top of page


Coalesce Dance Theatre is a Manchester based, female led contemporary dance company. Directors Fern Wareham and Rachel Maffei have established an ethos that places people at the heart of their practice, specifically supporting and making space for underrepresented female voices in their work. The company aims to create structures and networks which centre women, enabling female stories of all kinds to be told through exciting and powerful dance theatre. 

Coalesce approach subjects that are current and topical, uplifting and engaging audiences with their thoughtfully crafted choreography and whimsical story telling.


Coalesce Dance Theatre was formed in 2017 and have since developed a unique and daring floor based style, combining strength and fluidity with a raw and impulsive energy. ‘Coalesce Dance Theatre is an exciting new company for the region, creating work that is both relevant and engaging for a variety of audiences.’ - Company Chameleon

Coalesce are proud to have been supported by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts/Project Grant Lottery Funding on a range of projects, including Hereafter, The Cocoon, DanceConnect and The Old Green Time Machine. The Company are also supported by The University of Salford as Alumni Artist in Residence and were the first dance company to be awarded a place on The Lowry ‘Class of' Artists' Scheme.

The company developed a pro class initiative in 2018 called DanceConnect, to support and grow the dance ecology in Manchester. Their class runs twice a week and has seen over 188 artists attend and connect.  ‘What Coalesce are offering is invaluable…I think Manchester is benefiting from their energy and offer’ - Kapow Dance Circus Theatre


"An unstoppable talent, going from strength to strength..."



Fern Wareham

Co-Artistic Director

Fern has had a passion for theatre and story telling from an early age. After studying at The Arden School of Theatre, she also discovered a love for contemporary dance. She then went on to train at The University of Salford, where she developed her choreographic voice and athletic floor based movement style. During this time, Fern worked with Jamaal Burkmar, Company Chameleon, George Adams and Peter Grist. Fern has 2 years professional experience with Belinda Grantham Dance, and 1 year with Hawk Dance Theatre as creative learning assistant. Fern co founded Coalesce Dance Theatre in 2017, and since then, she has produced work for a variety of platforms (theatre, festival and digital) throughout the UK. Coalesce have been fortunate enough to be awarded funding from Arts Council England on multiple occasions, as well as various other commissions. Fern is a passionate advocate for creating better working opportunities for women within dance as well as centering more female narratives. With a holistic approach to creating work, Fern focuses her process on improving people’s well-being through dance.


Rachel Maffei

Co-Artistic Director

Rachel has been working as a professional dancer, teacher and director since she graduated from The University of Salford in 2017. She has a strong passion for facilitation and teaching contemporary technique across the North West. Since co-creating Coalesce, Rachel has fed her ambition to choreograph and make new, original work. 

Rachel has worked professionally with Hawk Dance Theatre, The Knotted Project and Bridget Fiske, as well as being a returning lecturer at The University of Salford. Rachel has watched Coalesce grow alongside co-director Fern since the company was established in 2017. Having received Arts Council Funding for several projects, Rachel has developed a love for project management. Rachel strongly believes in continuing to help and support emerging artists, through initiatives like DanceConnect and by creating working opportunities for local artists. She also hopes to inspire young people to think about a career in the arts. 

Emily Davidson

Marketing Co-ordinator 

Emily has a degree in construction management, but alongside her day job she has spent the last four years developing skills in graphic design, marketing and website development. Emily manages all marketing and design choices for Coalesce. Emily also has a passion for photography and videography. She has captured rehearsals and performances for the company, most recently filming and creating the content for The Old Green Time Machine. Emily has a love for dance and theatre, and therefore plays an active role in many aspects of the company. Emily has also performed for Coalesce as a musician in Hereafter. Emily’s main instrument is the acoustic guitar, but she is also a keen vocalist, percussionist and basist.

Headshot - Lisa Chearles.jpg

Lisa Chearles

Company Dancer

Lisa is a dance artist based in Leeds. She was born in Singapore and trained under Frontier Danceland as part of the PULSE Programme before moving to the UK. She completed her undergraduate studies at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, performing works by Anna Williams, Yukiko Masui and Jose Agudo. Since graduating in 2021, Lisa has performed in Kapow Dance Circus Theatre’s UK tour of the outdoor production ‘Mayfly’ and SAY's family-friendly show ‘album: skool edition’. Lisa enjoys exploring dance on film and is particularly interested in surrealism and the absurd. She is delighted to be wiggling her fingers and stomping around in 'The Old Green Time Machine' with Coalesce Dance Theatre!

Rebecca Callow

Company Dancer

Rebecca began dancing at an early age and attended DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training before going on to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. During that time, she worked with Alison Curtis Jones, Theo TJ Lowe, Hubert Essakow and Zoi Dimitriou. In 2018 Rebecca gained her Masters degree from Emergence, during which time she toured works by Joss Arnott and Sharon Watson. In 2020 Rebecca worked for Ellen Hathaway Dance Company, delivering workshops to the North West refugee community. As well as working as a Dance Artist for Coalesce since 2019, Rebecca has also begun developing her own creative practice. Her first work T H E S E S P A C E S was shown to critical acclaim at 'I'm Bored, What's Next' online international festival.

bottom of page