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New dance work at Cloud Dance Festival

Posted on November 5, 2013

avatara-ayuso.-photo-ana-garcia-seguraBalikbayan, a research and development project funded by Arts Council England and choreographed by Spanish dancer Avatâra Ayuso (pictured), is to be performed for the first time at Cloud Dance Festival. The work will be shown in draft stage on November 17 at 7.30pm at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in north London.

Balikbayan will be performed by Rambert dancer Estela Merlos and brings together a group of collaborators including Kathrine Ann D Cagat (anthropologist), Ignacio Vleming (dramaturg) and Marta Jiménez (costume designer). The work explores ideas of migration, identity and hybridisation.

Avatâra says: “It’s the result of my migrant experience – leaving Spain and travelling the world for my artistic development. I’ve also met a lot of other women along the way who have migrated too – for a mixture of
 political, social and artistic reasons. I wanted someone who shared my experience, which is why I chose Estela to be the dancer. She’s Spanish-Filipino and she’s great at approaching new ideas.”

At the same performance on November 17, Avatâra herself will perform another solo, Dalcroze, which explores the physical representations of rhythm.

Avatâra trained in ballet and linguistics in Spain before moving to London in 2004. She was part of the DANCE programme where she worked and performed internationally under the artistic direction of William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Frédéric Flamand and Angelin Preljocaj, and in 2008, she obtained a Master Klass in Professional Dance from Palucca Schule Dresden.

Avatâra created AVA Dance Company in 2008. The company has developed both short and full-length productions internationally. Alongside choreographing and running AVA Dance Company, Avatâra regularly teaches professional classes and also performs with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance in the UK.

Tickets for Cloud Dance Festival can be purchased from the Bernie Grant Arts Centre website.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Now acting editor of Discover Britain magazine, she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success.

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