LondonDance - Latest Articleshttp://londondance.comLatest news and articles from LondonDanceSun, 21 Oct 2018 12:31:07 +0100Thu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100Dance Awards Shortlist Shines Spotlight on the Sector/articles/news/dance-awards-shortlist-shines-spotlight-on-the-sec//articles/news/dance-awards-shortlist-shines-spotlight-on-the-sec/Photo: Step Change Studios, shortlisted for the Innovation in Dance Award

One Dance UK has announced the shortlist for the first One Dance UK Awards. Saluting the outstanding contribution of people working in dance, the annual event is an opportunity for people in the industry to unite, celebrate, acknowledge and recognise the people who have made an impact on the vibrant UK dance landscape.

A panel of expert judges drawn from the dance sector reviewed over 800 nominations to arrive at a shortlist of nominees for each category. The final winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Leeds on 24 November.

The category shortlists are:

Dance Personality of the Year Award

Rosie Kay
Elliot Smith
Susan Calman

Best Use of Dance by a Brand Award

Levis – The Circle
Reed – I Love Mondays
Apple – Sway

Jane Attenborough Award (for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form)
Sponsored by Gordon & Co

June Gamble
Karen Gallagher
Jacky Lansley

Dance of the African Diaspora Lifetime Achievement Award
Supported by Derrick Anderson

Greta Mendez
Namron OBE
Maxine Brown

People’s Choice Award

Donald Hutera
Dance Action Zone Leeds
Motionhouse – Charge

Lifetime Achievement in Dance Education and Learning Award
Sponsored by Harlequin

Marion Gough
Kathy Williams
Dr Ann Hutchinson Guest

Outstanding Dance Programming Award
Sponsored by ISTD

Serendipity – LDIF
Yorkshire Dance

Research in Dance – Impact Award
Sponsored by Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Sarah Whatley – Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University
Professor Matt Wyon – Dance Science at University of Wolverhampton
Professor Emma Redding – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Dance Healthcare Team Award
Sponsored by Fusion Sport Europe Ltd

London Contemporary Dance School
Elmhurst Ballet School
Royal Ballet School

Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award
Supported by The Laws family

Karolin Krell – Osteopath and Physiotherapist
Kim Hutt – London Contemporary Dance School
Terry Hyde – Psychotherapist/Counsellor

Dance Science Award

Rupert Wiltshire – KS Dance
Professor Emma Redding – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Professor Matt Wyon – Dance Science at University of Wolverhampton

Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner Award
Sponsored by Leeds City College

Rachel Liggitt – Shropshire
Tess Chaytor – Co-founder, TIN Arts
Louise Marshall – Dance Artist, Eden Court Theatre

Dance Advocacy Award
Sponsored by Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Caroline Bowditch – Advocate and agent for change for access for disabled people in dance
Laura Graham – Magpie Dance
Colleen O’Keeffe – Dance in Primary and Secondary schools in London Borough of Tottenham

Leeds Dance Partnership Award
Sponsored by Leeds Dance Partnership

Ian Rodley – Dance Action Zone Leeds
Spin Arts
Mobius Dance

Outstanding Primary Dance Teaching Award
Sponsored by Dancewear Central

Lucy Seymour – Tannery Drift First School
Caroline Newman – West Wiltshire Schools Dance Partnership
Jessica Bulatis – Central Primary School

Outstanding Secondary Dance Teaching Award

Hilary Seaton – Ryde Academy
Jade Hunt – Horizon Community College
Geoff Lake – LeAF Studio School Bournemouth

Rising Star Award for Dance Teaching

Kirsty Tremayne – London
Shaun Dillon – Suffolk
Georgia Poole – Magpie Dance Facilitator

Dance Writing Award

Judith Mackrell
Adesola Akinleye
Graham Watts

Innovation in Dance Award

Smack That (a conversation) by Rhiannon Faith
Corey Baker Dance
Step Change Studios

Dance on Screen Impact Award

The Sunday Night Drinkers Club
Candoco Dance Company
Ben Williams

Most Supportive Senior Leader or Governor Award

David Stewart – Oak Field School, Nottingham
Jane Jenkins – Moorland Primary School, Cardiff
Coleen O’Keefe – Harris Academy, Tottenham

Inspirational Lecturer at College, University or Conservatoire

Ann Nugent – University of Chichester
Alice Marshall – University of Derby
Rosemary Brandt – Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Inspirational Work in Education (organisations)

Candoco Dance Company
Trinity Laban

Dance Healthcare Practitioner Award
Supported by The Laws family

Karolin Krell – Osteopath and Physiotherapist
Kim Hutt – London Contemporary Dance School
Terry Hyde – Psychotherapist/Counsellor

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
London International Mime Festival unveils 2019 season/articles/news/london-international-mime-festival-unveils-2019-se//articles/news/london-international-mime-festival-unveils-2019-se/Photo: Olivier de Sagazan’s Transfiguration

London International Mime Festival returns between 9 January – 3 February 2019, offering a chance to see established and new contemporary visual theatre that embraces cutting edge circus, juggling, puppetry, live art, mime and physical theatre. The festival is directed by Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig, and is London’s longest established international theatre season.

UK artists are at the forefront of the programme. Barely Methodical Troupe (pictured below) opens the festival with its latest acrobatic spectacular, Shift, at the Platform Theatre; Gandini Juggling with Alexander Whitley make their debut at Sadler’s Wells, and Gecko makes its main stage debut at the Barbican. Other highlights include Thick & Tight at the Lilian Baylis Studio; a rare London appearance from Stan’s Cafe, and Green Ginger exploring the inner reaches of the human body in Intronauts at Jacksons Lane. Theatre Re premieres its latest creation, Birth, a LIMF co-commission, at Shoreditch Town Hall.

The festival’s international dimension brings companies from Belgium, Finland, France, New Zealand, Norway and Spain. Debut participants include performance artist Olivier de Sagazan, ice puppeteers Théâtre de l’Entrouvert (pictured below) and 2018 Total Theatre Award winners Focus/Chaliwaté with Backup. Companies returning with new productions include Plexus Polaire, Thomas Monckton, Les Antliaclastes and the UK premiere of Father (Vader) from Olivier Award winners Peeping Tom, the second work in the company’s family trilogy. Xavier Bobés brings Things Easily Forgotten back to the festival, an atmospheric salon performance for an audience of five.

A wide range of workshops, artists’ talks and discussion complements the performance programme, which also features two classic silent films with live music at the Barbican Cinema: Buster Keaton’s The General and Victor Sjöström’s He Who Gets Slapped.

For the full programme, visit the London International Mime Festival website.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE 15 - 21 OCTOBER 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-15-21-october-2018//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-15-21-october-2018/Photo: Tomorrow’s Stars Today – BA3 Commissioned Works at Trinity Laban


Discover more about the historic auditorium of the Royal Opera House, built in 1858, on one of the regular Velvet, Gilt and Glamour Tours – and be sure to take a wander around the recently-refurbished foyer areas, which feature costume and artwork displays within the stunning architecture.


Dance Umbrella brings experimental Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou to Sadler’s Wells this week with The Great Tamer. Expect visual trickery, dreamlike images and nightmarish creations in this visually-rich piece, which draws on Greek classics and Papaioannou’s visual arts background to create a surreal investigation of life and death.


Colin Dunne is arguably Irish dance’s most celebrated contemporary artist. He comes to the Barbican this week as part of Dance Umbrella, with something of a challenge: the ‘undanceable’ music of virtuoso fiddle player Tommie Potts. Concert sees Dunne enter into a creative dialogue with Potts’ 1972 album The Liffey Banks, armed with a turntable, portable speakers and sheets of flooring.


A great opportunity to catch the dance stars of the future, Tomorrow’s Stars Today – BA3 Commissioned Works features work by choreographers Gary Lambert, Zoi Dimitriou and Struan Leslie performed by third-year Trinity Laban students (pictured above).


There are still a handful of tickets left for Akram Khan Company’s much-loved family show Chotto Desh, which returns to the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells. Meaning “small homeland,” Chotto Desh draws on Khan’s unique quality of cross-cultural storytelling, following a young man’s dreams and memories from Britain to Bangladesh using a unique mix of dance, text, visuals and sound.


The V&A celebrates the opening of its Photography Centre with playful new pop-up performance Dancing Memories, created and performed by Sadler’s Wells’ National Youth Dance Company alumni and dance company for over-60s, Company of Elders. Each 40-minute participatory performance will encourage movement participation from its audience, inspired by its surroundings, with performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.


Montreal-based quintet Le Patin Libre do dancing on ice like no others. Threshold, which comes to Alexandra Palace Ice Rink this weekend as part of Dance Umbrella, combines athletic virtuosity with joyous physicality. It follows the company’s last performance in London in 2014 with the award-winning Vertical Influences, recently seen on BBC2 and available to watch on the Dance Umbrella website.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
New Adventures announces world premiere of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet/articles/news/new-adventures-announces-world-premiere-of-matthew//articles/news/new-adventures-announces-world-premiere-of-matthew/New Adventures has announced the world premiere of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet, opening at Curve, Leicester on Monday 13 May 2019 as part of a UK tour to 13 venues including a four-week summer season at Sadler’s Wells in August 2019.

Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is a passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story. Bursting with youth, vitality and the renowned choreographer’s trademark storytelling, Britain’s brightest young dance talent join the New Adventures company for this world premiere production, which is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne in collaboration with his entire New Adventures Associate Artistic team: Etta Murfitt, Associate Artistic Director; set and costume design by Lez Brotherston; lighting by Paule Constable; sound by Paul Groothuis; and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies, played live by the New Adventures Orchestra and conducted by Brett Morris.

As part of the company’s ambition to support the next generation of on-stage talent, Romeo and Juliet will feature emerging dancers from around the UK. The search began in April 2018 with a call-out for young dancers in training aged between 16 and 19. Attracting over 1000 applications and following a UK-wide audition tour, six Young Cast members at each venue will perform alongside the New Adventures company.

Matthew Bourne said:

“New Adventures’ Romeo and Juliet will be a celebration of youthful energy, talent and creativity both on and off-stage and, uniquely, in all aspects of Choreography, Design and Music through the appointment of a series of Young Associate Artists.

As we enter our fourth decade as a company, I’m finding the development of young talent ever more important and fulfilling. Our current company of Swan Lake features 29 young dancers making their debuts with us, many of those have come through our Company initiatives such as Swan School, A Summer Adventure and of course, our production of Lord of the Flies which inspired so many young men to seek careers in dance. This time we are focusing on nurturing young male and female dancers, and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that we have had to choose from throughout the UK.

I’m particularly happy to be working alongside my Young Associate Choreographer, Arielle Smith, an exceptional young dancemaker of great maturity and vision. In turn, after 30 years as a professional choreographer, I look forward to being refreshed and inspired by what this team of young artists will bring to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love”.

The star-crossed lovers will be played by six New Adventures rising stars and two dancers making their professional debuts.

Juliet will be played by Cordelia Braithwaite, currently performing as Cinderella on the international tour; Seren Williams, who joined the company in 2016 with The Red Shoes and Bryony Harrison who is making her debut with New Adventures on tour with Swan Lake.

Romeo will be performed by Andrew Monaghan, currently ‘The Pilot’ in Cinderella, Paris Fitzpatrick who is playing the ‘Angel’ in Cinderella and João Carolino who joined the company in 2017 with Early Adventures.

Making their professional debuts are Harrison Dowzell as Romeo, who auditioned for the Young Cast in Nottingham, and Bryony Wood as Juliet, discovered during the Young Cast auditions in Southampton. New Adventures is working in partnership with their vocational colleges to support the completion of their training during the tour.

The company has also recruited a team of Young Associate Artists to work alongside the Artistic team. Arielle Smith joins as Young Associate Choreographer; Elin Steele as Young Associate Set & Costume Designer and Ali Hunter as Young Associate Lighting Designer, with further Young Associates to be appointed in the Sound and Music departments.

For more information, visit the New Adventures website.

NewsMon, 10 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000
Sadler’s Wells celebrates 20th anniversary with bold new voices in dance/articles/news/sadlers-wells-celebrates-20th-anniversary-with-bol//articles/news/sadlers-wells-celebrates-20th-anniversary-with-bol/Sadler’s Wells celebrates the 20th anniversary of its current building this week, with seven world premieres from a new generation of UK-based dance-makers.

The leading dance house commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world and has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage since 2005, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies.

Tuesday marked the Sadler’s Wells debut of its first Young Associates: Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas, who presented new works in the Lilian Baylis Studio as the first output of the new artist development initiative, which launched in February to support talented 18 to 24-year-olds making their first steps into their career as choreographers.

The Reckonings programme, which premiered last night, presents three commissions by three bold new voices in dance: Botis Seva, Julie Cunningham and Alesandra Seutin. Intertwined with socio-political issues, the pieces tackle subjects including race representation, gender, identity, visibility and religion.

Photo: Julie Cunningham’s m/y © Johan Persson

Photo: Botis Seva’s BLKDOG © Johan Persson

Photo: Alesandra Seutin’s Boy Breaking Glass © Johan Persson

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive, says:

“Sadler’s Wells exists to enable talented artists of all backgrounds to create dance that brings a rich and diverse range of aesthetics, styles and stories to our stages. For our 20th anniversary, we celebrate our past achievements with our eyes firmly on the future. Julie Cunningham, Alesandra Seutin and Botis Seva possess fresh and distinctive choreographic voices that they’re not afraid to use to tackle current socio-political issues, each in their own style.

Anthony Matsena, Wilhelmina Ojanen, Ruby Portus and Christopher Thomas are grabbing the opportunity to experiment and define their own movement language with both hands, focusing on themes close to their hearts. These two programmes reaffirm our commitment to nurture artists and present work that resonates with our audience. Dance is at its most relevant and powerful when, after seeing a performance, we can make better sense of our own and others’ experience.”

The current Sadler’s Wells building is the sixth to have stood on the Islington site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary, artists and audience members took to Twitter yesterday to share their Sadler’s Wells highlights using #SW20.

Reckonings runs at Sadler’s Wells until 13 October.

NewsMon, 10 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE: 8 - 14 OCTOBER 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-8-october//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-8-october/Ryoichi Hirano as Rudolf and Sarah Lamb as Marie Larisch in Mayerling © ROH, 2018. Photo by Helen Maybanks.


Tonight is the opening of The Royal Ballet’s revival of the dark psychological ballet Mayerling, choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan to music by Franz Liszt. MacMillan’s choreography for Crown Prince Rudolf, the troubled protagonist obsessed with death, makes this one of the most technically and emotionally demanding roles in the repertory for male dancers.


Gracefool Collective combine dancing with dark comedy to delve into a world of farcical stereotypes and power struggles, wrestling with gender, identity and social convention. Their latest work This Really Is Too Much is a humorous and provocative take on the absurdities of life as a woman in modern society. See it at Laban Theatre.


Get acquainted with the rhythmic energy of the quick-stepping Pantsula dance movement as award-winning South African dance company Via Katlehong – formed in 1992 in the township of the same name – bring the UK premiere of Via Kanana to Shoreditch Town Hall this week as part of Dance Umbrella. Choreographed by South African dance legend Gregory Maqoma, Via Kanana stands as an expression of light and hope, defying the adversity and fear caused by corruption in a post-apartheid era.


To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its current theatre, Sadler’s Wells has commissioned three political works from three bold new voices in dance: Botis Seva, Julie Cunningham and Alesandra Seutin, which receive their world premiere on Thursday as part of Reckonings. Seva, the founder of hip hop theatre collective Far From the Norm, draws on personal experiences surrounding the pressures in making work and surviving as an artist in his piece, BLKDOG. Cunningham explores gender identity, taking inspiration from Monique Wittig’s novel The Lesbian Body, while Seutin fuses urban dance languages with African styles in Boy Breaking Glass, which explores race, inequality and self-love.


Neon Dance’s PuzzleCreature is a new multi-disciplinary dance performance choreographed by artistic director Adrienne Hart which comes to The Place this week following its recent premiere in Japan. Questioning attitudes to ageing and the body, this immersive work is inspired by the designs of maverick architect/artist duo Arakawa and Madeline Gins, founders of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the use of architecture to extend the human lifespan. Three dance artists drive the piece: Mariko Kida (who also guests with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch), Carys Staton and Luke Crook, wearing body sculptures designed by fashion artist Ana Rajcevic.


Ballet Black return to Theatre Royal Stratford East with a Double Bill that includes a new narrative ballet choreographed by Cathy Marston, the first dance adaptation to be based on Can Themba’s South African fable The Suit. Arthur Pita’s Olivier-nominated A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream follows, mixing classical and contemporary to distil the essence of Shakespeare’s comedy, to an eclectic soundtrack taking in Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand and Yma Sumac.


Flamenco dancer Nanako Aramaki joins virtuoso guitarist Ricardo Garcia, bassist Adolfredo Pulido and percussionist Demi Garcia Sabat to explore the fire and passion of Andalucian flamenco in Flamenco Global at Rich Mix.

NewsFri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0100
Laura Nicholson joins One Dance UK as Head of Children & Young People's Dance/articles/news/one-dance-uk-appoints-new-head-of-children-and-you//articles/news/one-dance-uk-appoints-new-head-of-children-and-you/One Dance UK has appointed Laura Nicholson as Head of Children and Young People’s Dance.

Nicholson will lead on the strategic planning and delivery of One Dance UK’s programmes with and for children, young people and teachers, as a champion for dance in education and advocate for the value of dance in government and political arenas.

She comments:

“I am thrilled to join the team at One Dance UK and feel privileged to be able to advocate and share my passion for dance in education and the youth sector.”

Andrew Hurst, Chief Executive of One Dance UK adds:

“We are delighted to welcome Laura to the team. With this appointment, Laura can progress the work of One Dance UK, advocating for the value of dance in education and for the role that dance plays in the development and well-being of young people right across the UK.”

Following training at Laban Centre London (now Trinity Laban), Nicholson worked extensively in the north of England in youth and community settings as a performer, workshop leader and community artist, including spending several years as a core member of Qdos Dance Theatre, devising and performing issue-based work for young people. She has worked as a dance consultant, devising and delivering CPD and dance training programmes to specialist and non-specialist teachers working with students of all ages and in a range of settings.

Nicholson brings 12 years of experience working in the secondary education sector to One Dance UK. She developed a highly successful Dance and Performing Arts curriculum at an inner-city Leeds secondary school and held the position of Assistant Headteacher at a Wakefield secondary school with whole-school responsibilities including leadership of a unique specialist Performing Arts curriculum pathway. In addition to leading on the successful delivery of a wide range of arts-based qualifications in the formal curriculum, she developed a wide range of extra-curricular and community youth dance activities, providing young people with the opportunity to participate in regional and national events and competitions. In addition to holding Qualified Teacher Status she has also completed a Masters-level certificate in Teaching and Learning and is an alumnus of the Teaching Leaders programme.

NewsFri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 +0100
Celebrate World Ballet Day/articles/news/celebrate-world-ballet-day//articles/news/celebrate-world-ballet-day/Today is World Ballet Day, a global celebration of ballet via social media. The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and guest companies from around the world will take part in a day of live streaming on Facebook to offer unparalleled behind-the-scenes access to some of the world’s leading classical dance organisations.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, this annual celebration of dance provides an opportunity for audiences to see the athleticism and dedication it takes to be a member of one of the world’s top ballet companies and invites everyone to share their love of dance.

Until 5pm today, the Royal Opera House Facebook page is streaming exclusive interviews and backstage rehearsals, all presented by Royal Ballet dancers Kristen McNally and Alexander Campbell.

Other companies streaming exclusive live content include The Australian Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Japan, Dutch National Ballet, and from the UK, Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, The Royal Academy of Dance and Northern Ballet. The content will also be available to watch on-demand afterwards.

Last year World Ballet Day saw huge engagement with 171 million people watching #WorldBalletDay-related content.

Photo: Valentino Zucchetti and Joseph Sissons in morning class during World Ballet Day © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Charlotte MacMillan

NewsSat, 10 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE 1 OCTOBER 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-1-october-2018//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-1-october-2018/Monday

Over Think is the latest video from indie-folk quintet Elwhaeko featuring a dance routine choreographed by young dancers from the Skelton Hooper School of Dance & Theatre in Hull. The track features lyrics written by local school kids and is part of the Three Minute Heroes campaign from The Warren Youth Project – a mental health initiative that supports young people to express themselves. Watch it online here.


Taj Express is a Bollywood extravaganza featuring music by Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman, and acclaimed Bollywood composers, Salim & Sulaiman Merchant and Monty Sharma. Showcasing an impressive fusion of classical Indian and contemporary dance, the production celebrates the world’s most prolific film industry, and comes to The Peacock this week as part of its UK tour.


Head to The Place for Seeta Patel’s powerful one-woman show, Not Today’s Yesterday, created in collaboration with Australian choreographer Lina Limosani. Inspired by the whitewashing of history, this award-winning production (Best Dance at the Adelaide Fringe 2018) blends techniques from Bharatanatyam, contemporary dance and theatre.


Fans of William Forsythe will want to be at Sadler’s Wells on Thursday for the first performance of A Quiet Evening of Dance, a mixed bill of new and existing work performed by seven of the renowned American choreographer’s most trusted collaborators.


Beijing-based choreographer Wen Hui comes to the Southbank Centre with the London premiere of Red. This intriguing dance docu-drama puts the Chinese Cultural Revolution ballet The Red Detachment of Women – first staged in 1964 as one of only eight permissible theatrical works of the time – under the spotlight. Hui, founder of Living Dance Studio, the first independent contemporary dance company in China, uses dance, filmed interviews with original cast members and archive material to unpick this ideologically driven artwork. Part of Dance Umbrella & the China Changing Festival.


Dutch company Dadodans brings its playful and inventive work for ages 3+, KoKERS, to The Place on Saturday as part of Dance Umbrella. Using cardboard tubes, choreography and percussive sound, inventive landscapes are built and broken apart as the dancers balance, flip, throw, twirl and jump around the playground they have created.


Si Rawlinson’s Red Ink comes to the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room for a Sunday matinee performance as part of the China Changing Festival. The full-length work (first glimpsed at last year’s festival as a work in progress) explores the role of dissident artists and the struggle between the desires of state and citizen, using hip hop and contemporary dance.

NewsWed, 10 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000
Royal Academy of Dance appoints new Artistic Director/articles/news/royal-academy-of-dance-appoints-new-artistic-direc//articles/news/royal-academy-of-dance-appoints-new-artistic-direc/The Royal Academy of Dance has appointed Gerard Charles as its new Artistic Director.

Until recently, Charles was Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. When he joins the Royal Academy of Dance on 15 October, he will be responsible for providing artistic leadership, creativity and expertise to all areas of the Academy’s work, maintaining its artistic integrity and leading on the development of its artistic, education and community initiatives on a global scale.

The appointment comes at a key time for the Royal Academy of Dance as it looks ahead to its centenary year in 2020, which includes moving into a new purpose-built HQ in Battersea which is almost double the size of its current premises.

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance said:

“As one of the world’s leading authorities on dance, we are delighted that an Artistic Director of Gerard’s calibre will be joining us during such a key transitional phase for the Academy. He has committed his professional life to dance and brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked in nearly all facets of the industry – from performer and ballet master through to MD, Educational Director and Artistic Director – with some of the most highly regarded dance companies in the world.

His experience and vision, alongside his appreciation for the RAD’s structured approach to education and training, make him an ideal addition to our organisation, and we look forward to working with him as we approach the major centenary milestone and lead the RAD into its next chapter.”

Charles trained at the Royal Ballet School and as a professional dancer, his career started at Ballet International before moving to Milwaukee Ballet and BalletMet in roles ranging from corps de ballet to Principal. Since retiring from the stage, he has served as Education Director for Ballet Met Columbus; Ballet Master for BalletMet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Artistic Director BalletMet and most recently Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet. He has choreographed and staged works internationally and received an NEA Choreographic Fellowship.

Gerard Charles said:

“With a history stretching back almost 100 years, this is an ideal time to begin to work with the Royal Academy of Dance and to meet the evolving needs of our art form as we take the Academy forward. I believe that a high-quality foundation is critical to the success of young dancers and that the RAD is well placed to deliver that by providing systematic training at each critical stage of a dancer’s life through its focus on the training and mentoring of their teachers, monitoring standards, and giving opportunities to people who would not otherwise have the chance to dance.

The RAD provides a continuum that offers close connections with dance at any age or ability and it will continue to champion the broader interests of dance, and its supporters, well in to the next century. I am keen to get to work and to meet the community that makes all this possible.”

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE 24 SEPTEMBER 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-24-september-2018//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-24-september-2018/Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns. Photo by Todd MacDonald.


If you missed Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns on BBC Two at the weekend, you can catch up on this macabre comedy of murder and desire on iPlayer. Directed, choreographed and composed by Shechter himself, this bold and exhilarating work is performed by ten of his company dancers and translates beautifully on to the screen.


Berlin-based collective Transforma present the UK premiere of Manufactory at the Barbican on Tuesday. Inspired by industrial processes and a bygone era of manufacturing, the work forms part of the Barbican’s The Art of Change season. An ensemble of dancers perform a choreography of process, while a score by electronic musician Sascha Ring (Apparat) takes the form of a series of phasing loops that both respond to and trigger the performers’ actions, creating an intriguing system of interdependence.


Tony Adigun’s Fagin’s Twist comes to The Place for two performances this week, offering the chance to see Dickens’ famous characters in a whole new light. The much-loved Victorian tale is turned on its head – and into a contemporary hip hop dance theatre piece.


Dance Umbrella – London’s international dance festival – opens this week, and first up is a romp through the writings of 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys, from New York City ensemble Big Dance Theater. 17c at the Old Vic asks what the Baroque ‘hipster’s’ compulsions tell us about our own social media-obsessed times.


Choreographer Tara D’Arquian collaborates with poet Jemima Foxtrot and designer Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson to depict a story of self-deception at Laban Theatre. Bad Faith follows the story of Nora, 20 years after disappearing, wandering through a parallel world and encountering uncanny manifestations of her inner darkness.


Everything That Rises Must Dance is a large-scale dance piece created with over 200 women from across London – mostly non-dancers, of various ages and backgrounds, who applied to take part in this inclusive celebration of female movement. It’s the brainchild of director and choreographer Sasha Milavic Davies, and devised with composer Lucy Railton. The work receives its premiere at Peninsula Square in Greenwich, with further performances in BOXPARK, Croydon and Somerset House as part of Dance Umbrella, all free to attend.


The Feminista Film Festival at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill celebrates female athletes and artists from around the world through documentary film. The inspiring programme of works includes a number of films featuring dancers, including Lauren Cuthbertson and Sarah Lamb of The Royal Ballet (on Friday and Saturday respectively). The Sunday Family Programme includes Balance, a short documentary following Laura Purkiss of Birmingham Royal Ballet, a mother of two (pictured), and Journey to your Dream with Ingrid Silva of Dance Theatre of Harlem.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
Hetain Patel & Amy May's DON'T LOOK/articles/news/hetain-patel-and-amy-mays-dont-look//articles/news/hetain-patel-and-amy-mays-dont-look/Sadler’s Wells & Rich Mix present a collaboration between visual artist Hetain Patel and composer and instrumentalist Amy May at Rich Mix in Shoreditch on 4 & 5 October.

A hugely original collision of film, performance and live music, featuring a nine-piece vocal and instrumental ensemble, Don’t Look is a playful and subversive journey into image, identity, language and love in contemporary Britain.

Patel’s mesmerising films take inspiration from Tarantino, Bruce Lee and contemporary dance, and tell his own story of life as a young British Asian man in 21st-century England.

The Jump was filmed in Patel’s grandmother’s house with 17 family members, while Don’t Look at the Finger – here getting its London premiere – pitches man against woman at a wedding like no other. Combined with live music from Amy May and her nine-piece ensemble, mixing everything from Hollywood-style scores to Gujarati rap, Don’t Look crosses genres and defies categorisation.

Bolton-born and London-based, Hetain Patel is a visual artist and performance maker whose work shifts between cultures, media and contexts. His films, sculptures and live performances have been presented globally, from Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells (where Patel is a New Wave Associate), to Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai and Ullens Centre of Contemporary Art, Beijing. Online, his videos have been viewed over 30 million times, including his TED Talk of 2013 titled Who Am I? Think Again.

Amy May is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer, playing for a variety of bands, orchestras and ensembles. May is principal violist with the Heritage Orchestra and violin/violist for the West End production of the multiple Grammy-award-winning Hamilton. She writes music for adverts, films and television, and has written and released four albums with her band, Paris Motel.

Hetain Patel said:

“I’ve been wanting to do a live music event like this for a long time. Amy’s stunning soundtrack on my recent film, Don’t Look at the Finger is something everyone remembers. I’m giddy with excitement at the prospect of her scoring my other short films. I can’t wait to present these films spanning 10 years, all threaded together with Amy’s complexly emotive music played live.”

Don’t Look is at Rich Mix on 4 & 5 October. To get £10 tickets (plus booking fee), quote ‘DOLOOK’ when booking online, by phone or in person.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100