Archive for December, 2013

‘7 Pillars’ rehearsals at the Dance Factory in Newtown, Jo’burg, with dancers from ACE, and dancers and musicians from Vuyani

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 by charlottegregory


ACE’s Artistic Director reports from South Africa

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 by charlottegregory

Taking a quick break from rehearsals for new co-production ‘7 Pillars’ in Jo’burg this December, Gail Parmel sends us her thoughts on this first week with Vuyani Dance Theatre at this momentous time in South African history.

Phase one: of research and development of 7 Pillars.

What a time to be going to South Africa. With the death of Nelson Mandela arriving in South Africa you could feel the eerie Sadness but at the same time the over whelming respect the people here hold for him.

We began the first day of rehearsals with a moment of silence. From then on it has been none stop creative vibes.

In the studio we came with our 3 dancers, Iona Waite, Jerome Wilks and Yukiko Masui. To be greeted by the full Company of Vuyani dancers (8) and a handful of amazing musicians. Luyanda Sidiya the Artistic Director of Vuyani dancer company and long standing friend and former performer with ACE dance and music took us through warm up, introducing our dancers to the Afro-fusion Style of the Company.

Working from the idea of 7 Pillars and in particular the word Freedom, we began by talking, musicians, dancers artistic team sat and asked the question, “What does Freedom mean to you” and are you free. A lengthy deep discussion erupted and no conclusion was discovered but a sense of exploration and wanting go further with this subject emerged. A number of key words materialised: Fear, Restriction, culture, judgment, trust etc…All great words to begin the creative process.

We are delving deep and at times it is uncomfortable, un-realistic and sad but we look forward to what comes out by the end of this first phase. We continue to explore, search and learn about our newly found family, Vuyani Dance Theatre and ourselves.

ACE dance and music looking for new dancers in 2014…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 by charlottegregory

DSC_7537 from The Place 2nd Nov '13 by Brian Slater


Following a highly successful Autumn tour, ACE dance and music is now looking for 1 male and 1 female dancer for the Spring tour of their current production ‘Mana’. Dancers should have professional training and a minimum of 3 years industry experience. A strong contemporary dance background, excellent technique and a powerful physical presence are required. An interest in education outreach is integral. Dancers should be available from 10th February – 18th May 2014 for rehearsals and national and international touring, alongside delivery on ACE dance and music’s outreach programme. Interested dancers must be available for the audition on Sunday 12th January in Birmingham. The audition will comprise workshops in contemporary and traditional African dance. Footage of the double-bill show ‘Mana’ can be viewed here:

To apply please send the following to Artistic Director Gail Parmel :

•Submit a letter of interest specifying why you’re interested in working with ACE
•Your curriculum vitae
•A photo
Please note that attendance at the audition is by invitation only.

Deadline for applications: Friday 3rd January 2014

Studio Refurbishment Update

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 by charlottegregory

image 11eimage 11bimage 11dimage 11bimage 11aFollowing an intense 9 months applying for and securing funding from Arts Council England, finding suitable architects, engineers, acousticians and many other professionals, our building refurbishment is well on its way. We are getting very excited about how the new reception, studios and changing areas will look and we thought you might be interested in our progress too.

Our studio will reopen for our in-house programme on 16th January, and from 1st April 2014 the space will be available for hire. New rates will be published early in the new year, along with images of the completed space. In the meantime, have a look at the developments made so far and if you have a query about hire, email

Work placement reflections from Belgian dance student Lisa Vanwonterghem from our Vincent Mantsoe residency in May

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 by charlottegregory

“Experiences with ACE”
Meanwhile it is quite some time ago I’ve spend one week at the ACE dance & music company. I had some time to think about my time there and what I have seen and experienced in this short amount of time.
ACE is a group that works really hard and does a lot of training, even though training can be tough it gives you still some kind of satisfaction afterwards. In my case I think I needed some good training and I really felt it and got it there. It’s not always easy to keep on going if it is so heavy, but these dancers are motivated and love what they do and this is also the motivation that keeps them working. To get the things that you want are never easy to get, but if you really want them you will do the best you can to achieve this.
In that week I mostly observed a lot the rehearsals, which was still quite interesting to see how they work and to watch a part of the process to the performance itself. I also really hope I will be able to see the result in their performance. The way how Vincent Mantsoe works with these dancers is very energetic, at the end of the week the dancers were exhausted, but somehow through the energy that Vincent has, the dancers get energy to follow this. We spoke together also about the title of the performance, ‘Mana’. To see what it means for all of us, what ‘Mana’ is for each of us. I remember that we started a very long discussion into different philosophical and religious minds, which didn’t make it useless to talk about if it is less in your interest. If there is no discussion between people about Mana, it means that the thing you think is Mana for you is probably not your real Mana after all. You will always feel like you want to prove your Mana is the best, no matter what somebody else thinks, because you are already convinced this is the right explanation.
I think Mana for me is that it’s very important to love the job that you are doing, especially when it comes to dance or other artistic forms. You need a lot of motivation to keep your interest and the drive to go on.
In this company I found that drive in the group which creates as I think the right atmosphere to work together and the right feeling or intention on stage. When I go to watch a ballet performance, most of the time I think it is well performed and everything had the good technique. The only thing is that I hardly ever get the feeling of wanting to see more.
If I see a contemporary performance where I can see the joy and the meaning of the story within expressions and emotional context, it gives me the feeling to run on stage and join the other dancers. In my opinion this is because the work and the dancers themselves share the same motivation to tell something to the audience, it has a heart!
See you next time ACE!

Mana Workshops

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 by charlottegregory

I would like to thank Iona and Yuki (company dancers) whole heartedly for their inspiration and professionalism. The students grew as dancers over the two day workshop and the experience was invaluable in preparing them for the demands of the A-Level practical units. I look forward to working with you again soon ….. I will be booking again next year. I would not change a thing

Amie Coutts, Dance Teacher, Landau Forte Academy, Tamworth

Dance Teacher Required from January 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2013 by charlottegregory

A professional, enthusiastic and passionate teacher is required to deliver high quality dance sessions to children aged 2 to 11 as part of our vibrant and exciting in-house Saturday class programme. There will be a framework of principles to work within but teachers are expected to bring their own expertise and dance knowledge to set out lesson plans prior to every session. Teachers must be confident and competent in their delivery and able to work well in team. You will demonstrate an aptitude for working with children across diverse communities, be highly motivated and take an organised approach.

Applicants must have a dance degree or equivalent qualification and at least 2 years teaching experience from early years through to key stage 2 (2yrs-11yrs). An enhanced DBS disclosure is essential for this post, the cost of which will be met by the applicant.

Please send C.V and letter of interest to by 6.00pm Friday 20th December 2013.

Fee: £600 per term

Applicants must be available as follows:
Saturday 11th January 2014 for Interview
Induction Day: Saturday 18th January 2014
Start date: Saturday 25th January 2014
Term One: Saturday 18th January-Saturday 12th April 2014
Term Two: Saturday 3rd May-Saturday 26th July 2014

Probationary period: ½ a term (6 Sessions)