REVIEW: Cloud Dance Festival: “Showtime” – Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, Friday 15th November 2013

 

SHOWTIME: 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).

 

Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime. Jo Meredith photographed by Mikah Smillie.

Choreographer Jo Meredith (publicity shot by Mikah Smillie).

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FEATURE: Cloud Dance Festival: “Showtime” – Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, November 2013 – Milton Keynes angle

 

Milton Keynes-based writer, journalist and dance reviewer Georgina Butler was selected as an emerging dance writer for Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime in London.

Here, she reviews choreographer Jo Meredith’s newest work, Chimera

 

Having carved out a niche role reviewing the dance productions at Milton Keynes Theatre, a writing opportunity at choreographic showcase, Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime, 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.

 

Rehearsal picture for the new work from choreographer Jo Meredith, Chimera. Part of Cloud Dance Festival: Showtime.

CREATIVE VISION: Dancers rehearse Jo Meredith’s Chimera (Photo by Chantal Guevara)

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FEATURE: Writing about Contemporary Dance at Cloud Dance Festival: “Showtime” – Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, November 2013

 

Cloud Dance Festival #writingdancingwriting #dancingwritingdancing

 

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

“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?” Nietzsche.

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REVIEW: ‘Shrek The Musical’ – Theatre Royal Drury Lane, March 2012

 

An enchanting “Shrektacular” at Shrek The Musical

 

Shrek The Musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film, a firm family favourite. Capturing the magic of animation, the show begins with sets that open up like the pages of a children’s storybook. Directed by Rob Ashford and Jason Moore at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the production brings the unforgettable film characters to life and explores their underlying feelings and motives.

A trip to theatreland is always magical but never more so than when the unlikely hero is a green ogre who finds himself caught up in a rescue mission more suited to a handsome knight in shining armour.

Settled into a brilliant front row seat, I sat back in ready anticipation as a green glow was cast onstage and Shrek ambled out from the wings, keen to tell us his story and describe the persecution he has faced.

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Shrek The Musical: Dean Chisnall as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey and Kimberley Walsh as Princess Fiona.

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NEWS: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Countdown, August 2011

 

TIME TO DUST OFF OUR DANCING SHOES AS THE STRICTLY COUNTDOWN BEGINS

 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens next month and the internet is full of rumours about which celebrities are set to surrender to the sequins and grace the dance floor with their presence.

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of the audience for one of the shows after applying online and fox-trotting down to BBC Studios ridiculously early to claim my place. After a thoroughly entertaining evening, I then wrote a feature for the Milton Keynes Citizen to share my experience with readers…

 

The cast of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing 2010. Picture shows: Standing l-r: Felicity Kendal, Gavin Henson, Goldie, Kara Tointon, Matt Baker, Michelle Williams, Jimi Mistry, Peter Shilton, Scott Maslen. Seated l-r: Paul Daniels, Patsy Kensit, Tina O'Brien, Pamela Stephenson, The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe. Picture courtesy of the BBC.

 

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