Groundwork

Drum rolls please!

Here is a brand new opportunity for the Hiphop – Dancehall – Afrobeats – Krump community!

I will be one of the lead guest teachers on a one week course in Belgium: Groundwork. Alongside Yves Ruth, and other invited teachers, we are about to share our dance theatre knowledge with a bunch of really enthusiastic dancers and choreographers. I can’t wait!

The good news: dancers from all over the world can apply!

We will start on Monday morning. The week will be made of dance theatre workshops, creative time, reflection time, as well as a performance opportunity!!!

Everybody will reside at Destelheide during the week. It’s an incredible arts centre in Belgium. We will eat together, create together, get tired together, jam together and more! In other words, there will be zero distractions from the outside world. Only artistic expression and the team!

When I was a young dancer, I didn’t know which possibilities even existed to make a living from my creativity. It is the Hiphop Theatre world that changed the game for me. And I am always extremely excited to share what’s possible when our dance forms meet physical theatre on stage. It’s one of the most magic and rewarding experiences ever. I always see dancers’ eyes light up.

It will be a very powerful experience for myself as an artist as well.

I am about to start studying at Jacques Lecoq in Paris (physical theatre and comedy). The school gave me special permission to miss out a week of training to teach at Groundwork. I will be coming from Paris with loads of new energy and new knowledge! Let me tell you… I wanna put it in practice! So be ready to experience the fire in the belly I will be coming with all the way from Jacques Lecoq!

If you have any questions about this professional development program, please email mouss@timiss.be directly.

If your heart is saying YES to live this experience… do not let anything hold you back!! GO FOR IT!!

The program is for dance artists who are hungry to expand. There is no audition, it’s not about your technical skills, it is about your vision and your motivation.

 

PS: when they say YOUNG ARTISTS… (we have debated about this a lot) – it means 18+, but there are people who are 35 years old who want o do this as well 23 years old dance artists. We will make sure there is a focussed hard working atmosphere in the studio. You make sure you apply and don’t find excuses not to apply.

====

Practical Info:

Groundwork is organised by TIMISS and DESTELHEIDE in Belgium:

Dates of the residency: 29 OCT – 2 NOV

Price: 120 euros, inclusive of food and accommodation!

MUST apply before 12 SEPT to be considered.

Info & Application Forms:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2123397871313843/

====

 

Why you should book your ticket for the 24th Jan

On Tuesday 24th January, I will be performing my new re-branded solo “Things aren’t always black or white”.  While I will be warming up back stage, you will stroll into the theatre at 8pm and watch 3 companies perform their new creations at The Place.

This new solo is a political story told through Dancehall and Hiphop, tackling the problems related to the privatisations of prisons.

BOOK TICKETS HERE

I performed the piece in front of a few small audiences during the creative process, here is what they had to say:

 

I have also had the privilege to work with two mentors, Gbemisola Ikumelo, playwright and theatre director, and Frank Wilson, Hiphop Theatre expert:

 

Coming to the theatre on Tuesday will also mean you’ll get to make new friends, socialize and have a great night out, they got their tickets… are you ready to book yours?!!!

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE

 

Dance storytelling… some videos!

[avia_codeblock_placeholder uid="0"]

Here are a few videos of some dance stories I worked on over the years:

from solo’s to full length productions… from working with professional dancers and students on their journey into the dance theatre world… here are a few extracts of showcases and rehearsals.

I am running dance storytelling workshops for all levels, and I also lead an intensive leadership program for choreographers called 1000 Pieces Puzzle. Please get in touch if you would like to book the program in your city / country / school!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrdssTBuqGw

Book your tickets NOW for Cindy’s upcoming solo performance!

 

I am starting the year sweating and rehearsing for my next upcoming solo. Clear your diaries and make sur you are free for…

“Things aren’t always black or white”

TUESDAY 24th JANUARY

at 8pm, The Place

(near Euston tube station)

BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

 

VIDEO TRAILER:

WHAT INSPIRED “Things aren’t always black or white”?

The story of what and who lead me to create this solo is quite a journey… From NYC to Philadelphia to Brussels, I came across so many signs, people, cold factual information, tears, questions and events that it all had to be translated into a piece.

One of the shocking images that stays in my mind each time I rehearse is… those 50 coffins. Visiting my Krump dance family in Los Angeles in 2016, I saw bout 50 coffins when entering the dance studio…

It was an arts project. Young men who passed away at the hands of police brutality were remembered through colors, collages and graffiti art.

“Things aren’t always black or white” is a Dancehall / Hiphop Theatre piece, a dark poetic dance drama, exploring the themes of police brutality, mass incarceration and the ugly realities of privatized prisons.

My solo performance is part of Resolutions, a triple bill shared with MCDC and Jannick Moth. We are all very eager to bring a raw night of dance theatre to our audiences.

TICKETS:

http://www.theplace.org.uk/whats-on/jannick-moth-and-company-cindy-claes-productions-mcdc

Thank you for your support, looking forward to sharing this piece with you,

Cindy

Dancehall for Black Lives Matter

Top Up Dancehall Camp (Germany) and its founder Swaggi Maggi invited me to teach a Dancehall Theatre workshop in Berlin earlier this year.

I was extremely excited to share the power of the art form with students, many of who might have never experienced this creative process before. Half a day, that’s all I had to give them a taster of what Dancehall Theatre is / could be, train them up, give them a unique experience AND… create a show! Students were to perform a short extract of the work the day Battles were to take place.

For a very long time I was trying to prepare my class, having too many ideas… I thought to introduce them to some fun stuffs, explore suspense and storytelling, or fiction, or comedy… until I finally came to the conclusion I should just stick to what make me wake up every morning:

CREATING WORK THAT MATTERS AND THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL CHANGE.

 

I am an artist passionate about creating socio-political work. And I have been researching extensivelly the themes of mass incarceration, police brutality and the privatisation of prisons in the USA for about two years.

Top Up Dancehall Camp became a workshop and an adventure not only focussing on the possibilities of Dancehall Theatre but also the power we have as artists to be heard on topics that matter.

Here is a video from the work in progress the students presented after only a few hours of work:

 

Venezuela, first blog post of many to come…

I recently came back from Caracas – Venezuela, where I was leading an intensive week of Dancehall Theatre workshops.

The project was organised and set up by the British Council, and initiated by a young Venezualian university student Kimberley Tarache.

I had the priviledge and honour to work alongside two Jamaican icons: Orville Hall (Dancehall choreographer, lecturer, performer, playwright) and Dr Donna Hope (UWI).

About 100 dancers attended the workshops and lectures during that week.  The dancers were so hungry for knowledge and training, they travelled from all over Venezuela to Caracas to attend the training program.

It was a very emotional experience.  The exchanges were rich, socially, intellectually and artistically. We all created a strong bond and many friendships.  The sense of family and brother/sisterhood made the thought of travelling back each day a little bit harder.

I have a 1000 things to say about my experiences in Venezuela, and I am still dreaming and refecting about 1000 others.

For the time being, I am posting a few pictures of this beautiful trip which has left a print in my heart:

 

10295180_10153142033814230_5913418848934393211_o 10668944_10153164576754230_5419935523683295073_o 11109503_10153164468984230_6128882478886084989_o 11206030_456544491186663_994114195195565606_n 11334094_10153164588634230_7738245598586194485_o 11336830_10153164566059230_7795355374531220533_o 11402904_10153164497954230_7784369548690965479_o 11406509_10153164505964230_3773143307911955679_o 11411724_10153164470409230_4299254725665037085_o

Selling Yourself Without Selling Out

1000 Pieces Puzzle is a Dance Career Bootcamp ran by renowned dance theatre choreographer and playwright, Cindy Claes. The program covers absolutely every subject you could possibly need to know to carve out a career for yourself in dance.

The first training program was held in Brussels, Belgium, over 5 weekends in January and February 2015.  Supported by Zinnema, the bootcamp was a true success!

In a theatre in Belgium called “Zinnema”, a dozen dance students in the program worked with professional mentors to sculpt a short performance piece over the space of five weekends. They learned choreography, storytelling through dance, creating a character for the stage and… they even studied project management and tools to budget their shows!

Artists of all mediums have never been known to have the best business skills.

Master painter Vincent Van Gogh, the archetype of the starving artist, famously never sold a single painting in his entire lifetime. It’s exactly that mindset that Cindy is trying to change. She believes that the key to becoming successful (whilst your still alive) is a sound business sense.

During the first weekend of the bootcamp, Cindy asked the dancers to stand up in front of the group and describe themselves as an artist in less than 2 minutes. For most of the students this was confronting, they where at a loss for words and found it hard to say more than “……I’m a dancer… and hmmmm…”.

So over the next month Cindy Claes, along with Kate Scanlan (founder of Scanners Inc., UK) and Jan Wallyn (Artistic Director of Zinnema) delivered a series workshops in budgeting, networking, marketing, pitching to funders, considering target audience, amongst many more.

The challenge for the dancers was that just five weeks later they would have to pitch themselves again, but this time, in front of a professional panel of judges who would be awarding one prize to the person and creative project with the most potential.

“A lot of dancers want to put shows together… but if you don’t have the skills to articulate your ideas and vision clearly, funding bodies and theatre venues aren’t going to invest in your potential. That’s why these professional development programs are so important.”  – Cindy Claes

The heat was on, but the dancers held true to their training.  When the final weekend came, all choreographers where able to speak with clarity and confidence about themselves, their artistic vision and their plan to achieve it. Each and everyone of them had a incredible breakthrough!

Zinnema was so impressed by the transformation of the artists, their pitches, and the quality of their final shows, that they decided to award not only one prize (as originally intended) but to triple their entire prize pool!

 

Jenny Onya received a commission of 1500 €, 10 days of rehearsal space in kind and technical support to develop her work.  She created a Dance Theatre piece based on rape and the suffering of women in the Eastern Congo region.  The extract her dancers performed on the night was very moving, bringing many audience members to tears.

Mouss Sarr also received a commission of 1500 €, 10 days of rehearsal space in kind and technical support to develop a creative project he wants to produce.  Based on inter-disciplinary collaborations, Mouss will be producing a one day festival which will result in a mond blowing performance.

Camile and Anissa, two young Hiphop freestyle dancers received logistic support and business mentoring for a project that is close to their heart.  They will run a course and program for young Hiphop freestyle dancers during te winter, providing a wamr and safe space for young people to train as well as workshops in variety of street dance techniques.

 

It goes to show that there is a subtle art to being successful, and with the right mindset and the right mentor it is something anyone can learn. Talent isn’t everything. It’s only one piece of the Puzzle.

And as Will Smith would say”

“Skill is only developed by hours and hours 

and hours of Beating on your craft… 

there’s no easy way around it, 

no matter how talented you are you talent is going to fail you 

if you’re not skilled, 

if you don’t study, 

if you don’t work really hard and dedicate yourself 

to being better every single day

you’ll  never be able to communicate with people with your artistry 

the way that you want.” – Will Smith 

 

————————————

Written by Sara Kerrison

Edited by Cindy Claes

 

65 59 47 16 11

Documentary on our Dance Theatre Exchange JA / UK!!

We are proud and excited to share with you a documentary (made by Janka Troeber) about our UK/JA  Dancehall Theatre Exchange!!!  It just got released on YouTube and the images triggered so many positive memories.

 

The documentary got shared all over social media.  Here is what the students and artists who participated to the program said:

 

“Truly blessed and thankful to have been a part of this wonderful project thanks to Cindy and her whole team ! It’s been a life changing experience! All the hard work, trainings and lessons learned will be remembered and applied forever, and we will continue fighting for projects like this !” – Marie Popovski

 

“So happy I got to be part of that beautiful project!I learnt so much from the incredible Cindy Claes and the super talented @shadysquad. I’ve also met true real good friends!” – Felicia Dotse

 

“One of the BEST experiences of my LIFE!!!” – Matthew Richard

 

“One of the best times in my career. Being apart of this collective, training HARD, pushing oneself,creating, sweating, rehearsing,performing, tiredness, laughter upon laughter,international exchange new friends cest stylé!!!!!!!!. Don’t judge the shabby rehearsal clothes and heads scarf and dry lips by den image weren’t a factor!! Lets do it AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN!!!!!!!” – Natalie Baylie

 

“Sorry for my ugly, sweaty,tired faces but I completely released, pushed myself, my heart,me, just as I am and I felt the love of this family so much that this has been one the best training, crew, collaboration, memory, show, xchange, experience of my life!” – Michela Di Felice

 

I truly believe international dance theatre connections are incredibly life changing.  We now also have a DONATE page so you can support more artists to benefit from such training and experiences.  These projects allow artists to not only develop their performance skills but it also supported many to nurture their leadership skills.  Click here to DONATE now.

 

Drum rolls please…. let me introduce you to our first documentary about us taking over London and the world with Dancehall Theatre:

 

The Dancehall LAB & our first Badda Beats Thursdayz’ night!

Badda Beats Thursdayz has finally lauched!  Students have been waiting for their Christmas presents for a few weeks now, and the afro-carribean vibes finally took over Husky Studios last week!!

 

During the first Dancehall LAB, we worked on a choreo concept.

 

I used to play the piano when I was a teenager and I have decided to put my hands back on to the keyboard in 2015!  It will be a journey of trials and frustrations as I will have to start from scratch, my fingers haven’t worked out on a piano for 15 years now, but I am ready for the challenge!  The music I choose for the Dancehall choreo concept was the vibe I was into when I used to play piano… hope you enjoy it!

 

Here is the beautiful track we worked on.  I will lead another choreo concept class on the same track last week of January! Let’s brush up our performance skills and enter another world…

 

 

 

Thursdayz is a real work out as most students (and including the teachers team!) do both classes.  From Dancehall to Afro-Beats, myself and GOP Dancers feel blessed we can share the love for the art forms with a community that keeps growing, more and more!  Share our promo video for the class, Badda Beats Thursdayz is the hottest evening in town!

 

 

 

TheDancehallLAB_January2015.001

The Dancehall LAB – January 2015

Happy New Year!!!  Hope you all had a fabulous time with your beloved ones and started the year with energy and love.

 

I am soon launching a new class, and it is an exciting one!!!

 

Badda Beats Thursdayz is a new concept where all dance lovers looking for classes of dances of the african diaspora can come and enjoy a variety of vybz, all in the same place, on the same night!

———————————————-

BADDA BEATS THURSDAYZ

7-8.30pm
The Dancehall Lab 
with Cindy & Guests

8.30-10pm
Afro-Beats Fusion
with GOP Dancerz

£8/class or £12 for both

———————————————-

THE DANCEHALL LAB will start with concept choreos & freestyle classes during January. Then, we will have a whole series of Collabo Classes coming up such as:

Dancehall + House
Dancehall + Afro-Beats
Dancehall + Theatre / Performance skills / Acting for dancers
Dancehall + Dancehall
Dancehall + “Afro-Abstract”
and more…

Here is the schedule for January 2015, collabo classes are to be announced soon… so make sure you subscribe to the newsletter, join us on FB, follow us on Twitter or Instagram…