Choreographers 2020/21

Gary Clarke

Winner of a Critics Circle National Dance Award, a UK Theatre Award, a Herald Angel Award and the Brian Glover Memorial Award, Gary Clarke is currently regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent dance artists. His theatrical dance work has toured extensively both nationally and internationally to critical and audience acclaim. Choreographic commissions include touring work for Opera North, Sky Arts, Akademi, Anjali Dance Company and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Gary has worked prolifically with companies and choreographers of international standing including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT, Candoco Dance
Company / Jerome Bel, Nigel Charnock & Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre,
Sadler’s Wells Productions, New Art Club, Javier De Frutos and Wendy Houstoun.   Gary is an Honorary Fellow of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Gary’s work for mapdance, OnYour Marks takes its inspiration from the Dance Marathons of the 1930’s. A new type of live entertainment show that spread across America during the Great Depression. Blurring the lines between theatre and reality, couples competing in the event danced relentlessly for hours, days, weeks and sometimes months for a grand prize
of fame and fortune. Bringing together Clarke’s idiosyncratic theatrical movement style, wry humour and a dash of irony, On Your Marks takes a close look at one of the most bizarre and desperate acts of human endurance.

Joseph Toonga
Originally from the Cameroon Joseph was raised in East London. He is a choreographer existing in different territories, creating & touring nationally and internationally. Alongside extensive teaching and independent commissions, Joseph runs his dance company ‘Just Us Dance Theatre’ creating and touring new work as well as mentoring young Hip Hop dance artists. He is also the co-founder of artist-led Hip Hop initiative ‘Artists4Artists’. Commissions include works for Boston Conservatoire
of Dance, Middlesex University, Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam, The Place (Edge), National Youth Ballet Bundesjugendballett & Richard Alston Dance Company among others. Joseph is a DanceEast Associate Artist and has worked with Hofesh Shechter on East Wall, received awards from the Rural Touring Dance Initiative and the Best Choreography Award from Reverb Dance Festival (New York). Joseph’s signature style is imbedded in the hip-hop form, combining the rawness, compactness and precision of hip-hop with shapes and structures from contemporary choreography. His craftsmanship pushes the boundaries and broadens the hip-hop form, utilising real life stories to explore and physicalise emotive themes relevant to today’s society, challenging proposals commonly used in hip hop dance.

Yael Flexer
Alongside co-directing mapdance Yael is Co-artistic director of Flexer & Sandiland standing at the forefront of dance & digital works. To date Yael has created 13 full length live productions for the company, touring throughout the UK and internationally. Flexer & Sandiland has been commissioned to create live and/or digital works for among others: Brighton Festival and Digital Festival, Sadler’s Wells, Woking Dance
Festival & Barbican Centre, London. The company has recently completed touring Curiouser their co-production for family audiences created with Norwegian company dybwikdans. The sited smartphone app The Hum (2017) commissioned by Brighton Festival and supported Without Walls has been touring across the UK since 2018. The company’s previous live productions Disappearing Acts (2016), Weightless (2012-14) and The Living Room (2010-2011) performed across the UK and internationally.
Independent Commissions include: E-Werk Tanz Festival, Germany, Edge, Scottish Dance Theatre, Motus Dance Festival & YDance Scotland. 2017-2020 commissions include Hull Dance, National Youth Dance Company Scotland, Trinity-Laban, Three Score, Encore East, Stavanger University, Norway and Maslool, Israel.
Yael’s work is primarily concerned with interaction, connecting with an audience on a human and visceral level. The work has a subtlety that is apparent in the movement choices, wry humour and informal on-stage dialogue. Works are physically driven, fastpaced, space-hungry and intricate. The apparent informality and simplicity of presentation
engenders an intimacy between performers and audience members allowing for boundaries to spill over and for the here and now of performance to resonate.

Robert Clark
Robert Clark’s work tours internationally with support from a range of organisations, venues & festivals including Tanztage, Touch Wood, Nottdance, Bmotion, Springloaded, Front@ and Pulse to name a few. Commissioned works includes pieces for Edge, Bodhi Project and the Pan-European commission program Beyond Front@. Robert was resident
Artist with Greenwich Dance, a Work Place Artist at The Place and Associate Artist with Dance4 and is a recipient of the Simone Michelle Choreography Prize from Trinity Laban. As a performer Robert has collaborated and performed with companies including Vincent Dance Theatre, Charles Linehan Dance Company, Fevered Sleep, Sasha Waltz and Guests, Cie Felix Ruckert, Hans van den Broek/Cie Soit, Le Grand Jeu/Louis Zeigler, Lisa
Torun Dance Company, Barebones (Rui Horta and Garry Stewart/Australian Dance Theatre), Ben Wright’s Bgroup, Aletta Collins, and Troika Ranch amongst others.
Robert creates work across a range of contexts, from the stage to intimate one to one performance encounters. At the core of his work is a commitment to curiosity, the belief that empathy is the foundation upon which meaningful communication happens, and the desire for productions to act as a catalyst for change, on an
internal, personal and societal level.