Nuno Silva: A Darker Shade of Fado

Nuno Silva's 'A Darker Shade of Fado' is a visually beautiful work which seeks to fuse the physicality of soul-bearing Fado music with contemporary dance, and a story of love and jealousy, set in the evocative historical old quarters of Lisbon.

Nuno Silva has worked in opera and musical theatre but is best known for his work with Henri Oguike, Javier de Frutos and Arthur Pita; while Fado has been included in his performances in recent years, this show allows him to fully explore the meeting point between dance and Fado.

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MurleyDance: 'Object of My Affection'

MurleyDance represents an enormous amount of passion, ambition and vision for Artistic Director David Murley; in spite of the challenges of sustaining a touring ballet company in this country, MurleyDance is now in its third year, and on its second nationwide tour with the first of this year's two mixed bills.

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In conversation with Drew McOnie– Part II



This is a continuation of a conversation between Elise Nuding and Drew McOnie in relation to The McOnie Company’s new production of Drunk. Read Part I here.

Elise Nuding: To my contemporary-dance oriented eye, ‘Drunk’ is a musical theatre show. The choreography itself, its specific physicalities, are very theatrical, and are what I associate with musical theatre. This is not a criticism, but that is how I perceived it…

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In conversation with Drew McOnie - Part I



Drew McOnie is the artistic director of the recently-launched McOnie Company, and choreographer/director of the new ‘theatre dance’ show, Drunk. Drunk is seventy-five minutes of alcohol-themed, high-energy song and dance, performed by an impressive eight-strong cast of dancer-singers and an excellent live band. It left me very entertained, but triggered many thoughts and questions about what it is that we do as dancers/choreographers and who we do it for. To unpack some of these thoughts, I sat down with Drew to hear a little more about the ideas behind Drunk. In this two-part conversation we pondered everything from bridging gaps within the industry and the importance of process, to accessibility and the role of stereotypes.

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Probe: 'Running On Empty'

Probe’s Running on Empty offers an eerie world inhabited by three individuals simultaneously detached from and tangled up with one another. Through a combination of music, sung vocals, spoken text, and movement, narratives are suggested, but never explained. The work opens with Probe’s Artistic Director Antonia Grove singing to Scott Smith’s folksy, bluesy sounds. As Grove steps back from the microphone, Greig Cooke’s twisting, articulate movements, punctuated by questions directed at Grove, set the tone for their tangled, convoluted relationship.

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Resolution! Suse Tietjen, Lucy Palmer Dance, Ihsaan De Banya & Kenny Wing Tao Ho

Suse Tietjen's 'Brother Of Sleep' stood out when I was researching the works in this year's Resolution: somewhere, I came across a blog explaining that Johannes Elias Alder, a fictional Austrian musical genius, was struggling with unrequited love when he was told "a true lover never sleeps", and so took his own life, having resolved never to sleep again. This was certainly a rich story to tackle through abstract dance.

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Resolution! Anecdotal Evidence, Pell Ensemble, Daisy Farris Dance Collective

The Laban crowds were out in force for the first Friday of Resolution 2014, with works by Laban CAT teacher William Aitchison and recent Transitions graduate Daisy Farris - as witnessed by the hearty response to one of William's jokes about Laban graduates at the start of a very mixed night of dance.

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CDF Update

We'd like to thank everyone who helped make 2013 such an incredible year for CDF - from the amazing choreographers and dancers who participated, our tireless team, our audiences and everyone who supported our work and helped make Lacuna and Showtime happen.

So, of course, a lot of people are asking us what happens next for CDF and most importantly, when the next festivals are!

A lot changed for CDF in 2013, so that affects how we'll be operating in future. As you probably know, CDF was on hold for two years, during which time I went freelance and interviewed a lot of people in the dance world from students and new graduates to established choreographers and artistic directors. Based on those interviews, and my own observations of the industry, there is a clear need for more concrete support for new and emerging dance artists, so that will be CDF's focus from now on. Therefore, Showtime, our November festival, was intended to trial and identify specific support needs, and to generate industry interest in building partnerships to help deliver that support.

As we don't want to do "just another platform again", before we can announce the next dates, we need to start building those partnerships and secure funding - as Showtime really taught us that we can't do this properly without funding.

It's early days, but what we want to be able to offer includes:
- free and/or subsidised rehearsal space for the duration of the creation period
- advice, support and where relevant, mentoring, through partners
- financial support
- travel bursary for artists based outside London
- comprehensive marketing support
- industry interest, eg commissions, residencies and bookings
- arranging post-festival packages of support, including mentoring
- arranging follow-up performances of new works

We're also committed to developing our package of professional development workshops, not only for dancers and choreographers, but also emerging dance photographers, writers and film-makers. This will also include panel discussions on a range of industry topics, and explore how they affect other artforms beyond dance.

So this means that we've got quite a bit of work to do before we can announce the next festival dates. If you'd like to participate in our upcoming festivals, please subscribe to our Future Festivals newsletter, and you'll be informed as soon as we're ready to announce the next dates. If you'd like to be updated about general CDF news, then please do subscribe to our regular newsletter, and if you'd like to discuss our work with us, then please do get in touch.

Chantal Guevara
Director & Producer

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Resolution! 2014 Roundup

Every year, The Place opens its doors to a vast number of artists from dance and neighbouring artforms, resulting in a month's worth of triple bills, many of them by unfamiliar or dimly familiar names. The Place is proud of the dance world's greats who presented their early works at Resolution - now in its 25th year - but to the untrained eye, it can be hard to tell what to watch.

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flyersIt's competition time! We have two amazing photos by James Rowbotham, as you can see, so we're asking you to recreate either image by yourself and/or with friends, and you could win a pair of tickets to see our festival on either 15th, 16th or 17th November.

Tweet us the photo at @clouddancefest, or post the photo to our Facebook page by Tuesday 12 November - we look forward to seeing your results!

We've got a really exciting lineup showcasing the best in emerging choreographers from Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham as well as London - do have a browse through our website to find out more about them!

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We're Crowdfunding!

We're thrilled that we've received Arts Council funding to cover the core costs of our November festival, but we need your support to help us make this festival the success it can be, and to have the chance to play a pivotal role in the careers of the choreographers and dancers we work with.

This won't be just any festival; please visit our crowdfunding campaign which our wonderful Development Manager, Camilla Halford, has prepared, along with an explanation of why this festival is so significant and why your help is so important. We've also devised ways for you to become more involved with what we do, and to enjoy our work in a variety of formats.

Our crowdfunding campaign is here:

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All Change!

After producing thirteen festivals on a frayed shoestring of a budget, we are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded Arts Council England funding for our upcoming festival, Showtime, which will enable us to start exploring ways to develop Cloud Dance Festival further, in order to become a more vital resource for the emerging dance industry. We're also focussing on the ancillary fields of dance photography, writing and video, and developing professional development programmes to assist people entering these fields.

The other exciting news at Cloud Dance Festival Towers is that our team has grown significantly, thanks to our Arts Council grant: we'd like to welcome Tom Crawshaw, a freelance venue and arts festival manager who has many years' experience of managing and producing Buxton Fringe Festival and Oxford Fringe; Camilla Halford, an independent arts manager with an impressive track record of development and strategy, and is currently working with IJAD Dance Company; Vanessa Pope, a freelance theatre and cabaret producer; and last but by no means least, Eleanor Turney, a freelance editor and PR specialist - among many other skills.

Tom Crawshaw joins Cloud Dance Festival as Assistant Producer; Camilla Halford is joining us as Development Manager; Vanessa Pope is working with us as a Marketing Consultant, and Eleanor Turney is our PR Consultant.

In the meantime, do enjoy our impressive new lineup for our next festival... it's Showtime!

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November festival: call for applications

Following our relaunch festival in July, we are seeking applications for our next festival!

Cloud Dance Festival is a contemporary dance and ballet platform aimed at showcasing the most talented artists working in the industry, and at providing a platform where their work will be seen and appreciated by audiences new to dance as well as industry members.

Our next festival, Showtime, will be held at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London on 15 - 17 November. The application deadline will be Sunday 29 September.

Applications are open to everyone working in contemporary dance or contemporary ballet, whether you are a new graduate or a more established artist. Pieces should be completed by the time of performance and last up to 15 minutes in length, however we also have limited slots for pieces up to 20 minutes in length.

We will provide all performers with a DVD and photos of their work, as well as reviews for their future use.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 29 September 2013. We will notify all applicants within two days.

You can find information about our information and selection process on this site, or on our applications microsite

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Volunteers Needed

Do you have a spare few hours? Would you be able to help us with the preparation for our next festival?

We anxiously need volunteers to help with PR, marketing and admin, as well as volunteers to help during the festival itself - we need people who are happy to muck in and get started straight away.

If so, please get in touch, and we'll find something for you to do!

Please email us with a bit of information about you and a copy of your CV to [email protected]

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Reviewers Sought

Cloud Dance Festival is a platform for emerging artists, and we are committed to providing our participants with at least two reviews per evening, as part of our support.

The next Cloud Dance Festival will be held on 5 - 7 July at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London, with 6 or 7 different short works presented each night.

We are seeking dance reviewers who can commit to covering the Saturday night (6 July) of the festival, and submitting the reviews within 10 days. The reviews will be published on our website.

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Please Support Us

We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help us cover the costs of our upcoming festival so that we can focus on using our proceeds from our ticket sales on supporting the artists participating in this festival, all of whom are unfunded and have had to pay for all the costs incurred in creating and/or preparing their works for our festival.

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New Website!

Hello, and welcome to our new website. We wanted to launch our new festival, crowdfunding campaign and website all on the same day - but rather than delaying things any longer, we've released a partial website for now, and will be adding back all the usual pages over the next few days. They're still there, if you want to search for them, though!

Please bear with us while this new website settles into place - we couldn't wait any longer to show it to you.

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