Past Comissions


The Flock

The Flock was inclusive dance and puppetry project that was commissioned by Bellfield Infant School Bellfield Junior School, and Longwill School for Deaf Children in Birmingham, through Birmingham Arts School. All three schools worked together with Creative Director Johnny Autin and artists Kevaughn Liang, Billy Read and Stephanie Bentley over a several months, to create an environment where young people could share and celebrate their differences and similarities, and explore what home, inclusivity and migration meant to them. Each young person made a puppet and learned how to use the puppets bringing them to life with movement and sound. A final performance was shared with parents and also filmed.

Echo Ethernal - 2023

This year Core Education worked with Birmingham Opera Company and Autin Dance Theatre to explore how to bring our survivor testimonies and echoes to larger public audiences and spaces. On the 25th and 26th January 2023, students from across our Echo Eternal schools performed at Birmingham New Street Station. The performances were open to all.


Young Choreographers

U.Dance National

Dance artist and puppetry experts Emma Maclennan and Hank Bamberger lead puppetry and movement workshops for those participants who attended the U.Dance National Festival in July 2022.

The Arden – Cloud 8

A powerful and mesmerising piece of dance theatre about rituals, escapism and physical release. Cloud 8 is  performed by an 18-strong ensemble cast and explores the themes of community, freedom and ultimately mystic transcendence. This 25-minute dance performance featuring Johnny Autin’s signature style of physical theatre, storytelling and award-winning mise-en-scene, is both tender and thought-provoking. From the meditative dance emanates a magical sense of connection, individual awareness and powerful unity.

Echo Eternal

In its fourth year and as part of the national Holocaust Memorial Day events, Echo Eternal: Horizons 2022 brings together professional artists and students from across England to share their commemorative response to Holocaust Survivor testimony. Newly commissioned music, dance and spoken word tributes have been devised with Autin Dance Theatre and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, building on previous work with Highly Sprung Performance Company. These responses have been combined with artwork and engaging media content developed by schools and partners over the past 4 years. Created by CORE Education Trust, Echo Eternal is a commemorative arts, media and civic engagement project. The project is inspired by British Holocaust survivors’ testimonies recorded with Natasha Kaplinsky OBE in 2015 and 2016 on behalf of UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Part of the Echo Eternal Festival January 2022

Birmingham Ceremonies

Johnny worked with a team of 16 puppeteers during the rehearsals and performance of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremony! During June and July  the professional dancers,  actors & puppeteers started rehearsals for the opening ceremony to mark the beginning of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Thursday 28 July. During the opening ceremony, the puppeteers performed alongside Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers, a cast of 2000 volunteers and a 1,000-strong choir, and more.

BC Dance Hub – Dance festival

Creative Director Johnny Autin worked with a group of 50 primary children at Walsall Arena and Arts centre to create a mass dance piece to be performed as part of the Black Country Dance Hub Festival on 7th June 2022.


Forbidden Identity – Deaf Explorer

Forbidden Identity explores the personal struggle of a Deaf child growing up in a hearing world; denied access to British Sign Language and a Deaf community.

Using street dance, tutting, mime, and sign language, Billy Read collaborated with Deaf dancers Ariel Fung and Ben Randall to create the piece, with narrative support and mentorship from Deaf Theatre maker, Brian Duffy and directed by Johnny Autin (Autin Dance Theatre).


Horizons is the culmination of a  unique online project called Echo Eternal.

The project is inspired by Holocaust survivor testimony to promote respect and understanding between different communities, and which culminated in a filmed performance. Creative Director Johnny Autin worked with students from LIPA sixth form college to choreograph the movement for the film.

DMU - Purple Wave

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Deda- BA Intensive The Ripple Effect

As part of their studies at the University of Derby, the thirds year Dance students are to work with professional choreographers on a piece of performance work. This work was showcased in the End of Year Show, at Déda Theatre.

“Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.” — Santosh Kalwar

Autin is using the visual characteristics and individualities of the group to explore the strength of people in numbers and to emphasise how all of the water qualities correlate to human emotions.


The Arden – Enfants Terribles

A provocative and powerful piece of dance theatre about womxn’s safety, survival and healing.  Enfants Terribles is performed by a 22-strong ensemble cast of female performers and explores the themes of discrimination, the absence of respect and safety for womxn in public spaces, and social responsibility.  

This 20-minute dance performance featuring Johnny Autin’s signature style of physical theatre, storytelling and award-winning mise-en-scene, is both tender and thought-provoking. From the rebellious dance emanates a sense of freedom, unity and sisterhood. 

The Arden - Sirens Breathing

“She is water, 
Powerful enough to drown you, 
soft enough to cleanse you” -Adrian Michael 
‘Sirens Breathing’ is performed by a 13-strong ensemble cast of female performers. The piece explores the embodiment of different states of water and how its infinite power affects us. Combining the vibrant tones and textures inspired by nature’s life cycle, the dance emanates a sense of freedom, unity and sisterhood. 
Autin is using the visual characteristics of an all women cast to emphasise how all of the water qualities correlate to human emotions. 
This peacefully energising 25 minute performance showcases satisfying aesthetics and soundscape. This is a voyage through landscapes of innovative shapes and mass movements that calls upon the inner power of community spirit. 


Room to Room

The Room to Room aims were to connect dance artists all over the world to create a unique collection of online solos.   

The first phase of Room to Room was an in-kind contribution, divided into teams that included one director/choreographer and one performer, (herewith referred to as Collaborators). Each team followed all of the same pre-established prompts and created a solo no longer than 5-7 minutes, that takes place indoors, inside the performer’s apartment (living room, kitchen, bedroom etc.).

Let’s get moving

Autin Dance Theatre is pleased to introduce to you our ‘Let’s Get Moving!’ Digital Dance Tutorials for Primary Schools to keep young people moving and creative and to support their fitness and wellbeing in 2021.We’ve launched our new series of Digital Dance Tutorials for children in Year 1 to Year 6 to keep young people moving and creative during lockdown and through remote learning. These tutorial dance videos are fun, engaging, specifically designed to support remote and face-to-face learning of P.E. and dance skills and are our favourite way to remain healthy, active and physical!

Opera Carmen Macerata

Creative Director Johnny Autin was the official choreographer for the performance of Opera Carmen in Macerata Italy.

In Extremis

‘In Extremis’ – Live Dance and Physical Theatre Performances by the Third Year Dance and Performance students at the Arden (UCEN Manchester) on 11th & 12th October 2018 at TMC Waterside Theatre, Manchester.

‘In Extremis’ is a modern dance piece that explores the concept of our human fight or flight response when confronted with a deadly threat or imminent danger.
Devised for a cast of 10 dancers, Autin confronts the performers with his artistic views of their own physical life force, bringing an adrenaline-fuelled dance performance.

Positively Queer

Positively Q, a mesmerising triple bill celebrating Jaivant and Johnny as MAC’s Associate Artists. The success of recent solo works that have toured nationally and that were developed while in residencies at MAC, were also supported by other key partners including Arts Council England. Unfortunately due to Covid 19 this evening could not take place -however there is an artist interview here. –

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