ACE Graduate Company is a training and development ground for young, talented dancers, who have finished their studies, but may not be in continual dance employment. Graduate members have regular performance showcase opportunities locally, nationally and occasionally internationally. The group is self-run but is trained under the artistic eye of Gail Parmel.
ACE Graduates are always looking for passionate and adaptable dancers to join the group. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Untold – back in the picture // ACE graduates are visiting Amsterdam on 7th July to take part in an exchange with Untold then from 29th July Untold will visit the UK working at mac delivering workshops. ACE and Untold go back a long way and have collaborated previously via exchanges and performances, read more about a previous exchange here.
Performance @ Birmingham Carnival // ACE’s graduate company will take part in an exchange with a percussion group called Eternity. Based in Amsterdam, many of Eternity’s young group members come from a Surinamese background. They will create a new piece combining live drumming and dance to be performed in Holland and as part of Birmingham Carnival on 4th August.
Flux // ACE Graduates have been working with former ACE Youth member Rudi Cole,to create a new piece of work ‘Flux’. Rudi has performed and toured internationally with Company Thor’s ‘To The Ones I Love’ (Brussels) and Akram Khan Company’s ‘Vertical Road’. Rudi also had the opportunity to perform in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
Flux info // ‘the rate of flow of a fluid, radiant energy, or particles across a given area.’ Generated by diverse and complex rhythms; the dancers explore the utility of a feeding in and out of a steady heartbeat style rhythm, overlapping and feeing into one another. Flux has been performed at ADAD open stage (Swindon Dance), Testing Ground (Circomedia) and most recently at MAC Birmingham.
“I go ACE to learn new techniques, to improve and progress as a dancer and to perform with an awe inspiring group of dancers. The environment here in ACE is so powerfully driven with their passion for dance and there is an audible thirst for more within the classes, everyone is so kind and fun to dance with and everyone is just as determined to improve as individuals as they are as a group. I absolutely adore the classes, the experiences and the people I have met; I feel challenged with each class and performing with ACE as part of the Youth New Recruits for the first time was an unprecedented experience for me; I hope I can experience many more of these events in the near future! ACE is amazing.” Zoe Larsson 17
“I go to ACE Youth because I want to dance and everyone is so friendly and helpful. ACE Youth is great because they never give up on me and help me to do the best I can. The thing I enjoy most is taking a bow at the end of a performance; it makes me feel happy and proud to be a dancer.” James Campbell 12
“ACE is like my second home, it is the only place where I actually feel comfortable with myself. We’re like a family, although we dance together and perform together, we also are able to confide with each other and open up which I think is amazing. I learn so much at ACE whether it’s the intellectual side or practical. I love coming to ACE and I don’t think I would have it any other way.” Ines Kanyinda 17
I go to ACE dance and music because I really enjoy the style of dance they do, I look forward to going every week and learning new routines. I also go because our teachers believe in us and push us to do our best in everything we do.” Kaylah Edwards 14
“I love coming to ACE because is like a next family that I never had, everyone welcomes you with warm arms, however the reason why I come back every week is because it’s challenging and if it was easy it would be boring and not as exciting or interesting as it is. Dance pushes me, even if I do get the move or I don’t but it’s all about trying hard. Coming to ACE has taught me that you can succeed in anything also along as you push yourself trying.” Tinaya Davis-Walker 16
Sell out at mac // ACE Youth and our visitors Virevolte performed ‘Qui Sommes-Nous?/Who Are We?’ at mac on Sat 6th April and the show sold out! This performance was a culmination of a week of collaboration between young dancers from Birmingham’s ACE Youth and Geneva’s CompagnieVirevolte, who worked together at mac, exchanging dance ideas, and exploring social issues around the diverse cultural identities that both cities have developed. We visited Geneva back in October half term 2012. This visit was made possible by Birmingham City Council’s Great International City programme. Check out pictures taken at the dress rehearsal.
ACE Youth pathways // We are delighted to announce that longstanding ACE youth dancer Jamaal Burkmar was chosen to present a new piece as part of Verve, the Northern School Of Contemporary Dance’s graduate performance group. Five ACE youth members have also been succesful in gaining a place at The Birmingham Academy of Dance. It’s heartening that the ACE Youth experience has served these talented young people so well.
South African Exchange // In 2014 we are planning an international exchange programme for ACE Youth and other young dancers with Durban based Flatfoot youth dance company in South Africa. What an amazing opportunity for all! ACE dance and music’s professional company will hopefully tour in South Africa in 2014 and this youth exchange will form part of the programme. Read about our South African developments here.
And if you didn’t already know… Formed in 1998 ACE Youth are a group of talented young people from in and around the Birmingham area, all between 11 and 21 years old. Trained under the artistic eye of Gail Parmel, our vision for ACE Youth is to promote confidence and understanding in young artists and communities through the appreciation of African and Caribbean culture, dance and music. We encourage ACE Youth members to go off and study further. We offer members support and advice on running a dance company from administrative skills to marketing, web design, set design, technical skills, education and being a touring dancer or education deliverer. We open our doors to those that have recently graduated for apprentice positions. Eight members of ACE Youth are currently studying with or have already graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Amayra Fuller of ACE Youth graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and is now a dance practitioner with ACE dance and music and 23 year old Iona Waite is currently the group’s leader in charge of pastoral care and organising the group’s rehearsal schedule alongside the Directors, evidence of the company’s commitment to inspiring young people and helping them to reach their potential. ACE Youth regularly perform locally, nationally and increasingly internationally and promote young people as artists and leaders in their own right. They are at the forefront of excellence in European Youth Dance, and alongside Virevolte Company are part of a fledgling European Youth Dance Network: Dance=Désir.
The Afrobeats project has been a fantastic experience. We worked with 15 seniors from the Annie Woods friends group working with traditional African and Caribbean dance, drumming and singing. We used a traditional dance entitled ‘Quadrille’ as our basis to formulate our sharing using partner work, group dances and also solos. The highlight of the project was learning new information about our heritage and how it is relevant to today, this will be useful for further practice with our young people here at ACE. The end sharing at Newtown Community Centre on 7th May was ‘AMAZING’ the seniors were full of life they worked well as team. It was great to see the seniors’ family and friends come out and support them. The seniors were really proud of what they had achieved in such a small amount of time and are very keen to continue a relationship with ACE dance and music.
‘Ace has put some life back into the Annie Woods group and it’s been great having young people working with us’ Christine Wilkes
This project was supported by Birmingham City Council.
You are invited to an informal performance by the Annie Wood Friends’ Group on Tuesday 7th May at 12pm, at Newtown Community Centre.
The elders’ group have been working in traditional West African Dance and Drumming forms with ACE dance and music, and would like to share this project with you. This project is supported by Birmingham City Council.
You will see 2 short performances from ACE dance and music’s Impulse Group, and the Annie Wood Friends’ Group and then you are warmly invited to stay for a hot lunch and refreshments to celebrate the end of the project together.
We hope you can make it. Please R.S.V.P. so we can make sure we have enough food to:
ACE dance and music – 0121 3145830
Esme Patrick (Annie Wood’s Group Leader) – 0121 5515163
With warmest wishes,
from ACE dance and music/ The Annie Wood Friends’ Group
About the Annie Wood Friends’ Group
The Annie Wood Friends’ Group has been in existence for 25 years. During the 1981 Birmingham riots, Mrs Annie Wood had noticed that the West Indian Elders’ Community had nowhere to congregate and that they were frustrated about this. Passionate about this community, Mrs Annie Wood wanted to create a change in that situation and so decided that she would form a group founded on friendship. At first the Annie Wood Friends’ Group was based at the Annie Wood nursing home, but unfortunately this building became no longer fit for purpose and so was closed in 2010. Another pro-active member of the group, Esme Patrick, therefore took it upon herself to take lead and look for an alternative space for the friends’ group to meet; 3 years on the group are still meeting on Tuesdays between 11.00am-1.00pm at Newtown Community Centre.
ACE dance and music were lucky enough to visit Johannesburg and Durban in March but we’ve been so busy since our return that we haven’t had chance to update you on how it all went and our exciting plans for 2014!
We spent time with Vuyani Dance Theatre in Newtown in Jo’burg, teaching company class and getting a sneak preview into their new show ‘Dominion’. Choreographed by Artistic Assistant Director Luyanda Sidiya, it is a dark representation of power, and will premiere in South Africa in May.
ACE and VDT can now announce that we hope to team up to create a new production ’7 Pillars’ in 2014, which will commemorate the 20 years anniversary of South African democracy. The artistic team will be led by our Director Gail Parmel and Luyanda Sidiya, with music direction from Ian Parmel and an international company of dancers from both ACE and VDT. We envisage that the production will tour the UK and South Africa in Summer/Autumn 2014. Above you can see some of the ACE team with Vuyani company members at the end of class during our March trip – the start of our creative work together.
After 4 days in Jo’burg we hot-footed it over to Durban, where we spent some wonderful days with the guys from Flatfoot. We were lucky enough to be there for their 10th birthday celebrations and got to see their piece ‘Last Thoughts’ at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. We are planning an international exchange programme for ACE Youth and other young dancers with Flatfoot’s own youth dance company, again for 2014 and therefore during our visit there led classes and visited workshops in their townships dance programme. What a treat we had! ACE would like to thank all the wonderful people we met for hosting us so graciously – we can’t wait to come back and are now working hard to get these projects off the ground.
The stuff of which magic is made
Delving deep into the unknown, Mana will take you on a journey. Feel the hairs on your neck stand up and a shiver down your spine as you encounter the force which resides within all living beings and inanimate objects, the stuff of which magic is made.
Watch six exceptional dancers express soul, energy and precision to a stunning backdrop of commissioned music and cutting-edge lighting design, with movement styles drawing from Afro-fusion, Martial Arts techniques, the essence of Flamenco and Ballet.
A Thousand Shepherds: Spanish choreographer and Akram Khan’s Rehearsal Director Jose Agudo was inspired by 2 months in an Indian monastery. This piece is a celebration of discipline and dedication.
Mana: South African Choreographer Vincent Mantsoe will take you back to ancient times, evoking the spirit and earthy ambience of African dance and Shaman traditions.
The word ‘mana’ is used in over twenty-four languages, it unifies beliefs,cultures and ages.
Feel alive with ACE dance and music.