In Conversation with… Orla Collier

Published on 8th July 2022

Local dance artist Orla Collier, has spent this last week running workshops with our Brewery Youth Dance groups and performing her latest piece ‘Endormore’ for them.

We chatted with Orla to learn more about Endormore, her connection to the local area, and the influence it has had on the piece.

Growing up rurally in Endmoor, roughly five miles south of Kendal, Orla Collier was keen to move somewhere with a wider scope for dance opportunities. This led her from Kate Simmons Dance in Warrington, to Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London for her degree, before working with VERVE at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, where she got her Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance.

“After finishing my Masters, I’d planned to move back to London straight away but found myself attracted to staying in Cumbria” said Orla.

“All those familiar feelings from when I was growing up came back, like not being able to get anywhere and all the restrictions”.

“But also I found the beauty in the stillness, I feel like suddenly I really appreciated the quiet,” continued Orla.

The impact of location on growing up is a core theme of Endormore and the subsequent workshops at Brewery Arts.

“The workshops are inspired by the creative process that I’ve been through. The dancers will be exploring their own experience of growing up in their home area,” said Orla.

“I’m really interested in the dynamic between the need for stimulation and chaos and the soothing stillness of the rural landscape. Growing up I always wanted more stimulation and excitement, and didn’t really consider how nature impacted me until I got older”.

The local influence is also found in the music which was created by independent musician, Molagon, who is based in Cumbria. Orla also plans to continue offering workshops and performances for local schools and dance groups.

While Orla’s background is in contemporary dance, Endormore mixes in elements of physical theatre with the ‘emotion being the driving force for the piece’.

“My aim is to create a space where the audience have permission to feel. I just want people to come to the space and experience feelings and feel like that’s okay”. 

Orla will be performing at our free 50th Anniversary Summer Open Day on the 28 August where you can come and sample a range of our creative learning opportunities on offer.

Endormore will also be exhibited as a film by Jack Harper, a filmmaker from Carnforth, as part of the Nurturing Creativity X Folded Zine exhibition from 14 July to 3 Sept. Orla was one of the successful candidates for the Nurturing Creatives micro-commissions by Great Place: Lakes and Dales, who have instigated and supported this project.

Supported by