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Social Live Art Performance

SLAP was dreamt up, formed and spawned by 70/30 Split (Lydia Cottrell & Sophie Unwin) who wanted to bring exceptional performances to the city of York. SLAP generate opportunities for like-minded artists who probe and produce raw grass-roots performance work.

We like the risky and small-scale, we like big ideas and artists who are producing works on the fringes of traditional performance. We tend to put unusual work into usual spaces for unsuspecting audiences.

What makes us tick is supporting, developing and programming experimental dance, theatre, live art, installation and film.

We have programmed work at York Theatre Royal, The Guildhall, Illuminating York festival, in a pub, a club, a bus stop, a music festival and everywhere in-between.

SLAP’s 2018 activity was supported using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. With further support from The Mediale, York and North Yorkshire Dance Hub, York St John University, York Theatre Royal, Yorkshire Dance, York Dance Space and Festival of Ideas.

2017 saw SLAP’s first multi-day event, the SLAPWeekender, which was part of Yorkshire Dance’s Artists Curating Dance project, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. It aims were to develop curatorial practice with a selected group of six artists, including SLAP, who are working at the cutting edge of contemporary practice and who are supported to develop curatorial ideas. The SLAP weekender was supported using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England with further support from Jerwood Charitable Foundation, York St John University, York Theatre Royal and York Dance Space.

SLAP were finalists in the Best Cultural Event or Festival category in the York Culture Awards 2017.



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Lydia Cottrell and Sophie Unwin have been making, performing, producing and curating performance works collaboratively since 2011; crafting ‘brave and boundless’ works which are frank, observant and accessible. Informed by a background in dance their work traverses traditional forms creating a hybrid language of performance, theatre, dance and cabaret.  

Between them they have performed for many artists including Gary Clarke, Ann Liv Young, Wendy Houstoun and Chris Goode, they have been awarded the Hull Dance Prize, the FLINTsparks Prize, the IDEA Assembly and shortlisted for the Vantage Art Prize. Received commissions from Contact Theatre, Royal Exchange Manchester, Skimstone Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Chisenhale Dance Space, Yorkshire Dance, Drunken Chorus and were listed in the Guardian as one of the top dance moments of 2014. 

Cottrell and Unwin are as touching as they are resolutely fearless.” - The Guardian