Versatile hip hop sensation Tommy Franzén and Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally are amongst a crop of leading choreographers and dance companies showcasing their work at Cloud Dance Festival’s twelfth festival, Firefly, which runs from July 22-24th at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington and which features works from 21 different companies.
Kristen McNally, who is best known outside of the Royal Ballet for her cutting-edge brand of "indie ballet", will be presenting her work Don’t Blame it on the Player, Blame it on The Game; Tommy Franzén will be taking over the role created by Royal Ballet's Thomas Whitehead. McNally is well-known for her innovative ballet-contemporary collaborations, having recently led Ballet Rocks at the Move It! show in March as well as her interactive performance to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at the Apple Store in London’s Covent Garden in April.
Kristen McNally is also amongst 15 top emerging choreographers – including James Cousins, who is also performing twice at Firefly – to have been shortlisted for the prestigious New Adventures Choreographer Award 2011, created in celebration of Matthew Bourne’s 50th birthday last year.
Tommy Franzén has danced internationally, ranging from musicals and hip-hop dance theatre to music videos, TV commercials and films, and was recently nominated a National Dance Award Critic's Circle for Outstanding Male Performance (Modern). Recent performance credits include being a finalist in BBC’s “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Mamma Mia! – The Movie”, The Olympics in Beijing and ‘Goldberg’, a project by Kim Brandstrup and Tamara Rojo performed at the Linbury, Royal Opera House. He has just finished a UK and European tour with the "Blaze" and is currently working on the creation of ZooNation's new show "Some Like It Hip Hop".
As part of Cloud Dance Festival's inclusion of contemporary ballet, we are showcasing new works from emerging neoclassical choreographers Edd Mitton, Richard Bermange, Newcastle-based company Exquisite Corpse | Dance Theatre, and rising contemporary ballet stars Diciembre Dance Group.
Acclaimed contemporary dancer Devaraj Thimmaiah, of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and formerly of Tavaziva Dance, has been described as “having the rare performance quality of combining machismo, elegance and fluidity" (Graham Watts, Resolution Review). He is performing his duet Arranged Marriage which was first seen at The Place’s Resolution! earlier in the year.
Ross Cooper, one of Scotland’s most popular choreographers, is presenting his new work in an exciting partnership with Aikaterina Chatzaki. Cooper is best known as the founder and artistic director of The Curve Foundation, and is the man responsible for helping to launch a number of prominent choreographers' careers, including that of Royal Ballet’s Jonathan Watkins.
Other well-known names making an appearance include Sol Dans, whose powerful choreography was recently seen on the BBC hit programme So You Think You Can Dance; 2011 Blueprint Bursary winner, the Cameroon-born Joseph Toonga, and a new duet from the multi-faceted Gerrard Martin, a former member of Ballet Black, Phoenix Dance Company and Aletta Collins Dance Company; Mark Smith, who recently choreographed the box office successes Shoes (Sadler's Wells) and Iolanthe (Union Theatre / Wilton's Music Hall) is presenting his new company Deaf Men Dancing.
Fans of the legendary Hofesh Shechter will be treated to a performance by James Finnemore, one of his dancers, in addition to Udifydance Company, an all-male dance company currently being mentored by Hofesh.
Further highlights include fierce choreography from new Laban graduate Charlie Dixon Dance Company, Van Huynh Company dancer Dom Czapski and returning Cloud Dance Festival favourites Slanjayvah Danza and Taciturn.About Cloud Dance Festival
Cloud Dance Festival is now in its fifth year of showcasing the best and most exciting in new contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, and making both dance styles more accessible to the wider non-dance public. We continue to remain unfunded yet we are committed to promoting and supporting emerging companies and choreographers, which we would not be able to do without our enthusiastic team of volunteers!http://www.cloud-dance-festival.org.uk
Cloud Dance Festival: Firefly
Dates: 22-24th July 2011
Times: 7.30pm – 9.45pm
Venue: Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
Tickets: £10 (£7.50 concessions)
Box Office: 020 7609 1800 or http://www.pleasance.co.uk