Artists Residency Program

Following a successful pilot in 2015, the Cohan Collective was launched in August 2016 enabling artists the rare opportunity to focus on the art and process of collaboration. The Cohan Collective brings together composers, choreographers, musicians and dancers to look deeply into the process of making music and dance, to further develop the depth and quality of their work and working methods.

The Cohan Collective’s Artists Residency has established itself as a three-phase, three-year programme. The first phase is the two-week residency, the second phase is the development week and the third and final phase is the realisation.

The aim of phase one is to take artists through an initial, intense task-based programme providing new insights into ways of collaborating. The development week offers a week of creativity on a single collaboration. The third phase brings together all the learning that has been ingrained during the first two phases, through completing, producing and presenting a finished work.

Throughout the programme, artists are mentored and given ongoing support for the development of their creative journeys.

Learn more about the residency program below.

“The Cohan Collective is a valuable and a rare opportunity. Not all composers are introduced to dance and so this is an opportunity to discover a new art form they can work with. Choreographers rarely get the opportunity to work with live, specially composed music.”

Eleanor Alberga Founding Director

2 week intensive

Phase 1

The Cohan Collective two-week intensive residency pushes artists into unknown territory, to take greater risks in a rigorous and critical, yet supportive environment. Participants are selected through an open application process and come from a diverse range of stylistic backgrounds. Four choreographers and four composers are chosen to work with twelve dancers and four musicians.

Each day begins with technique class in either Cohan or ballet technique. Each choreographer is then paired with a composer and given compositional tasks, set by the residency directors and facilitated by guest mentors. The collaborators explore the tasks using the dancers and musicians as their creative team. A sharing of each day’s work and feedback sessions conclude most days, though some tasks are spread over multiple days.

During the two weeks, two guest artists are invited to share their knowledge and insights into their artform. Previous lecturers have included Richard Alston, Shobana Jeyasingh, Mark Anthony Turnage, Mark Bowden and Stephen Montague.

For the two-week residency, the focus is on process, not product.

Development Week

Phase 2

The Development Week is a one-week residency where artists from phase 1 are invited to return to spend a week focusing on a single collaboration initiated at the previous CC. The collaborative teams, pick up on an idea that arose from one of the previous year’s tasks and use it as the starting point for a collaboration. This week allows the teams time and space to immerse themselves in one partnership, working towards the completion of a single short work.

The collaborators are offered support by guest mentors and the residency directors.

At the end of the residency, the artists will present their work at an informal sharing for both an invited audience of arts professionals as well as the general public.


Phase 3

Artists who have participated in phase 1 and phase 2 are invited to return to the Cohan Collective to create a new work over a three-week period. This will culminate in a performance which will include lighting and costume design and will be performed at the end of the three weeks. The realisation will be mentored throughout, with lighting and costume designers supporting the creation.

Throughout all three phases of the Cohan Collective, musicians and dancers are present to work with the composers and choreographers.