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Birmingham Comes To CDF

 DSC5661While we have always sought to support and promote dance artists based beyond London, that support is taken to a whole new extreme with a small army of dancers and choreographers heading down the M40 to all but take over our opening night - from Birmingham. Alongside Lo-Giudice Dance from Newcastle, our opening night Friday 15 November will be quite the celebration of regional dance, and be prepared to be amazed!

We visited Rebecca Namgauds, RDC and Autin Dance Theatre in Birmingham to watch them in rehearsal and interview them, so that we could offer you a trailer of their work and what they have in store for our audiences - and for each other, as in addition to creating new work, they're also dancing in each other's pieces. 

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Avatâra Ayuso

 DSC8475Avatâra Ayuso is in a rare position as an artist: she has a thriving career as a midscale choreographer in Germany, but in the UK, where she is based, she is primarily known as a dancer, but only in the early stages of developing her choreographic career in this country, with recent performances at Dance Base during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at Donald Hutera's Go Live festival at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town. Avatâra will be presenting two works on Sunday 17 November: the UK premieres of Dalcroze and Balikbayan, a new solo created on Rambert dancer Estela Merlos, with the support of Pavilion Dance South West and Arts Council England. Further details can be read here.

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Mbulelo Ndabeni

 DSC7978For the past six years, Mbulelo Ndabeni has been known to many as one of Rambert's dancers, and an enthusiastic choreography, regularly creating new works for Rambert's Seasons of New Choreography, their summer schools and other projects. The State In Between is a new collaboration between himself and Simone Muller Lotz, which will be developed into a longer work and presented in their native South Africa. The premiere of The State In Between will be on Saturday 16 November. Further details can be found here.

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Joelene English

 DSC7092Our next featured artist from Newcastle is choreographer and film-maker Joelene English, who will be presenting an extract of her current Dance City commission, February 11th 1963, about Sylvia Plath's relationship with Ted Hughes and the end of her life. Since the original commission, Joelene has been invited to perform it at Touch Wood at The Place, MDI showcase Northern Dances, and now at Cloud Dance Festival on Saturday 16 November. Further details can be found here.

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Lo-Giudice Dance

 DSC7373Anthony Lo-Giudice is preparing for his second performance at Cloud Dance Festival, with an extract of his Royal Northern Sinfonia commission from earlier this year, Distant Light. His first performance was in July 2011 under the name Exquisite Corpse | Dance Theatre, and his work has certainly gone from strength to strength since then, with commissions by Dance City, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and a thriving practice in Italy and the Czech Republic. Lo-Giudice Dance will be performing on Friday 15 November, and further details can be found here.

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Jo Meredith

 DSC6569Even back in 2009, Luke Jennings of the Observer highlighted Jo Meredith as a promising female choreographer to watch out for: in his review of a work she created for Lo Commotion Dance Company, performed at the Arcola Theatre, he wrote "This multilayering might appear overambitious, were it not for the piercing clarity of Meredith's choreography.

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 DSC6034Adam Rutherford is a successful dancer and choreographer, having worked with, and performed works created by many high-profile choreographers including Matthew Bourne, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Hofesh Schecter, Enrique Cabrera, Wayne Sables and Helen Parlor, while his most recent Rehearsal Director work has seen him working with 2Faced Dance Company and Rosie Kay. Having founded RDC Youth in January 2013, Adam recently created RDC, and Me & My Shadow, to be performed on Friday 15 November, will be its first work. Further details can be found here: RDC.

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Rebecca Namgauds

 DSC5661Rebecca Namgauds is one of Showtime's new choreographers: a recent graduate and a founding member of both Rutherford Dance Company Youth and RDC, gaining recognition for her choreography, winning a competition which allowed her to create the initial version of Severed Dreams. An extended version will be performed on Friday 15 November, and further details can be found here.

Rebecca's application for Cloud Dance Festival impressed us highly with her strong movement language which draws on different dance styles with distinct Oriental influences.

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Autin Dance Theatre

 DSC6482Autin Dance Theatre was recently formed by French dancer and choreographer Johnny Autin as a vehicle for his choreographic work. Taksim Square reloaded is his first work for Autin Dance Theatre, having previously performed an excerpt of it at Cloud Dance Sundays in July 2013. He will be performing on Friday 15 November, and further details can be found here.

Johnny is an extremely versatile dancer, with his abilities ranging from contemporary and street dance to flamenco, and in the last few years, he's performed in works by Kwesi Johnson, Tom Dale, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Freddie Oppoku-Addaie, Gregory Maqoma and Luca Silvestrini, to name just a few.

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Declan Whitaker

 DSC4848Declan Whitaker is a final-year student at London Contemporary Dance School, whose work has been receiving impressive recognition over the past few years, from being invited to perform a solo at the Royal Opera House by Wayne McGregor, being awarded the prestigious Peggy Hawkins Scholarship Fund earlier this year and having his current work Duet selected by leading dance critic Donald Hutera for his inaugural dance festival Go Live in September, alongside more established choreographers. He will be presenting Duet at Cloud Dance Festival on Saturday 16 November. Further details can be found here.

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Bricolage Dance Movement

 DSC3851Anna Buonomo's Story Of A Night Pianist has had an exceptionally rich lifetime as a dance theatre work: originally commissioned by Big Dance as a promenade work, it has since been adapted for Cloud Dance Sundays, it's now being adapted further for Cloud Dance Festival on Friday 15 November while it's also being turned into a dance film, Faraday's Cage, working with award-winning film director Terry Braun, a project which Anna has received Arts Council England funding for.

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John Ross Dance

 DSC1222The first of the Showtime rehearsals we've covered so far was Wolfpack by John Ross Dance - and John's final rehearsal with the dancers before returning to Leeds, which made it a particularly thorough rehearsal, especially with two new dancers being trained up.

John Ross presented an excerpt of Wolfpack in its early stages in our July festival, Lacuna, and we're really looking forward to showing you the completed version on 16 and 17 November, even if the lack of the rear wall may be complicating things a bit! Further details of his performance can be found here.

Read more: John Ross Dance