Blue Cloud Scratch is back for its third bimonthly edition, and we have an extra-special treat for you, as we'll be showcasing artists from around the country and not just London and the South East this time!
After four years in the UK, we're very sad that ballet dancer and choreographer Ian Parsons is moving back to Canada, but not before he's shown us his latest creation for his company Point(e) Taken Dance Theatre, which very appropriately explores the choices people make, and the resulting impact on their lives.
Following previous performances in Cloud Dance Sundays, Cloud Dance Festival, Made Up North and Cloud Dance Friends, international dance artist Johnny Autin will be showing us his current work in progress with Autin Dance Theatre: A Positive Life was originally commissioned by Ignition Dance Festival in 2015 and is an immersive dance theatre experience, aimed at young people aged 14-24, based around the themes of sex education and self-love.
Dickson Mbi is a leading hip hop dancer whose own work fuses popping and contemporary dance in a unique way, and he has toured globally as a member of Russell Maliphant Company, also appearing in TV commercials choreographed by Russell Maliphant. He's also part of Just Us Dance Theatre, directed by Joseph Toonga, and is a co-founder of Fiya House which mentors, teaches and supports young hip hop dance artists.
We'll also be showing new work by interdisciplinary dance artist Lewys Holt (who I recently saw perform with New Art Club in Hull) whose practice spans comedy, visual arts and devised theatre as well as dance, a new dance company based in Manchester, Indefinite Article Dance Theatre, led by Fern Wareham, and Alice Weber, whose style is inspired by idiosyncracy, psychological and anatomic quirk, and temporal dynamics.
So please come join us from 8pm on Thursday 28 July at Blue Elephant Theatre to support these artists and offer them constructive feedback on the works they'll be showing you - or chat to them afterwards!
Blue Elephant Theatre's address is 59A Bethwin Rd, London SE5 0XT, and tickets can be bought from their website blueelephanttheatre.co.uk. If you'd like to join our mailing list for upcoming scratch nights and calls for applications, you can sign up here: eepurl.com/b8v4Pr
Here's more information about the artists and their work...
Dickson Mbi is world-renowned in the hiphop dance community for his popping skills, powerful movement, strong personality and ability to blend popping and contemporary dance in a unique fashion.
Dickson started dancing in 2005, his main styles being Popping and the Funk styles, winning several competitions in the UK, Europe and Asia. He has also participated in many commercial works for artists like Robbie Williams, Shalamar, Basement Jaxx, Madonna, Aluna George and many more. After meeting a contemporary dance Teacher/Mentor Stuart Thomas in 2008, he sought further training and undertook a foundation and access course in dance at Lewisham College and Manor Ballet before going on to train at London Contemporary Dance School.He was studying at the school when the world renowned choreograher Russell Maliphant saw Dickson doing an improvisational performance at Sadler's Wells in Breakin' Convention 2011 and asked Dickson to join his company. Dickson has also appeared in television commercials for Lucozade Revive and Audi Etron, both of which were choreographed by Russell Maliphant.
As well as being a member of the Russell Maliphant company, his also part of collective group of artist called JUST US THEATER, led by Joseph Toonga. Not only has he performaned and done guest aperences for companies like Hack Ballet and Company DeCalage. He also has passion for making his own works, Acting, Modeling and developing the next generation of artist.
After touring Asia in 2012, Dickson was very inspired by Asian work ethics and the commitment they have towards their practices. This then led Dickson and his long-term collaborator and dance partner Brooke Milliner to created a crew called Fiya House. The aim of the crew is to mentor, support and teach like-minded people the path to being an artist from the hip hop dance community.
He will be drawing on gestures from antiquity in creating the new solo which he will be presenting.
Choreographed & performed by Dickson Mbi
Johnny Autin: Autin Dance Theatre
Graduating from the National Conservatoire of Music and Dance (France) in Contemporary Dance and Ballet, Johnny had the opportunity to work with some incredibly inspiring choreographers. From very early on in his career he went on to perform, choreograph and direct work; experimenting with a range of different styles, from contemporary and street dance to flamenco. He has worked internationally collaborating with choreographers and companies in France, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, as well as touring work across Europe and South America.
Based in the UK for over 9 years and now living in Birmingham, Johnny has worked with several organisations mainly as a performer and physical theatre practitioner. He is the Creative Director of the professional company Autin Dance Theatre and the Artistic Director of Man Made Youth Company, Birmingham's first independent all-male youth company. He has also worked as a rehearsal director, choreographer and dramaturge for companies including Kompany Malakhi, Tempered Body Dance Theatre, Harnisch-Lacey Dance Theatre, State Of Emergency, SmallPetitKlein, 2Faced Dance Company, Ludus Dance, Gravity & Levity, Panta Rei Danseteatre and Company Decalage.
He has performed works by Darshan Singh Bhuller, Balbir Singh, Tom Dale, Helene Blackburn, Freddie Oppoku-Addaie, Gregory Maqoma and Luca Silvestrini, to name just a few.
Johnny is also an experienced dance teacher and workshop leader; some of his freelance teaching credits include The Place London, the Royal Opera House, the Wales Millennium Centre, DanceXchange, Southbank Centre and Sadler's Wells.
Choreographed by Johnny Autin
Performed by Becca Thomas, Jerome Wilks, Katie Albon, Michael Kelland, Jasmine Gardosi (tbc)
Fern Wareham: Indefinite Article Dance Theatre
Indefinite Article Dance Theatre a collective of three dance artists - Fern Wareham, Belinda Grantham and Craig Bennett - who are based in the North West. They specialise in devising and delivering high quality dance theatre that challenges, entertains and inspires audiences, by offering work that is both engaging and accessible.
"We have been developing an excerpt of work, 'Momentum', that plays with the in-between moments in daily life. Those microseconds where automatic impulse takes over and subsequent shifts occur in the direction of our being. Can we dwell in the precarious space that exists right before we submiss to those driving forces? The work will ultimately aim to question our inherent desire to succumb to what is considered facile and safe. We will use gravity, specifically focusing on that weightless moment before you loose physical control, as a tool to explore the wider idea. This work aims to question the way in which we interact with the world around us, from the macro to the micro. How much of our behaviors is pre determined in our subconscious mind, and can we change the course of our physical and verbal dialogue in those tiny moments before impulse takes over."
Choreographed & performed by Fern Wareham, Belinda Grantham and Craig Bennett
Lewys Holt is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in the UK. His practice, while focusing on dance, spans comedy, visual arts and devised theatre. His dance practice is concerned with release and improvisation, taking influences from Skinner Releasing technique, Open Source Forms and Contact improvisation. He has worked with prominent international artists including Tino Sehgal, Frank Willens, Rosemary Lee and Florence Peake. Lewys was shortlisted for a Jerwood Choreographic Grant (2013) for his collaborative work with Katherine Hall titled Subject To Change. Lewys also practices stand-up comedy and has performed extensively as part of the Leicester-based comedy trio Conversation Garden. In 2015 he was supported by Dance4 and Yorkshire Dance to successfully secure Arts Council England, Grants For The Arts funding to make a solo show titled Of, Or At A Fairly Low Temperature. Lewys is also a founding member of the ACE funded Leicester-based contemporary performance collective Tetrad who run work-in-progress nights for contemporary performance at the Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester as well as providing other support and opportunities for artists in the area.
The project, so far titled Phrases is an exploration of structured dance improvisations alongside spoken and projected text and projected photographs. Themes present in the work so far include confusion, sublime, dysfunction, non-sequiter, stream-of-consciousness and a resistance to representation and formal order.
The photographs consist of tender, fleeting moments, my interest is in displaying them in a theatrical setting, lifting them from their quiet and dignified ephemerality to the bright, alter-like arena of the on-stage projection. I also situate my body and my movement practice in relation to these images . I want to explore what happens in the aesthetic reception of the photographs through contrasting and complimenting their feeling through movement and a live body.
Choreographed & performed by Lewys Holt
Ian Parsons: Point(e) Taken Dance
Ian trained at Canada’s National ballet school, and upon graduation, joined the National Ballet of Canada as an apprentice, where he danced works by James Kudelka and John Neumeier, among others. Ian also choreographed a piece for the company’s annual workshop, which is currently in the repertoire of the 2nd apprentice company; YOUDance.
Ian joined Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 2009, where he danced all the major works of Jean-Christophe Maillot, including the world premiere of his “Lac” (Swan Lake). Ian also had the privilege of personally working with Jiri Kylian and Emio Greco during his time at the company.
In 2012, Ian danced in the film version of the musical "Les Misérables," directed by Tom Hooper, and subsequently moved to London to join the West End revival cast of “Cabaret". Following this, Ian joined the UK/European tour of "Cats" as Swing/Assistant Dance Captain
Since January of 2014, Ian has moved behind the scenes as a teacher and choreographer. Ian was a permanent Ballet faculty member at Performers College, DanceEast, and the School of Ballet Theatre UK. Ian has also taught at Danceworks, London Studio Centre, and the Guildford School of Acting. In September 2016, Ian is moving back to Canada to return to Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training program for former professionals.
This work is a series of vignettes inspired by the music of Ezio Bosso, exploring how different choices and paths that people take affect their lives. My life has been uprooted several times due to simple choices that I have made; I have moved countries, made career changes, and I always look back in wonder and say "who would have thought a short time ago that I would be here today doing this?" It is often never where we think we would be, however our deviation from the path we thought we were on created an entirely new one. This is especially important to me as I prepare to move back to Canada in August of this year, making a big change yet again.
Choreographed by Ian Parsons
Performed by David Beer, Nami Furukawa, Corinne Swallow, Natasha Richardson, Nikolai Hepp
Alice Weber received her early dance training in her native Sydney, Australia. After studying psychology at The University of Sydney, she trained full-time at Academy Ballet, Sydney, using intensive classical training to foster a unique contemporary style. Teachers include Vicki Attard (Australian Ballet), Sinead Vidler BA RAD CBTS, James Taylor (Royal Ballet; Sydney Dance Company), Emma Sandall (Bejart Ballet). Since moving to London in 2013, she has performed and created with; The Riverside Opera, The Wimbledon International Music Festival, Nutshell Dance Company, The London Contemporary Orchestra, Tempered Body Dance Theatre, The London College of Fashion, The Royal College of Music.
Alice's work is inspired by idiosyncracy, psychology, anatomical quirks and temporal dynamics. She works primarily in self-choreography but also teachess in West London.
Pomodoro [working title] is a work that compares the physical fragility of human life to that of a tomato. The work is self-aware of it's own absurdity; looks to explore our human experience with lightheartedness and joy.
Choreographed by Alice Weber
Performed by Rachel Elderkin