Goat Girl headline In the Round Festival TONIGHT at the Roundhouse – In Conversation with the band’s Holly Hole!

Goat Girl headline the second night of In the Round this evening with support from PVA and Flâneuse. We caught up with the band’s Holly Hole before they perform tonight.

How did Goat Girl start out? What inspired the name of your band?

Lottie, Ellie and Naima started making music together as teenagers and Rosy joined when they needed a drummer a few years later. I (Holly) joined in 2018 when Naima left and the rest is history. I believe the name was Naima’s Dad’s suggestion initially, but it’s not hugely significant of anything.

What inspires your music?

Lots of things. Sonically it’s a combination of all our different and shared musical (and even non-musical) preferences. Lyrically it’s often about our personal experiences and trying to make sense of the world.

Tell us about your second album ‘On All Fours’ released last year.

Where to start? The album was written from the ground up in 2019 and was an entirely collaborative process, which saw us experimenting with new sounds and instruments, often switching around to write parts. We recorded it with Dan Carey and Alexis Smith, who helped us fuse together the raw and electronic elements and encouraged us to push the boundaries sonically. It was a hugely challenging and rewarding process and we’re very proud of it.

Previously you have joined with environmental charity Clientearth in creating Playlists For Earth – tell us about it. Any other social themes/issues you would like to address through your music?

We were approached to create a playlist where the song titles created a message about climate change. It seemed like a fun and interesting way to show our support, so we were happy to be involved. We are a relatively active group of leftists so it’s not unusual for social and political issues to make their way into our music. It’s not necessarily a conscious thing, it’s more about how we’re feeling and/or what we’re concerned about at the time of writing.

What will you be performing at the In the Round festival? Are you looking forward to watching PVA and Flaneuse who are supporting?

Mostly songs from On All Fours, with some special surprises thrown in. PVA are always so fun to watch and we’re excited to check out Flâneuse.

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Website: goatgirl.co.uk

Goat Girl headline the second night of In the Round Tuesday 18th Jan, with support from PVA and Flâneuse. Last tickets here: https://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2022/in-the-round-festival-2022

Second album ‘On All Fours’ is out now on Rough Trade Records.
https://open.spotify.com/album/6DcAHOjKGAzytkGp7DNrbE

In the Round Festival, 15th – 24th January 2022

The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, London, NW1 8EH More info and tickets from roundhouse.org.uk

15th January 2022 – Hak Baker presents Bricks in the Wall with Connie Constance, Rachel Chinouriri, Bel Cobain and Kai Kwasi

18th January 2022 – Goat Girl, with support from PVA and Flâneuse

19th January 2022 – Emeli Sandé + support

20th January 2022 – Richard Dawson, with support from Luca Manning

22nd January 2022, 6.30pm – ‘The Birth of Punjabi Garage’ screening, plus q&a with Yung Singh

22nd January 2022 – The Kingdom Choir + support

24th January 2022 – Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal, with support from Abel Selaocoe

Akeim Toussaint Buck In Conversation-Radical Visions, Wild Card at Sadler’s Wells, 20th & 21st Jan

Abundant Art is delighted to chat with Akeim Toussaint Buck in the run up to his upcoming show. On Thursday 20 and Friday 21 January, Sadler’s Wells welcomes Akeim Toussaint Buck to the Lilian Baylis Studio to present his Wild Card, Radical Visions with an ensemble of artists. 

 The  curated evening features live music, spoken word, film and powerful performances by artists who work with the themes of social transformation and diasporic identity. It celebrates the resilience and joy of the artists’ communities whilst underlining the oppression and trauma they face. 

Akeim Toussaint Buck’s interview with Abundant Art-

What does dance mean to you?

Dance for me is a means of healing. We heal when we express ourselves and for me dance has been an expressive tool of deep healing and liberation that I don’t even have the words to truly communicate. So, I create, and I teach to hopefully strike others with that message and truth. For me this is what every expressive art form does for us.

Your work covers multiple art forms to tell the story, combining dance, creative writing, film, poetry, beat-box, singing and acting. What inspires you to work on multiple artforms?

Humanity speaks many languages so it’s only right my message is delivered in multiple mediums. Sometimes my work is just dance however the process to create the dance is fed by different mediums. Source material can be poetry and sometimes it’s a film or a specific song or an interview or a situation etc. In the context of a finished product, for me to get my message across one medium just doesn’t cut it. As a creator whose focus is on people and their stories, I feel it necessary to exercise my skills in many ways, telling stories that can open up new perspectives for audiences. This also bridges the gaps between audiences, inviting regular theatre goers, dance enthusiasts, supporters of poetry and live music to be in one space. Or someone who’s simply interested in the subject matter, so they come to witness art like this for the first time and they hopefully become hooked because their appetite is enriched with so many different flavours.

What are the elements that spur you when creating new work?

Ascension, curiosity of clarity, enlightenment, challenging myself and questioning collective accepted norms that we all know deep down should be questioned. I’ll give an example: in ‘Windows of Displacement’ & ‘Displaced’ I was adamant to use my own story as a springboard to look at global situations of injustice related to displacement. I was adamant to show the connections between what has taken place in the past and the current political climate we live in. The purpose becomes the fuel, even when I’m trembling inside questioning my position to tell this story and thinking no one will care. The passion to reveal something in the work keeps me going, digging and breaking my own fears around exercising my right to freedom of speech.

What is the Radical Visions story, how did it come about?

The opportunity to do a Wild Card came about because I asked for it and kept putting myself out there and my willingness to bet on myself and the artists I have programmed. You must back yourself first or else no one else will.

I went to a couple of other artist’s Wild Cards and was inspired by this idea of curating your own night. I took part in Spoken Movement and Keira Martin’s Wild Cards, and both were earth shatteringly brilliant, so I felt excited to express to the programmers that I am interested in hosting my own. They liked my track record and ideas after a chat and then we began to plan.

I thought long and hard since 2019 on what I would bring together. At first it was How we Rise, a nod to the late great Ms Maya Angelou. However, as the pandemic hit and my own confidence in my profession became shaken and the sudden global lens placed on the plight of People of the Global Majority (People of African Descent and Indigenous People), it became apparent that something more heart centred and focussed on us lifting ourselves out of the doom and celebrating our inner power had to be the theme. Radical Visions is born as a response to all things that we find lacking in our society, it’s a soap box for the people our society likes to forget. This Radical Visions is about placing people of the African Diaspora who live in the west at the centre of the lens rather than at the margins. That’s why I’ve programmed artists of that identification and who make work that reflects on that experience.

Does the theme of Radical Visions reflect your own experiences of diasporic identity?

The theme of Radical Visions transforms to reflect my diasporic identity in the form of being the product of a radical imagination and radical environments. Being of the African Diaspora in a predominantly European environment means my experience is unique, this society was not built for me to fit in it fairly. However, I am here and the society, regardless of its foundations, has to treat me with humility and respect as a fellow human being. It sometimes doesn’t, it sometimes does beat me down in numerous ways but still we are here beaming with greatness. This is testimony to the radical persistence of oppressed people. The truth is like a lion’s roar and this roar is saying we are human beings and that we deserve to be treated the same as anyone no matter where we are from or what you may believe about us. I do feel it is sad though that something so natural is now radical, that is a reflection of our times. Love, compassion and empathy are now radical.

Radical Visions also talks about the oppressions and trauma faced by the artists’ community and their resilience. Please elaborate and share your thoughts with us.

The artists in Radical Visions all come from the African Diaspora, this means we are descendants of the enslaved people taken from Africa for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This act literally funded the world we now live in, and the atrocities enacted to such close relatives are inherited by us. Not just us the descendants of victims but the perpetrators too. This is not just focused on this situation; this is the same for the descendants of survivors and victims of World War One and Two. Scientists have proven that we do inherit the traumas of our ancestors, the experience is in our DNA. Some Artists decide to make work that ushers us into the possibility of healing those parts of ourselves, by giving space to what has not been acknowledged. Our painful pasts become fuel for our creations as we rewrite, re-experience, explore and give new life to it. We transform this pain into something beautiful and transformational for the audience, ourselves and our communities. This is the same for our communities, regardless of the attempts of genocide of traditions and people. Traditions continue to thrive and evolve, we continue to dance, sing, drum, and tell our folklore stories of our magic. As if during slavery the drum was banned but still, we found a way.

Just a side note, I truly believe that the time we live in now is a time where the inheritors of such resilience will become the leaders of tomorrow because now more than ever, we need creativity so we can adapt to this quickly changing world.

Creative expression is a vehicle of healing that everyone can practice to get to know themselves. Our communities did this during pre-colonial times and they still do because of the resilience of the act of creating. Again, this isn’t necessarily isolated to people of recent African decent however, due to the times we live in, we see people of African heritage practicing more dance and song communally because it is and always has been our pass time, before, during and after the slave trade. This is what my entire message is, at the core of all of us we have the same need, the need to express and be heard. This expression transforms depending on who we are, the acceptance of a diverse landscape of expressions is the Radical Vision.

Your presentation at Wild Card on 20th and 21st are packed with powerful work from a team of amazing co-artists exploring topical themes such as race, identity, unity, and power.  What led you to select the team?

I selected the artists for Radical Visions based on the intention I felt from their work and them as people. Both companies aim to shed light on the many dimensions of what it means to live an African diasporic life. This was something crucial for this Radical Visions. I also contemplated whether this opportunity or event makes sense for their career and their projection of themselves. They had to want to do the event of course, this was super important. I am really happy with all involved, everyone connects to the theme and their work will shine and connect with people. FUBUNATION and Alethia Antonia are rewriting and expanding the possibilities of how people receive work, not just because of their identity but because of their ability to be relatable, vulnerable, with flaming hot movement language and potent messages without excluding their audience. This for me is a genius balance in being an artist and I just want to tip my hat to them.

Lastly, the cover poster for Radical Vision with a flaming Akeim Toussaint Buck leaping out of a stained-glass background with flying locks is absolutely striking. It tells the audience what can be expected from your performance. We would love to know about this image and if this is a part of a performance.

Pertaining to the picture. That is the great synchronicity of myself and Ashley Karrell, the photographer. This church is a location in the film ‘Displaced,’ yes, some dancing takes place. You’ll have to catch the film to see exactly how. It is a very beautiful image, full of symbolism and metaphor, it felt perfect to promote Radical Visions. As you may know Christianity was used to mentally indoctrinate many people who were subject to biological and cultural genocides, for example, Africans and Native Americans. To have myself dressed as this mystical African Angel Warrior, leaping out of this stained-glass window, represents breaking the mental chains. Don’t get me wrong, Christianity really and truly started in Africa, don’t believe me, read up on Ethiopian and the Egyptian connections to it.

The hunter not the hunted tells the story so when the European powers at the time were ready to spread their version across the world, the tactics were placed in scripture. So, for me it’s really an image saying we can connect to the god all around us in the traditional way our ancestors used to. And I’m not just talking about African spirituality, I’m talking about the Druids and ancient Celtic and Nordic cultures. It was about the Earth and the Spirit of the Universe as god and that lives in us.

-End-

Radical Visions is Co-Produced by Sadler’s Wells and Akeim Toussaint Buck for Wild Card. Radical Visions is also a part of Sadler’s Wells’ new programme Well Seasoned, Celebrating Black Dance in 2022.

Other artists featuring are London-based dance duo FUBUNATION, Ashley Karrell, Azizi Cole, Otis Jones, Pariss Elecktra, Amy Gadiaga and Muti Musifiri. Akeim Toussaint image by photographer Ashley Karrell.

Tickets:Wild Card: Akeim Toussaint Buck – Radical Visions – Lilian Baylis Studio – Sadler’s Wells (sadlerswells.com)

About Wild Card

Wild Card is the unique initiative providing a glimpse of the rich variety of work that makes up the current dance landscape. Increasingly popular with audiences and artists alike, Wild Card opens the stage to an exciting and adventurous community of dance-makers, giving a broad range of artists the unique opportunity to curate their own evening of dance. These specially curated nights feature exploratory approaches to choreography and combine different mediums, broadening audiences’ perspectives on dance made today.

Wild Card is part of Sadler’s Wells’ talent development programme of support for dance artists, alongside other initiatives including New Wave Associates, Sadler’s Wells Summer University and hosting the National Youth Dance Company.

About Akeim Toussaint Buck

Akeim Toussaint Buck is an interdisciplinary performer and maker, born in Jamaica and raised in England. Akeim’s intention is to create moving, thought provoking, accessible and free-spirited projects. The work challenges, enlightens and entertains in a visceral way, calling on multiple art forms to tell the story. Audiences are invited to not just observe: they are implicit in the experience. His work aims to reflect on reality, looking at ongoing socio-political issues, with a humanitarian intention.

Since graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance with a Bachelor degree in Performing Arts, Akeim has been involved in multiple cross disciplinary programmes with a wide range of artists and communities from around the world. The aesthetic of his work combines: dance, creative writing, film, poetry, beat-box, singing and acting. Fused to tell stories capable of bridging the gaps between a variety of audiences.

Akeim’s movement interest has a myriad of inspirations, from Capoeira, Kick Boxing, Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation, Caribbean Dance, Hip Hop, Yoga and Release Technique to name a few. His performance focus expands from the physical to vocal expression. Building on an interest in the voice’s expressive qualities, with current explorations of beat boxing and vocal improvisation.

Recent achievements include becoming Irie Dance Theatre’s, Artist in Residence for 2019-2020, becoming the Artist for Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Yorkshire Dance and Spin Arts’ Catapult 2019. Thanks to Deda Theatre in Derby where Akeim has been recently appointed Associate Artist 2020-2021, gaining more support in his work. Thanks to Geraldine Connor Foundation where Akeim is an Associate Artist. Attaining a Seed Commission for piloting Beatmotion Mass for Leeds Year of Culture 2023.

Akeim’s work has been supported by Yorkshire Dance, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Inspired, IRIE! Dance Theatre, Spin Arts, Serendipity, NSCD, Sadler’s Wells and Arts Council England. His choreographic work includes: Snakebox’s PLAY, Windows Of Displacement, Reckoning, Sib Y Osis, Beatmotion, Souls & Cells etc. Film work includes Galvanise & Displaced.

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook:
@toussainttomov

www.toussainttomove.com

 

 

 

 

 

Interior Designer Kate Conrad pens a thoughtful reflection on Jane Austen’s work – In Conversation

Kate Conrad, an interior design specialist at Madison and Mayfair, has always found literature a source of inspiration in her work. To celebrate the life of the author, Kate pens a thoughtful reflection on Austen’s work. She tells us how her writings work to make us all better individuals.

1) We hear you have written a thoughtful reflection on Austen’s work. Can you tell us what inspired this and where we can read it? How has this inspired your work?

My design work has always been inspired by literary greats – I’ve been outspoken in the past about the influence of the likes of Wilde and Fitzgerald on my design work. Jane Austen’s representation of Regency-era style is unmatched, and her work has provided great inspiration for a number of my design projects. I wrote the piece around the time of national Jane Austen Day, which was celebrated in December 2021, to share why her writing is still so pertinent today – not just in terms of her influence on my design, but her influence on myself as a person too. The full piece is up on Madison & Mayfair’s website with our other articles if you’d like to read it.

2) As an interior design specialist working in a creative field how important is it for you to find inspiration?

Creative inspiration is absolutely crucial to what I do. For anyone working in a creative field, whether they are an interior designer like me, or a musician, writer or artist, finding inspiration is essential to the craft. Such inspiration can come from anywhere, and you may find yourself inspired by anything – for me, inspiration comes largely in the form of literature.

3) Besides books, what other things motivate your creativity?

Truthfully, a lot of my motivation comes directly from my career path. I began my career as a schoolteacher and later decided to pursue interior design as it was something I felt incredibly passionate about. There’s a Japanese concept called ‘ikigai’ which refers to the balanced fulfillment you find when your talents and passions converge; my vocational switch allowed me to find this balance, and it’s the gratification I get from doing what I love that motivates me.

4) Before Jane Austen were there any other authors or creative personalities you have closely associated your work with?

My design work has been inspired by a host of literary figures. F. Scott Fitzgerald, for example, is practically synonymous with the Art Deco movement and the roaring 20s in America. Art Deco design is always cycling back into style, and it’s a timeless style I love using to embody in my work. Beyond aesthetics, though, Fitzgerald was an author who romanticised the very concept of timelessness, longing for the golden hour of youth to be preserved so it could remedy the symptoms of life’s harsh reality. Fitzgerald lauded Art Deco aesthetic grandeur – not for merely superficial cause, but because it represented a comforting escape from the world outside. Fitzgerald’s philosophy is one I strive to encapsulate in my work.

5) What are you working on at the moment?

We launched a number of soft furnishing items over the Winter, which was a new and exciting exploration for our company. At the moment, though, I’m getting ready to launch a new product range full of products from really varying interests. Of course, I find my primary inspiration in literature, but in these new ranges, I’ve worked with a lot of new décor styles from around the world to expand my creativity. I can’t spill too many details, but I can say that I’m super excited!

6) Why could we all do with a bit more of Austen’s spirit in our lives?

Austen was a revolutionary of her time but managed to hide her assessments of strict Regency morality behind a veil of sarcasm. She drew attention to the confining reality faced by women in her contemporary era to provide a commentary on society’s downfalls. For all her vigorous, moralistic appraisals, though, Austen also offers her readership hope. Her female protagonists embodied hope for the future, where women would have the freedom to be witty and quick, not befitting of the defined mould they were expected to fit. Austen blended the real and the ideal, revealing society’s shortcomings while instilling optimism for women in the future. When you cast your eyes over the global landscape we’re in right now, it’s undeniable that moral assessment is needed, but it is equally true that hope is something we could all use a little more of.

7) Austen’s writing served an important moral purpose in its revelation of the inequalities and injustices of society. Her writing often tried to expose the confining realities of women and their position in society. Do you see any change in women’s position in society in 2022?

The women in Jane Austen’s novels had a lot to contend with when it came to their restricted societal position. In Regency-era Britain, women were not allowed to have independent careers, but were merely to hope for a companionate and a wealthy husband on whom they could rely upon would appear. Though women don’t experience this same type of restriction in 2022, their place in society is not held without struggle. Events of the last year or so have demonstrated the demoralising and deep-rooted prevalence of misogyny in our society. Though I’m sure many may be feeling despondent, we must remember that what is happening is categorically wrong. Stay optimistic and keep breaking glass ceilings – change, though perhaps slow, will be inevitable.

8) Sustainability is currently very topical. What steps is the interior design industry taking to be part of this journey?

Enacting sustainable practices is something every industry must do, and interior design is no different. Companies should be taking the lifecycle of products into account, and refrain from making products that are quickly replaced. Sustainable materials must also be utilised further. To use myself as an example, I’ve worked to embody tireless trends in my products, to ensure they stand the test of time. Moreover, as sustainable practices have grown in prevalence, companies dedicated to enacting them have grown too. At our events, we’ve enlisted the help of Delta Global to ensure our packaging met sustainability standards – outsourcing is a great option when it comes to sustainability measures, and has helped us greatly in the past.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

Kate Conrad is the lead interior designer for homeware company Madison & Mayfair. She is an avid reader of literary classics, who combines her love of design with the works of her favourite literary figures, creating unique artistic products. Kate draws on her favourite authors in her design work, combining timeless trends with modern sensibilities. Her free time is spent travelling, absorbing the spirit of design of every place she visits, and she cherishes moments spent with her family and friends.

 

 

Multi award winning choreographer Mark Baldwin OBE speaks about his journey with ‘Inala’ on its West End Premiere at the Peacock

Abundant Art’s Protima Chatterjee spoke with Mark Baldwin before the show and here is what he had to share about his experience with Inala.

Inala, a Zulu Ballet is a product of a unique collaboration between the Grammy Award winning South African Soweto Gospel Choir and leading dancers from London. The dancers are drawn from the Royal Ballet, Rambert, Richard Alston Dance Company and Company Wayne McGregor.

Presented by Sisters Grimm and choreographed by multi-award-winning choreographer Mark Baldwin OBE, it is an engaging, enjoyable and a trailblazing stage production. The Grammy nominated musical score is not only sung but danced by the Gospel choir singers. They touch the audience deeply with their overwhelming stage presence. The dancers are strong and chiselled – their powerful emotive performance leaves the audience gasping. Mark Baldwin’s artistic vision is perfectly translated through this mesmerising storytelling of the ‘abundance of goodwill’ or Inala in Zulu. It is a coming together of diverse cultures, artistic disciplines and backgrounds in one power packed presentation – a must watch!

Inala will run from April 30th to May 18th at the Peacock Theatre, Sadlers Wells

Nafisah Baba, winner of BBC Young Dancer 2017-exclusive interview with Abundant Art in the run up to Sadler’s Wells Sampled-2 & 3 February 2018.

Nafisah Baba winner of the contemporary category and overall winner of BBC Young Dancer 2017 competition presents Inescapable at Sadler’s Wells Sampled, a work created by her for last year’s competition.

1.Winning BBC Young Dancer 2017 is a milestone in your career. Congratulations Nafisah! How did it feel when your name was announced?

Thank you! To be honest, I don’t even remember how I felt – it was all such a blur but I do know I was just completely shocked!! I think it only properly sunk in when I was holding the trophy after walking on stage and just taking in the audience in front of me. I’ll never forget that moment.

2. What are your key learnings from your successful participation?

There are a few key things I learnt from participating in Young Dancer. 1. Always be true to yourself. 2. Don’t be so hard on yourself and always stay humble. 3. It’s amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself. 4. Supporting and giving others confidence does amazing things, don’t forget to do it! I learnt a great deal in and out of the studio alone, in rehearsals with my mentor and choreographer and each round of the competition. Reflecting to that whole period in 2017, it was 6 months of continual growth and learning, even if I was unaware of it at some points.

3. How do you think you grew as a performer from Chrysalis London to BBC Young Dancer and after?

I had many performance experiences with Chrysalis London, each one being so different, and as the shows went by, I began to feel more at ease with being on stage. Each performance gave me a little more confidence and experience. As an artist, people will be watching you and you must find a way to be comfortable with that, even if deep down you are incredibly nervous at the thought of performing to an audience or being on stage. The years I spent with Chrysalis London not only helped me achieve this but helped me enjoy the process as well despite the nerves.

If I’m honest, I am usually a complete nervous wreck before I go on stage! But once I start dancing, I get so lost in the movement and with what I’m doing that sometimes I forget people are watching me. There are times where I feel at ease and safe on stage, and BBC Young Dancer helped me find this. Everything that has helped me develop from Chrysalis and BBC Young Dancer will always stay with me, and I hope to continue this growth with Phoenix Dance Theatre and beyond.

4. What has been your biggest challenge in your dance journey?

There have been many challenges in my dance journey, but the biggest challenge would have to be realising and believing in myself and my true potential, something I would have never been able to truly do had it not been for Jodie Blemings, Chrysalis, and the support in that environment, as well as from my friends and family outside.

5. How do you prep yourself before a performance? Any rituals before you go on stage?

I do a few things to prep myself before a performance. I make sure I’ve eaten properly and while doing this I’ll chill out and listen to some music to keep me feeling calm. On the day or the evening of the performance, I don’t like to think about the performance in too much detail too early otherwise I tend to start panicking and building up unnecessary nerves. After a while I’ll start warming up, either in the studio or the dressing room and do a ballet barre and core exercises. I’m completely in my zone at this point! Once I’m warm, I’ll play the music I’ll be dancing to and go over my solo several times while visualising what I’ll be doing on stage. I find this really helps me with nerves and gets me focused.

6. What might you be doing if you were not in this career?

I do sometimes wonder, in a parallel universe what I would be doing if I wasn’t dancing. There are many things I can think of that I’d love to do, but I can’t say I know what I’d definitely do. Dance has been part of my life for the most of it and to dance professionally has always been an ambition of mine. I think I’d probably still be doing something physical, I’ve always loved sports (sometimes more than dance!), and I considered taking netball seriously during my high school years. On the other hand, I love writing, so maybe I would have studied and gone to university!

7. How do you define contemporary dance and its use in the current artistic environment?

How would I define Contemporary dance? That’s a hard question, there are so many definitions, but I would say it’s an incredibly expressive style of dance that connects the body with the mind with movement. It’s a style that combines elements and includes and values collaborations of other different dance styles too. Contemporary dance has no boundaries to movement, ideas, and you don’t have to ‘fit a certain mould’ to do or succeed in it.

8. What is it that inspires you as an artist?

There are many things that inspire me as an artist. 1. The people I surround myself with. 2. The companies and dancers that I aspire to be like and have inspired me to dance for years. 3. Hearing and seeing people’s reactions, (dancers and non-dancers especially), to seeing dance that moves them. 4. My own reactions and feelings to seeing something that moves me. 4. The feeling and the freedom dancing gives me. 5. The opportunities it can give and the places it can take people.

9. Is collaborative work across multiple art forms exciting for you?

 It really does excite me when new art forms can be created through collaborations! It keeps dance fresh and current and also presents and gives more credit and exposure to art forms and techniques that people may not be as familiar with. You can learn so much simply just from watching other art forms and their disciplines. I found this happened when I first joined Chrysalis. We were a hub of different styles and the things we learnt from each other were so valuable. Sharing and valuing each other’s styles changed my movement positively and made me realise the possibilities of movement and where it can take you. I believe you are a product of your environment and each environment contributes to you as an individual.  Admiring styles I had never worked with or even seen before allowed me to explore my body and make shapes I didn’t realise were possible, and when these things maybe didn’t work out, new pathways and movement was discovered for the first time. I think this can be such a beautiful moment.

10. Apart from dance any other activities you are interested in?

I love to draw, write and if I had the time I would pick up a few sports again!

11. What’s your next big aspiration?

I’m still trying to figure out my next aspiration. My aspiration two years ago was to join a professional touring company and I’ve just recently joined Phoenix Dance Theatre. I have many plans for my dance career and fresh ideas, but I want to wait and experience a little bit more before I figure out what my next aspiration will be. I would love to travel to different countries and experience dance and the culture there later on in life, and I dream about having my own mentoring scheme in the future (after my career)!

12. A message from you for all the aspiring young dancers who aim to walk in your footsteps with BBC Young Dancer and beyond?

To the next BBC Young Dancers, remember it’s not always about the winning and being the best. What you learn throughout is what is most valuable and how it can positively change you as an artist and an individual. I always say, winning was just the cherry on top of the cake for me. Also, don’t let the pressure of anything take away the joy, opportunity and experience you are being offered. Live in every moment and have no regrets!

Sadler’s Wells Sampled, features world-class dance and a series of workshops and foyer activities, on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 February 2018. The festival gives audiences a chance to experience the broad range of dance presented at Sadler’s Wells  Following its London run, Sampled will then tour to The Lowry, Salford Quays as part of The Movement, a producing partnership for dance between Sadler’s Wells, The Lowry and Birmingham Hippodrome. Sampled features a wide variety of dance, from classical ballet to hip hop, contemporary and flamenco.
For full line up and ticket information https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/sadlers-wells-sampled/

 

‘Art is in constant oscillation and research. It’s human nature to want evolution. Dance is no different’…..Zenaida Yanowsky, Former Principal of The Royal Ballet in conversation- in the run up to Sadler’s Wells Sampled – 2 & 3 February 2018

Zenaida Yanowsky performs Dying Swan (at Sadler’s Wells Sampled on both days, evening performances)….A solo created specifically for the ballet dancer Anna Pavlova by Mikhail Fokine in 1905, set to Camille Saint-Saëns’s cello solo Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of the Animals).

1.What does dance mean to you and how according to you has dance evolved over the years?

Dance for me means communicating experiences or feelings and energies through movement.  Dance has physically and technically evolved at fast speed but the soul of the art form remains the same”.

2.What is the most memorable moment in your 23 years with the Royal Ballet?

I don’t think I can single out a memorable moment because 23 years at the Royal Ballet carries so many amazing experiences… but in the sense of achievement, there’s two that I could probably highlight

First, is when I was made Principal Dancer as it meant I was ready to explore all those amazing roles.

Second would be my first performance after having my kids. 

I will never forget that overwhelming emotional rollercoaster”.

3. Do you dance better when you are happy or when you are sad?/Do you think personal emotions and feelings can affect your craft and have an impact on the performance?

I prefer to be in a neutral state of mind but there’s been times where my personal emotional state has had an impact both negative or positive depending on the day”.

4. If you were to start a dance school like your parents, where would it be?

I don’t know… the idea scares me”.

5.You have performed some of the most notable classical roles in your career. Which

Is the closest to your heart?

Hard to answer… better ask the audience”.

You think you performed the best?

On the day, all of them. The following day, none of them”.

You feel you could have done even better?

All of them! The sense of improvement never ends”.

6. Ballet has journeyed through its romantic period to neoclassical to contemporary. How do you perceive the various stages of change?

Art is in constant oscillation and research. It’s human nature to want evolution. Dance is no different”.

7. Dying Swan, the legendary piece you are performing at Sadler’s Sampled was originally made for and performed by Anna Pavlova. Pavlova besides being a renowned Ballerina is known for her multicultural collaborations in dance at a time when the world did not know the term globalisation. What did you think about Pavlova’s path breaking partnerships, for example with Uday Shankar, the Indian dance pioneer? What are your thoughts about two cultures coming together to co- create?

 “Pavlova’s hunger for researching new experiences in her dancing and therefore collaborations was obviously insatiable, and that’s why she was such a pioneer of dance. 

I love cultures coming together…not only in dance…”.

8. Do you see yourself choreographing at any stage?

 ” No. But then… life sometimes surprises you”.

9.Words to live by? Or what would be your advice for young aspiring dancers?

Don’t waste time and don’t worry if the path is not flat. A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner”.

Image: Zenaida Yanowsky as Sylvia in a Royal Ballet production of Sylvia, 7 March 2008. (C) Scillystuff on English Wikepedia

Sadler’s Wells Sampled, features world-class dance and a series of workshops and foyer activities, on Friday 2 & Saturday 3 February 2018. The festival gives audiences a chance to experience the broad range of dance presented at Sadler’s Wells  Following its London run, Sampled will then tour to The Lowry, Salford Quays as part of The Movement, a producing partnership for dance between Sadler’s Wells, The Lowry and Birmingham Hippodrome. Sampled features a wide variety of dance, from classical ballet to hip hop, contemporary and flamenco.
For full line up and ticket information  https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2018/sadlers-wells-sampled/

 

Family Weekend 14 -15 April Sadler’s Wells— Aracaladanza – Vuelos

Family Weekend, Sadler’s Wells’ annual two-day festival of family-friendly events, returns on Friday 14 & Saturday 15 April 2017-offering something for all ages with fun activities, arts & crafts and workshops complementing the show on the Sadler’s Wells stage: Aracaladanza’s Vuelos. Multi award-winning company Aracaladanza returns to the UK with Vuelos, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quest to make man fly. Choreographer Enrique Cabrera uses Aracaladanza’s trademark style to make dancers canter like horses, make a mess at the dinner table, play with fluttering birds and grow wings of their own.
Arcladanza – Choreographer Enrique Cabrera uses Aracaladanza’s trademark joyful style to make dancers canter like horses, make a mess at the dinner table, play with fluttering birds and grow wings of their own, to create a magical show which will make your imagination soar.
In the foyers, there will be lots of activities to entertain before and after the show– free fun, games, crafts and activities, for the whole familyHighlights include an interactive performance, storytelling and ceilidh dancing.
Performance Time
Fri at 3pm
Sat at 11am & 3.30pm
Foyer activites from 1pm to 4.30pm on Friday; and 10am to 5pm on Saturday. Events listed below.
Friday
Refreshment 1pm – 3pm FOX GARDEN COURT CAFÉ Family-friendly food served all day with colouring activities to entertain while at table.
Arts & Crafts Activities 1pm – 4:30pm MEZZANINE & FIRST CIRCLE There will be lots of activities to entertain before and after the show. Arts and crafts activities include hat making, origami birds, decorated wooden spoons, stained glass and screen printing sessions.
Ceilidh with The Ceilidh Liberation Front 1:15pm LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Featuring a small army of virtuoso musicians collected from the four corners of the land, planted in the soils of Britain’s rich traditional music history, watered by years of playing, exploring, collaborating and innovating, and now blossoming together in this new-old-beautiful-fantastical formation, the CLF combines music, dance, and a generous sprinkling of theatricals to bring this unique experience to the world. Ceilidh music as you’ve never heard (or seen) it before, make sure you bring your dancing shoes. Duration: 45 Minutes
Dance activities Casson & Friends present The Dance WE Made 1:30pm – 3pm ROSEBERY ROOM The Dance WE Made is the Record Breaking interactive dance performance that invites the whole family to be choreographers – no experience required! The project roams public spaces, inviting members of the public to devise original choreography in collaboration with UK based dancer and choreographer Tim Casson and The Dance WE Made Team. The newly created dances are then performed by The Dance WE Made Team at 4pm along with a workshop.
Storytelling with Vanessa Woolf 2:15pm LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Vanessa will take listeners on an adventure with a story inspired by da Vinci’s wish to make man fly. This interactive and engaging session will demonstrate the value of hard work, supported by the loving family bond. Duration: 25 Minutes
Performance Aracaladanza – Vuelos 3pm SADLER’S WELLS THEATRE Multi award-winning company Aracaladanza returns to the UK with Vuelos, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quest to make man fly. Choreographer Enrique Cabrera uses Aracaladanza’s trademark style to make dancers canter like horses, make a mess at the dinner table, play with fluttering birds and grow wings of their own.Duration: 50 Minutes
Dance activities The Dance WE Made performance and ‘Let’s Make a Dance’ Workshop 4pm – 4.30pm ROSEBERY ROOM Following each performance Dance Artist, Tim Casson of Casson & Friends invites you to make a dance with him in this fun creative dance workshop for all the family. Based on his Record Breaking interactive performance, ‘The Dance WE Made’, this engaging workshop gives everyone the chance to make your own unique dances – with no experience required! It’s accessible fun for all, and celebrates the creativity in everyone, so come along and “Let’s Make a Dance”!
Saturday
Refreshment-10am – 5pm FOX GARDEN COURT CAFÉ
Arts & Crafts Activities 10am – 5pm MEZZANINE & FIRST CIRCLE
Dance activities Casson & Friends present The Dance WE Made 10am – 11am ROSEBERY ROOM
Storytelling with Vanessa Woolf 10:15am LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Duration: 25 Minutes
Performance Aracaladanza – Vuelos 11am SADLER’S WELLS THEATRE Duration: 50 Minutes
Dance activities, The Dance WE Made performance and ‘Let’s Make a Dance’ Workshop 12pm ROSEBERY ROOM
Storytelling with Vanessa Woolf 12:15pm LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Duration: 25 Minutes
Ceilidh with The Ceilidh Liberation Front – 1pm LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Duration: 45 Minutes
Dance activities, Casson & Friends present The Dance WE Made 1:45pm – 3:30pm ROSEBERY ROOM
Storytelling with Vanessa Woolf-2pm – LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Duration: 25 Minutes
Ceilidh with The Ceilidh Liberation Front 2:30pm LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO
Performance Aracaladanza – Vuelos 3.30pm SADLER’S WELLS THEATRE Duration: 50 Minutes
Dance activities,The Dance WE Made performance and ‘Let’s Make a Dance’ Workshop-4:30pm ROSEBERY ROOM

In conversation with Sharon Eyal of L-E-V, dance company from Israel

L-E-V was born out of a dream shared by its creators Sharon Eyal, Gai Behar and Ori Lichtik, as Eyal expresses – With its tale of thwarted love and fierce passion their production OCD Love is a testament to their love of dance and creative fire within. L-E-V has provided a rare but brief glimpse into the rich dance and performing arts scene in Israel.

In conversation with Forty Nguyen lead dancer of Cirque Eloize – iD

Canadian contemporary circus crew Cirque Éloize blasts back into the West End with iD, a smash-hit show of daring stunts and dazzling theatricality. iD is an exciting family friendly production, blending circus, street dance and hip hop, and comes to Sadler’s Wells’ West End venue, The Peacock, 20 September – 8 October 2016. At the press night performance in London on the 21st September, the show will celebrate its 1000th performance having previously toured the world and visited countries including South Africa, Japan and Mexico.