Luke Pell

Luke Pell

Image credit : Brian Hartley


Associate Artist 2017 - present

Fascinated by detail, nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape Luke Pell is an artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland who collaborates with people and places, imagining alternative contexts for performance, participation and discourse that might reveal wisdoms for living. Working with words and movements - words as movements - to draw together seemingly unrelated constellations of bodies and thought their practice takes form as intimate encounters - poetic objects, installations, performances and designed environments - choreographies in print and in person. 


Luke’s work has been presented throughout the UK and internationally including: Bloomsbury Festival; Cruising for Art at Anti- Festival Finland and In Between Time Bristol; Edinburgh International Book Festival; Dance International Glasgow at Tramway; Take Me Somewhere Glasgow; Dansens Hus Stockholm; E-Motional Romania; LeithLate Edinburgh; Light Moves Ireland; Luminate Festival Scotland; Unlimited Festival Southbank Centre; StAnza International Poetry Festival and I’m With You for Room of Requirement Berlin. Luke has also performed for Rosemary Lee’s Meltdown, Janice Parker, Helena Hunter and Pacitti Company, DIVE Queer Party, Naked Boys Reading and recently appeared as a guest writer in James Ley’s Love Song for Lavender Menace at The Lyceum, Edinburgh and with Oasissy at Queer Theory, Glasgow and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Digital work includes the award-wining Take Me To Bed with Jo Verrent, An Open Field with Fevered Sleep, A Long Side with Lucy Cash and Emilyn Claid, and Crossings with Dance Base. He was co-editor for the Embodiment, Interactivity and Digital Performance edition of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. Luke’s growing body of writing for dance - online, in print and performed in person - has been commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts, Scottish Dance Theatre, Skånes Dansteater, Southbank Centre, Live Art Development Agency, Yorkshire Dance, the Invisible Difference Project and TanzPlatform. In 2018 Luke was nominated for the inaugural One Dance UK Dance Writing Award.


Luke’s practice has recurrently explored how dance and choreographic thinking meets with other worlds and realities - across interweaving strands as a maker, curator and dramaturg - often bringing together seemingly unrelated constellations of bodies and thought. In his work as a dramaturg for dance and choreography he collaborates with independent artists and organisations to support the creation of distinct projects, navigate processes of change and explore the emergence and evolution of practice. Artists he has worked with include Caroline Bowditch, Claire Cunningham, Jess Curtis, Jassy Earl and Chloë Smith, Mirjam Gurtner, Janice Parker and Rachel Drazek and Robert Softley-Gale for Birds of Paradise Theatre Company . In 2018 he was Guest Dramaturg as part of South East Dance’s Dramaturg in Residence Programme. 

"Over time I've described myself as maker, curator, dramaturg, queer. At heart, I would say I'm a poet - engaged in choreographic thinking"

Luke is Associate Artist with Fevered Sleep and is a Dance Base Associate Artist.



Since becoming Associate Artist at Dance Base Luke has created major new work In the Ink Dark  - for libraries and other historic cultural spaces in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow presented as part of LeithLate, Take Me Somewhere and Luminate in 2017 and 2019: In This Cold’s Tending Time with Lucy Cash and George Mario Angel Quintero for StAnza 2019 and; ongoing multi-modal project The Wait of Mountains with long term collaborator Janice Parker, most recently with Amateo and Luminate as part of Don’t Look Back.


Luke continues to work regularly as a dramaturg with Claire Cunningham (Thank You Very Much Manchester International Festival 2019), Birds of Paradise Theatre (Purposeless Movements Edinburgh International Festival 2019) Mirjam Gurtner (Skinned Tanztage 2019) as well as hosting international artist development programmes (PUSH+ Home Lab 2019 for Imaginate, Unexpected Bodies in Unexpected Places for Europe Beyond Inclusion with Skånes Danseteater and British Council and Being Enough for Arts Access Victoria and Melbourne Digital Writers Festival, both with Caroline Bowditch).


In 2020 Luke is in development for new works Lost Botanists and Selkie Was A Sea Witch (or…): is leading a pilot-research project with Nadja Dias on supporting and sustaining the practice of Outlier Artists and; will be co-curating a special Pre-Pride showcase event young LGBTQIA+ folx, friends, families and allies and hosting a free post-Fringe artist development lab Thinking Through Your Practice here at Dance Base. 


Further details on each of those will be announced in March.

Visit his website here.

Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council
Living Wage