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Cloud Dance Festival: Firefly Plays Pleasance Theatre

Versatile hip hop sensation Tommy Franzén will be taking over the role created by Royal Ballet's Thomas Whitehead, in Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally's "indie ballet" work 'Don't Blame The Player, Blame The Game'. This will hopefully be the first of many collaborations between Tommy Franzén and Kristen McNally.

Born in Sweden, Tommy began dancing at the age of 11 and has put the weight of this training into becoming as versatile dancer as possible. After dancing professionally in Sweden, he won a scholarship to The Urdang Academy, London, and then danced internationally ranging from musicals and hip-hop dance theatre to music videos and films. Recent performance credits include "Mamma Mia! - The Movie", The Olympics in Beijing, ‘Goldberg', a project by Kim Brandstrup and Tamara Rojo performed at the Linbury, Royal Opera House, and TV advertisements for companies including Pepsi Max, Nike/Footlocker and Sandisk. He has just finished a UK and European tour with the "Blaze" and is currently working on the creation of ZooNation's new show "Some Like It Hip Hop". Tommy was also runner up in BBC's "So You Think You Can Dance" and was recently nominated a National Dance Award Critic's Circle for Outstanding Male Performance (Modern).

Kristen McNally is best known outside of the Royal Ballet for her cutting-edge brand of "indie ballet", and for her innovative ballet-contemporary collaborations, having recently led Ballet Rocks at the Move It! show in March as well as her interactive performance to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at the Apple Store in London's Covent Garden in April.

Kristen McNally is also amongst 15 top emerging choreographers - including James Cousins, who is also performing twice at Firefly - to have been shortlisted for the prestigious New Adventures Choreographer Award 2011, created in celebration of Matthew Bourne's 50th birthday last year.

More than 20 companies will be performing at Cloud Dance Festival's next edition, Firefly, which will run at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington from 22nd to 24th July.

Other highlights of our lineup include acclaimed contemporary dancer Devaraj Thimmaiah, of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and formerly of Tavaziva Dance; Ross Cooper, one of Scotland's most popular choreographers, in an exciting partnership with Aikaterina Chatzaki; the 2011 Blueprint Bursary winner, Joseph Toonga; a new duet from the multi-faceted Gerrard Martin, a former member of Ballet Black, Phoenix Dance Company and Aletta Collins Dance Company; Mark Smith, who recently choreographed the box office successes Shoes (Sadler's Wells) and Iolanthe (Union Theatre / Wilton's Music Hall) with his new company Deaf Men Dancing. We will also be welcoming back Cloud Dance Festival favourites Sol Dans, Slanjayvah Danza, and Taciturn.

About Cloud Dance Festival

Cloud Dance Festival is now in its fifth year of showcasing the best and most exciting in new contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, and making both dance styles more accessible to the wider non-dance public. We continue to remain unfunded yet we are committed to promoting and supporting emerging companies and choreographers, which we would not be able to do without our enthusiastic team of volunteers!

www.cloud-dance-festival.org.uk

Cloud Dance Festival: Firefly
Dates: 22-24th July 2011
Times: 7.30pm - 9.45pm
Venue: Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF
Tickets: £10 (£7.50 concessions)
Box Office: 020 7609 1800 or www.pleasance.co.uk
Website: www.cloud-dance-festival.org.uk

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