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ADAD Trailblazers Starters 2013-14

Idrissa Camara

Idrissa Camara is a dancer, musician and choreographer who originates from Guinea Conakry, growing up in Kaloum the artistic centre of the capital, and training from childhood with the Ballet Bassikolo du Guinee. He has been principle choreographer with leading dance companies in Guinea and Senegal and pioneered the teaching of dance to the hearing impaired at the Visual Theatre Company for Guinea’s National Association of Sports & Culture for the Deaf. 

He has certainly blazed a trail since his arrival to the UK in 2008, forming his own company Ballet Nimba who perform their distinctive blend of dance, theatre and music to venues and festivals throughout the UK and more recently Internationally. Notable performances for WOMAD, WOMEX, and at the Southbank Centre. He places a great emphasis on education and is a Music & Dance Tutor for Cardiff University School of Music, has provided residencies for The British Council and WOMAD Foundation and comissioned to choreograph work for Youth Dance company DanceBlast and community dance for ACE Dance & Music. Idrissa was recently the subject of a Radio 4 Documentary which was aired on the BBC World Service and is currently undertaking research & development for his 4th full-length production Ntokee- The Way You See Me.

With his ADAD Trailblazer Bursary he travelled back to Guinea to study world renowned Ballets Africains and document both village and urban
dance practices in his mission to re-define our ideas on what is “traditional” African Dance. To this end he has directed a short fifteen minute film
entitled “Fare Ta” (Land of Dance).

Cindy Claes

Cindy is a choreographer passionate about Dancehall, Hip-Hop and Krumping Theatre. Telling electrifying stories through dance, she has travelled widely to research the dance forms she practices extensively (Jamaica, USA, Europe, Africa, Trinidad & Tobago). Cindy has been supported by Arts Council England, Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban Partnership, The London Hub and Midland Actors Theatre to create two full length Dancehall Theatre pieces during 2013.

Cindy’s long term ambition is to create from her dance backpacker’s spirit a regular platform hosting international artistic exchanges to inspire others. The Trailblazer supported her to do a one year R&D to set up an exchange program between UK and Jamaican dancers. A voice for unity and internationalism, she wants to build bridges between cultures and the arts. 

In 2014, with the support of her Fellowship, Arts Council England and Sadler’s Wells, Cindy was able to bring over two Jamaican Choreographers (Shady Squad) to London with whom she delivered workshops and collaborated creatively in the studio. Cindy curated “Wild Card: Dancehall Takeover” at the Lilian Baylis in February 2014, which sold out weeks in advance. She travelled to Jamaica in March 2014 to network, work with local artists and set up the first elements necessary to a future large scale UK/JA Dancehall Theatre Exchange. She is now actively searching for investors, sponsors & funding bodies to make the bigger vision a reality. Cindy is now an Associate Artist with Faith Drama Productions.

Kenzi Ireland

Kenzi has been studying and teaching African dance forms for eight years and is a member of Ballet Nimba Dance Company. After completing a BA Dance Performance Degree at Middlesex University, Kenzi will use her Trailblazers Fellowship to travel to Ecole des Sables in Senegal, to attend a professional dance program created by Germaine Acogny.

Kenzi will return to Bristol to teach neo-traditional African dance and develop and teach her own contemporary fusion dance vocabulary. Her goal is to support and develop the presence of African and contemporary African dance techniques within communities and the educational system.

Cleo Lake

A native Bristolian with Jamaican roots, Cleo’s early dance experience was as a stage dancer at underground Junglist / drum and bass nights in Bristol in the mid 90s.  Her early devising career began with Kuumba Arts Centre’s Creative Riddims Youth Theatre, and since then Cleo has gone on to produce and choreograph Foundations dance theatre show in 2007 and intergenerational musical theatre production Journey Of The Griot in 2009. 

As a dance artist Cleo specialises in ‘Dubwize’ forms and her passion is in leading and choreographing large-scale mass and procession dances that unite people and tap into the spiritual and profound natural healing force of dance.   Cleo has explored West African dance in Ghana, holds a BA Hons in dance from Bath Spa University and is the current Chair of St Pauls Carnival.

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