Southbank Centre has appointed Aaron Wright as head of performance and dance to lead the London venue’s performance arts programme including dance, theatre, comedy and live art.

Currently artistic director at Fierce in Birmingham, Wright will join the Southbank Centre’s Artistic Programming team in April and will report to artistic director Mark Ball.

Wright will lead on the venue’s long-term performance and dance strategy, building relationships and partnerships with artists, producers and organisations. He will be responsible for curating programme strands for performance, including a dance programme, an international programme and a programme of interdisciplinary performance.

Wright 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. 

Wright previously curated three editions of the biennial Fierce Festival in 2017-2022, working with a range of international artists and companies. He 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. Wright also helped instigate the new English performing arts showcase: Horizon.

Wright said, “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.”

Ball said, “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.”