It makes me boil, boil to the bone All my efforts were in vain – I wish I had known It didn’t matter whether or not – artistically – I had grown That glass ceiling wanted me away from the throne
Initially, I saw myself rise and rise and rise During the ascension – I thought it was all lies Women were flying high – as much as the guys Little did I know it was sneering in the background – in disguise
Let me introduce you: The Glass Ceiling Ladies and Gents: Gender Inequality Drum rolls… OFF BEAT please!
It hit me hard, and by surprise.
– by Cindy Claes
It feels a little bit like…
Walking straight into a glass door.
Whether your nose is bleeding or your eye is bruised, nobody even noticed you missed the entrance.
It feels a little bit like…
Running with sweat and tears after a train who has already departed.
But your waving ain’t catching nobody’s attention.
The arts industry is poisoned by gender inequality.
Female choreographers / theatre directors are not receiving the same commissions, support and opportunities.
I don’t have all the answers on how to make a deep long lasting difference.
I can only share with you the way it made me feel:
Frustrated, sad, angry, helpless AND…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sat 29th April
How to apply?
Please email TIMISS email@example.com 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)
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!!