Ensemble History


Richard Chappell Dance is an internationally renowned ensemble, which creates memorable and moving dance at the forefront of theatre, interdisciplinary collaboration and site responsive performance. RCD is an Associate Company at Exeter Northcott, commissioned company at Swindon Dance and a resident company at Exeter Phoenix. 

RCD's creative process is rooted in collaboration, co-authorship and emotional connectivity and the ensembles values have been shaped by a close recurring combination of collaborators and dancers, most of which have worked together since 2017. Additionally to the companies work in theatres, RCD presents site responsive work in a vibrant range of alternative spaces and heritage sites, including galleries scenic outdoor spaces, warehouses and museums. Alongside touring nationally to theatres across the UK, RCD has presented work in Singapore, Germany and Israel. 

RCD has close partnerships with prestigious organisations, including Royal Opera House, Arts Council England, The Linbury Trust, Arts Council Wales, Studio Wayne McGregor, Dancin’ Oxford, National Dance Company Wales, National Arts Council Singapore, Dance in Devon, Pavilion Dance South West and DanceEast, amongst others. The ensemble leads large and ambitious community participation programs in the South West of England and in Wales. These programmes involve extensive performing of intergenerational and integrated casts, with support from Dance in Devon andTorbay Culture in England and Dance Blast and Span Arts in Wales. 

Since 2017, the company has lead bi-annual full day workshops, which are subsidised with funds by Arts Council England. To support the wider dance sector, RCD leads subsidised and in-kind mentoring support to up and coming choreographers and collectives. To response to the impacts of the 2020 coronavirus, RCD engaged in free one to one consultations with 48 different artists. Since 2018, Richard has personally mentored artists Robert Robinson, Amy Foskett and Jasmine Chiu. 

Richard's first outdoor work Silence Between Waves premiered in Torbay in 2019 through Eyeview's Extraordinary Festival, featuring dancers from Singapore and a large scale community cast. The work was created into a film by Dan Martin. 

From 2018-2020, RCD was commissioned to create Still Touch with award winning sculptor Anna Gillespie for the Royal Opera House’s Month of Sunday’s Festival. The work then continued to tour for a further two years through 17 performances. 

In 2017, RCD created the ensemble’s first first full length work At the end we begin through Studio Wayne McGregor's FreeSpace programme, before a 31 date UK four from 2017-2019. 2013-2016, Richard developed and toured his inaugural double bill IRIS and The Vast Rocks.