A Conference Investigating Heritage Through Dance
transition| contributor biographies
Ken Bartlett (Director, Foundation for Community Dance) [abstract]
Ken leads the CDF’s artistic policies, and the development of programmes of work of strategic importance nationally and internationally, particularly those that support intercultural dialogue, diversity, and disabled people. Ken is an advocate for access to, participation in and progression through dance, and is responsible for our senior-level policy relationships. A regular contributor to conferences and publications, Ken also commissions our own magazine, Animated. A former Teacher and School Inspector for the arts, Ken was, before joining the Foundation for Community Dance in 1995, Head of Arts and Cultural Services for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council starting the process of developing the New Art Gallery. Ken is a Board member of Yorkshire Dance, and has previously taught and lectured in the USA, Australia, Latin America and Europe.
Julie Cleves [performance]
Julie was born in Hereford, which she left at the age of sixteen. She then moved to Banstead, Surrey in 1986 where she went to an Assessment Centre. Eight months later she went to Coventry where she studied GCSEs and the Arts Foundation Course. Julie then moved to Leeds in 1989 where she studied for a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art over three years. Julie then went on to complete an MA (Hons) Degree in Art and Design also at Leeds Metropolitan University. Julie began working for Leeds Social Services as a Group Organiser in a Resource Centre and then as a Direct Payments Advisor. She then moved to London in 2002 and completed an Acting Course at London Metropolitan University in collaboration with Graeae Theatre Company. Julie then studied the CandoCo Foundation Course. At present she is rehearsing for a Duet piece to be performed at the Robin Howard Theatre, London, choreographed by Marc Brew.
Fenfen Huang was born and brought up in the Province of Zhejinang, south of Shanghai, on the eastern coast of China. She came to Liverpool for BA studies in Environment & Planning in the University of Liverpool in 2001. After completing BA (Hons), she took one-year BTEC National Award in Dance in Liverpool Community College in 2004. She is currently studying MA Marketing in Liverpool John Moores University and going to graduate this July. Out of her deep passion towards dance, Fenfen started dance as her hobbies, has kept dance training in various styles including Chinese, Contemporary, Jazz and Ballroom and has been working as a performer, teacher, choreographer, director and producer locally, regionally and nationally in the past three years. Apart from dance, she is also a free-lance model and actress. Fenfen is aspiring to promote Chinese culture and arts in UK and Europe, particularly interested in integrating Chinese with other styles and wishes to work with artists from different backgrounds. In October 2007, she set up China Pearl, a local charitable organization aiming to advance the education of Chinese Performing Arts in UK and enhance the cultural exchange between communities.
Joy & Eric Foxley [sword dancing]
Joy Foxley is a qualified and experienced teacher, who taught for many years in a variety of primary schools in the Nottingham area. During that time as part of her extra-curricular activities she ran a number of in-service courses for teachers in English Folk Dance and Song, and taught children's dance teams.
She is an accomplished dance MC for British social dances or ceilidhs (she generally works with Freds Folks band run by Eric, or uses instrumentalists from it), as well as a folk singer and clog dancer. She has acted as MC in French and German when required.
Joy became interested in Indian dance in the 1970s, and started her Indian dance career under Nilima Devi at the Nilmani Kathak Kendra (now the Centre for Indian Classical Dance) in Leicester. After taking first year Kathak examinations there, she resigned her job as a primary school teacher, and went to India to further her Kathak dance. She studied in Baroda under Janaki Ben Damle, obtaining First Class certificates in both her third year and fourth year examinations. Since then she has extended her knowledge of Kathak with further visits for the study of Lucknowi tradition under the internationally famous Kumudini Lakhia, the celebrated dancer and choreographer, at her Kadamb centre for dance and music in Ahmedabad.
Since Joy's return to England, she conducts workshops on Kathak dance, combined with performances and exhibition material as appropriate, and takes adult classes in British folk dancing. She works also in co-operation with Bisakha Sarker at Chaturangan. She has given workshops in Nottingham, Chesterfield, Surrey, Middlesex, and for the ILEA in London. She is now specialising in storytelling with schools and adult groups as well as dancing. Joy has animated the Chota Hathi story (her own version of one of Rudyard Kipling's "Just So" stories with music specially composed by Atul Desai) in both English and German versions, and has written a kavita (poem dance) for the Hafiz the Stone Cutter story with music specially composed by Chris Davis.
Eric Foxley has been involved in British folk dance, song and music since 1950. He worked on committees of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and produced a document for them of advice to musicians who wish to play for English folk dancing. Major influences on his early music and dance included Nan Fleming-Williams, Squire Christopher Penton, William Kimber, Bernard Gordon Smith, Patrick Shuldham-Shaw and his mother Amy. A popular folk dance called "Mrs Foxley's Fancy" was composed in Amy's honour.
He has organised many English dance and music tours in France. These involved contacting the mayors of individual towns and villages, and encouraging participation by running social events and workshops as well as performing shows of morris dancing, clog dancing, music and mumming plays.
He runs Fred's Folks ceilidh band . Their website is used by many as a source of music scores for traditional dance tunes. The band's first of many broadcasts on the BBC was in 1961. We have performed all over the UK, with occasional appearances in France and Germany and have bookings most weeks of the year. The band welcomes beginners and young performers to join in with them, so that they canlearn the tradition of playing for English Folk dancing as Eric did in his youth. He dances with the Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club (morris and rapper sword dancing, plough and mumming plays), and plays for the Greenwood Step Clog Dancers.
He has travelled extensively with his work in China (all non-autonomous provinces), India (mainly Gujarat and Bangalore), South-East Asia (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore), Africa (Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania), Europe and America, and always looks for music and dance opportunities wherever he is.
For ten years now Eric has been happily retired with not a minute to spare, mountain biking, hill walking, running a pottery, managing web sites for a modest fee (including this one), and running the Foresters Morris Men, the Greenwood Step Clog Dancers and Freds Folks Ceilidh Band.
Joy and Eric Foxley together run ceilidhs with Joy as MC and Eric leading Freds Folks band, and run a regular club folk singing with young children. They manage together a wonderful house and garden in danger of being destroyed to make way for a new NET tram line.
Originally from Denmark Christian obtained a degree in drama teaching. He then started physical theatre and performed with Theatre Medusa in Denmark and Sweden.
Christian joined the London Contemporary Dance School in 2002 and graduated in 2005. Soon after he joined the CandoCo foundation course as part of the d.s.s team.
Christian is cofounder of White Wall Dance Theatre. He is also a member of Saga Dance Company (Denmark) and a member of the artist collective Crucible (Germany). Christian is currently working on a duet for evolution, choreographed by Mark Brew and on a new piece for White Wall Dance Theatre.
"Deaf and Disability Arts are important because they allow us to make others think in a different way, breaking through perceptions and stereotypes in order to affirm our place in society."
Ruth trained in performance arts, speech & drama, dance and mime at Liverpool Theatre School. Ruth has led workshops in Mime, Movement and Drama, and developed full-scale theatre productions.
From 1992 Ruth has worked in arts administration and management including; business development for artists in the Creative Industries sector, managing start-up funds for artists, developing Disability Arts projects, and now, Creative Director of NWDAF (North West Disability Arts Forum).
Ruth is passionate about Disability and Deaf arts being celebrated as cultural diversities in their own right.
Ruth is also a board member of Liverpool 2008 Culture Company, Vice Chair of The Bluecoat Arts Centre, a council member with Arts Council England North West and co-opted Member of National Liverpool Museums Public Services Committee.
Bill Harpe won a scholarship in Maths and Physics to Downing College, Cambridge, where he chose to read English Literature. While at University he became involved in dance and the performing arts (training, performing, writing). After graduation he pursued a full time dance training in London with Cleo Nordi (former member of Pavlova Company and teacher of Legat style classical ballet) and with Audrey de Vos (innovator of British modern dance technique), paying for this training by working in the evenings as a cook.
Work followed as a freelance dancer, teacher, choreographer and producer in opera, pantomime, on TV, and on school tours. Major commissions included :- the creation of a Choreographed Mass for the Opening Celebrations of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, performed by a company of 30 dancers drawn from the UK and abroad - a touring open-air circus-style production celebrating Zambia's’s third anniversary of independence with Aeschylus’ Greek drama "Oresteia" transposed into an African setting with African dancers and musicians.
On his return from Africa, Bill became a co-founder of the Blackie (Great Georges Community Cultural Project) - established as Britain’s first community arts project - and has continued to work there as both artist and administrator. His work as an artist has focused on the arts and participation, including the exploration of creative and co-operative games. He is the author of "Games For The New Years : A DIY Guide To Games For The 21st Century". Seminal quotes : "we are the food we eat - we are the games we play" and "all the world’s a game, and we are merely players" (after Shakespeare). He has directed four outdoor "Festivals of Games" in Liverpool city centre, as well as travelling around the UK and to Ireland, Denmark and Jamaica to lead games and talk about games.
In addition to these commitments he has written on dance and cultural issues for "The Guardian", "The Dancing Times", "Dance Theatre Journal", "Animated" and other magazines and periodicals in the UK and abroad.
He is currently overseeing at the Blackie the creation of one of the finest performing spaces for dance in the UK - due for launch later this year.
Born in the US but now resident in the UK, Donald Hutera has been writing on the arts since 1977. His work has appeared include The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
Since settling in Britain he has contributed regularly to The Times, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Now, Animated and many other publications. Donald co-authored (with Allen Robertson) The Dance Handbook in 1988 and has contributed to the Chambers Biographical Dictionary, The Larousse Encyclopaedia (Latin American edition), Fifty Contemporary Choreographers and the International Dictionary of Modern Dance. He has accepted speaking engagements on dance, dance criticism and cultural issues at the Tapias Festival (Brazil), the South Bank Centre (on dance and disability), Northrop Auditorium (US; new trends in dance) and for London Arts, Laban and The City University, London.
He was a participant in the Unesco-sponsored World Arts Conference (Spain), and has lectured on writing about dance and performance in Malta, Kenya, Poland and Finland usually under the auspices of the British Council. As a part of the BC's advising team for dance, theatre and performance, he also visited Macedonia and Lebanon. In 2003 he received a non-choreographers' commission from Guardians of Doubt (GoD), resulting in the performance 'Scary Grant'. The following year GoD gave the green light to 'Choreographus Interruptus', an audience development project created with h2dance that toured the UK.
Donald has also been a judge for the Total Theatre Awards in Edinburgh and was on the selection committee of the Greek Dance Platform, Athens in 2006 and 2008.
Naseem Khan OBE [paper]
Naseem Khan has been at the forefront of Britain’s cultural change as commentator, policy developer and initiator for over thirty years.
The daughter of Indian and German immigrants, she has focused on the themes of diversity, innovation and social change nationally and internationally. She has worked on feasibility and research projects, formulated policy, run training sessions and contributed to conferences.
Her ground-breaking report, ‘The Arts Britain Ignores’ was the first to highlight the cultural work in ethnic minorities communities. She followed it up with a substantial body of work in diversity policy for organisations that include the Council of Europe, UNESCO, Museums and Galleries Commission, Gulbenkian Foundation, Asia-Europe Foundation and Arts Councils of England, Scotland and Wales. As both an independent and staff journalist she has written regularly for the Guardian, Independent and New Statesman and others.
After seven years as Head of Diversity for Arts Council England, she returned to freelance life in 2003 to run her own consultancy, KC. It focuses on research, training, evaluation and policy advice.
She was one of five Women of the Decade in the Arts in 1993 and was awarded the OBE for her work in 1999.
François Matarasso (Chair, Arts Council, East Midlands) [paper]
François Matarasso is a researcher and consultant with 25 years’ experience in community-based arts activity. He currently leads a Culture East Midlands/EMDA programme on culture in rural development, based in Nottingham. He specialises in practice-led research, especially on the impact of culture. He has been commissioned by partners in over 25 countries and his work has been widely published and translated. He is Chair of Arts Council East Midlands.
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance [performance]
Internationally renowned company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance have worked with young dancers from local groups the Greenhouse Project and a group of Bharata Natyam dancers training with Mira Balchandran Gokul in Southport, to create a piece exploring personal and genetic heritage through dance.
John E McGrath is Artistic Director of Contact, Manchester's award-winning space bringing new theatre to diverse young audiences. As a director John has recently worked with hip hop theatre artist Benji Reid (b like water), with poet Lemn Sissay (Storm and Something Dark), on a multi-media collaboration with writer Kaite O'Reilly and visual artist Paul Clay (Perfect) and with Contact Young Actors Company on the theatre installation Close Up. Before coming to Contact, John trained and worked in New York for several years, including a stint as Associate Director of leading experimental company Mabou Mines. His book, "Loving Big Brother: Performance, Privacy and Surveillance Space" was published by Routledge in 2004. He is Chair of PANDA, the Performing Arts Network and Development Agency. In 2005 he was awarded the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Cultural Leadership Award.
Miso'shi, is a Ghanaian freelance performance artist, now resident in Chorley, Lancashire. She has experience working with Age Concern, Hospital Arts now LIME in Manchester, Museums and Community venues. Her audiences and participants range from age 0 - 75. She has over 15 years experience working with Secondary, Primary, Main Stream and Special Needs Schools in the UK.
Her active and full audience participatory method of work is much desired by Practitioners of Sure Start and Foundation Stages, Newly Qualified Teachers and the General Community. She is very versatile in using her artforms of Music, Dance and Storytelling to engage all ages to achieve to their potential. Her work encourages Kinesthetic Learning and is a powerful tool in the classroom to promote Curricular Enhancement. Miso'shi's performance work and workshops draw on her cultural background to outline similarities and what makes the differences in the two cultures she has lived in. She gives a general and positive introduction to her cultural background in a fun and educational way through songs and rhythms, stories and dances.
Piali Ray OBE
Piali Ray OBE, is the Director of sampad, a thriving and leading national agency for the development of South Asian arts, based in Birmingham. She has high achievements both in the Academic and artistic fields. Having attained first class degrees in B Ed and MA History, she has also excelled as a performer, teacher and choreographer of Indian dance.
In 1983 she started work in the UK as a performer and teacher of Indian dance, later becoming a dance animateur across the Midlands from 1985. It is this career span as a practitioner that has given her a range of experiences which she now brings to bear in her role of Director of sampad.
She founded the organisation in 1990, at a time when the provision of South Asian arts was ad hoc, and ignored by the main funding stream. She rallied the support of artists, educators, administrators and funders and led the agency to play a tremendous role in promoting the appreciation and practice of the diverse artforms originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
From the start, Piali aimed to provide artists working in multi-cultural Britain with a support mechanism, and to give them confidence, status and a context for the considerable heritage they have brought with them.
The immense range of artforms and cultures she has championed have an intrinsic value and are of concrete benefit to the community as a whole. Single artists, consortia of schools, disenfranchised inner city communities, all have been given a voice through the fulfillment of their artistic and cultural needs for self-expression and identity.
Those gains can be measured in a substantial artistic portfolio, as well as in the confidence shown in sampad by a multiplicity of funders, who regard the organisation as a resource to deliver their own objectives of access, quality, cultural diversity and new audiences.
In addition to her role as Director of sampad, Piali Ray plays a leading part in advising and shaping policy for South Asian arts development in this country through working closely with the Arts Council of England and other key organisations.
Bisakha Sarker is a leading practitioner of Indian creative dance. She has worked as a performer, choreographer, researcher, educationalist, critic, writer and video maker. Bisakha was born in India .She received her masters degree in Statistics from the University of Calcutta. After coming to the UK she adopted Liverpool as her home. She works all over the country in a wide range of situations. Her innovative work, much of it with disabled people, has challenged traditional cultural boundaries. Her rich spiritual creativity inspires others to translate their experiences and emotions into the shapes and rhythms of dance. Bisakha hands over the ownership of the dance to all those with whom she works, empowering them in a unique way. Both her performance and participatory work is informed by eastern spirituality. Bisakha Sarker is currently the director of Chaturangan, an agency based in Liverpool working to raise the profile of South Asian dance, culture and spirituality both locally and nationally.
Shane Shambhu is a British-Indian dancer, actor, choreographer and Associate Artist at Dance 4 and UK Foundation for Dance. He has worked on individual projects with an array of artists to include: Jonathan Burrows, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Filip Van Huffel, Lisa Torun, Leela Samson, Dick McCaw and Rong Tao and has performed with Akshaya Dance Theatre, Annapurna Dance, Wardrobe Dance Theatre, inDANCE (Canada), Vayu Naidu Company, Nina Rajarani, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company and Theatre De Complicite.
Shane was artist-in-residence at Derby Dance Centre from 2005 – 2007 and in 2006 was awarded a Bonnie Bird Choreography Award in addition to an artist-in-residence placement at Leicester Haymarket Theatre. Shane has presented his own works at Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, decibel x/trax and Leap Festival, Liverpool and has created works for Para-Active Theatre, Manushi Community Dance, Vayu Naidu, a short dance-on-film for music group D’Archetypes, and a collaborative work with artist Hetain Patel.
In 2007 Shane created a site-specific work for Fierce! Festival and created a new work which showcased at the Collide Festival, Birmingham. Shane is currently creating his new work “India Calling…” to tour in 2008/9.
Olu Taiwo is well known for his inspiring teachings of dance, tai chi and drumming. His workshops are full of enthusiasm, confidence building and creativity. You will be energised and have great fun. Olu will lead you in a series of processes to instinctively unlock your own body’s creative potential. By internally visualising an animal spirit you will develop a powerful imagination through the medium of physical movement and creativity.
Sarra qualified with
a BA Hons degree in the theory and practice of performance from the University
of Kent in 1996. This led her to India to learn bharatanatyam under Kalamandalam
Sumathy, in Kerala.
In London, her training in bharatanatyam with Anusha Subramanyam led to being an integral part of Beeja dance company. As Beeja, Sarra gave workshops, residencies and interactive performances. In 2006 Sarra starting working freelance as a performer.
The premier of her first solo work BholeNath (2006), was choreographed by Stella Subbiah, of Sankalpam. This was followed by Satyam (2007), which was a solo bharatanatyam performance, at the Nehru centre. Performing at the South Bank and touring nationally, Sarra is working for Sankalpam, in Attam (2007-8). She is currently touring Nilima Devi’s Urjah (2007-8) throughout the UK, spring and autumn this year.
As a qualified teacher, Sarra teaches yoga regularly in London. She also teaches yoga to bharatanatyam dancers to develop their dance technique.
Judy Ling Wong OBE, FRSA, Hon FCIWEM. Hon PhD
2007 UK Director of Black Environment Network. The influence of the work of Judy Ling Wong through BEN can be demonstrated by the extensive list of committees in which BEN staff participate, and the wide ranging engagements in key conferences in which BEN has played a key role for the last 5 years. These 2 lists come after the short notes on BEN below. (See www.ben-network.org.uk for additional information on BEN)
1987 onwards Working for Black Environment Network focusing on involving ethnic minorities in the built and natural environment. Current themes include the natural environment, built environment, urban design, heritage, green spaces.
1974 Arrived in Britain and worked as an artist (painter and poet). Exhibited in Britain, Europe and the United States. Work as a community artist brought me into contact with environmental, heritage and social inclusion issues
1972 Moved to Europe. Lived and worked in West Berlin as an artist
1965 moved to Australia. Academic Colours Clyde School, Woodend. Nell Norris Prize in Architecture, University of Melbourne.
1949 Born in Hongkong
Judy Ling Wong CBE - Biographical Notes
Judy Ling Wong is the UK Director of Black Environment Network, an organisation with an international reputation as the pioneer in the field of ethnic participation in the built and natural environment. BEN works across diverse sectors, integrating social, cultural and environmental concerns. Current themes include the natural conservation, urban design, history and heritage, health, access to the outdoors and urban green spaces.
Judy is a major voice on policy towards social inclusion. Her contribution includes membership of the DCMS Historic Environment Executive Committee, ODPM Urban Green Spaces Task Force, National Trust Council, and the IUCN/WCPA Task Force for Cities and Protected Areas.
She has worked extensively in various sectors - in the arts, in psychotherapy and in community involvement. This multiple background means that she is uniquely place to take forward the development of an integrated approach to environmental participation, bringing together different fields and sharing cultural visions. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1997 in recognition of her contribution to contemporary environmental thinking. In June 2000 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire OBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to ethnic environmental participation. In 2003, she was made Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental Management. In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Gloucester. In 2007, she was awarded a CBE for services to heritage.
Black Environment Network (BEN)
Black Environment Network is a unique organisation working for ethnic participation within the built and natural environment. We use the word ‘black’ symbolically, recognising that the black communities are the most visible of all ethnic communities. We work with both black and white ethnic communities.
Our work is recognised nationally and internationally. We are seen in the UK and abroad as the leader and the pioneer in the field of ethnic environmental participation, which we have created. BEN has projects in England, Scotland and Wales.
BEN takes a unique position with regard to inclusion. We believe that alongside fighting racism, there is an enormous untapped force for change that rests within people of goodwill who far outnumber racists. Alongside stimulating ethnic participation, we work to inspire and enable organisational personnel to gain skills to work effectively with ethnic groups, thereby creating a climate and a framework within which ethnic participation can take place.
We work with major players such as English Heritage, Greenpeace, Heritage Lottery Fund, BTCV, the National Trust, Countryside Agency, English Nature, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Scottish Museums Council, Countryside Council for Wales, University of Bangor and many others, acting as adviser on policy and strategy, providing training, and playing a key role in promoting the organisational culture change which lays down the basis for effective work with ethnic groups.
We are instrumental
in groundbreaking work with ethnic communities, promoting all developments
in the context of sustainable development.
BEN 2007/8 - Representation on Committees, Campaigns and Advisory Groups