FUSE Blog #2 The FUSE is Lit: A Colourful Explosion

Excuse the pun, but I am literally about to explode with excitement!

Last week was the launch of FUSE social events ‘Light The Fuse’ and also the interviews for our FUSE team positions. So its been an illuminating time (oops another FUSE related pun).

Thank you to everyone who came along to dance, talk, support and celebrate Dance at our first social event. We had such a giggle (and got a bit sweaty) and what was so prominent across all dance tasters, was the similarities in why these various styles of Greek, African and Tango are so much fun: they connect people, return us all to the present moment of rhythm and joy, and give us a shared experience that builds a community and a sense of self. I can’t wait for more workshops like this one and we had lots of suggestions for styles to explore: Bhangra, Urban, Flamenco, Folk.

Sorin Negrea commented on the importance of the music and shared this quote: “We dance the music not the steps. Anyone who aspires to dance never thinks about what he is going to do. What he cares about is that he follows the music. You see, we are painters. We paint the music with our feet.” (Carlos Gavito)

So much to look forward to and so many colours to paint with! I am so pleased to now be building a FUSE Family of eager, colourful and talented participating dancers and a brilliantly diverse new FUSE Team. Every one at Barbican Theatre were blown away by the standard and diversity of applicants.  So here’s the team! A rainbow of colour and differing experiences.

Reetta Kivimaa

Originally from Finland, Reetta started dancing at the age of 13, taking classes at the local dance studio. After 6 years of training in Hip Hop, House and Jazz in Finland, in 2015 she was accepted into the Dance: Urban Practise course in the University of East London and is a recent graduate. After moving to London she had the chance to experience the London dance scene and work with various artists including Brian Gillespie, Kenrick Sandy,Ricardo Dasilva, Joseph Toonga and Duwane Taylor. Her latest performance opportunities include the Vaults Festival in 2017 with Joseph Toonga in Still We Dream and the EastWall in 2018 with Duwane Taylor directed by Hofesh Schecter. Now she is seekingopportunities in the dance industry as a
young artist, dancer and choreographer.

Clare Parker

Clare Parker is an experienced dance artist and practitioner with thirty years’ experience of making community and professional dance theatre work. She started dancing at a very young age, with Irish step dancing and ballet, followed by contemporary dance in her teens. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, gaining a BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance. Clare has a strong interest in fusing different dance styles and has worked on productions blending contemporary and folk dance, classical ballet and classical Indian dance, as well as training in Kathak with Balbir Singh. She has worked on a wide range of productions and projects as a dancer, choreographer and dance practitioner/artist with companies and artists including: Frantic Assembly, Richard Alston Dance Company, Northern Ballet Theatre, Balbir Singh, Cie Willi Dorner, Wrestling School / Howard Barker, Marc Rees. As a dance practitioner shehas regularly delivered work for dance agenciesincluding Yorkshire Dance, The Place, and Dance in Devon.

Gil Ratcliffe

Gil completed his initial training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (BA Hons Contemporary Dance, 2014- 2017). From there he joined Motionhouse Dance Company as an
apprentice dancer through Northern School of Contemporary Dance (2017- 2018). He has recently completed his Masters (MA Contemporary Dance Performance PAS) at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Gil’s Performance experience includes Motionhouse Midwinter Magic (2017); BA3 Commissioned works Bonnie Bird Theatre (2017); “What Remains” festival at Siobhan
Davies studios (2016); C-Scape Neptunalia at Somersault Festival (2015). Gil has also been teaching for Northern School of Contemporary Dance – Foundation Degree; Motionhouse Youth dance; Motionhouse and Hall for Cornwall Youth Dance Company.

Heather Richmond

Heather grew up in Devon and in 2011 went on to complete the apprenticeship with Springs Dance Company, gaining valuable international training experience in London and Texas. After a successful apprenticeship she further developed herself as an artist at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, from which she graduated with a First Class Honours degree in July 2014.
She has worked with highly acclaimed choreographers including Gary Clarke, Charles Linehan, Corey Baker, Balbir Singh and Sharon Watson. After graduating, Heather was invited to travel to Fiji for 4 months as resident choreographer for the highly acclaimed contemporary dance company VOU, touring with the company to New Zealand and around the Fijian Islands. After returning to Devon in 2015, she founded her own touring professional dance company, HeatherWalrondCompany with support from Arts Council England.

Shinjita Roy

Shinjita is a site-specific dancer, with training and experience in Indian classical dance. Her background in Bharatanatyam and Kathak, and her architectural knowledge informs her performance making process, drawing emphasis on features of architecture comprising our everyday spaces. She is fuelled by her passion for understanding the negotiations in juxtaposing contexts – where old meets new, indigenous meets global or training meets practice, Indian classical dance meets contemporary urban life. Her meaning-making attempts find methods of cross-cultural and multi disciplinary collaborations. She has recently completed her MA course in Performance Training at the Plymouth University.

We’ve just announce dour next FUSE social which is a networking event on Friday 5 October 6pm – 7:30pm at The Plymouth Athenauem before James Wilton Dance’s awesome new show ‘The Storm’ is on stage. Full details here


FUSE Lead Practitioner & Choreographer