State of Emergency was founded in 1986 by Deborah Baddoo MBE (Dance) and Steve Marshall (Music), primarily as a performance company presenting original choreography and music. State of Emergency was from the outset, a vital collaboration between dance and music. As a producer, State of Emergency has a proven track record and is proud of its associations with some of the leading names in the contemporary arts scene. Across a wide range of activity, the company has also provided opportunities for hundreds of emerging artists.
Deborah Baddoo trained at the University of Surrey, and went on to gain an MA in Performance Arts at Middlesex University. A performer and choreographer in her own right, in the fields of jazz and African contemporary dance, Deborah went on to open Pyramid Dance Studio in London in 1985, which was instrumental in providing a launch pad for so many artists and companies. Throughout her varied career she has pursued a passionate, long-term vision to support the development of Black choreographers nationally and internationally, and in 2010 she was awarded an MBE for services to British dance.
Steve Marshall trained as a singer and instrumentalist at Pyramid Arts Development, the international music and arts centre out of which State of Emergency evolved. Early associations with jazz, reggae, soul, RnB, rock and electronic music were a great foundation. Notably, his work with reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry earned him Grammy nominations and led to collaborations with Keith Richards and George Clinton. “…voices like his deserve the respect, because the music is so uplifting and full of the whole range of ingredients.” Bob Jones, Blues & Soul Magazine