifully on stage – there was no BSL interpreter as an add-on. In moments of text, there were always two performers playing back and forth with each other, one using stunning flowing BSL and the other spoken English, with points of joint signing which would flow back into or out of the dance…". Disability Arts Online, 22 March 2019,



Auricular 2017

  Auricular is a multi-disciplinary performance art piece inspired by British Sign Language (BSL), sensory processing and communication. Auricular intends to construct an immersive sensory environment through dance, sound and BSL; it evokes a sense of being, playing between sensuality, physicality and the affected. Dance City and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead firstly commissioned…

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Project Godie reviewed by the Wire

“It’s more about movement than dance; and those movements have only been arrived at through long, drawn out exercises in stripping away layer upon layer of socially conditioned thought and action to eventually reveal the twitching, pulsing sentient being suffocating underneath”. Review of Project Godie Live Events: Kopf, Biba. The Wire. (2016, November). On Site.…

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Collaboration in Practice

Company Directors Nicole Vivien Watson and Paul Miller attended Collaboration in Practice, a symposium facilitated by Venture Arts, bringing speakers from across the UK to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, on the 18th of October, to share their experiences of collaboration in contemporary disability visual art practice including; Amanda Sutton, Director, Venture Arts, Manchester; Ruth…

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Project Godie Exhibition, on display at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne – UK, until the 8th of January 2017.

Project Godie Exhibition Today the North East enjoys strong business relations with Japan, not the least of which is Nissan whose presence at Sunderland is significant. However, the region’s cultural and commercial exchanges with Japan run deeper than might first be thought. Japanese warships were once built on the banks of the River Tyne in…

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Project Godie

Project Godie ‘Dance of Darkness’ sheds light on Anglo-Japanese heritage Project Godie is a multi platform heritage programme that will take audiences on a journey through Anglo-Japanese history, celebrating the north east of England’s strong links with Japan through dance, music, film and literature. The programme will launch with a performance that places Butoh at its heart –…

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Mr Yoshito Ohno: Ohno Studio – Yokohama, 6th of May 2016 With thanks to Zoya Ochiai and Mina Mizohata for interpretation. Photography by Adam Denton

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Meeting Kanazawa Butoh Kan and visiting Natadera Iwayama Temple

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Meeting artists and participants from Japanese Theatre of the Deaf

Nicole Vivien Watson meets artists and participants from Japanese Theatre of the Deaf. Thank you for the kind and welcoming introduction to Japanese Sign Language!

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