Accepting International Applications

Groundwork is a one week professional development program for dancers and choreographers.

If you have a background in Hiphop, Dancehall, Krumping, Afrobeats, or House, and you want to learn /improve your skills in the dance theatre sector, this program is for you.

I am excited to be one of the guest teachers on the program, but a whole line up is awaiting for you!

It is a residential program, in other words, you will stay, sleep, eat and create all week in Destelheide, an amazing arts centre.

 

We are opening up a few spots for international artists.

Belgian dancers: applications are closed.

Internationals: apply ASAP or before 28th SEPT.

 

If you get selected, it only costs 120€ to do the program! (And yes that includes accommodation and food 3 meals / day).

Applicants from outside of Belgium, you will just have to travel to Brussels by your own means. The rest is taken care of by the organisation.

 

Full info & applications: https://www.facebook.com/events/2123397871313843/

 

You can also contact the organisers directly: TIMISS

 

Take a leap of faith, of purpose, of freedom

May you all have the confidence, trust & power, to make YOUR leap of faith
.
I’ll share my story cause some of you are going through something similar
.
I was a dance teacher for +/- 20 years (I started young). While I liked teaching, and while I was good at it, my heart kept saying that my true path was elsewhere
.
During the last few years, I kept teaching dance in the hope that some day – one day, the big creative vision will come true and I’ll be able to – finally – follow my true purpose & STOP teaching
.
Yes I liked it. Every class. But I knew it wasn’t my calling, it was not the WHY I was on earth for
.
Yes I was good at it but I’m good at many things. And I learned that being good at something doesn’t mean you should do it
.
Jan 2018: I was living in HOPE, hope for a life change and a business REFOCUS
.
Dance Theatre, Dance Storytelling, creating shows, and teaching THIS to students: that’s what makes my heart beat, and that’s what I wanted to do full time – not half the time
.
May 2018: I stopped teaching dance, only taught a tiny bit since
.
In the words of Lisa Nichols – my vision went from OPTIONAL to NON NEGOTIABLE
.
I had no back up plan though
.
While it felt liberating, it came with financial pressure
.
Big part of my business was based on it. But it felt RIGHT
.
I trusted SOMETHING would come up in my energetic field
.
I was literally telling the Universe / God / my Guardian Angels / Green Tara: I am READY, tell me, what’s next
.
Two months of chaotic uncertainty later, I received a place at the International School of Theatre of Jacques Lecoq in Paris
.
A dream come true
.
I landed… I am safe… until my next leap of faith
.
As a choreographer / theatre director / comedy specialist – I’m taking things to a next level. Time to play EXTRA BIG
.
Wishing you to play big, trust, and make YOUR own personal leap… and you’ll land safely
.

 

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.

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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/

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Compassion and Creativity

I was on a meditation course this weekend with my favourite teacher (a Buddhist monk called Gelong Thubten).
We talked in-depth about the importance of integrating compassion and kindness to our practice of mindfulness.

For example:

During the meditation practice, our mind will inevitably wonder and thoughts will pop up, all in the name of distraction.
If people tell themselves things like “common’ you, can’t you focus!” it raises their stress levels.
If on the other hand, we kindly, gently bring ourselves back to focussing on the breath, without judgement, oxytocin is being released, which makes us feel safe and calm.

How compassionate are we with OUR creativity?

I am guilty.
I have definitely attended dance classes where I thought: “Common’ Cindy! You aren’t getting the groove right!”
Looked at my poetry thinking: “This isn’t good enough. You are not sharing that with the world.”
Preparing a show: “Girl, you better hurry up. Doesn’t look like ideas come quickly to you, or is it?”

Meditation combined with the practice of compassion brought me on a different journey.
Being kind to myself when ideas popped up transformed my relationship with my creative juices, but also with how I share it with the world.

 

Creativity and making this world a better world

As an artist, I always reflected how my creativity could make this world a better world. Whether I am creating a show, teach a class or perform, I want it to benefit society in some way, shape or form.

In Buddhism, we dedicate our practice to the benefit of others. Meditation is not a selfish act to improve our own lives, it is also a practice to benefit others, making all lives more peaceful and joyful.

I believe that when we tap into our most profound creative potential, we have the ability to impact our communities, relationships and environment. I want to see everyone feel confident in their creative approach to life.

When I talk about creativity, I mean ALL creative ventures:

– finding solutions to business problems
– being creative in our public speaking
– putting ideas on the table during a meeting at work
– etc.

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It is because I believe in the compassionate power of creativity, that I set up the:

DYNAMIC CREATIVITY RETREATS

A full weekend of dance, theatre, storytelling, creative writing… and compassion!

No previous experience necessary. All welcome.

SAT 25th & 26th AUG in London

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The benefits of engaging in fun and mindful creative tasks impacts all areas of our lives (personal and professional).
Join us to tickle your funny bone and learn to think on your feet!
The objective of this Retreat Weekend is to:

  • cultivate a creative approach to life
  • a solution-orientated mindset

 

BOOK TICKETS  CLICK HERE

Cindy

PS: we have early offers on at the moment, book your spot now 🙂

International teachers coming to London!

Dance Backpackers’ TV and Cindy Claes Productions, supported by East London Dance,

are proud to present an international DANCEHALL & KRUMP workshop

on MONDAY 20th FEBRUARY

6pm – 10pm

at Stratford Circus

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

 

Kimiko, straight outta Jamaica; and Krucial aka Queen Weapon, straight outta Los Angeles, will be sharing knowledge, technique and a piece of their artistic life journeys with us for one whole evening.

Kimiko has toured the world as an ambassador for Dancehall culture. She trained in traditional Jamaican folk dance forms, is a member of the DanceJA movement, and is a powerful female leader in the Dancehall industry.

KIMIKO:

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Krucial is a passionate artivist. Co-chair of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles, she has been dedicated to use dance as a tool for social change. She has toured the US with the documentary Stand, doing leadership and education work amongst the community.

KRUCIAL:

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Workshops are open to all levels, from beginners to advanced (16+).

MON 20th FEB

6pm – 6.30pm: Registrations & jam

6.30pm – 7.15pm: Cultural Panel discussion on Dancehall & Krump

7.15pm – 8.30pm: Krump with Krucial aka Queen Weapon (Los Angeles)

8.30pm – 9.45pm: Dancehall with Kimiko (Jamaica)

 

BOOK TICKETS HERE – LIMITED SPACES

Audition Brussels – 12th Feb

BRUSSELS:

Looking for 4 additional dancers for a new & refreshing artistic project.

We are looking for dancers who have a strong background in either Hiphop / Dancehall / House / Afrobeats or Krump; to create new dance theatre work exploring the themes of police brutality in Brussels and the Belgian prison system. 

 

We are looking for dancers who:
◇have a strong interest in Hiphop Theatre / Dance Storytelling
◇are passionate about using art to bring social change
◇are eager to use creative platforms to bring new refreshing discussions to the table through art
◇are hungry for professional development

The project will offer:
◇The opportunity to work 2 days with Benji Reid, a U.K. Hiphop Theatre pioneer / choreographer and renown theatre director
◇The opportunity to work alongside Cindy Claes, choreographer based in London
◇professional development for dancers who want to expand their performance skills
◇professional development for emerging choreographers
◇networking opportunities (Zinnema, international dance exchanges, etc.)

The project is unpaid but lunch will be provided during the last week of residency. Cindy Claes Productions (UK) and Timiss (Belgium) have as focus to invest in local upcoming talent, empowering leaders of the future. Our aim is to provide a platform for growth, reflection and artistic expansion for all involved. The project is fully supported and programmed by Zinnema, an arts organisation based in Anderlecht.

Important Dates:

Audition & networking workshop:
12th February (morning)

Rehearsals (all day):
from Fri 24th March until Sun 26th March
from Fri 21st April until Fri 28th April

Show:
Sat 29th April

How to apply?

Please email TIMISS mouss@timiss.be with the following info:
max 500 words to tell us a little bit more about yourself (background and also your motivation!)
a short 3min dance video where we can clearly see your skills (freestyle / choreography / jam / battle videos accepted)

More info:
www.cindyclaes.com

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

 

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 classes on Tuesdays

Hi Dancehall lovers and students,

2017 is again a Dancehall year! Classes have started again, and we are sharing energy on the dancefloor as usual every TUE 6-7.30pm at Studio68 (Waterloo / Southwark tube stations).

Classes are £8, no need to book in advance, just pay at reception. It is a drop-in class, so no worries if you miss a week, you will be able to catch up as soon as you come back.

 

I am also very excited to say I have been awarded an Artist International Development Fund (Arts Council England / British Council), which is supporting me to go back to Jamaica later on this year! I will be continuing my research on Dancehall culture, do a Dancehall Theatre collaboration with Kimiko Miller and expand the future vision of 1000 Pieces Puzzle overseas.

 

Keeping Jamaica in my heart, and feeling those Dancehall groves in my bones, here we go for another year of sweating, smiling, giggling and dancehalling!

 

Je veux faire “1000 Pieces Puzzle” MAIS…

Le programme de développement professionnel et échange international “1000 Pieces Puzzle”, est en train de recruter des candidats Belges pour l’édition 2016!!!

15 danseurs/  chorégraphes belges seront sélectionnés pour cette formation riche en échanges artistiques et en coaching!

Pendant mon dernier séjour a Bruxelles, les danseurs m’ont poses plusieurs questions.

Voici quelques réponses afin d’encourage la communauté Hiphop, Dancehall et Krump de soumettre leur candidature avec détermination et confiance:

1. “Faut-il déjà avoir un projet/une idée de création bien précise pour pouvoir s’inscrire?”

Non!

Nous n’attendons pas que les danseurs aient déjà une idées précises pour leur création. (Si vous avez déjà un concept c’est très bien, mais ceci n’est absolument pas nécessaire pour soumettre sa candidature, et ceci ne fait pas partie des critères de sélection!)

Le programme offrira des workshops et des session qui aideront les participants à explorer de nouvelles pistes et à créer un concept.

Votre motivation, et votre aptitude à pouvoir nous communiquer comment ce programme enrichira votre parcours artistique est un critère de sélection important. On attends de vous de nous expliquer qui vous êtes en tant que artiste, et comment ce programme vous aidera a réaliser vos projets artistiques. Dites-nous comment cette formation influencera votre carrière, et qu’est ce que vous espérer y apprendre.

Au courant de l’édition 2015, la plupart des candidats n’avaient pas d’idée de départ, et d’autres ont carrément changé de direction au cours de la formation.

Prenez cette opportunité pour explorer, et pour prendre des risques au niveau artistique. (Un des risques pourrait être de se lancer dans l’inconnu!)

Vous devez soumettre une video pour votre candidature. Cette video a pour but d’évaluer votre niveau de danse. Les vidéos freestyle et/ou chorégraphies sont acceptées. Les vidéos ne doivent en rien représenter votre Création Hiphop à venir.

 

2. “Faut-il déjà avoir une expérience en béton dans le domaine des Créations Hiphop pour pouvoir faire le programme?”

Non.

Le programme s’adresse autant aux danseurs/chorégraphes qui ont déjà une certaine expérience dans le domaine, qu’aux artistes qui se lancent dans cette expérience pour la première fois.

Les candidatures seront jugées par rapport aux motivations des artistes, l’impact que ce programme aura sur votre carrière et l’enrichissement artistique que celui-ci vous offrira. Dites-nous pourquoi cette formation est importante pour vous, et pourquoi est-il important que vous le fassiez maintenant.

Les chorégraphes expérimentés peuvent parfois avoir plus de mal à se défaire de certains automatismes, alors que des artistes plus novices sont parfois plus créatifs et flexibles dans leur approche.

Vous serez juges sur votre niveau de danse (video à soumettre), et vos motivations.

 

3. “Le programme à l’air très intense, j’ai peur de ne pas être a la hauteur.”

Le programme est intensif et a été conçu pour les artistes qui sont déterminés pour faire avancer leur carrière.

Le programme demande un engagement (temps, énergie, etc.) de la part du participant.  Les participants devront prendre soin de leur style de vie (repos, stretching, nourriture saine) pendant ces 5 semaines, car les journées seront physiquement intensives.

Nous attendons des participants qu’ils fassent de leur développement professionnel un priorité pendant ces 5 semaines.  S’enrichir au niveau artistique demande de la discipline, de la motivation, du temps et de l’énergie.

Il est évident que ce programme ne s’adresse pas a des débutants, mais à des danseurs qui ont un certain niveau.

Néanmoins, notre apprentissage et notre envie de se perfectionner ne s’arrêtera jamais. En tant que danseurs, nous sommes d’éternels étudiants qui s’entraineront toujours sans relâche. Il y a toujours un mouvement à améliorer, ou une nouvelle technique de danse à apprendre.

Je ne peux pas vous garantir que vous serez sélectionné, mais je peux vous garantir 2 choses:

  • si vous ne soumettez pas votre candidature, vous ne serez certainement pas parmi les élus!!!!
  • le pire qui peut vous arriver, c’est que vous ne soyez pas sélectionné… mais garder en tête que les jurys se souviendront peut-être de vous pour un autre projet à venir! Même un “non” peut avoir des répercussions positives!!!

 

4. “Le programme se fait pendant les weekends, je me sens coincé financièrement car je dois prendre des jours de congés au travail / je dois me faire remplacer à mes cours de danse.”

Le programme demande un certain niveau d’investissement personnel, notamment en temps. Le but de cette formation est de donner des outils aux artistes pour envisager leur travail/carrière dans le LONG TERME.

Un investissement dans le long terme demandera toujours une certaine contrainte dans le court terme.

Quand on est artiste, le but et le défi… c’est de le rester pendant de longues années a venir! Investir en soi et en son future artistique est donc une priorité.

Ce programme s’adresse à ceux qui:

  • sont prêts à donner priorité à la réalisation de leurs rêves
  • valorisent leur carrière et leur future

A titre indicatif: si vous deviez payer votre place à prix plein, ce programme vous couterais environ 1200 euros. Mais grâce aux subventions que nous sommes parvenus à avoir, il nous est possible d’offrir ce programme pour la minuscule somme de 90 euros (ce qui inclus tous les workshops ET le voyage a Londres)!!!

Nous attendons donc des candidats qu’ils soient prêts a s’investir pleinement.

 

5. “Je suis danseur freestyle, je ne suis pas très bon quand il s’agit de retenir des chorégraphies.”

Le freestyle est à la base des techniques de danse que nous pratiquons. Le freestyle doit être vu comme un de nos atouts et pas comme une de nos faiblesses!!!

Le freestyle fait partie du processus de recherche lorsqu’on explore des idées pour nos créations, et certaines créations sont même entièrement basées sur l’impro!!!

A titre d’exemple personnel, je tourne actuellement avec 2 solos de 10min, basé entièrement sur du freestyle. Mes prochaines représentations auront lieu à San Francisco et à Londres.

Vous devez soumettre une video de danse pour soumettre vos candidatures. Nous acceptons donc aussi les videos freestyles!!!! Le but est d’évaluer votre niveau de danse, et non pas votre aptitude à retenir des chorégraphies.

 

6. “Je n’ai pas de team avec qui réaliser une création durant la formation. Est-ce que cela pose un problème?“

Tu peux t’inscrire sans avoir une team de danseurs. Il est tout a fait possible de travailler sur un solo durant la formation (spectacle à presenter le 27 Février a Bruxelles/Zinnema).

Et pendant l’échange international avec l’Angleterre, tu travailleras en équipe avec des danseurs de Londres (spectacle à présenter le 13 Février à RichMix/Londres), donc pas besoin de recruter une team pour cette étape-la.

Néanmoins, on t’encourage pleinement à trouver une équipe!! La raison est simple: cette formation a pour but de développer le leadership que nous avons en nous en tant qu’artiste. Recruter une team, et parvenir à motiver d’autres personnes fait partie de notre développement en tant que leader!

Tu peux travailler sur un solo, et si ceci est un défi que tu veux te lancer, alors fonce! Si au contraire recruter une team te semble inconfortable, alors lance toi ce défi en lieu et place du solo! Le programme te donnera également du support pendant les répétitions afin d’apprendre à gérer une team.

La platforme “1000 Pieces Puzzle” est là pour que tu puisse te lancer dans un territoire nouveau, et que tu puisse faire des erreurs tout ayant le soutien nécessaire pour continuer et rectifier le tire.

————-

J’espère que la réponse a ces questions vous aidera a remplir votre dossier de candidature. J’ai crée le programme “1000 Pieces Puzzle” POUR les danseurs Hiphop / Dancehall / Krump. Je crois en notre communauté et en notre force.

Mon parcours artistique m’a permis de me spécialiser dans les Créations, de voyager dans les 4 coins du monde, et à me présenter en tant que leader dans ce domaine.

La scène me passionne et je veux donner à d’autres artistes de ma communauté l’opportunité de collaborer au niveau international et de construire une carrière solide qui tiendra la route dans le future. Je veux voire des danseurs et des chorégraphes de ma communauté se développer en tant que leader car nous contribuons de manière positive à la société autour de nous.

Je vous encourage tous à foncer et à soumettre vos candidature!

SOUMETTEZ VOS CANDIDATURES AVANT LE 6 NOVEMBRE 2015!

 

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**This blog was written in French as it relates to a Belgian based project.**

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