Sunday, 19 July 2015

This blog is now closed

Thanks for stopping by. This blog is now closed. You can find more information about my work on my new website See you there!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Achilles II in Poland

 © Renata Dąbrowska

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to present my work Achilles II at the International Solo Dance Contest of the VII Gdańsk Dance Festival in Poland. Over five intense days, the contest brought together performers from all over Europe and was a fantastic opportunity to meet other artists and connect with the local dance scene.
As part of the festival, we had the opportunity to receive feedback from the jury, as well as attending master classes and workshops with Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska and the contact-improv collective of Piotr Skalski, Paweł Konior and Tomasz Fołtyn.

Testigo Documentary collective was also covering the event, reviewing each night of performances. Here are the impressions of Hanna Raszewska and Renata Dąbrowska on my performance of Achilles II:


The second evening of the Solo Dance Contest was opened with the work of Joan Clevillé entitled “Achilles II”. The ancient hero does not adopt a pose of a warrior here, does not present himself mid-battle, does not triumph after another victorious clash. He is outside the battlefield; this is one of the few moments of solitude that can be devoted to oneself. The hero cowers under the pressure of expectations of the society, the pressure exerted by destiny weighs him down, the life amid unceasing violence at times arouses his anger, his sensitivity makes itself heard. With a naked torso and in brocade trousers, the performer revolves around the theme of the divine power of the hero and the human sensitivity of the man. He crosses the space with long strides and spins in spirals, falls down under the pressure of reality and gets up against it, responds to external stimuli and operates internal impulses. Achilles is anxious, torn, full of emotions. He is not willing, however, to escape from his life situation, he knows this is the right path for him – he does not, however, tread it with ease.

 © Renata Dąbrowska

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Teaching in Sweden

Skånes Dansteater in The Feeling of Going.
Foto by Malin Arnesson
 I have been invited to teach this week at  Skånes Dansteater, Sweden's largest independent dance institution and one of the most prominent repertory dance companies in Northern Europe.

The company is currently performing The Feeling of Going by British choreographer Ben Wright (who is also Associate Artistic Director of the company). The production is back by popular demand after a hugely successful run last year. This week's performances at Malmö's Opera are already sold out!

Featuring live music composed by Jónsi, Sigur Ros's lead singer, the piece takes the audience on a journey into an extraordinary territory where anything can occur. Set in a mythical domain where human and beast measure their strength against one another and lend each other life; this is a landscape where wakefulness and dreaming merge, where time and space float free from one another - un-fixed and ever changing.

Another Scottish-based artist is working with the company at the moment. Dancer and choreographer Caroline Bowditch has had a long standing relationship with the company and is now creating a new outdoor work with an inclusive cast of trained and untrained bodies. Raising questions about equality and visibility, C-me will be performed in the streets of Malmö from 24th to 28th of June.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Plan B for Utopia preview perfomance!

There is something special about First Times. The first time you travel abroad, the first time you kiss somebody, or you drive a car… Next Tuesday 21st of April will be a special evening for us. We will present a preview performance of Plan B for Utopia, the first full-length work of Joan Clevillé Dance.

The piece will be officially premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then embark on a national tour during the autumn, including an extensive programme of creative learning activities. We are currently on our last week of creation rehearsals with dancers John Kendall and Solène Weinachter at the studios of Scottish School of Contemporary Dance.

The whole team is very excited and we can’t wait to share the work with an audience! This time the performance will be for an invited audience of community members, dance and theatre students, and professionals from the dance industry. Watch this space for more information on our premiere performances at the Edinburgh Fringe (21st-30th August) and our autumn tour.

In the meantime, here's a little taster of what's to come with some 'making of' pictures from our recent photo-shoot session with photographer Nicole Guarino and designer Matthias Strahm:
© Vicky Wilson

© Vicky Wilson
© Vicky Wilson

© Vicky Wilson

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Free Professional Classes in Dundee!

I am delighted to announce that we will be offering a week of FREE professional dance classes in Dundee as part of my creation residency for Plan B for Utopia.

The classes will start at 10.30h at Scottish Dance Theatre’s studio at Dundee Rep Theatre (Tay Square, Dundee DD1 1PB) between Monday 30 March and Friday 3rd of April.
Spaces are limited. Please email to book your space.
The classes will be informed by the current creation process of Plan B for Utopia. They will explore the relation between breath, voice and movement, as well as improvisational tasks and set material.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

On residency at The Work Room & Dance Base

Two weeks ago it was The Work Room, Glasgow's studio for independent dance artists at the Tramway Theatre. This week, I am on residency at Dance Base, Scotland's National Centre for Dance in Edinburgh, working on the creation of Plan B for Utopia.

The piece is a new full- length work with dancers Solène Weinachter (Scottish Dance Theatre, Lost Dog, Gecko) and John Kendall (balletLORENT) exploring the cycles of hope and failure that drive our personal and collective lives.

After an initial period of research in summer and autumn 2014, this is our second week of creation and we have invited playwright Ella Hickson to come into the studio as dramaturgy advisor. I met Ella working in a project at Nuffield Theatre (Southampton) with choreographer Ben Duke. She has won several awards (including a Fringe First for Eight, her first play back in 2008) and currently writes for some of the major theatre companies in the UK, including the National Theatre in London and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Join us for work-in-progress sharing and Q&A session with the creative team on Friday 6th of March at 4pm. Dance Base, 14-16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Achilles II fotos and reviews!

I am very excited to share Nicole Guarino's pictures from my performance of Achilles II at Resolution! last January.

This is a new version of the solo originally created in June 2013 for the RepNet Hothouse choreographic platform in Malmö, Sweden. This extended version also featured a new striking lighting design by Emma Jones, which Nicole captured brilliantly in these shots.

The work was warmly received by the audience at The Place's Robin Howard Theatre. Here are some of the reactions from audience members and the reviewers Hailey McLeod and Sanjoy Roy:

'A portrait of anguish. Tender, extreme, astonishing', audience member.

'I was mesmerised and moved. Brilliant and thought provoking - beautiful', audience member.

'a powerful performance', Sanjoy Roy.

'I was joyously mesmerized by his other worldly gold and glittery trousers', Hailey McLeod.

© Nicole Guarino

© Nicole Guarino

© Nicole Guarino

© Nicole Guarino

© Nicole Guarino

Winter Again (Again)

© Maria Falconer

A few weeks ago I was invited to perform with Scottish Dance Theatre in Jo Strømgren's Winter Again. The piece was created in 2013, when I was a member of the company and part of the original cast. Dancing it again felt like stepping into your old shoes, but the performances at Dundee Rep and Edinburgh Traverse were actually an unexpected opportuity to discover new facets of this dark, slightly surreal, Nordic tale...
The work is part of a double-bill programme with Dreamers, a brand new work by Anton Lachky, one of the founding members of the Belgian collective 'Les Slovaks'.

You can catch the rest of the tour at Dance City (Newcastle) on 23 and 24 of April and at the Taliesan Arts Festival (Swansea) on 30 April. More info HERE.

Below is a 4-star review by Kelly Apter at The Scotsman:

Making a welcome return, Jo Strømgren’s Winter, Again bears a repeat viewing. Nine distinct characters, few of whom you would deem trustworthy, see out a winter together. In the absence of fresh snow, everything is a dirty, spattered grey. The music – Schubert’s Eine Winterreise – sounds pure of voice, but there is little purity on stage.
Guns are brandished, animals are killed and one poor girl even loses her eyes. Yet Strømgren has a lightness of touch that turns such macabre content into easy viewing. Once again aided by the current strong crop of performers, and in particular guest dancer, Joan Clevillé and his almost Vaudevillian sense of melodrama.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Teaching in Dundee

This month I will be teaching different classes in Dundee organised by Scottish Dance Theatre:

The adult technique classes are aimed at professional dancers or students in full time dance education. They combine elements from contact improvisation with set exercises and combinations. Through the use of imagery, they encourage movement from within the body and a sense of organic flow. Attention is also given to movement articulation and the efficient use of weight (individually and with partners).

The master class on 26th of February will be an introduction to contact improvisation. Working with different partners, we will explore touch, weight, gravity and momentum. Tuning into the inner sensations of the body, we will learn to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of wilfulness to experience playfulness and the natural flow of movement.

Spaces are limited, book your place on or by phone at Dundee Rep's Box Office 01382 223530

Saturday, 17 January 2015

THIS SATURDAY 'Achilles II' at Resolution!

This coming Saturday 24 of January I will be presenting my solo work Achilles II at The Place (London), as part of the 2015 edition of Resolution!.

Recently chosen by dance critic Judith Mackrell, (The Guardian) as one of this year's five 'names to watch out for' during the festival, I am delighted to take part for the first time in this classic of British choreography.

I am also delighted to be working again with designers Matthias Strahm and Emma Jones, who are creating a new costume and lighting design for the piece.

Achilles II will be part of a triple bill programme with works by choreographers Jayne Port and Estela Merlos. BOOK NOW and get up to 30% discount when booking multiple shows!

Sunday, 14 December 2014


SAVE THE DATE: On Sat. 24 of January I will be performing my solo Achilles II in London as part of Resolution! The Place's much loved annual festival is back at the start of 2015. Running from 8 January to 21 February, Resolution! celebrates new choreography from emerging and established choreographers. Previous editions have showcased work by artists such as Russell Maliphant, Wayne McGregor, Charlotte Vincent and Hofesh Shechter.

I will present a new iteration of my solo work Achilles I, which I performed earlier this year at the TanzArt ostwest festival in Germany. I hope this new, extended version will give me an opportunity to de-compress the work and dig deeper in its soul. I will be also experimenting with the possibilities of a new lighting and costume design by Emma Jones and Matthias Strahm.

I am very excited to be sharing the evening with choreographers Jayne Port and Estela Merlos (also a Catalan dance-maker based in the UK!).

Over 28 days, 84 companies will bring works of unique choreographic diversity to the stage, fused with an uncompromising attitude of experimentation. For more information about Resolution! and to book your tickets, click HERE.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Footsteps Marking Time premiere

Next Saturday 29th of November we will present the premiere of Footsteps Marking Time, a new full-length music and dance performance created with Glasgow-based composer Matilda Brown.

The production will try to capture the physical and emotional journey of Matilda's solo walk 238 miles across the Scottish Highlands and my simultaneous dance journey in a studio in the remote peninsula of Scoraig in March-April 2014. Footsteps Marking Time will bring our stories together, retold through music, dance and visuals.

Since the walk, Matilda and I have been collaborating and exploring all our findings and stories – our trials and tribulations, the people we met, the trees, the birds, the solitude. Together we have worked in various locations across Scotland – Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Loch Tay- in a series of residencies organised with the support of Citymoves, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and Scottish Dance Theatre.

The premiere will take place at The Macphail Centre in Ullapool, a town in the middle point of the Cape Wrath Trail. The performance will feature live music by Matilda's chamber ensemble with some of the most prominent jazz and folk musicians in Scotland: Jo Nicholson (Clarinet/ Bass Clarinet), Mairearad Green (Accordion), Graeme Stephen (Jazz Guitar) and Ruth Rowlands from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Cello).

Visual artist Gerard O'Brien has created a digital backdrop for the performance and Jeremy Raison (former Artistic Director of Glasgow's legendary Citizens Theatre) is looking after the dramaturgy of the piece and co-directing the work.

For more information on the project, videos, fotos, and exclusive preview tracks visit the project's website: FOOTSTEPS MARKING TIME.

Book your tickets for the premiere HERE, or if you cannot make it to Ullapool, why not making a contribution on the project's fundraising page: HERE. Thanks for your support!

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Fictitious Truths of Teddington Library

This coming weekend I will be performing with Dog Kennel Hill Project on The Fictitious Truths of Teddington Library, part of this year's edition of the Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival.

DKHP are Rachel Lopez de la Nieta, Henrietta Hale and Ben Ash, with whom I first worked in 2012 when Rachel created Pavlova's Dogs for Scottish Dance Theatre. Afterwards we collaborated in TUG for the London Dance Umbrella Festival and the research Études in Tension and Crisis which will be developed into a new full-length work in Spring 2015.

The Fictitious Truths of Teddington Library will be a durational performance, spreading over three days (Fri. 14th - Sun. 16th November). It will be a collection of performance curiosities, celebrating a sense of wonder at human evolution, from the hunter gatherers in the primordial forest to the finger tapping media communicators of now. Wondering what could have trodden this ground before us we will place an expansive lens on the site of Teddington Library, imagining the bears that roamed in earlier times, and an exhumed Neolithic Teddington Man that sits surveying one of the greatest symbols of social progress and enlightenment that it is today.

More information about the festival and free tickets for the performances  HERE.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Video and photos of Plan B for Utopia

© Yi-Chieh Chiu

© Yi-Chieh Chiu

© Yi-Chieh Chiu

© Yi-Chieh Chiu
© Yi-Chieh Chiu

Last Friday 10th of October we had a public sharing of our two-week research residency for Plan B for Utopia at Scottish Dance Theatre's studio in Dundee. The sharing gave us an opportunity to present a 'scratch' of the show to an audience. I was particularly interested in getting a sense of the potential narrative arch of the work and of the relation of the performers with the audience.

After the sharing, Benoit Egloff, lecturer at Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, hosted a Q&A session, where audience members could offer their thoughts and feedback.

The work will be developed next spring, funding permitting, and then premiered at the Edinburg Fringe festival in August 2015.

Photographer Yi-Chieh Chiu took some fantastic shots of Solène and John's performance, and here there is also a little video of the event.

Residency supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Dance Theatre.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Research residency in Dundee

Next Monday I will start a two week research residency in preparation for my upcoming full length creation Plan B for Utopia. The residency is supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Dance Theatre, and it will take place at the company's headquarters in Dundee.

Together with dancers Solène Weinachter (SDT, Lost Dog, Jan Fabre, Gecko) and John Kendall (from balletLorent), we will explore the notion of ‘utopia’ and its relation with our everyday lives, both in a collective and a private context. We will be looking at the cycles of dissatisfaction, hope and disappointment that seem to drive our journeys through life (and through history). Finally, we will explore different ways of weaving choreographic and text-based elements, as well as playing with different narrative frameworks for the future work...

As part of this residency, we are offering free professional dance classes during the second week of  the residency: 6th - 10th October. The classes will be also an opportunity to meet and network with other independent dance artists based in Dundee and the East Coast. On Friday 10th of October, there will be a public sharing of the research at 2pm.

Classes will start at 10.30am at SDT's studio at Dundee Rep Theatre. They are free but spaces are limited. If you are interested, book your space on 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Last week of 'The Glass Menagerie'

I was recently invited by director Jemima Levick to work as a choreographer for Dundee Rep Theatre's production of The Glass Menagerie.

Based on autobiographical events, the play is set in the claustrophobic environment of the Wingfield's apartment in St. Louis, during the times of the Great Depression. With a cast of only four actors, the work is a deeply personal, touching and profound tale of love and loss, and it is widely regarded as one of Tennessee Williams most powerful and haunting memory plays.

Dundee Rep's production premiered on 3rd of September and  has been received with unanimous critical acclaim:

"Levick's impressionistic and mould-breaking re-imagining of Williams's poetic intentions is an exquisitely poignant construction that breathes fresh heartbreak into one of the saddest plays ever written."
★★★★ The Herald

"three magnificent central performances from Robbie Jack as Tom, Millie Turner as Laura, and the great Irene Macdougall as a robust, creative and passionately maternal Amanda...And they are supported by a splendid cameo from Thomas Cotran" 
The Scotsman

"Levick is to be commended for having a serious dialogue with a classic"
★★★★ The Times

"a touching revival of Williams' southern domestic drama"
The Guardian

"Seventy years after Williams wrote his semi-autobiographical play, the craftsmanship of his words still has the power to astonish."
The List

"Depicted with incredible clarity through these characters, it is a haunting production that, in the pleasant disguise of illusion, gives us the truth of human nature"
The Courier

The Glass Menagerie will be on Dundee Rep's stage until the 20th of September, for more information and to book your tickets click HERE.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Good news for team Frida

Team Frida with their Herald Angel Award at Dance Base!

Falling in Love with Frida, the latest creation of Glasgow based choreographer Caroline Bowditch, was recently awarded with a Herald Angel Award during the Edinburgh Fringe festival. The work was received with five stars reviews and a completely sold out run at Dance Base, Scotland's National Centre for Dance.
I had the privilege and the pleasure to join Caroline during her research trip to Mexico a year ago, and to collaborate with her and the company as Artistic Advisor during the creative process.
Falling in Love with Frida explores the life, loves and legacy of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). More than a mere 'biopic', the work is also a reclaiming of a disabled artist, and an enquiry into how we shape what we are remembered for and how much can we really control others' memories of us.

Tickets were sold out again last weekend for Caroline's performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank Centre in London. The work was part of the Unlimited festival, a showcase of the best performance and visual art work by disabled artists in Britain.

Friday, 29 August 2014

A week in Scandinavia

Skanes Dansteater in DOUBLEtake
Last week I was invited as a guest teacher at Skånes Dansteater. Based in the city of Malmö, the company is Sweden's largest independent dance institution and one of the most prominent repertory dance companies in Northern Europe.

At the moment, the dancers are working with Kenneth Kvarnström (one of Scandinavia's most critically acclaimed choreographers) on the creation of a new work for the Malmö Opera stage: DOUBLEtake. The work will premiere on 4th of October and will see the dancers from K. Kvarnström and Co. join the Malmö ensemble.

During my time with Skånes Dansteater I also had the opportunity to cross over to Denmark and visit the freetown of Christiania, a 40 year old community where over 1000 people live in occupied and self-built buildings, and organise themselves through self-governing assemblies. Christiania has been a source of controversy for decades, and is a fascinating example of the challenges and successes of utopian communities.

This visit was part of my research for Plan B for Utopia, a new full length work which is now on its research and development stage, supported by Creative Scotland. Next week, I will be heading down to London for a one week residency at The Place. In October I will continue the research in the studios of Scottish Dance Theatre in Dundee. More information about public sharings and professional development opportunities coming soon!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Residency at Northern School of Contemporary Dance

© Nicole Guarino
In two weeks I will be travelling to Leeds for a one week residency at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

I will be working with dancers Solène Weinachter and John Kendall as part of the research for my new full-length work Plan B for Utopia, which will premiere during Summer 2015 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Further R&D residencies will be happening during September and October with the support of The Place, Scottish Dance Theatre and Creative Scotland.

The duet will explore the notion of 'utopia' in its practical and physical dimension, related to our everyday lives, both as individuals and as a collective: 'What do I wish for?', 'Does utopia only live in your imagination?', 'Can we, you and me, repair what failed and build the new?'.

As part of the residency, I will be offering free professional dance classes for NSCD students and external professional dancers. Classes will start at 9.00am from Monday 11th to Friday 15th of August. If you are interested in attending, please book in advance at since the spaces are limited.

There will be a public sharing of the research on Friday 15th at 3.00pm

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival

Last week I was invited to teach a series of choreographic workshops in Glasgow during the first ever Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, part of the Culture 2014 programme of the XX Commonwealth Games. Organised by YDance, the festival brought together over 400 young dancers from all over the world, who had a chance to take part in a wide range of workshops, to present and watch each other's work and, most importantly, to meet each other and forge new friendships and artistic connections.

During three consecutive nights, Glasgow's Tramway theatre filled to capacity to watch three different programmes showcasing the richness and strength of the dance heritage across the Commonwealth. Companies presenting their work included: National Youth Dance Company of Scotland, Cando2, Wagana Aboriginal Youth Dancers, High Kicks All Girls Dance Ensemble (from India), Blast (the new inclusive youth dance company in Scotland), National Youth Dance Company of England, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Dalriada Youth Dance Company, National Youth Dance Wales, OYO Dance Troupe (from Namibia), Quicksilver (Rambert's Youth Dance Company) and QL2 (from Australia).

© YDance, Paul Watt

Thursday, 3 July 2014

To the Point with bgroup

bgroup's About Around, © Chris Nash

This week I am shadowing choreographer Ben Wright during his research and development residency at The Point theatre in Eastleigh. Ben is researching for his new production Spectrum, which will premiere in 2015. Drawing from a variety of sources, like art theory, literature, optics and free association, we are exploring the physical and emotional resonance of colour, discovering our own personal relation with the spectrum.

Besides directing his own company, bgroup, Ben creates for opera and theatre productions in stages around the world. He was recently appointed Associate Artistic Director of Skånes Dansteater in Sweden, one of the most prestigious repertory dance companies in Northern Europe.

Huge thank you to Ben and the dancers for their generosity and openness, and for allowing me to join them in the studio this week!

More info about bgroup HERE.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cape Wrath Residency

This coming week I will be working with Glasgow-based composer Matilda Brown on our common production Footsteps Marking Time, The Cape Wrath Music and Dance Project. The residency will be happening at Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in Dundee, where I've been recently appointed Artist in Residence.

The project started last April with an initial three week research. Matilda walked more than two hundred miles through some of the wildest and most desolate landscape of the Scottish Highlands, becoming (as far we know) the first woman to ever complete the trail on her own.

During that time, I was researching in a studio in the peninsula of Scoraig, a place so remote that can only be reached walking or by boat. During these three weeks, we were in contact by phone and shared music and pieces of text. We also collected images, writing and sounds samples that will feed into the creation process.

For a short taste of the work, check out this video from our April research:


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

71 Dancers


71 dancers is my latest work for young dancers created in collaboration with Scottish Dance Theatre Youth Company, Dalriada Youth Company, Fusion Youth Dance Company and Macrobert Youth Dance Company.

The work is part of the cultural programme of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and, true to the spirit of the games, it has brought together young dancers from Dundee, Argyll, Stirling and Aberdeen to collaborate in the creation of a brand new dance work.

In a series of intensive weekend-residencies, the dancers visited each other's cities and villages, but, most importantly, they got to know each other and learn to think and work as a company. You can see the result this weekend in theatres across Scotland:

Friday 20th June, Go Dance Festival, Glasgow Theatre Royal, BOOK HERE
Saturday 21st June, Macrobert Dance Festival, Stirling.
Sunday 22nd June, Dundee Rep Youth Dance Festival, BOOK HERE

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Performances in Barcelona

Next Sunday 15th of June my latest work Flors i violes  will be performed at the Teatre Ovidi Montllor in Barcelona. The work was created last February in collaboration with the graduating students of the contemporary dance department of the Dance Conservatoire in Barcelona (Institut del Teatre).

The piece questions the idea of national identity, and the strength and risks that come with it. I was also interested in exploring the tension between collective and personal identity, which I see as a recurring theme in my work. In a way, the piece is a response to the deep political and social crisis that Catalonia and Spain are living at present moment, and the question of how do I position myself as an artist in relation to it.

A further performance of Flors i violes is scheduled for the 18th of June at the Sala La Cate in Figueres. For more info and tickets click HERE.