ADAD - The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora
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ADAD Trailblazers Starters 2013-14

Idrissa Camara

Idrissa is a dancer and musician, teacher and choreographer. He has made a real impact since his arrival here in the UK. He originates from Guinea Conakry in West Africa where he trained since childhood with the renowned Ballet Bassikolo du Guinee. He has been principle choreographer with many leading dance companies in Guinea and Senegal and pioneered the teaching of dance to the hearing impaired at the Visual Theatre Company of the National Association of Sports and Culture for the Deaf.

In 2010 he founded Ballet Nimba, a vibrant dance theatre company with an emphasis on a dance narrative rooted in tradition but performed by young contemporary artists, performed live to an original musical score. Idrissa places great importance on emphasising the roots of his dance vocabulary. In a short time the company has evolved into a touring company which has performed nationally and more recently internationally.

Cindy Claes

Cindy is a choreographer passionate about Hip-Hop, Krumping and Dancehall 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 is currently being supported by Arts Council England, Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban Partnership, The London Hub and Midland Actors Theatre to create two new 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 will support 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.

Kenzi Ireland

Kenzi has been studying and teaching African dance forms for eight years and is a member of dance companies  Tolo Ko Tolo and Ballet Nimba. 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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