We passionately believe that the arts are for everyone and we are constantly striving to improve the opportunities and experiences that we can offer to young performers from all walks of life. Our STEP:CHANGE programme has been developed in collaboration with Urbanflo Creative to enable a wider range of people to take part in the Festival and especially those who have limited access to the arts. By introducing a dynamic range of new features to the Festival we aim to facilitate high-quality artistic experiences and provide unique pathways for local, regional, national and international aspiring artists to participate. These new features include some non-competitive activities such as the amazing exhibition performances we saw last year when South East Dance presented a young group of performers who were very new to the stage and we also welcomed students from the University of West Indies in Barbados who wowed us with their contemporary pieces. All of these young dancers took away with them wonderful, inspiring experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime and we are now developing other opportunities so watch this space…
For this year’s STEP:CHANGE we are very proud to once again invite both local and international guest performers and the spotlight will be on Brighton dance collective Project Female and from Barbados, PowerHouse Studios.
Project Female dance company is a Brighton-based group established by choreographer Ellie Bishop-Williams. The company specialises in the style of street and contemporary fusion; creating pieces that tackle themes which young females face in day to day life. Such as how social media effects their own perception of themselves and others. The overall ethos of the company focusses on the development of young female dancers, creating a space in which they feel safe and comfortable to explore different styles of dance. The group are aged from 12 - 21 years and will be performing an extract from their forthcoming Brighton Fringe festival production, ‘What Doesn’t Make The Cut’. The full show will be on at The Warren 18th & 19th May (see Brighton Fringe or Other Place Brighton for details)
Ellie has extensive experience as a dance performer, choreographer, teacher & producer specialising in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street & Freestyle. From 2013 - 2018 she taught at Open Space dance school with additional responsibilities including creative contributions to the annual showcases. In 2016 she joined dance group Visual Poets and assumed multiple roles as
Choreographer, Dancer & Costume Designer for their sell-out dance production ‘Stronghold’.
Ellie has since launched a solo career as a choreographer/dance instructor, teaching over 100 students and she also holds a weekly Commercial class at Bird Studios Brighton. Due to the popularity of Project Female she has also set up ‘Project Youth’ to give less practiced dancers
of any gender the opportunity to become stronger technically and improve performance skills.
Project Female Dance Company Performers
Bella Beecham, Delilah Banks, Elina Wates, Hannah Newman, Jasmine Belcher, Josie Sayers, Lauren Sayers,
Lily Hoggarth, Mackenzie Dickinson, Naima El Dali, Rhiannon Rolf & Ruby Hall
Dance Title: "What Doesn't Make the Cut" ~ Music: 'Way Down We Go' by Kaleo & 'Panic Room ' by Au/Ra
Choreography by Ellie Bishop-Williams
PowerHouse Studios (PHS) is a new and exciting dance training centre on the beautiful island of Barbados with a mission to create powerful individuals with a well-rounded dance background. PHS enables children and adults to take part in a wide selection of movements classes open to all levels in a stress-free, fun environment.
Aged from 14 - 18 years old, the PHS delegation visiting Sussex Festival are;
Diandra Brice, Eryn Toppin, Kristina Parris-Drakes, Lyne Kazan,
Maya Black, Megan Pinto, Shannon Bryan & Yana White.
Their dance pieces are choreographed by the Founder/Director of PHS Megan Navarro and Tara-Jane Herbert who devised last year’s stunning performances.
Megan Navarro ARAD, RAD RTS, AISTD
Megan graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School’s ‘Teacher Training Program’ with Honours, becoming fully qualified to teach all forms of dance to all ages. Megan also completed a three-year Professional Training Program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre again graduating with Honours. Megan accepted a full-time teaching position back in Barbados and has been thoroughly enjoying working back home.
Tara’s original training was in London with the great William Louther from the Martha Graham Co. followed by 3 years at the prestigious Ballet Rambert School. Having enjoyed a career as a dancer and actor/performer, Tara found that she also possessed both teaching and choreographic skills. She has been fortunate enough to have taught at The Place (LCDS), The Circus Space and Millennium Dance schools in London as well as leading dance programmes in UK FE colleges. Tara’s choreographic process is continually evolving encompassing her dancer’s individuality and her own history as a professional dancer who also worked in the community dance sector. It is within this latter sector that Tara’s work led her to Europe, Brazil, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Tara is honoured to have been invited back to the Sussex Dance festival for a second year.
The PowerHouse Studios Dance Company will be performing
"Re-Write" ~ Music: Bach 'G Minor' (arranged by Luo Ni, Piano Tiles 2) & "Remember Me" ~ Music: 'Cold' by Jorge Méndez