Attik Dance thrill and chill as they help launch Plymouth Art College’s new underwater photography course

Plymouth dance company, Attik Dance, braved chilly temperatures to twist and twirl beneath the surface at the National Marine Aquarium on Thursday, December 10 as they highlighted the new BA (Hons) in Underwater and Surface-Based Imaging at Plymouth College of Art.

Attik Dance’s artistic director Sally Robbins said: “Our dancers are used to pushing the boundaries of their bodies and using unusual spaces, but this project gave us a new challenge in choreographing pieces for underwater, not to mention the physical training involved in performing this way.”

Pioneering underwater photographer and Plymouth College of Art alumni Dan Burton was a guest speaker at the launch. In 1999, Dan was the first photographer in the UK to take digital images underwater using cameras he built himself. More recently he’s become the first person to film 360 degrees underwater and is currently leading the way in 3D film underwater.

He told Arts+Culture: “I joined Plymouth College of Art in 1992 aged 21 as a mature student, and though I had few academic qualifications, I’d spent lots of time travelling and taking pictures so I already had a good portfolio to convince them to let me join the college.

“I wanted to pursue underwater photography so was given everything I needed to take my career in that direction. I loved it, and when I wasn’t out on the boat diving with college, I was diving at weekends with friends.”

In the 18 years following, Dan has received global acclaim filming Beluga Whales, Great White sharks in Mexico and Reindeer in Lapland amongst others.

For more information about the course, contact Dave Kinney, 01752 203434 or

(image courtesy of Nick Shutt)