Frances Clarke Trustee/Director and Chair
Frances Clarke is the Chair of Rosie Kay Dance Company and Senior Lecturer and the Course Leader for three undergraduate Dance courses at the University of Wolverhampton,. Her previous experience as a professional dancer, and Artistic Director of Springs Dance Company, one of the UK’s longest-running contemporary dance companies, influences her research work and interests. Her performance career spanned over three decades and in addition, she choreographed multi-media works for film and international arts events for Springs Dance Company, founded their Summer School, commissioned new works, established new company policies, and gained experience in change management.
Currently serving as a Board Member of DanceHE, the organisation which represents dance in higher education, Frances has been an external education advisor for a number of UK universities, the BBC, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rosie Kay Dance Company, and the Centre for Advanced Training. She founded and led a number of dance departments in the UK (secondary and FE) before her first appointment in HE. Frances is the External Advisor for the Eating Disorders and Dance Project, Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, and the External Advisor for the Visiting Scholarship in Dance, Robinson College, University of Cambridge.
Her research and practice in the field of dance science, which aims to enhance dancers’ performance and health and well-being, informs her studio practice, teaching and research, and external advisory work. Her current PhD research is examining balance and performance within dance populations. Other research interests include performance enhancement, the use of performance profiling, imagery and self- talk in dance training and performance, and mentoring for professional teachers and artists. Frances regularly publishes academic papers, and presents her research at international conferences; awards have included the IADMS President’s Prize for Poster Research and the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship. She is Chair of the Publications Committee for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.
Sima Gonsai Trustee/Director
Sima Gonsai is an independent filmmaker with a passion for visual storytelling. Since 2006, Sima has directed and produced drama, documentary and digital installation working with regional and international communities.
Originally starting out as an amateur dancer, Sima practiced in ‘Bharata Natyam’, Indian classical dance and went on to study a Masters in Visual Communication specializing in dance for the camera. She became established in 2006 with the launch of “Cycle Dialogues” where she solely circumnavigated 8000km across Europe and South East Asia on her bicycle and documented multi-cultural stories through a series of short films and published writings. This work led onto an artist residency at New Art Gallery Walsall where she developed her practise in artistic storytelling and later gained her directorial debut with short film “The Offering” funded by Creative England and BFI Network. Sima is on the board of directors for The Producers Forum Birmingham with a focus in events co-ordination.
She is now an established Screen Dance director and has received international acclaim for her trilogy of work profiling dance and disability with Freefall Dance Company in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet. This work has premiered at screen dance festivals globally in particular across America and Europe. Sima is now launching a new company specialising in creating, curating and collaborating in screen dance bringing together film, dance and music and is currently working on a new production exploring the physics of Indian Folk Dance and culture
Stefan Kay OBE
Rosie Kay’s father; married to Helen Kay with two daughters. Chartered Engineer; 34 years in the paper manufacturing industry; latterly MD of Inveresk PLC, led MBO in 1990 and flotation on Stock Exchange in 1993; worked at UK and EU level on energy and environment matters for the industry. Paper Industry Gold Medal 1996; OBE 1998; Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University 2009. Retired from Inveresk in 2001; then Director of Services for Heriot-Watt University’s Scottish Borders Campus 2003-06; Director/Chairman of a number of companies.
Stella Hall Trustee/Director
Stella Hall, FRSA, is a freelance festival producer with a passion for connecting people and place through culture. She co-founded the Green Room, Manchester’s first arts centre and has worked in a number of high profile roles since, including Director, Warwick Arts Centre and Head of Culture, Queen’s University/ Festival Director, Belfast Festival at Queen’s. She was Deputy Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, running the Culture10 programme of events across the region until it ended in 2010. She then became Festival Director of the year-long Preston Guild 2012 celebrations for which she received an Honorary Fellowship from University of Central Lancashire.
Now freelance, she is founding Festival Director of the Festival of Thrift which began in Darlington and is now in Redcar. It has twice won Best Event Teesside, Tourism England’s Best Event NE in 2016 and the Observer Ethical Award for Arts and Culture.
In 2014/15 she was an inaugural “Canny Creative” advising the British Council on arts programme development and UK connections in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Alongside regular consultancy on Festivals and events she passes on her knowledge by mentoring young professionals across the UK.
Stella is a Director of ISIS Arts, Newcastle and Artsadmin, London. She is a Council Member of Queen Mary University, London.
Simon Hill Trustee/Director
Simon Hill is Managing Consultant of Hill Coates Associates a UK- based independent executive search and leadership consultancy. This operates as part of the IMD International Search Group network which covers 22 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Simon is involved not only in executive search but also in succession planning, management assessment and executive coaching and works with FTSE, AIM and private equity-backed companies. He places board, executive committee, and management team members as well as heads of function, country managers, non-execs and operating partners. For relaxation Simon sings with the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Oxford, sails yachts as often as he can and enjoys country sports. Simon is an occasional skier and does a little white-collar boxing to keep fit! He is married to Sally, and they have a 29 year-old son Tim Clifford Hill who is a professional Countertenor based in the choir of Guildford Cathedral, teaching and performing around the UK and on national media. Tim is married to the lovely soprano Alexandra Stevenson. Having been an Army Reservist for over 30 years, Simon is Chairman of The Rifles Officers London Club in Mayfair and in addition to the Rosie Kaye Dance Trust, is also a Trustee of the Emmaus Leadership Programme. Simon and Sally live with their three dogs in a Georgian farmhouse in Oxfordshire.
Emily May Trustee/Director
Originally from Worcestershire, Emily trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and received a First Class Honours Degree in Contemporary Dance. Prior to and during her training she has worked with a variety of UK based choreographers, including Ben Wright, Bawren Tavaziva and most notably Rosie Kay which has led to her becoming a Trustee and Director. Emily established Emily May Dance Theatre in April 2016, and since her choreography has been presented at various theatres around Worcestershire, Worcester Cathedral, Ugly Duck (London), Somerville College (Oxford University), The Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) and The Brewery Arts Centre (Kendal). Emily reviews dance, theatre and art for A Younger Theatre, Oxford Dance Writers, Mode&Motion, was part of the reviewing team for Resolution Festival 2016, and completed a travel writing internship with City Travel Review in Berlin in August 2017. Emily is fascinated by European art, literature, and Classical Antiquity, and is passionate about discovering interrelations between her academic and choreographic interests, particularly through her membership of the TORCH funded research study, Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers, based at Oxford University.
Shivaji Shiva Trustee/Director
Shivaji is a charity lawyer – he advises on the creation of charities, their dissolution, and most of the issues they encounter in between. From offices in Brindleyplace, a short cycle ride from RKDC’s base at the Birmingham Hippodrome, Shivaji works with a wide variety of charities across England and Wales and occasionally further afield. Married to a bharata natyam dancer, he has a longstanding interest in the particular governance challenges faced by dance companies and other arts organisations. Independent sources describe him as “very knowledgeable; he provides expert advice and guidance” and “very enthusiastic”.
Away from his desk, Shivaji is a serial charity trustee and an occasional transport campaigner, currently promoting ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ to provide people-friendly streets and safer routes to school in Birmingham.