top of page

about

OKR Dance is rooted in respect for the traditional tap dance repertoire, it features an intricate balance of styles and range of artistic exploration. From contemporary and pedestrianised movement to body percussion and physical theatre, the company creates dance that is much influenced by jazz music.

 

 

OKR's dancers are accomplished, skilled, energetic, collaborative, and share the joy of tap with their audience. Their choreography flows from the lived experience and explores inventive musicality, layering rhythms with movement, communicating to its audience with sound. The company creates tap dance theatre, blending old and new in with the here and now.

misson

We give the UK’s finest tap dance talent the space to train and experiment with integrity and dedication, in order to attain the technical excellence to create cutting-edge dance theatre which honours and respects a rich heritage yet finds a uniquely British voice.

 

As keepers of the flame, we aim to share our passion for, and knowledge of, our art with as diverse an audience in the UK as possible, through performing, learning and participation, inspiring the next generation of British tap dancers by breaking down barriers to access for tap training.

vision

We will revolutionise the standards of tap performance in the UK, leading the charge in the tap renaissance, proving that tap is a legitimate art form, whilst educating young people across diverse communities.

values

Dedication

We are dedicated to enriching, diversifying and growing the tap dance community and inspiring others in sharing our passion for tap. We have a growth mind-set and an ongoing commitment to learning, expanding our knowledge and improving our skills.

Listening

We listen to our audiences, our partners, to each other, to new ideas and new methods of working, ensuring our work is bold, honest and authentic.

Togetherness

When we work intelligently, we work efficiently; when we create together, we accomplish great things. We achieve our aims through mutual support and fellowship. We cultivate innovative collaboration. Our shared understanding ensures that we create environments which are inclusive and professional.

Respect

In seeking to understand the roots of our unique discipline, paying homage to those who came before us and honoring their example to the next generation, we are able to create forward thinking innovative dance.

meet the company

Avalon Rathgeb

Artistic Director

Ryan Campbell-Birch

Assistant Director

Adele Joel

Alastair Crosswell

Lucy Jones

Chris Sparkes

our story

Picture 1.png

2023

OKR Dance were commissioned to create ‘Love’, a suite performed for Valentine’s Day in Bequia, St Vincent’s and The Grenadines. The show also featured OKR rep/standards, ‘Music By Us’ & ‘Music By Them’. A highlight for the artists was collaborating with local musicians from the island.



 

The company has started to work on a new jazz set with the prospect to tour music venues. The aim is to allow the public to witness the link between both forms, honouring the history, connection and closeness. Distinguished International tap dancer Sarah Reich (USA) set a piece of choreography on the company ‘Llullaby Of Birdland’ which will be performed as part of this set. World renowned choreographer Sarah Savelli (USA) set new material for a concept video ‘A Mood Swing’ reaching 40,000 views and over 100 hours watch time.


2022


OKR Dance were seen throughout the summer of 2022 performing ‘OKR in Performance’ at Dancing in The Parks. OKR Dance were invited to a week long ‘artists in residency’ and commissioned by DanceEast to created a new video concept ‘Brotherhood Of Man- A Tribute to Oscar Peterson’. Each section was choreographed by a member of OKR Dance.


2020/2021


The week before the first National lock down for Covid19 the company were still touring in the North of UK, hearing stories that shows in other countries going dark we knew things were going to change. We celebrated our 6th year anniversary tap jam and fundraiser without really knowing that saying bye meant not seeing each other for 5 months. 

As a company we created 20 weeks of  online content for our audience and global tap dance community totalling around 80 classes for the absolute beginner tap to the professional tap dancer. Company members also created challenges by creating choreography asking students to video their work so it could be edited into one video (examples on our video page). The first time OKR Dance performed out of lock down was at Latitude Music Festival and Essex Festival.


2019


Excited about OSCiLLATE Avalon and Dre were keen to explore the possibilities of expanding and furthering the shows migration. Commissioned by Arts Council England DanceEast OSCiLLATE was put into re-development, the shows story expanded with 4 new pieces including an accapella section by Ryan Campbell Birch. The show continued to tour extensively throughout the UK at venues such as: Bird College, The Witham- Bernard Castle, Queen’s Hall Hexham, Arts Centre Washington, Pavilion Dance Southwest, DeDa/ Derby, Norwich Playhouse, Alnwick Playhouse, Dance City- Newcastle, Queens Theatre- Hornchurch, and 2 separate tours of China finishing with a week at Shanghai National Theatre.



 

The Company were invited to open the 10th anniversary gala at Jerwood House alongside companies and artists such as: Russell Maliphant Company, English National Ballet, Company Wayne McGregor, The Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet.


2018


Arts Council England funded the creation of OSCiLLATE co-choreographed by Avalon Rathgeb and Dre Torres which was revealed to the world in summer 2018 premiering at Sadler’s Wells-The Lilian Baylis Theatre. OSCiLLATE was performed at Latitude Music Festival, The London Cabaret Club as part of London Tap Dance Intensive and a two week run at DanceBase as part of The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We collaborated on a concept video with Ben mark Films. The brief was very open, with the goal aiming to be part of the videographer's ongoing project - 'Chillout Sessions'. We decided on music as a group, choosing a piece in 6/8 time by Zikomo.

Choreography and staging was predominantly by Ryan, with additional ideas contributed by the group. Ryan does not perform in the piece, so that there was always an outside eye during rehearsals and on the shoot. Location was sourced by Ben, with the hope of being able to use a drone for aerial shots.


2017
The company performed ‘Fall Out’ at The Tabernacle (London), OffBeat Festival (Oxford), DanceBase (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and InMotion Festival (London), Salisbury Playhouse, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Dance City Newcastle, The Witham (Barnards Castle), Alnwick Playhouse and Arts Centre Washington. The company created video footage of ‘Capella Josh’, an original piece of choreography by Josh Hilberman. Awarded funding for a second time to create a new show ‘Dirty. Tap. Funk’, which was commissioned by Theatre Bench for InMotion Festival. The show was co-choreographed by Avalon Rathgeb and Ryan Campbell-Birch. The company were also invited to perform at South Bank Centre’s Independence Gala as part of IndiaUK2017.


2015/2016
OKR Dance was invited to share the first stage of ‘Fall Out’ at Resolution, the UK’s biggest dance festival. The following year they were awarded Arts Council England funding for the 1st time to develop ‘Fall Out’ into the company’s first full length show, which was then performed at the Blue Elephant Theatre in London. Segments were also seen at Tanz Haus in Dusseldorf and as part of the Brighton Tap Festival Gala.


2014
OKR Dance was founded by Artistic Director Avalon Rathgeb in 2014 with the aim to gather the very best tap dancers and musicians which have inspired her journey to create unique stylised tap choreography that is bigger and better than the sum of its parts.

bottom of page