#NDA23 Nominated “Best Mid-Scale Company” National Dance Awards

About the company


Summer School

Next dates: July 2024

We had a wonderful week with our talented dancers during Summer School 2023. Many thanks to everyone who supported the week.

The Mark Bruce Summer School is an intensive week’s residency held in Frome, Somerset where the company has been based for the last 19 years. It is open to a small group of selected students from vocational schools and recent graduates who are interested in the company and its work.

More information
We are delighted that all places awarded in 2024 will again be subsidised thanks to funding from the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarship programme.

Pre-register interest for 2024

Applications for July 2024 are open for pre-registration.

Pre-vocational Masterclasses


Masterclasses are held twice a term on Sundays in our Frome studio. Students can apply to join at any point in the year.

Masterclasses Application Form

Mark Bruce Company are delighted to be continuing their initiative of Contemporary Masterclasses taught by professional freelance dancers over the course of the academic year 2023/24. These sessions are aimed at pre-vocational dance students aged between 15-18 who are passionate about, and aspire to pursue a career in professional dance. (We will consider students aged 14 if recommended by a dance school). Students must have a base in classical or contemporary technique, and demonstrate an eagerness to enhance their dancing with this additional, complementary training. There will be a series of two Masterclasses a term, taught by different teachers. Mark Bruce Company reserves the right to select students based on their ability to ensure they can benefit from the class safely.

This is an opportunity to learn from industry experts, improve skills, build self-confidence, meet other like-minded pupils and above all have fun.

Sunday dates:
2023 Autumn term 17 September and 19 November
2024 Spring term 28 January and 24 March
2024 Summer term 28 April and 9 June

Each session will start with a 90-minute contemporary technique class followed by a 2-hour creative session. Students can arrive from 12:30pm, class will start at 1pm. There will be a 15 minute break at 2:30pm and the day will finish at 4:45pm.

All Masterclasses will be held at BlackBirdRedRose Studios, Unit G, Vallis Mills Trading Estate, Frome, Somerset, BA11 3DT. There is free parking on site and a green room.


Sessions cost £40 for one class, £75 per term (two Masterclass days) or £200 for the year billed in advance.

Meet the teacher

Last year's classes were taught by Stephen Berkeley-White, Steven Brett, Antonia Grove, Daisy West, Carina Howard and Hannah McGlashon.

Our first class in autumn 2023 will be taught by Mark Bruce.

Mark Bruce has choreographed, directed and danced internationally for over 30 years, working with Rosas, Bern Ballet, Ballet Black, Introdans, Gibson/Martelli, Probe, and DJazzex among others.

He formed the Mark Bruce Company in 1991. Productions include Moonlight Drive (1991), Lovesick (1995), Helen, Angel (1996), the celebrated collaboration with Polly Jean Harvey and John Parish titled Dance Hall At Louse Point (1997), Horse, Dive (1999), Sea of Bones (2006) Love and War (2010), Made in Heaven (2012) and Dracula (2013) which won the Sky Arts South Bank award for Dance, the National Dance Award for Best Male Dancer for Jonathan Goddard as Dracula, and the award for Best Independent Company. Bruce's production of The Odyssey toured in 2016 and his Macbeth in 2018, both received National Dance Awards nominations for their dancers. He created Return to Heaven in 2020 and his triple bill Phantoms in 2022 when the company was also nominated for Best Mid-Scale Company at the National Dance Awards.

In 2005 Bruce created Fever for Probe, Green Apples for the Royal Opera House’s Clore Studio Summer Collection and in 2006 Bad History for The Place Prize. In 2008 he created The Sky or a Bird for Probe and Stars for Dance South West. Bruce’s first commission by Bern Ballet, Crimes of Passion, premiered in January 2010 and his second, Medea, premiered in February 2011. He created Second Coming for Ballet Black in 2015.

Bruce’s theatre work includes the Royal Exchange Theatre’s productions of Peer Gynt, The Bacchae, Antigone, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Antony & Cleopatra, The Glass Menagerie, As You Like It, Fast Food, Still Time and The Way of the World. He co-devised Skellig, an opera based on the book by David Almond, for the Sage Gateshead in 2008. He directed Rick Bland’s award winning Thick which toured the UK, US and Canada. He worked with Singapore Repertory Theatre on their 2015 production of The Tempest.

Mark Bruce has also worked in a variety of new media, screen and interactive stage productions with Ruth Gibson & Bruno Martelli. He has written music for his own work and also for art installations and is published by Mute Song. Albums include Girl in a Graveyard (2019) and World of Love and Wonders (2022). His book of short stories, Blackout Zones was released in May 2010 and his book On Choreography and Making Dance Theatre was published by Oberon in 2018.

Applications for our Sunday Masterclasses series for pre-vocational students are open.

Phantoms - a triple bill


Multi-award-winning Mark Bruce Company presents a stunning Triple Bill of cinematic dance theatre.

★★★★ "All the hallmarks of Bruce’s signature style are on view... an inspired blend of rock ‘n’ roll pop culture, dark and surreal folk mythology and smooth, cinema-influenced theatricality a la David Lynch delivered by a handful of high-calibre dancers." The Times

Green Apples
Bruce's highly popular commanding work choreographed to music by The White Stripes. A visceral and immediate live experience as two dancers perform within the confines of a rope circle, creating a space of powerful physical intensity and magnetic energy.

Folk Tales
Characters from the myths of our past dance to the evocative music of Martin Simpson, including renditions of Beaulampkins, Soldier’s Joy and Betsy the Serving Maid among others. A collection of life affirming pieces; at once mysterious, fiery, and celebrational.

A tale of love and vengeance.
A stunning dance theatre tale of love, tragedy and revenge in a land where our phantoms roam free. Mark Bruce Company presents its trademark cinematic vision; a carousel of dream-like characters in a beautifully savage world falling into chaos, culminating in a surreal, classic showdown on the road. Phantoms features the creative team that brought you Dracula, Macbeth and Return to Heaven, and an originally composed score.

Watch the trailer here Tour dates

Please note that this production includes stylized depictions and images of violence that some viewers may find disturbing.

Multi-award-winning Mark Bruce Company presents a stunning Triple Bill of cinematic dance theatre.

Phantoms trailers


Written, choreographed and directed by Mark Bruce

Dancers: Eleanor Duval, Jonathan Goddard, Carina Howard, Sharol Mackenzie, Christopher Thomas

Camera and Editing: Mark Bruce
Music: ‘The World of Love and Wonders’ written by Mark Bruce, Published by Mute Song
Vocals: Eva Trodd
Guitar: Mark Bruce
Sound recording: John Kilroy
Footage captured at BlackBirdRedRose Studios
Cameras: BMPCC 6K, EOS R
Edited in FCPX

© Mark Bruce Company

Phantoms triple bill trailer - touring early 2022

Green Apples

New production
A commanding ten-minute duet performed in the round.

Choreographed by Mark Bruce to the music of the White Stripes, Green Apples is a commanding duet performed in the round. Separated from the performers by a rope, the audience is drawn into a visceral and immediate experience as the dancers circle themselves and each other in a space of physical intensity and magnetic energy.

Green Apples is available as an educational workshop for schools and colleges. Originally commissioned by the Summer Collection for ROH2 at the Clore Studio of the Royal Opera House, it can be presented in a wide-range of spaces and locations.

Please contact the company for further information.

On Choreography & Making Dance Theatre

Mark's book "On Choreography & Making Dance Theatre" is available from Bloomsbury Books.

On Choreography and Making Dance Theatre is an invaluable insight into Bruce's approach, both artistic and practical, as he documents his process from the beginnings of ideas to the realisation of a full-length production. Bruce provides an explanation of the range of skills he believes are required, and all that needs to be considered in the creation of dance theatre.

Cover image by Nicole Guarino

ISBN: 9781783197774


Mark's book "On Choreography & Making Dance Theatre" is available from Bloomsbury Books.

Silver Swans ballet classes

Weekly Silver Swans ballet class in Frome and online
Tailored for the over 55’s

Our weekly Silver Swans ballet class runs on Tuesday mornings from BlackBirdRedRose Studios. The class is delivered by qualified dance teacher Sue McGovern (ARAD), who safely adapts ballet techniques for older adults. Sue delivers a high quality ballet class and is trained by the Royal Academy of Dance to respond to the different needs of participants of a broad age range.  No previous experience needed.

Classes cost £9 per session in person or £5 over Zoom online.

Silver Swans registration form

You can find out more and book your place on our sister website www.blackbirdredrose.com.

Photograph © Mark Bruce Company

Weekly Silver Swans ballet classes running online on Tuesday mornings.


Girl in a Graveyard and World of Love and Wonders

Mark has released several videos choreographed to songs from his albums.

The videos are raw footage captured in rehearsal at BlackBird RedRose Studios.

The album Girl in a Graveyard is available as a digital release.

Awards and Accolades

We are incredibly proud that Eleanor Duval and Jonathan Goddard have both received National Dance Awards nominations for their roles in Macbeth.

Eleanor has been nominated in the Outstanding Female Modern Performance category for her role as Lady Macbeth and Jonathan has been nominated in the Outstanding Male Modern Performance for his role as Macbeth.

The National Dance Awards have been organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle in each year of this Millennium to celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are presented by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, which brings together over 60 dance writers and critics. They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.

Macbeth photography: Nicole Guarino
Eleanor Duval and Jonathan Goddard receive National Dance Awards nominations.

BlackBird RedRose Studios

Mark Bruce Company is based in our own studios in Frome, Somerset.

The company is based in a fantastic large and versatile space in our home town of Frome, Somerset. Here we create and rehearse our theatrical and digital work, make and store set and costumes, expand our education programme and run the company. Our light and airy studio has a large sprung Harlequin floor and supporting facilities including offices and green room.

If you would like to visit or hire our space please get in touch.

DanceWear Donations

Dance Wear Donations scheme

We are very grateful for the wonderful response we have had this year. Our scheme is now temporarily closed for donations whilst we concentrate on re-distribution. Due to current cost of living challenges, we will be shortly be opening our scheme for UK dance schools who have children in need of dancewear.

The Mark Bruce Company runs a scheme called Dance Wear Donations. We feel strongly that there are many dance clothes that children grow out of that could have a fantastic second life with children in less fortunate circumstances.

Our aim is to link with vocational dance schools in the UK in the hope that students and their families will donate good quality grown out of dancewear and shoes.

If you or your school would like to get involved and start donating please get in touch on 01373 476449.

"It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity on behalf of Yabantu Rural Dance Training Programme to thank Mark Bruce Company for the kind donation of dance clothes received through Dane Hurst. Yabantu Multipurpose and Performing Arts Theatre is a registered NPC Company based in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa. Running a dance training programme in the rural areas has many challenges and the obvious one is access to a suitable attire for the dancers. This donation of dance clothes (costumes), and shoes not only is making our dancers look decent, it also grows confidence in their bodies physically and psychologically... Thank you so much" Sifiso Kweyama, Artistic Director, Yabantu Multipurpose and Performing Arts Theatre, November 2022

We are sending dancewear and shoes to dance schools in South Africa.
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