My first attempt to sum up 1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017) – BLOG 1

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Jazz music in the background, the smell of coffee and rose white tea, steam coming out my mug, all of a sudden… my eyes lit up!

“1000 Pieces Puzzle isn’t a project, it feels more like a movement.”.

I am sitting in a coffee shop, an informal catch up with Theresa Beattie, a phenomenal woman who has several decades of experience within the arts as a producer and artistic director. Her words resonate and echo a couple of times in the space… It feels like my mind stands still for a second.

It’s been 2 weeks now since we wrapped up the 2017 edition. I have desperatelly been trying to write a simple Facebook status, but not a word is coming out! Have you ever had a creative block when writing a Facebook status?!?!

1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017 edition) has been such an emotional rollercoaster of growth, an experience made of magic, bubbles and sparkle, it was such a powerful heartwarming event that I have been unable to write anything that would give it justice.

It was “life-changing”, as many participants described it. And life-changing moments are sometimes better described in silence than in words.

Sipping tea, my mind keeps repeating Theresa’s words in a loop: “1000 Pieces Puzzle isn’t a project, it feels more like a movement.”.  My frozen stillness felt like decades even though I am sure it must have only taken a few seconds before I tried to speak again.

Theresa had heard of the programme last year, I had invited her as a consultant to be a part of a Business Brainstorm weekend to move Cindy Claes Productions forwards. Twelve months later, she saw the results live. An explosive collaboration between 30 dancers, and 4 countries: UK – Belgium – Jamaica – USA.

1000 Pieces Puzzle is an international dance exchange and leadership program I set up a few years ago. It is mainly, but not exclusivelly, aimed at supporting Hiphop, Dancehall, Krump, House and Afrobeats dance artists.

Ten years of day dreaming, 100s of sleepless nights and many flights later, the program is now a massive success, empowering artists and dancers with the necessary tools to make their own dreams come true.

Being speechless has its beauty, but if I want the program to expand and give opportunities to more leaders from the dance industry to rise, I must go on a quest of finding the rights words to describe “it”.

I take a sip of my tea and loudly respond: “YES! YES! Theresa… YES!”. A movement. This actually sounds right.

1000 Pieces Puzzle is about nurturing citizens of the world a.k.a. artists of the world. It is about highlighting the importance of each individual and his/her dreams, it is about reminding artists of the power of their artistic expression and making sure all involved use their creative work to make this world a better world.

1000 Pieces Puzzle is about building a society based on win-win situations. It is about embracing the champion that we are and about boosting the leader within ourselves. It is about supporting others generously and at the same time finding the courage to strive fully for our own ideas to come true.

1000 Pieces Puzzle had nothing to do with me, it was something way beyond the human being that I am. 1000 Pieces Puzzle carries an energy in itself, uplifting, joyful and a strong feeling of being ready to take over the world. It’s a mindset thing, in action, continuously in action, continuously in motion. It is something that happens within the interactions, the exchanges and the collaborations. The energy is created in the space by the dancers, for the dancers. And this energy travels beyond the studio, it has a domino effect and goes beyond the group that we were.

1000 Pieces Puzzle is a movement.

Thank you Theresa,

Cindy

More blog posts will follow after this first attempt of writing more about 1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017).

***1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017) was presented by Cindy Claes Productions and Zinnema, in association with East London Dance.

***Photo by Alex Rumford.

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

Dance storytelling… some videos!

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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

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:

 

Guest Teachers for 1000 Pieces Puzzle!

Our line up of guest teachers for 1000 Pieces Puzzle has now been announced !!!
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We have the pleasure to have the following high calibre artists delivering workshops and mentoring on this International Dance Exchange, including:

  • UK Hiphop Theatre pioneer: Benji Reid​ !!!!
  • one of the most versatile artists ever (also from the old school generation) Paradigmz​!!!
  • Jan Wallyn​’s Dance-On-Screen work went viral not only online but also on Belgian TV!
  • Ricardo Ambrózio​ with a background in Krump and Capoeira, now channelled his energy into Contemporary technique and explorations of “untamed” movement quality!
  • artistic genius: Sean Graham​ , from spoken words to Underground UK Jazz he will bring us on a total new creative adventure!
  • Kate Scanlan​ , from Breakin Convention to Move It, to her unstoppable fountain of energy empowering freelance artists through projects all year round, she is just an inspirational powerhouse.
  • Annie Deltour​ on Body Percussion and the use of props, ready to take you out of your comfort zones!!
  • and of course you’ll see me as well, for some Dance Storytelling ingredients!

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TO APPLY:

www.cindyclaes.com
www.eastlondondance.org/opportunities (UK) – deadline 9th Nov
www.zinnema.be (Belgium) – deadline 6th Nov

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1000 Pieces Puzzle is an international dance exchange programme presented by Cindy Claes Productions and Zinnema in partnership with East London Dance.

Supported by Erasmus+, Rich Mix, Scanners Inc, Foundation for Future London, Danspunt, Jint and Arts Council England.

 

guest teachers blog

My drive and passion: behind the scenes of 1000 Pieces Puzzle

1000 Pieces Puzzle is currently accepting applications from UK and Belgian dance artists.

UK – Applications (deadline 9th NOV)

Belgium – Application (deadline 6th NOV)

This unique professional development platform is for all styles and especially encourages Hiphop, Afrobeats, Dancehall, AfroHouse and Krump dancers to apply. The programme will allow 30 emerging choreographers to develop themselves as artists.

The program is intensive: workshops, mentoring sessions and talks, creative time, a dance-on-screen piece to be filmed, and a dance theatre performance to be created! The selected artists are about to go through a journey of personnal and artistic growth!

What is my drive, and how did I come up with the concept of 1000 Pieces Puzzle?

A little video extract and behind the scenes where I share a little bit more about my personnal journey:

 

As artists, our challenge is to sustain our careers in the LONG TERM

As artists, our challenge is to sustain our careers in the LONG TERM.

1000 Pieces Puzzle – the INTERNATIONAL DANCE EXCHANGE is an investment in the long term, it is an investment in your career as a dancer / choreographer / artist. This long term vision means you will have to deal with short term challenges.

The programme is a transformational leadership programme for artists willing to throw themselves into new territory, outside of their comfort zones. You will train with renown Dance Theatre Directors / Choreographers, collaborate with a Dance-On-Screen Director, receive business coaching sessions and create your own work!

Do not let your mindset, fears or insecurities stop you from applying for this amazing opportunity!

If you really want to do it and you have those “yeah, BUT…” conversations going on in your head, watch the video below!

You have only a few more days to apply for 1000 Pieces Puzzle before the deadline!

UK – apply here before 9th Nov

Belgium – apply here before 6th Nov

1000 Pieces Puzzle – how to stand out!

1000 Pieces Puzzle:

This unique International Dance Exchange is now accepting submissions from dancers and choreographers in Belgium and in the UK!

Only 15 artists from each country will be selected to be part of this incredible artistic and business training program!

A short questionnaire must be filled in, and you must send in a dance video. Here are a few TOP TIPS to send in a smashing application form!

Good luck, may your talent potential and creativity stand out!

 

APPLY here:

UK  – deadline 9th Nov

Belgium – deadline 6th Nov

 

UK Travelscholarschips available for “1000 Pieces Puzzle”

1000 Pieces Puzzle is an international dance exchange programme presented by Cindy Claes Productions and Zinnema in partnership with East London Dance.

We are looking for dance artists aged 18-30, to take part in this unique professional development opportunity offering two 5-day residencies in Brussels and London.

We encourage dance artists from all over the UK to apply! Travelscholarships for artists living outside London are available to support with travel and accomodation costs!

 

We welcome applications from all genres and we especially encourage dance artists working in the following styles: Dancehall, Body Percussion, Krump, African Dance, Afro-House, Afro-Beats, and Hip Hop. We welcome applications from disabled artists.

About the programme:

30 artists (15 from UK and 15 from Belgium) will spend 10 days working together to:

– explore choreographic and theatrical devices
– collaborate and create new work with peers
– create a dance film with a renowned Belgian dance-on-screen director
– develop business skills
– train with high calibre guest artists, dance theatre makers and Hip Hop theatre pioneers

 

More information and application forms can be accessed here: East London Dance

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Project supported by Erasmus+, Rich Mix, Scanners Inc, Foundation for Future London, Danspunt, Jint, and Arts Council England.

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