Cloud Dance Festival: Firefly Plays Pleasance Theatre July 22-24


Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally is amongst a crop of leading choreographers and dance companies showcasing their work at Cloud Dance Festival's twelfth festival, Firefly, which runs from July 22-24th at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington and which features works from 20 different companies.

Kristen McNally, who is best known outside of the Royal Ballet for her cutting-edge brand of "indie ballet", will be presenting her work Don't Blame it on the Player, Blame it on The Game, originally performed by fellow Royal Ballet soloist Thomas Whitehead. McNally is well-known 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.

As part of Cloud Dance Festival's inclusion of modern and contemporary ballet, we are showcasing new works from emerging contemporary ballet choreographers Edd Mitton and Richard Bermange, neoclassical work from Newcastle-based company Exquisite Corpse | Dance Theatre, and rising contemporary ballet stars Diciembre Dance Group.

Acclaimed contemporary dancer Devaraj Thimmaiah, of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and formerly of Tavaziva Dance, has been described as "having the rare performance quality of combining machismo, elegance and fluidity" (Graham Watts, Resolution Review). Thimmaiah has trained in Capoeira and several styles of contemporary dance and has made appearances for fashion designers, Bollywood singers and local and national satellite TV in his native India. He is performing his duet Arranged Marriage which was first seen at The Place's Resolution! earlier in the year.

Ross Cooper, one of Scotland's most popular choreographers, is presenting his new work in an exciting partnership with Aikaterina Chatzaki. Cooper is best known as the founder and artistic director of The Curve Foundation, and is the man responsible for helping to launch a number of prominent choreographers' careers, including that of Royal Ballet's Jonathan Watkins.

Other well-known names making an appearance include Sol Dans, whose powerful choreography was recently seen on the BBC hit programme So You Think You Can Dance; 2011 Blueprint Bursary winner, the Cameroon-born Joseph Toonga, and a new duet from the multi-faceted Gerrard Martin, a former member of Ballet Black, Phoenix Dance Company and Aletta Collins Dance Company, who has also danced with many commercial artists and bands, including Lionel Ritchie, Misteeq and Shaggy. Mark Smith, who recently choreographed the box office successes Shoes (Sadler's Wells) and Iolanthe (Union Theatre / Wilton's Music Hall) is presenting his new company Deaf Men Dancing.

Fans of the legendary Hofesh Shechter will be treated to a performance by James Finnemore, one of his dancers, in addition to Udifydance Company, an all-male dance company currently being mentored by Hofesh.

Further highlights include fierce choreography from new Laban graduate Charlie Dixon Dance Company, and Van Huynh Company dancer Dom Czapski.

Please see the attached PDF for details of all 20 companies.

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!

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

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