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Cloud Dance Festival Opens Tonight at London's Bernie Grant Arts Centre

After a two-year break, Cloud Dance Festival will be returning tonight, 5 July, through Sunday, 7 July, and for the first time, it will be held at the fantastic venue Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London.

Remaining true to our ethos of supporting and promoting the most promising in new and emerging artists, all of whom are unfunded, we will be presenting a diverse range of new artists, several choreographers to watch, Cloud Dance Festival regulars, and a number of special guests.

Ella Mesma, who has recently completed an international tour of Russell Maliphant'sThe Rodin Project with Cloud Dance Festival alumnus Tommy Franzén, will be presenting her fierce solo EVOL, which has previously been presented at Breakin' Convention, while our other special guest will be Raymond Chai, who has worked with most of the leading ballet and contemporary dance companies in Europe, including Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, DV8, Hofesh Shechter, Random Dance, English National Ballet and Ballet Black. Raymond will be creating a duet with two outstanding dancers for this festival.

You may or may not know many of the other artists participating in this festival, but we anticipate that they'll become household names (depending on the household) in due course, including Paolo Mangiola, Sol Dans, Merritt Moore & Adam Kirkham, John Ross, James Finnemore, Ieva Kuniskis and Anna-Lise Hearn of AniCo.

An Italian choreographer and dancer, Paolo Mangiola joined Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in 2008, and his works have been presented at The Place, Sadler's Wells and the Royal Opera House; his solo 'Nuclear Romances' is about nuclear energy, and Mangiola will be travelling to Japan next month to study nuclear energy in more depth, courtesy of the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund.

'A Timeless Duet' is a duet between BalletBoyz dancer Adam Kirkham - who is soon to join Russell Maliphant's company - and former Boston Ballet and Zurich Ballet dancerMerritt Moore, which was premiered at TEDx Oxford.

Ieva Kuniskis is a Lithuanian choreographer whose premiere of 'Gone To Get Milk' was cited by Jeffrey Gordon Baker of London Dance as "an unusual and brilliant standout" and "she should definitely be on the watch list of potential bright spark choreographers to come out of Resolution! this year"; 'Gone To Get Milk' has since been presented at the prestigious Baltic Dance Festival, and elsewhere in Lithuania and Vienna.

John Ross is one of Cloud Dance Festival's featured artists; he received a nomination by What's On Stage for their Best Choreographer Award for his work with Old Vic New Voices, and he has worked with Dance United, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and Tom Dale Company. His solo 'Man Down' was presented at the Cloud Dance Sundays launch in May 2013, and reviewers praised him as 'modern dance in its best form' (Londonist), 'watching Ross perform is a delight' (Cloud Dance Festival), 'a gem' (Nicholas Minns, Writing About Dance) and 'for me the night's highlight was Man Down. ... Man Down may seem small-scale, but it has sufficient scope and maturity to warrant another viewing.' (Donald Hutera, London Dance)

Further highlights include Cloud Dance Festival favourites Hana Saotome, James Finnemore and Sol Dans, who is collaborating with Great Lake Films to explore the intersection of film and the best in contemporary jazz dance.

Past Cloud Dance Festival participants have included Ballet Black, James Cousins, James Wilton, Joss Arnott, Mavin Khoo, Lila Dance, Drew McOnie, Tommy Franzén, Kristen McNally and Jonathan Goddard & Gemma Nixon - so we hope that this festival's artists will follow in their footsteps on their way onwards and upwards.

Photo by: Adam Merritt

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