Aaron Wright joins the Southbank Centre as Head of Performance and Dance

Aaron Wright has been appointed Head of Performance and Dance at the Southbank Centre to lead its performance arts programme including dance, theatre, comedy and live art.

Aaron Wright has been appointed Head of Performance and Dance at the Southbank Centre to lead its performance arts programme including dance, theatre, comedy and live art. Currently Artistic Director at Fierce in Birmingham, Aaron will join the Southbank Centre’s Artistic Programming team in April and will report to Mark Ball, Artistic Director.

Aaron will lead on the long-term strategy for Performance and Dance, building relationships and partnerships with artists, producers and organisations to develop innovative projects and programmes. He will be responsible for curating programme strands for performance, including a dance programme, an international programme and a programme of interdisciplinary performance, ensuring a diverse and exciting performance programme at the Southbank Centre. 

Aaron will also be focused on working with producing partners to develop commercial projects for the Southbank Centre’s summer and winter seasons, and lead on the development of performance in virtual environments. He will also contribute to the multi-arts centre’s artist development programmes, associate artist programmes and help establish the Purcell Room as a year-round space for artistic experimentation. 

After seven incredible years at Fierce, I'm excited to be joining the Southbank Centre team. I'm thrilled to contribute to London's rich cultural life with an approach filled with fun and rigour. Most of all, I'm looking forward to putting performance and dance at the heart of the programme, introducing diverse audiences to some of the most innovative artists working nationally and internationally.

Aaron Wright, incoming Head of Performance and Dance

Aaron has extensive experience in commissioning and presenting contemporary performing arts having led Fierce as Artistic Director since May 2016, where he was responsible for festival programming, commissioning, artist development and building partnerships. He curated three editions of the biennial Fierce Festival in 2017-2022, working with a broad range of international artists and companies. Aaron was also a cultural programme consultant for the Birmingham 2022 Festival for which Fierce delivered a major public realm project Key to the City by artist Paul Ramírez Jonas. Aaron also helped instigate the new English performing arts showcase: Horizon.

Prior to joining Fierce, Aaron was Programme Manager at the Live Art Development Agency, following an initial traineeship via the inaugural Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. Aaron was also producer at The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein Company, and had guest programming engagements at venues including the National Theatre, The Arches (Glasgow) and Cambridge Junction as well as being a member of the Steakhouse Live collective. He was previously on the Board of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Aaron also co-produces the cult queer performance party, Knickerbocker, at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick.

Aaron has a wide knowledge of contemporary trends in dance and performance and will play a pivotal role in leading an innovative, wide-ranging and culturally diverse performing arts programme. His programmes at Fierce were bold and exciting, reaching new audiences and merging the boundaries of high art and pop culture - all great qualities to bring to the performance and dance programme at the Southbank Centre.

Mark Ball, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre