Announcing South East Dance Fringe award winner: Sullied

Last month we announced the nominees of the South East Dance Fringe award and after considered reflection, the panel are pleased to announce Sullied by Kristi Leigh Grasse as the 2019 winner.

Sullied is no easy watch. Framed in the Syrian war, Sullied uses spoken word and dance to embrace very challenging themes and question our thinking. It’s a treatment of violence, rape culture, gender identity, race polarisation and religion asking how and why our moral boundaries and ethical outrage has become dulled. Sullied picked up the Gold Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival South Africa 2018 and we agreed it was made by an emerging artist worthy of support. 

South East Dance’s Artistic Director, Cath James, explained what it was about the work that resonated with South East Dance’s artistic mission: This year, we focused our support on an artist in whom we could see potential, and where our support could have the most impact. Sullied for me was a work that will continue to develop in performance, and with support, Kristi Leigh Grasse could fine-tune her choreographic voice. Her interest in foregrounding international social and political issues aligns well with our own mission to present alternative perspectives from around the world, and we are delighted to award this year’s South East Dance Fringe Award to Kristi.

Kristi Leigh Grasse will receive two mentoring sessions with the South East Dance programming team, a bottle of bubbly and a week of free rehearsal space at The Dance Space in Spring 2020. 

Announcing South East Dance Fringe award winner: Sullied