Lîla Dance is Abi Mortimer, Carrie Whitaker, and Dougie Evans. The company is based in the South East and is a Supported Artist of The Point, Eastleigh, an Associate Company at The University of Chichester and previously a Dream Artist at Pavilion Dance South West. We have developed strong, long-term partnerships through our innovative participatory work for which we have gained national recognition.

Artistic Mission Statement

Harnessing the expressive power of body and voice within an imaginative
world to tell ineffable ‘stories’ that speak to the flesh and nerve

Lîla Dance creates fictional worlds that question what it means to be human through emphasising the power of the body to tell stories. On a few occasions we have been ‘accused’ of being existentialist, and in some ways we are. Our work explores the timeless problem that we infinitely face- how do we make rational choices in an irrational world?

Our artistry has grown from a contemporary dance language that has evolved to embrace original music and physical theatre devices. For each new piece we develop a world that is given a sense of place through movement, familiar sounds, props and text, often used in unfamiliar ways.

These worlds are immersed in original soundtracks by Dougie Evans that colour the intensity of the environment and interacts with the emotional content of the narrative.

Lîla is a Sanskrit word meaning play, and to play is to transport yourself into a new reality. One of the most important elements of our work is the understanding that the performance itself is a game: alive and changeable. Our dancers are empowered to be expressive in the moment  keeping the work fresh and spontaneous with every performance.

Recently we have invited the audience to experience this world up close and personal through the devising of immersive works, placing them inside the action as a ‘player’ in our story. It is not only audiences that we have welcomed into our world. Members of the community come together as our extended cast to perform alongside our professional dancers in a unique opportunity to connect with us, each other, and their local venue.  This puts the real world into our world,  and breathes new life into each and every show.

We offer a variety of opportunities to get involved through WorkshopsClasses and Commissions, in which communities can form valuable connections to our artistic team and our work.

Commitment to the Community

Engaging local communities and groups in our artistic practice has always been an important aspect of what we do. It is our belief that it is important to offer opportunities for individuals to flex both their physical and artistic capacity regardless of experience, age or ability. It is this which has driven us to design innovative participatory approaches to both what we deliver and how we deliver it.

Within the workshops our practitioners create a friendly and energised environment in which our participants are invited to share in our creative processes and ideas. Within this environment individual creativity is celebrated and group camaraderie is encouraged.



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