AN INSPIRING EVENING SHOWCASING EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHERS.
Fresh. New. Talented. Evolving. Emerging. Whatever buzzword you opt for, Cloud Dance Festival’s opening Showtime line-up encompassed the most innovative up-and-coming new works from the world of contemporary dance.
Cloud Dance Festival (CDF) was founded in 2007 by Chantal Guevara to provide a platform for the ground-breaking choreographers and dance companies of the future. Showtime, held at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, North London, is CDF’s first festival funded by Arts Council England.
Themes of the festival centred on striving to improve, finding your own path and being true to yourself. All while also developing as a young creative (whether a dancer, choreographer, dance writer, photographer or videographer).
Choreographer Jo Meredith (publicity shot by Mikah Smillie).
Milton Keynes-based writer, journalist and dance reviewer Georgina Butler was invited to a dance writing masterclass in London. Here, she reviews city-trained choreographer Jo Meredith’s newest work…
Having carved out a niche role reviewing the dance productions at Milton Keynes Theatre, a writing opportunity at an event showcasing innovative choreographers was too good to miss.
I have been a dancer and a writer for as long as I can remember. Ballet classes are a necessity in my week (not forgetting jazz, contemporary – any excuse to have a bop) and writing has always been my ‘thing’ – from excelling at essays to reporting for Milton Keynes’ favourite newspaper.
Hopefully, regular readers enjoy my reviews but I am always keen to improve and broaden my understanding of both dance and writing. Imagine this journalist’s excitement, then, to be selected as an emerging dance writer for Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime, held in London over three days (Friday 15th to Sunday 17th November). This thrice-yearly gathering allows groundbreaking choreographers to share their work. As part of this latest festival, Cloud Dance held professional development workshops in dance writing, dance photography and dance filming, led by industry experts.
So, on Friday, I joined four fellow wordsmiths with a keen interest and background in dance at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, in North London, for a four-hour writing workshop.
CREATIVE VISION: Dancers rehearse Jo Meredith’s Chimera (Photo by Chantal Guevara)
“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
As an enthusiastic writer, journalist and dance reviewer, I am always seeking out opportunities to write about dance, theatre and the arts, participate in dance classes and learn more about my favourite things (unsurprisingly, dancing and writing!).
So, upon discovering Cloud Dance Festival and seeing that organisers were offering selected dance writers the chance to attend a professional development workshop, I applied. Cloud Dance Festival is a thrice-yearly platform showcasing the best in new and emerging contemporary dance. It was founded in 2007 by Chantal Guevara, a freelance dance producer, manager and photographer. She is passionate about helping artists to raise their profile and build the connections they need to further their careers.
For the first time, this month’s event – Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime (15th – 17th November 2013) – included the opportunity for promising dance writers, photographers and videographers to attend masterclasses led by industry experts. I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a half-day workshop on dance criticism before watching the mixed-bill evening performance.
“Dance with the pen”: #writingdancingwriting #dancingwritingdancing