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 Program is now in its 4th year and 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 commission programme.

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 commissioning, 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.

2 week intensive

Year 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 directors Cohan and Alberga 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 Allston, Shobana Jeyasingh, Mark Anthony Turnage, Mark Bowden and Stephen Montague.

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

Development Week

Year 2

The Cohan Collective 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. The CCDW allows the teams time and space to immerse themselves in one partnership, working towards the completion of a single short work.

The collaborators are again mentored by guest mentors under the directorship of Cohan and Alberga.

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.


Year 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 as well as at a London venue and at the initiation of the next Cohan Collective. The commission will be mentored and designers will be brought in to support the realisation on stage of the artists’ work.

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

Cohan Collective: Birmingham 2020

The next Cohan Collective will take place in

6–17 July 2020

Application details will be available later this year. 

Register you interest to apply by joining our mailing list below.