Cast & Creatives
The Voyage is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and created by Motionhouse in collaboration with Legs On The Wall, funded by Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and supported by Dancing for the Games. The Voyage is also in partnership with Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Conservatoire.
June 2012 will see professional dancers and aerialists alike join forces to transform Victoria Square into The Voyage. Click the portraits below to find out more about those who will be involved in telling this unforgettable story.
KEVIN FINNAN | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
As Motionhouse’s Artistic Director Kevin has created, either alone or in collaboration with Louise, each of our major touring productions. This includes all of Motionhouse’s middle-scale theatre productions as well as a series of our shorter festival pieces and our large scale outdoor spectacles.
Kevin is passionate about exploring and exploding the traditional use of space in performance and has a history of creating extraordinary dance spectacles including the acclaimed Machine Dance for JCB diggers and dancers. Equally committed to collaboration, Kevin has worked with artists from many disciplines including writer A.L.Kennedy, installation artist Rosa Sanchez, film-makers Logela Multimedia, set visionary Simon Dormon and international companies such as Legs On The Wall from Sydney and Headlines Theatre in Vancouver.
Kevin has been commissioned to make work for numerous other companies in the UK and further afield and also been invited to create bespoke performances to celebrate cultural capital celebrations in Copenhagen and Marseille-Provence. In 2012 he is creating The Voyage for the London 2012 Festival – an enormous outdoor performance event to be performed in the centre of Birmingham and made in collaboration with Legs On The Wall. 2012 also sees him take up the role of Choreographer and Director of Movement for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
Kevin has an MA in Contemporary Performing Arts from University College Bretton Hall and a PhD in Theatre from Warwick University. He is also a visiting Fellow at the University of Warwick and Associate Artist of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.
PATRICK NOLAN | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Patrick has been working as a director for over twenty years. In that time he has created numerous new Australian works, that have been performed in festivals, opera houses, theatres, showgrounds, city streets and car parks. He’s had the privilege to work with highly skilled performers, horses, opera singers from across the globe, pipers, Lord Mayors, and a hundred school children dressed as the animals on Noah’s ark. As a theatre maker he is driven by a process in which a performer explores the extreme of their capacity to find a way of expressing an idea, a feeling, a sound, that takes the audience to a place of enquiry and perhaps, understanding.
Companies he has directed for include: Opera Australia, New Zealand Opera, Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Music Festival, Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival and the Perth International Arts Festival.
Some of the productions he has directed include: My Bicycle Loves You, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other by Peter Handke, for Legs on the Wall; A Flowering Tree by John Adams (winner of Helpmann Award for Best Live Concert Performance), Electric Lenin by Barry Conygham, Love in the Age of Therapy by Paul Grabowsky, Pelleas et Melisande by Debussy, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, Acis and Galetea by Handel, La Boheme by Puccini, Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, Cosi fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, an adaptation of Tales from the Arabian Nights, bash by Neil Labute, Malade Imaginaire by Moliere, Twelfth Night and Macbeth by Shakespeare.
LOUISE RICHARDS | QUEST PARTICIPATION PROJECT LEADER
Louise is producer of the Motionhouse programme, strategically leading the company in realising the vision she develops with Kevin. Louise is instrumental in developing the many partnerships Motionhouse enjoys across the industry. She is skilled at spotting opportunities for the company and persuasive in her pitches for funding, commissioning, project development and collaboration. Originally a dancer and choreographer she has undertaken numerous commissions for other companies and is also regularly invited to act as mentor, educator and speaker. She continues to teach the company’s devised style, offering inspirational training to dancers, students, teachers and practitioners both in the UK and throughout the world.
Louise is regularly invited to attend and speak at seminars and conferences. Committed to the development of the sector, she also acts as a mentor for young performers and smaller organizations, as well as developing a range of apprenticeships and professional development strands to the Motionhouse programme. She is currently on the management group for Mimbre and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
SIMON DORMON | SET DESIGNER
Simon was a founder member and set and lighting designer, for visual theatre company Trickster. Since 1989 he has been a partner in London based furniture designer/makers Oblique Furniture, who undertake a wide range of bespoke commercial, domestic and exhibition projects. www.obliquefurniture.co.uk
Simon has designed and Oblique have realised the sets for previous Motionhouse shows including Cascade, Scattered, Underground, Driven, Perfect, Volatile, Fearless, Atomic, Twisted, Faking it, Delicate, Geisha, House of Bones and The Ticking Man.
For further information contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
LOGELA MULTIMEDIA | FILM MAKERS
Logela Multimedia was set up in 2000 and is based in Elorrio in the Basque region of Spain. Logela are a collective of artists – designers, graffiti artists, musicians, digital artists – whose aim is to bring multimedia projections to the stage, creating an interaction between film and live performance. They are innovators in the field and have collaborated on several successful projects that have toured the Basque region. They have also collaborated with Motionhouse in the past, producing the film projections for Scattered in 2009.
Logela also set up and continues to organise an annual indoor breakdance competition where they have experimented with interactive stage projections and live breakdance performance. Break On Stage has quickly become one of the most prestigious performance events of its kind in Europe.
Other projects include Link Konzert in which a live performance of classical music was relayed to a stage where both the music and the images were mixed by a Dj and Vj with contemporary electronic music and 3D graphics and Belarritakora sartu when they worked with an established rock band from Elorrio to create live concerts that blend theatre, rock music and images.
Karlos Gomez is a musician, sound technician and a video and web editor. He directed and edited I’ll be there which was awarded Best Original Film by the Scottish Further Education Unit in 2002. Imanol Garaizabal is well known as a pioneer of graffiti art in the Basque region and is the main graphic and web designer for Logela and Breakonstage; he has also worked on a wide range of advertising campaigns, most recently for Basque television station ETB3.
For more information about Logela’s work check out www.logela.org
SOPHY SMITH & TIM DICKINSON | COMPOSERS
Sophy and Tim have been composing together since 1997. They have collaborated on a wide range of projects from touring dance and theatre performances to TV and radio commercials, short films, TV documentaries and solo music projects. In between all this they have managed to release a number of their own tracks commercially. Sophy and Tim have worked with Motionhouse in the past, composing the soundtrack for Perfect in 2005 and collaborating on Dreams and Ruin, Driven, Underground, Chaser, Scattered and Cascade.
Sophy is a founder member and Artistic Director of the collaborative live art company Assault Events as well as Research Fellow at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, where her current research explores inter/multi/transdisciplinary collaboration. As Programme Leader for the IOCT’s innovative transdisciplinary Masters in Creative Technologies (MA/MSc), Sophy works with students at the convergence of the e-sciences, digital arts and humanities.
Tim Dickinson is a professional composer, producer and sound engineer. He cut his musical teeth in some of the top recording studios of London during the 1990s where he worked with major artists including Bryan Ferry, Spice Girls, Björk and Blur amongst others, collaborating on no less than three number one albums. After 12 years in the music business Tim now manages his own audio production company A.A.P
Mark Howett of enLIGHTnING DESIGN | Lighting Designer
Mark Howett was born 1963 in Perth, Australia, began his career as a Lighting Technician in 1979 at the National Theatre Perth. He studied Theatre Design, specialising in Lighting at the School of Drama 1981, Yale University. The Rake Progress, 1983 Director: Jim Sharman for Opera Australia was his first significant production design. Since then he has worked both as a Lighting Designer and Set Designer for international productions in theatre, film, dance and opera. He has worked together, amongst others, with the directors Rufus Norris, The Country Girl, 2010; Gale Edwards, Buried Child, 2002; Geoffrey Rush, Popular Mechanicals, 1994; Niel Armfield Royal Opera at Convent Garden Sweeny Todd, 2004 and Francesca Zambello Opera Australia, Love of Three Oranges, 2004; Video Design Starlight Express, 2012 Director Arlene Philips.
Many of his works are, or have toured internationally: No Sugar, 1990, Up the Road, 1996 and As You Like It, 2000, Director: Neil Armfield; lighting design and Co-Director, Norma 1999, Opera Australia, Director George Olivgy; Lighting Design, Rites, 1999 and Amalgamate, 2006, The Australian Ballet & Bangarra Dance Theatre, Choreographer: Stephen Page, simulcasted by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, touring: City Centre, New York, 1999, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, 2009; Lighting Design, Crying Baby, 2003, Stalker Theatre Company, Director: Rachel Swain, touring: Cultura Inglesia Festival, Sao Paulo, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland; Lighting Design, Conversations With The Dead, 2003, Co-Director and script development and Gulpilili, 2004, Lighting and Vision Design, Company B Belvoir St.
West End Lighting Design Credits include: A Country Girl, 2010 Director, Rufus Norris; Dreamboats and Petticoats, 2009, Director Bob Thompson Bill Kenwright; A Daughter is a Daughter, 2009, Director Roy Marsden; Three Days In May, 2011, Director Alan Strachan.
Awards: Robert Helpmann Award for Cloudstreet, Director: Neil Armfield, 2002, Lighting Design (touring e.g. Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; The National Theatre, UK; Kennedy Centre, Washington; Theater Spektakel, Zürich and nationally in Australia). Robert Helpman Award as Best Presented Concert for Kura Tunga, Australian Arts Orchestra, Director: Patrick Nolan, 2005, Melbourne Concert Hall; Mark was responsible for Lighting Design, Visual Effects, Concept, Directing, Camera and Editor for the movie Kura Tunga, as part of the production. Greenroom Award 2006 Best Lighting Design for The Love of three Oranges, 2004, Opera Australia, Director: Francesca Zambello. Lighting Design, Greenroom Award 2009 for Roadkill, Splintergroup, 2009, Lighting Design Venice Biennale.
For Bill Kenwright he lit the national and European tours of Evita, 2009; Joseph and his Technicoloured Dreamcoat, 2008; Blood Brothers, 2008; 3 Days In May, 2011; The Country Girl, 2010; Spider’s Web, 2009; Then There Were None, 2008; Murder on Air, 2009; If I were You, 2009; The Concert They Never Gave, 2009 and Surviving Spike, 2009.
In Europe Mark Howett has designed the set for Heute im Raum Lumina Schauspielhaus Koeln, 2007. For Animal Farm Collective he designed Foodchain, 2008, Freiburg Theater PVC Tanz. (collaboration since 2004); I’m Not The Only One, 2007, Contanza Macras Berlin Volksbühne; Edgar, 2009, Sasha Waltz and Guests and Little Pig, 2010 Heildelberg Theatre/ Festspielhaus St. Pölten.
Mark Howett’s work has extended beyond theatre productions, for example in 2005 Mark directed and co-wrote the Australian Broadcast Commission short film Gangu Mama as part of the Deadly Yarns initiative. He directed and conceived an improvised short feature Greenhead, 2006. He designed the lighting for the exhibition Landmarks, 1993 at the Australian Museum, Canberra; Artistic team for the opening ceremony of the Adelaide Festival Kura Tunga, 2002; the production Burning, 2000, illumination of the Uluru/Ayers; Nicaragua-concert, 1986; Directed Deckchair’s production of Strategy of Two Hams, 2003; Fire sculpture Störk for Lübbenau Artist week closing ceremony 2009. He Directed The Goat, 2009 for English Theatre Co Berlin. Mark was also Coordinator of the Lighting Course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University from 1996 to 2000.
SOFIE LAYTON | COSTUME DESIGNER
Sofie Layton is an Artist/Designer who creates and devises, theatre, installation and large-scale site-specific performance.
Projects include For the Best which won the TMA award for best Children’s Theatre, Unicorn Theatre 2009 Liverpool Everyman 2010; Lick, Birmingham Rep 2008; Dainty Dish, Tower of London, 2004 Charabanc – event of the week in Time Out and The Independent June 2002.
Sofie has devised and designed installations and exhibitions at Royal Festival Hall, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Ironman, Against the Tide and The Garden, Graeae Theatre, Strange Fruit 2009 – 2011 National Theatre & Greenwich+Docklands Festivals (GDIF); Run!, GDIF, Kevin Finnan/Motionhouse 2008; Mirage, (GDIF) with Oposito 2007. Costumes/puppets for The Olympic Torch Relay, South Bank Centre 2008; Notting Hill Carnival and St Patrick’s Day Parade Dublin; Factory of Dreams and Un Peu Plus with Christophe Berthonneau/Groupe F as part of London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT).
Town Hall Gospel Choir
In 2007 Town Hall & Symphony Hall recruited a group of choir singers from Birmingham’s gospel communities. At the re-opening concerts the choir stole the show and it became clear that something very special had been created. Town Hall Gospel Choir’s blend of gospel harmonies, disciplined vocals and compelling singing have left audiences in the Symphony Hall and Town Hall, in hospices and prisons, on local and national radio thoroughly enthused and uplifted with their powerful repertoire.
As The Voyage prepares to welcome you aboard, Birmingham Conservatoire is delighted to be accompanying you on the journey. Composed by Sophy Smith, The Voyage soundtrack is a combination of electronic soundtrack woven with live performance delivered by talented solo clarinettist Jack McNeil, brass players from the Conservatoire’s Brass Band and our October Brass Quintet. Birmingham Conservatoire is dedicated to specialist musical tuition for talented young musicians and as a place where successful careers begin, our involvement in this project demonstrates the diversity of performance opportunity offered to our students.
Originally from Oxford, Claire graduated in 2001 from the London Studio Centre with a BA in Theatre Dance. After graduating, she worked with various dance companies including, Gelede Dance and Retina Dance Company in 2002, after which she moved to Edinburgh for ‘six months’ and ended up staying there for four years.
During her time in Scotland Claire worked for various companies including Freshmess and X Factor Dance Company with whom she had the opportunity to work with Phillip de Coufle - performances included Edinburgh’s Fringe Festivals, The Nuremburg Opera House and The British Dance Edition 2006.
Claire worked with director Gerry Mulgrew in 2007 as part of the cast of St Kilda the Opera and has recently returned to Scotland to play Nannie the Witch in Mulgrew’s adaptation of Tam O’ Shanter. Before joining Motionhouse in April 2008, Claire worked with Kompany Malakhi on their latest show Boxin.
As a freelance dance teacher, Claire has taught extensively throughout the UK and overseas, from professional classes to community and youth dance.
Originally from Torino (Italy), Martina began dancing at early age, studying ballet and modern at Centro Danza Arkè under the direction of Matilde De Marchi and Annagrazia D’Antico.
She moved to London in 2006, where she trained at London Contemporary Dance School and graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance in 2008. In 2010 she also gained an MA in Performance.
She has performed with various companies including Henri Oguike Dance Company, TomDale Company and Tavaziva Dance touring nationally and internationally, as well as developing her own work.
She has recently graduated with a BSc in Sport Science form University of Torino (Italy) and she is very much interested in the connection between sport and dance.
GIORGIO DE CAROLIS
Originally from Civitanova Marche, Italy, Giorgio began his study of dance at the age of 17, with a background training in athletics and swimming. After studying ballet and contemporary dance at the Fondazione Regionale Arte nella Danza he moved to London, to further his training at London Contemporary Dance School, where he graduated with a Postgraduate diploma in Performance in 2008.
He performed with Henri Oguike Dance Company as part of the LCDS apprenticeship programme touring nationally and internationally. He then attended a professional development course at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, led by Sean Feldman and Diversions.
Since then he has worked freelance in different theatres (Bonnie Bird Theatre and White Lodge in London with Combination Dance Company) and site specific works (The Shunt, Lakes Alive, with Axial Dance and SE8soundandmotion).
He is currently training to be a Pilates instructor with the Pilates Institute in London. In his spare time he likes visiting new places, spending time with family and friends and painting.
Junior was encouraged to study Contemporary Dance by his sister, Chantele Harvey, when he was 17 years old. His early teachers in the Midlands were Marion Thraves and Bernard Pierre-Louis.
He joined the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds) in 1999 and graduated in 2002 with a BPA (Hons) Degree in Contemporary Dance. During this time he performed on tour with NSCD and at the Gross Brittanien Festival in Dortmund, Germany. He also worked commercially in Switzerland and Paris.
Autumn 2002 saw Junior apprentice with Motionhouse. He joined the company full-time in January 2003 and has since been involved as a performer in Volatile, Perfect, Driven, Scattered, Underground,Cascade, Waiting Game, and Traction and as teacher in every project the company has done since. Junior is the Rehearsal Director for the current company.
Olivia originally trained in gymnastics making a natural transition into dance. She completed her professional training at Bodywork Company Dance studios and graduated with a degree in sports science from Loughbough University where she also gained Fitness instructor and Pilates teaching qualifications.
Olivia has worked all over the UK and in various countries including Germany with Strado Compagnie Danza under the direction of Domenico Strazzeri, Oman with Underwraps and Belgium with Dragone. The latter was under the direction of Franco Dragone and involved aerial dance and bungee stilts.
In London Olivia has worked many times with Combination Dance Company, performing at Hampton Court Palace, The Royal Ballet School and various other site-specific works. She has also worked commercially in the advertising industry.
In January 2008, she worked in the Opera Tosca at The Royal Albert Hall as Tosca’s stunt double performing 25 foot head first crash dives.
Olivia joined Motionhouse in April 2008 and enjoys touring the company’s theatre and festival productions throughout the UK and Europe.
Alasdair trained as a gymnast and competed in national championships from the age of nine. He began his dance training at Barton Peveril College and then joined Hampshire Youth Dance Company and worked as an apprentice with Full Force Dance Company, under the direction of Helen Parlor. He began advanced pre-vocational training at The Place’s Centre for Advanced Training and went on to graduate with First Class BA (Hons) from London Contemporary Dance School. During his training at LCDS he undertook a four-month exchange programme to California Institute of the Arts where he specialised in dance theatre.
Since graduating Alasdair has been performing with Hofesh Shechter Company and Dance United through postgraduate study with the LCDS apprenticeship programme.
He was thrilled to join Motionhouse for Scattered back in 2009. In his free time (which there isn’t much of!) Alasdair enjoys snowboarding, watching films and dinner parties.
Philipp studied dance pedagogic at the conservatory in Linz, Austria, where parallel to that he also studied classical drums for two years. He then went on to further his training at the international dance school P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, with director Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. From 1998 until 2008 Philipp worked with Itzik Galili in Groningen and he toured internationally, choreographed his own work and delivered workshops. During this period he also worked with different choreographers such as Stephen Shropshire, Jussi Nousianen, Sara Wiktorowicz and Edan Gorlicki amongst others.
Besides the passion for dance, with his musical background since young age, he likes to create music and was asked to compose and arrange music for Galili Dance.
Just before joining Motionhouse in April 2008, he was involved in a project with Club Guy&Roni, for the 395 year anniversary of the Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen.
Rebecca Williams completed her vocational training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2010 qualifying with a BPA (Hons) degree.
Since graduating Rebecca began her performance career in 2011 with
Harnisch Lacey Dance Theatre, creating and touring their double bill show, Spin. During this time she had the opportunity to make choreography for Hedfan Youth Company.
Rebecca then went on to work for Watkins Dance, Wayne Sables Project, Company Decalage and Joon Dance.
Rebecca also organizes international break dance events and has her own professional dance company, Dirty Feet. Dirty Feet DC premiered it’s piece Out of Nowhere as part of Resolutions! 2012 with a sell-out show.
Rebecca also has experience in commercial work and teaching.
George Adams completed his degree at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Since graduating, George has worked with Loop Dance Company, Grange Park Opera, The National Dance Company of Wales and Ludus Dance, collaborating with choreographers such as William Tuckett, Lucy Burge and Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker.
George is a qualified Pilate’s instructor and has taught internationally. He has extensive experience working on dance and its role within educational settings. His recent publications are Improvisation for Young People, Dance Matters Magazine 2011 and The Teachers Dance Resource Pack, Consequences 2010.
George toured throughout 2009-11 on ID:me and Consequences working with Nigel Charnock, Yeal Flexer, Ben Write and Dylan Quinn. George is currently still performing whilst creating his own work. Recent commissions include Le petit Mort, and Cabaret Voltaire, 2011-2012.
Jade started dance and gymnastics classes at the age of four and was a competitive gymnast for Wolverhampton City up until the age of twelve. At this age, Jade gave up gymnastics to focus solely on a dancing career for which she had a stronger passion.
She danced for Flexus Youth Dance Company for four years before starting her training on the Foundation Course at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD). Jade followed this with a further three years at NSCD, achieving a BPA Honours Degree in Contemporary Dance, during which time she performed in works by Simon Birch and Company Chameleon.
Jade is currently working with Motionhouse as an apprentice for The Voyage, hosted by NSCD through the Graduate Apprenticeship Scheme.
KALLIOPI IOANNA CHODRAKIS (POLYANNA)
Born in Chios, Greece in 1990 Polyana started dance in her mother’s dance school from the age of three starting with Ballet, Contemporary, Character and later Jazz, Latin and Hip-Hop. Pollyana continued her studies at the Higher Professional Private School of Dance Despoina Grigoriadou graduating with a distinction in 2010.
Parallel to her professional dance studies she took lessons in Modern Jazz and obtained Diplomas in Grade 4, 5 and 6 and acquired an A at Intermediate level.
Polyanna worked for her mother’s dance school, Eyaggelia Dimitropoulou and Isidwra Galatopoulou Ballet School, as a dancer, teacher and choreographer from 2010 until 2011.
Working as a choreographer, she created a contemporary piece which won third prize (6-8 categories) at the International Dance Competition, Sofia, Bulgaria in the summer of 2011.
She was offered a Postgraduate Diploma place at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and is undertaking a placement at Motionhouse as part of the course.
Josh started dancing at the age of sixteen with 2faced Dance Company, as an apprentice. He later went on to train at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD). Whilst there, Josh worked with choreographers such as Kathinka Walker, Simon Birch and James Wilton. During his training Josh enjoyed performing his own work internationally on numerous occasions.
Josh also works as a commercial dancer and has performed for companies such as Adidas and Puma.
Originally from Edinburgh, Tess graduated in 2011 from the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance (SSCD) with a First Class BA Honours Degree.
During her final year at SSCD she performed in works by Joan Cleville, Tom Dale and Gary Clarke, which formed the SC11 graduate performance tour.
The summer of 2011 saw Tess and a fellow SSCD graduate bring their own dance theatre company Fair Play Productions to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they enjoyed a successful run of performances.
Tess was offered a place on the postgraduate apprenticeship scheme at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, where she continued her dance training before joining Motionhouse as an apprentice for The Voyage.
Amy graduated from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts LIPA with a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts/ Dance.
Immediately after leaving LIPA she choreographed and taught for Backstage Ireland.
Having moved to London she joined Masters of Movement and performed in World of Dance Tour in LA. She later joined the Mark Summers Agency where she worked on commercials for Talk Talk and Cadburys both directed by Litzer Bixler.
Amy then moved on to work with EEE-Motion Company on two different projects: The Morning After… and It’s a love Thing. She then had the chance to work with Willi Dorner in his Bodies In Urban Space at Brighton Dance Festival and later for the opening of Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Amy also has her own dance company, Carpie Diem Ballet and Contemporary, for which she choreographed their first showing at The Lost Theatre (London).
Recently she has performed in The Soloist with Hinged Dance Company as part of Resolutions! 2012. Amy has also been to New York to have further training at the Cunningham Studios, Graham Studios and Broadway Dance Centre.
When Amy isn’t dancing she likes a challenge, and she’s previously climbed Kilimanjaro!
Originally from Coventry, Luka started dancing from a very early age, and also trained as a gymnast and aerial performer. In 2010, Luka Graduated from Laban Conservatoire of Contemporary Dance with a BA in Dance Theatre.
During her time training, Luka performed in Malta as part of a dance festival with a piece directed by Kerry Nichols (Random Dance). After her time at Laban, Luka went on to work with C-12 Dance Theatre, performing at London’s Big Dance Festival and toured the UK with the pieces The Chair and Enough.
Since coming back to Coventry, Luka has gone back to her aerial roots and has been training for Imagineer Productions and their Godiva Awakes outdoor performance.
Luka also spends a lot of her time teaching and choreographing for young people.
Originally from Belgium, Laura started training in rhythmic gymnastics at a very young age. She started her dance training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) where she achieved a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance. During her training she worked and performed pieces by Hagit Bar, Kwesi Johnson and Antonia Groove.
After graduating in 2009, Laura went on to do an apprenticeship with ACE Dance and Music and performed pieces by Andile Sotiya and Douglas Thorpe. She was also heavily involved in delivering the company’s educational work. Laura has also spent time working in collaboration with Peter Grist whilst based in Manchester.
After completing her apprenticeship Laura studied with Douglas Thorpes and Tiia Ourila and also worked on a project in London with Shobana Jeyasingh. She performed in Ace Dance and Music’s last production ICE and has delivered many educational workshops. Laura has recently been teaching as a freelance dancer in the West Midlands and has now joined Motionhouse as an apprentice for The Voyage.
Legs On The Wall
Bringing together ten years of rigging experience, Industrial Rope Access, fifteen years experience in the Building Industry and ten years experience in the Entertainment Industry, a wide range of contacts from suppliers of access machinery to rigging equipment and a detailed knowledge of the latest equipment and Industry Regulations, Jon Blake has worked for such companies as Pollard Productions, Tripoint Rigging, Circus Oz, Cirque Du Soliel, Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Opera House. Sydney Opera Company and Sydney Festival, to name a few.
Jon is currently running SpiderMonkey Constructions, a business supplying rigging and construction services to a range of industries and companies in the Sydney region and has been engaged by Legs on the Wall as Senior Head Rigger/Operations Manager since 2009.
Dean has been performing and creating contemporary dance and theatre for over decade. He first began his physical training in gymnastics then found his way into dance, first performing in Quantum Leap’s ‘Industrial Hardware’. Dean has performed nationally and internationally with companies such as Lucy Guerin Inc., Legs On The Wall, Shaun Parker and Company, Theatre of Image, Strings Attached, Buzz Dance Theatre and Opera Australia. He has also worked with Independent Artist, Anton, in a Critical Path research residency, as well as being a founding member of Autumnal, who’s debut work ‘Exciting a Blush’ was choreographed by Angela Goh. Accompanying his performance career, Dean has worked choreographically at QL2 Centre for Youth Dance creating several work’s for Quantum Leap’s junior projects. He also created ‘CROSS CURRENTS’ for TasDance and its education program. His most recent project with QL2, ‘HARDYARDS’, was awarded with an Australian Dance Award in 2011 for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance.
Robbie Curtis began his training in Armidale, Northern NSW. After a short stint with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Robbie moved to Wollongong. He then worked professionally with Opera Australia as a dancer and acrobat. He danced in the Judas Dance choreographed by Shaun Parker for the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney. Robbie then finished 3 years at the New Zealand School of Dance. Robbie was invited to the Netherlands in 2009 where he completed secondments with the Nederlands Dance Theatre. He was also invited to London to work with Lloyd Newson in the development of a project for DV8 to be performed in 2011. In 2010 Robbie was a company member of Footnote Dance Company. Robbie has performed with Circus Monoxide in the Viva La Gong Festival. Robbie has also worked with Alice Lee Holland on her final development of Tiny Little Tragedies.
Nat Harris is one of Australia’s most renowned aerialists, she first hit international fame when she performed in Cirque Du Soleil’s “Quidam” in 2001 and continued on their European, USA and Japanese tours until 2003. Natalie remains one of the world’s best on her apparatus known as “Cloudswing” having competed at the International Festival du Cirque, Monte Carlo 2008 where she was awarded the Premio Speciale Gesellschaft Circusfreunde prize from the German Circus Fans Association.
Nat brings her wealth of experience home to Sydney where you can find her coaching aerialists at Sydney Trapeze School and working in film and TV as a qualified Stunt Performer, running Nat Harris Entertainment Pty Ltd and performing her sought-after aerial acts. Nat’s most recent venture was to produce and direct her own show Amy Amour’s Love Circus for Hoopla Festival 2011.
Rowan Heydon-White an Australian born circus performer, started flying around on a trapeze at an early age. However it wasn’t until she graduated from a Bachelor of Arts-Theatre/Media at Charles Sturt University, majoring in physical theatre. That she decided to actively delve further into circus, and went on to also complete a Diploma in Circus Arts in Christchurch, NZ. Over the following years Rowan has performed internationally for various events ranging from corporate & private functions, to festivals & contemporary circus productions. Most recently including two years with the renowned Australian company, Circus OZ.
Paul O’Keeffe aka juggling dragon, mister fixit, the impeccable neatness, the human whippet, aka the dexterous daredavil and the human crashmat. Performing since age 11, Paul has toured the world from Kalgoorlie to 42nd Street New York, China to Spain, Italy to Korea and a whole heap in between, he has performed in Circus, Dance, Musical and Physical Theatre. Paul co-created extreme circus company KRONIK, he also co-set up a professional circus training studio in Melbourne. He has co-managed Canberra’s Warehouse Circus, run independent circus troupes and performed for a range of companies like Circus Oz, Circus Monoxide and a whole heap more….
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Rhiannon studied at the New Zealand School of Dance.
2009 saw her take on the role of Choreographer and dancer for Australian band Empire of the Sun. With the Empire she has thus far choreographed for the 2009 Aria awards, the live touring show; and has been performing throughout Australia, New Zealand, US, Europe, South America, and Asia in music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Coachella, T in the Park and many more headlining tours.
Rhiannon joined Buzz Dance Theatre from 2009-11, performing in several works ‘At The Beach’, ‘Behind The Veneer’, ‘Shortbursts’ and BDT’s 2011 double Bill ‘Thrill’, premiering works ‘Plan B’ by WA’s Danielle Micich and ‘Ghostlight’ by NY’s Kate Weare.
She is a guest artist of Perth Company, Ludwig; joining the company in 2010 to perform ‘Soul Searching’ at the Australian Dance Awards, and has danced for Chrissie Parrott in the 2011 opening of The State Theatre (WA).