You know I’m not dead…

Sunlight over Peckham

So said the maestro Billy Corgan (well not so much a maestro anymore, but that’s another post!). And it’s true. Despite my rather long absence from this blog, I’m now back (I can hear those cheers of yours now), and too with an abundance of posts swimming around in my head- if I can only find the time to capture them.

Why the long break? Well, despite the glorious London summer we’ve been enjoying I haven’t been just resting on my laurels for the past six weeks. In fact, quite the opposite. Much of my time recently has been dedicated to volunteering with the visual arts team of Discovering Latin America, a fantastic non-profit org dedicated to sharing the culture of Latin America with audiences in Europe and then funnelling funds raised by these events back to Latin America to support vital programmes of development. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m happy to report that our first event of the year, held last week, was a success! I’ve been blogging and putting together web content, mailing lists, invitations, youtube channels, and anything else you can think of and learning a lot about both the philanthropic and art worlds in the process.

And I can honestly say that the exhibition we’re supporting is a fantastic one: Todo Sobre Mi Padre by Nicholas Arroyave-Portela. I finally got to see the pieces hung last week and they made quite an impact. I won’t go on about it too much but if you have a few spare minutes and find yourself around the Tottenham Court Road area I would definitely recommend popping into CAA for a nose.

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela

Nicholas Arroyave-Portela with work from his exhibition, Todo Sobre Mi Padre

But that’s not all! I’ve also been involved with another incredible (practically philanthropic) production, Cloud Dance Festival. In addition to getting a lovely mention for support in the programme (thanks Chantal!), I penned two reviews for CDF’s July festival (which can be read here and here). In case you don’t have time to read through those (though really you should), here are my tips for companies/choreographers to look our for based on what I saw:

Taciturn performing Grapple at Cloud Dance Festival

Taciturn photographed by Jui-Wei Hung

“These talented four are great actresses as well as accomplished dancers, and move with such a relaxed charm that at times you completely forget that what you’re watching is actually a choreographed performance. Their magic way with partnering seems to reflect the closeness of the performers and makes the company feel like a real collaborative.”



James Wilton Dance

James Wilton photographed by Jui-Wei Hung

James Wilton
A confident contemporary choreographer who presented a work utterly unlike anything else in the festival “…performers served up exhausting virtuoso leaps, lifts and partnering with just the right amount of apathy to seem completely at the mercy of an intangible force that wouldn’t rest until it had defeated them all.”



Joss Arnott Dance performing threshold

Joss Arnott Dance photographed for CDF

Joss Arnott Dance
“The seven gorgeous, perfectly-matched dancers formed a slick, totally in sync corps when dancing together, while the dynamic staging also allowed the dancers’ individuality to shine through in a good mix of solo, duo, and group sections. The work was dramatic, fierce and totally rock and roll without being at all pretentious.”




So in fact, it has been a very inspirational couple of weeks. And between shooting off for another prom tonight of Mahler 3 at the Albert Hall and participating in five days of dance intensives at The Place next week, thankfully that streak doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon…

Until next time!

To do:
If you haven’t been taking advantage of BBC iplayer broadcasts of the proms you should be ashamed! The Donald Runnicles broadcast tonight with the BBCSSO was particularly lovely, and the all-Sondheim spectacular from Sunday definitely deserves a listen. Enjoy!

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