Archive for April, 2012

An Update from our BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow Iona Waite

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2012 by charlottegregory

We thought it was about time our BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow and ACE Youth Group Leader, Iona Waite, gave us an update on what she’s been up to recently, in particular the Changemakers Leadership Residential Saturday, held at Traford Hall Chester from 21st – 23rd April (oh yes, didn’t I mention she was a ‘Changemaker’ now too?!)

So here’s what she made of it…

“The Changemakers Residential was absolutely fantastic!! The residential explored a variation of Leadership seminars, workshops, regional meetings, one to one mentoring  and presentations. Each day was jam packed with activity from 9.00am-9.00pm which ranged from early morning yoga, mind boggling activities and a lot of self reflection. I would definitely recommend any young person that is interested in developing their leadership skills to apply to be a part of this year long programme. I am really looking forward to the next six modules and will most definitely be putting all that I learn into my current leadership role with ACE Youth”. (Iona Waite)

And in case you haven’t heard of them, Changemakers are a charity who help young people unlock their leadership potential, believing that many of our country’s biggest social and economic challenges could be overcome if we effectively harnessed the leadership potential of young people. They plant young people in real situations with real problems to learn, as well as lead, and in the process develop a new generation of leaders.

Keneish Dance Company looking for dancers…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2012 by charlottegregory

Keneish Dance is a fresh company founded in 2009 by Keisha Grant, combining African Contemporary and Contemporary Dance with visual arts. Keneish will embark on its first full length production to tour Autumn 2012, which will include a rework of the sculptural installation piece ‘It’s like a thorn in my side’. Keneish is seeking strong female African Contemporary and/or Contemporary Dancers to join the company. The ideal candidate will have strong physicality, performance and theatre skills, plus a natural sense of musicality.

Rehearsals will commence in Birmingham followed by 6 – 9 performances (UK) between August and October. The first performance will be the opening ceremony for Billingham International Folkline Festival on the 12th August.

Rehearsal and performance fee paid with accomodation assistance for those travelling from outside Birmingham.

Closing date for submissions is 15th May, with the audition taking place on 20th May, Birmingham. Please send your CV and photograph to Kome Ovuworie at

Feedback for our Easter Gala and final Revival Performance

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2012 by charlottegregory

On Saturday 31st March we hosted our end of term performance at the Drum, which also marked the conclusion of our Birmingham City Council funded project ‘Revival’. The show sold out and the audience loved the varied evening’s work we put on from across our Class Programme – all the more reason to share some of the feedback with you…

“Fantastic. 10/10. It’s different from your day to day dance.”

“A real family affair and celebration of dance and music – an inspiration.”

“Not to be missed! 11/10.”

“Amazing dancers – vibrant and fun.”

“Brilliant – a wide variety of talent. Fun, energetic.”

“A fusion of modern, expression, African and uplifting.”

“The most memorable part was the drums.”

“Seeing how the company develops and trains the dancers through the years was a joy.”

Lots of audience members also asked about getting involved in our African dance and drumming classes and we do hope to carry on providing these opportunties in the coming months, so if you’re interested in coming along, please send ACE an email on and we can let you know if and when we’re starting up again!



European Youth Dance Network Established in Saint Etienne

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2012 by charlottegregory

Last week from 3rd – 6th April, ACE’s Artistic Director Gail Parmel and Administration and Tour Manager Charlotte Gregory headed off to Saint Etienne for a 3 day conference to discuss: ‘What Is the Place of Youth Dance Companies in Europe?’. The conference, hosted by Les Ballets Contemporains de Saint Etienne and funded by Youth In Action, was the second in the ‘Dance=Desir’ series, the first of which was organised by ACE dance and music back in October 2011.

After welcomes, speeches and aperitifs at the Town Hall (in the company of Deputy Mayor Monsieur Freidenberg no less!), Gail and Charlotte were able to catch up with European friends: Untold (Holland) and Compagnie Virevolte (Switzerland). Youth dance is quite rare in France so it was also great to meet l’Album Compagnie from Grenoble and welcome them to our growing network, which celebrates and supports excellence in European Youth Dance.

We spent the following three days based at the Opera Theatre of Saint Etienne, sharing commonalities and differences, strengths and weaknesses, but above all, the originality of our work and our shared energy and passion. We met educationalists, sociologists and programmers, who gave us valuable insight into the French situation and perspective.

We were also lucky enough to see the full length production ‘MeOuiDoncIcare’ by Les Orteils de Sable (the youth dance company of Les Ballets Contemporains) and sneaked backstage after the show to get the access all areas photo you see here!

All of this has given us renewed vigour to build our ‘Dance=Desir’ network together, with a long-term aim of establishing a cycle of festivals, events and exchanges across an even larger and diverse group of countries.