Metal, Development LAB


We are looking for disabled and non-disabled practitioners to take part in an intensive research and development LAB. These four day workshops are aimed at artists (from all artforms) that work with the body, movement and dance; or are curious to explore with others these themes.

dance-009-copy-2The Metal LAB format is a facilitated work space for artistic enquiry, offering opportunities for exploration, reflection, conversation and risk taking. It is a space for experimentation, mess and mistakes. It is a space for new encounters and potential collaborations. We are particularly interested in exploring the dynamics of working in partnership across disciplines and are open to joint applications.

Led by disabled dance artist and Associate Producer at Metal Kate Marsh, they are all about exploring ‘the in-between’ – the space that sits beyond the binary of the ’normative’ and ‘othered’ body.  The sessions will act as stimulus and springboard proposing new ways of seeing, new ways of moving and new ways of being together.

Each LAB will also be supported by a cohort of guest speakers and mentors. Those confirmed include:

Luke Pell


Claire Cunningham

Dan Daw

Martin Forsberg

Dinis Machado


Caroline Bowditch


The LABs will take place at the Metal venues in Peterborough, Southend and Liverpool.

You must be available to attend the full LAB week at one of the sites. All travel, accommodation and meals will be provided. We encourage all participants to stay overnight in the host cities, maximising the opportunities to spend time with your cohort.

Peterborough:  Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th April 2017

Southend:  Tuesday 13th – Friday 16th June 2017

Liverpool:  are Tuesday 21st – Friday 24th November 2017


After the LAB, attendees will be supported to develop R&D  proposals for new commissions based on their research. The artists will be invited into residence at Metal to develop their ideas further supported by a commissioning fund. The resulting collaborative works will be shared locally, showcased at the Southbank Centre (London) and will form part of a new national symposium in 2018 in partnership with the Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University (C-DaRE) to coincide with Unlimited

Deadline for applications is Friday 17th March at 5pm

Please complete the online form providing information about yourself, your experience and your artistic practice. Also provide a summary statement that shows your interest in the LAB themes. Please also attach any further information you feel may be useful to the selection panel eg. images, web links, film clips or sound works

If you have a preference on dates and venues please specify. The information below gives an overview of the three Metal spaces and their accessibility. Please consider when making a selection.

If you would like to discuss your application or have any further questions please contact Kate Marsh or Mark Richards via email.

The LABs and commissions are funded by Arts Council England through the Change Makers programme.

Information about Kate Marsh

Kate Marsh is a disabled dance artist with over 20 years’ experience of performing, teaching and making. Her interests are centred around perceptions of the body in the arts and notions of corporeal aesthetics. Specifically, she is interested in each of our lived experiences of our bodies, and how this does (or doesn’t) inform our artistic practice. Her recently completed PhD focusses on leadership in the context of dance and disability and draws strongly on the voices of artists to interrogate questions around notions of leadership, perceptions and the body.

Information about Metal and our spaces

Metal was founded by Jude Kelly OBE in 2002, working with current Artistic Director and CEO, Colette Bailey since its inception.  It is an artistic laboratory that champions the need for continual investment in artistic investigation and the development of innovative ideas that could shift the thinking in the UK cultural sector. We provide innovative, multi-disciplinary residency space for artists from the UK and overseas in Liverpool, Southend on Sea and Peterborough.

Alongside providing space for artists and thinkers to develop their ideas and further the philosophy of their work, we are interested in how this artistic process, and the practice of artists can input into, and potentially influence political and social issues of the day. Through our artistic programme we draw out evidence and ideas for a better understanding of the artist’s role in civic life, and ensure that these are shared with a wide and diverse set of partners.  These ideas are showcased and disseminated on a regular basis through residencies, exhibitions, events, performance, discussion and publications.

For information on previous projects and our residencies see

Metal Peterborough (25th – 28th April)

Building Accessibility: Chauffeurs Cottage is a two-story building and is wheelchair accessible on the ground floor. The building can be accessed via our car park at the front of the building via automatic doors. The ground floor has a large meeting room and event space, a digital suite, office space, break out room, kitchen and accessible toilet.

Induction loops: There is an induction loop in the main event space where the majority of talks, presentations and meals take place.

Office and break out spaces: Virtually all our ground floor office and break out spaces are fully accessible, we have two breakout rooms upstairs that are not wheelchair accessible and are accessed via stairs.

Accessible toilets: An accessible toilet is available on the ground floor.

Parking: We have limited parking at the front of our building in our garden/car park. There is a lot of demand for these spaces so we cannot guarantee there will always be a space available. There is however Blue Badge parking spaces at the front of our building outside our gates on St Peters Road.

Metal Southend (13th – 16th June)

Building Accessibility: Chalkwell Park is wheelchair friendly, and Chalkwell Hall itself can be entered via a ramp. Inside, it has 3 floors that are fully wheelchair accessible via lift.

Office and break out spaces: The ground floor has a large meeting room, a project room, a toilet and a kitchen which are all accessible, along with our administration office where staff are available from 9-5.30, Monday-Friday.

We have two large bedrooms that are based on the second floor, one of which has a fully wheelchair accessible en-suite and shower. The kitchen for artists in residence is on the third floor, along with working areas and a lounge area, featuring blackboard walls, a library and TV screen. The basement of Chalkwell Hall holds two of our offices, which are not accessible via lift.

Next door to Chalkwell Hall, we have Metal Art School, which is fully wheelchair accessible. It holds an art studio and our digital suite.

Accessible Toilets: An accessible toilet is available on the ground floor and on the second floor.

Parking: It is free to park in the car park, which is open 24/7. The car park is situated next door to Metal Art School, with several spaces for blue badge holders.

Metal Liverpool (21st – 24th November)

Building Accessibility: Metal Liverpool is based at Edge Hill railway station on platforms 1 and 2. The building is accessible from the road via a hundred meter cobbled street slope or uneven pavement.

There is a ramp entrance to Metal and the building consists of three floors. The ground floor is fully wheelchair accessible; the other two floors are accessed only via stairs. The building consists of an events space, kitchen, dining area and flexible space on the ground floor, offices and hot-desking space on the second floor, and on the third floor is a large flexible studio space.

Office and break out spaces: Metal Liverpool have office and a break out space on our 1st floor, these are not wheelchair accessible. However our dining area on the ground floor also doubles up as a hot-desking or break out space is wheelchair accessible.

Accessible Toilets: An accessible toilet is available on the ground floor.

Parking: Edgehill has a station a car park with a very limited number of non-reserved spaces.

Access to trains: The train station has level access for trains to Manchester Victoria, St Helens, Wigan, Preston, Warrington Bank Quay and Liverpool.

For trains to Manchester Piccadilly and Warrington Central, access is via steps to an under-pass and then up steps to the platform.