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Special one-off Dancehall sessions in MAY focussing on… ….

The month of May is loaded with exciting Dancehall classes. Students requested to focus and work on specific areas such as female moves and old school… so here it is!!!! I have also been asked to start additionnal classes during the day… All your wishes have been fulfilled!!!

We will start an afternoon class on Thursdays, starting 29th May.

Make sure you join for our special “female moves only” sessions and our “old school” sessions this month and… spread the word!!

Dancehall Classes in London – Join us now!

Despite the London tube strikes, students, Dancehall warriors and dance lovers were still present, smiling and sweating their evening away dancing on some beautiful jamaican tunes!! It was International Dance Day after all, celebrating our love for dance was a must!

Join our weekly classes any time of the year! All levels, everybody welcome!

TUE 6-7.30pm at Studio68

WED 8.30-10pm at Maryland Studioz

THURS afternoons… info to be announced soon!!!

What is Dancehall Theatre? – Video Blog

What is Dancehall Theatre? The concept triggers interest and curiosity.

Cindy Claes is an artist wearing many hats: Choreographer, Dance Storyteller, Teacher, Playwright, etc. After many years of experience in the Hip Hop Theatre world, she created two full-lenght Dancehall Theatre productions in 2013: “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” (a comedic socio-political three women show) and “School Fi Wifey” (a Jamaican & Dancehall re-adaptation of a Moliere classic). She also had the honor to be commissioned by Saddler’s Wells Theatre to curated and produce a ground breaking Dancehall Theatre event in London. Wild Card: Dancehall Takeover (Feb 2014) was sold out weeks in advance and featured work from UK Dancehall Theatre pioneers as well as a collaboration between Cindy’s company, the DTX Collective, and Shady Squad from Kingston / Jamaica. Passionate about international dance exchanges, Cindy has also been leading Dancehall Theatre sessions in Jamaica Kingston, at Edna Manley College (2010-2011) and DanceJa (2014), as part of a wider exchange program she is currently setting up.

Snippet of rehearsals with the DTX Collective

“DTX COLLECTIVE” stands for “Dancehall Theatre Exchange Collective”

The project was finally set up in 2014, even though I had this vision since 2007! The idea is to nurture opportunities for artists from the UK and from Jamaica to meet and collaborate, by sharing skills or by working together creativelly.

I believe that travelling and international dance exchanges are crucial for our development as artists.

So far, the DTX Collective has been able to work with Shady Squad from Jamaica, by training with Matthew and Conray Richards intensivelly in London, and by working on a Dancehall Theatre Production at Sadler’s Wells Theatre early 2014. This is only the beginning of something bigger to come… watch out fi dis & stay tuned!

Cindy

A Dancehall Dancer’s Dream – Interview series at DanceJA – episode 3 with Nicky Trice

During my last trip to Jamaica I had the opportunity to host the new DanceJa talk show. I interviewed Jamaican Dancehall dancers, asking questions about their artistic journeys and about their dreams for the future.

Let me introduce you to Nicky Trice, a member of Rifical Team… “Love” is what they stand for, and “family” is what they represent. Listen to Nicky Trice’s dream for the future… his answer literraly blew my mind away. A spiritual lesson of life and how we relate to one another. Rifical is, as they say… spiiiiriiituuuaaaaaaallll!!!!

May your wish be granted and may your dreams come true Trice!!! <3

Cindy

Yo! Wah Gwan – Dancehall Interviews at DanceJa – 1st episode

I just came back from a 6 weeks trip to Jamaica (as an ADAD Trailblazers 2013-14).

Every time I have the priviledge to hit Kingstonian’s soil, I do everything I can to research more in-depth Dancehall Culture as a whole.

I train with dancers, I go to parties, and now that there are Dancehall dance schools in Jamaica, I also take classes! But Dancehall is not just about the dancing, about the steps, about the Old School and the New School… Dancehall is a Culture… in other words it is something you “experience”.

I am an observer, and part of doing research is to watch and listen. It is while living, jamming, “liming” as they say in Jamaica, that you get to know people. It is simply by spending time and by having conversations that new worlds unfold around you.

I had the opportunity to lead a series of interviews for DanceJa during my trip. Yo! Wah Gwan is about getting to know the dancers, getting to know where they come from and what they dream of. Hosting this “YouTube TV Show” was an opportunity for me to understand more about Dancehall Culture and Dancehall people.

I spent weeks with these dancers, we talked, we danced, and we worked together on the “Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program”. These guys have so much talent and love to give… I hope that through my questions and their answers, you too, will see the beauty of their souls and the drive of their artistic hearts.

In the meanwhile… enjoy & share!!! I also discovered in me the talent of a TV presenter… I must say, I loved it! 😉

Cindy

TIME FOR AN UPDATE!!!

It’s been so hectic in Cindy Claes Productions’ Headquarters that I realised an update was mandatory!

What have we been up to since January 2014? Here is just a small list of what we achieved over the last few months:

UK:
– Not only did we sell out two Dancehall Theatre shows at Sadler’s Wells in London, the show was sold out 3 weeks prior to the event!
– We organised a professional development program, a one week course aimed at dancers/teachers and choreographers looking for authentic Dancehall training and wanting to further their knowledge in Dance Theatre. Not only was the DTxTP program sold out as well… we actually worked with a whole team of European students! People came over from Belgium, France, Czech Republic, UK etc to attend the program.
– We were able to invite and work with a Jamaican based multi award winning Dancehall crew: Shady Squad. The international exchange happening in London was… POWERFUL and magic!!
– We worked with a whole team of interns who went on a journey of growth! Look out for the new team who are ready to take over the world again!
– We performed a new fresh version of “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” at Wild Card: Dancehall Takover. Three women on fiyah!
– The company received Arts Council England fundings to support their dance theatre activities and international exchanges with Jamaica.

Belgium:
– Cindy Claes worked set up a new company called PuzzelB in Belgium… 8 dancers aged 15-32 who’s drive is creating tornado’s of creative happiness!
– PuzzelB was initially a one hour production produced in association with Zinnema in Brussels, Belgium. The show was massively successful, a powerful and political Hip hop Theatre production challenging society in many ways.

Jamaica:
– Cindy is an ADAD Trailblazer 2013-14 and went off to Jamaica for 6 weeks. Her main aim was to set up a Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program between the UK and Jamaica, as well as train and perfect her skills in Dancehall.
– Cindy met with the Minister of Youth & Culture.
– She also performed a new 8min solo (“Time is Ticking, Phone is Ringing”) at Dance Umbrella festival at UWI in Kingston Jamaica.
– Cindy lead a series of Dancehall Theatre rehearsals at DanceJa.
– She also produced a one hour and a half showcase at the outdoor theatre venue at DanceJa, showcasing some Dancehall Theatre work and the talent from all the crews teaching at the school. More info on Talent Pree: Dancehall Theatre Takeover coming soon!
– She lead interviews with dancers at DanceJa, she discovered a new passion: being a TV presenter, and it gave a new insight to her research on Dancehall culture.
– Cindy performed at several occasions with Shady Squad in Jamaica.
– Not only did she network and meet people about the Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program, she also featured on TVJ (Television Jamaica) Smile Jamaica to talk about the project. This interview took place at 7am on the same day she was flying back to the UK. A true highlight!!!

This is just what happened in a nutshell over the last 3 months…

More blog posts will follow with anecdotes, videos and more happiness to be shared to inspire others.

Stay tuned!!

Cindy