enCompass Collective – Graduate Dance Theatre Company

Posted on 3rd February 2015

enCompass Collective is directed by Josh Slater and Ellie Russell who graduated in 2012. These two Entrepreneurial graduates were successful in securing funding to set up in business, after taking part in the ACCELERATE event organised by the University of Chester’s Riverside Innovation Centre. 

Josh, Ellie and the Collective at the ‘Circumstances Tour’ Preview Evening.Josh and Ellie were awarded £2,000 for their business, enCompass Collective, which has a strong educational focus; devising, developing and sharing with the community in the North West, dynamic innovative dance theatre practices. The ACCELERATE programme began in December 2013, and has offered the chance for students and graduates to attend three intensive events over the course of the academic year, designed to equip them with the necessary tools to start their business. Part-funded and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Riverside Innovation Centre is the University of Chester’s innovation-focused business start-up support facility. 

Josh and Ellie have worked in primary and secondary schools with some excellent feedback:

"I know that the children really enjoyed this fabulous opportunity to be creative and to express themselves in dance.

Your manner with the children was great and they responded well to the clear direction and purposeful praise that you gave resulting in happy, engaged children.

The teachers’ also benefitted from seeing the way in which a real dancer inspired the pupils to go beyond their limits to produce a slick and professional final performance. Very impressive!"  Becca Butler, Headteacher at Queenswood Primary School.

They have also been working hard to collaborate with other organisations and facilitated the dance event series for the Northgate Quarter Festival in 2014 as well as creating and performing new work for various choreographic platforms in Cheshire, Manchester and Liverpool.

enCompass are based at the University of Chester's Kingsway Buildings this year, and are currently developing a new performance programme with new works choreographed by North West dance artist Lauren Tucker, and additional dance theatre work choreographed by Evelyn Jamieson. Other company members include final year students and graduates. enCompass support the Dance programme and Performing Arts Department at the University of Chester.