Ideas Exchange 2023

25 October 2023
  • Sadiq Ali's The Chosen at Family Encounters 2023 c. Ruth Armstrong
Dance Base/Assembly Roxy
  • Wednesday 25 October 14:30

Tickets are £15 for organisations and £5 for freelancers.
Ignore the £1.25 booking fee info - it won't be added onto your booking.

Booking information

Book through Assembly Roxy website.

Come and join us for Ideas Exchange 23, an event of sharing theatre and dance performance ideas at various stages of development by artists based in Scotland. Ideas Exchange is an industry-focused event, a space for artists to share new ideas and get feedback from their peers in a safe space.

Download the programme here

Ideas Exchange will run from 14:30 to 21:00 across two venues, starting at Dance Base and then moving to Assembly Roxy.  There is a break from 16:45–18:30 so you can get some food before joining for the second part. We invite you to join us at the end of the day for a drink and conversations in the Assembly Roxy bar from 20.00.

We’re joined by two BSL Interpreters – Mel Toner and Karen Forbes. Please speak to an Imaginate staff member to discuss sightlines for BSL Interpretation and captions.

Dance Base Studio 1

14:30 NOHOMO Sharing - Dan Brown 

Dan Brown, Lead Artist
Alison Brown, Costume
Emma Lewis-Jones, Dramaturg
Jamie Wardrop, Video Artist
Sally Charlton, Facilitator
Tony Mills, Mentor
Luke Pell, Mentor

NOHOMO follows a lone astronaut lost in deep, bubble gum space trying desperate to find their own place, somewhere to belong. Drawing from Dan’s own experience NOHOMO is an exposé of the patriarchal constraints placed on young queer working class people, and an exploration of what it looks like to manoeuvre different spaces in order to survive.

Dan Brown has been developing this idea through Launchpad including working with pupils at Tynecastle High School and a week-long residency at Dance Base. After the sharing we will have a conversation about the development process, plans for the next stage of development and time for some written feedback.

Dan’s Launchpad is in partnership with Dance Base, with thanks to 21Common. 

15:45 Discussion – new performances ideas for ASN audiences

Aby Watson, Choreographer
Claire Willoughby, Composer and Lead Artist for Dussskk
Daniel Padden, Composer and Theatre Maker

Claire and Daniel are all exploring new performance ideas for the most underserved audiences including children with PMLD and autistic and disabled teenagers. Claire will be joined by Aby Watson to talk about the development of Dussskk and will share some film from the development. Daniel will explore adaptation of work for ASN audiences as he is at an early stage with Colours Feel Louder, inspired by the performance WhirlyGig (Children’s Festival programme 2022).

Assembly Roxy

18:30 The Kelpie and the Phoenix Sharing - Vee Smith and Sadiq Ali

Vee Smith, Lead Artist
Sadiq Ali, Lead Artist
Cleo McCabe, Costume Designer
Chris Gorman, Sound Designer & Technical Stage Manager
Emma Jones, Lighting Designer
Ivor McAskill, Mentor
Pete Lannon, Director
Rishi Trikha, Dramaturg
Hannah Egleston, Costume Assistant

This work in progress is a development of The Kelpie and The Phoenix, a queer circus show using a Chinese Pole, aerial rope and ambitious costuming that celebrates weirdness, friendship, otherness, silliness, imagination, and how amazing it feels to live your true self. 

Vee and Sadiq are presenting this as part of Accelerator after some paid research time, a visit to Krokusfestival in Belgium and a 3-week period of rehearsals leading up to today.  After the sharing there will be some time to write down some feedback and talk with some of the team.

The Kelpie and the Phoenix R&D has been supported by Catherine Wheels, with thanks to Aerial Edge and Summerhall.

19:50 Dussskk Sharing

Claire Willoughby, Lead Artist
Aby Watson, Choreographer
Ali Watt, Performer
Amy Conachan, Performer
David Ridley, Performer
Emma Bailey, Designer
Eszter Marsalkó, Dramaturg
Greg Sinclair, Associate Music Director
Isabella Gervais, Performer
Marc Brew, Outside Eye (Movement Direction)
Nerea Bello, Performer

Claire began developing Duuussk as part of her 2020-22 Jerwood Fellowship with Imaginate and in association with Oily Cart so we are delighted the R&D company will share a song with us – “Duuussk” – from the piece. Duuussk will be a multi-sensory musikdrama for autistic and disabled teenagers, specifically created for those who enjoy sound and seek sensory aural experiences. Using costume, singing, sound design and choreography Duuussk will chart the transformative cycle from night to day. 

The Duuussk R&D was supported by Creative Scotland, The Work Room, Snap-Elastic, Imaginate, Jerwood Arts and Unity Theatre Trust.


13:00 – pre-event Conversation Café (separate booking)
14:15 – doors open (Dance Base)
14:30 – Dan Brown sharing (Studio 1, Dance Base)
15:30 – Break
15:45 – Discussion (Studio 1, Dance Base)
16:45 – 18:30 – Break
18:00 – doors open (Assembly Roxy)
18:30 – Vee Smith and Sadiq Ali sharing
19:50 - Duuussk sharing
20:00-21:00 – Networking drinks


Both venues are accessible to wheelchair users and BSL will be provided throughout the day. We have an access budget for this event so please contact Pamela Walker if you have any other access requirements or have any other questions before booking. 

Dance Base has a lift or level access to all areas of the building. Accessible toilets and changing facilities can be found opposite reception and next to the main changing rooms at the rear of the building. Dance Base also has fixed and portable induction loops available if required. The event will take place in Studio 1, which can be quite an echoey space so it might be noisy on the day. We take a relaxed approach to our events, and you are welcome to take a break from the space if needed. Further information about access is available on the Dance Base website.

Assembly Roxy's main entrance is accessed via one small step, but they also have a level access entrance available if required. Toilets are located on the ground floor and contain two individual stalls, one of which is wheelchair accessible. Further information about access is available on Assembly Roxy website.