connectingvibes* and GrenadaBy: Beverley Glean And Rosie Lehan London
connectingvibes* Bid to Perform at the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival
Introduction -Help Us Raise Funds to attend the Grenada National Dance Festival
connectingvibes* is a company for young artists at the beginning of their career. Ironically, it began in 2000 with an invitation to perform at the National Dance Festival of Grenada, a dance festival which features dancers predominately from different Caribbean Islands and, on occasion, from the USA and the UK as well.
Now, twelve years on, connectingvibes* have been invited to perform for the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival. The company is eager to take part in this festival and perform their latest programme “When in Doubt” (see clips of the work in our video above).
This is an exciting opportunity for the performers to meet different artists and perform on an International stage.
The festival will cover all expenses for the length of the visit 29 May – 2 June 2013. This just leaves the company with the task of raising the airfares for seven (7) company members.
Target: £5,000 towards the cost of the airfares and travel.
Working in partnership with IRIE! dance theatre, connectingvibes* provides career opportunities for young dancers, designers, photographers and musicians. The current age range of company members is 18-26. The company fundraise for specific projects but largely operate on a volunteer basis with professional artists donating their time.
The company is led by Beverley Glean, the artistic director of IRIE! dance theatre and Rosie Lehan, a dance lecturer at City and Islington College and is based at City and Islington College. The company has completed ten (10) National touring programmes in Schools, Colleges and Art Centres.
The work features a fusion of Caribbean and Contemporary dance forms presented with film and original sound scores. Guest choreographers have included Jamaican-born Oneil Pryce and Paradigmz, a Dance Hall specialist currently working in the UK.
Since 2000, members have progressed onto further dance training at vocational institutions and universities. They have started their own companies, worked as freelance practitioners and for companies such as Adzido Pan African Dance Ensembles, IRIE! dance theatre, Green Candle, DV8 Physical theatre and the Welsh National Opera among others. Those working with the company as technicians, photographers and designers have found work in west end theatres and as freelancers.
“The extraordinary dance company connectingvibes* show a spirit and energy that is truly compelling to watch. They have an immediacy that draws you in and shows what young dancers can do when technique is coupled with creativity...”
Jane Harrison, Principal/Director of Acting, Arts Educational Schools, London
“What a treat! The performance by connectingvibes* was both imaginative and slick with some truly thought provoking concepts and imagery in the choreography.”
Mary Zinovieff, Head of Performing Arts, South Thames College
Thoughts from Members of connectingvibes*
Nicoletta Bonnani (member since 2011)
I had my first encounter in dance at the age of five in Rome, my hometown. I would describe myself as an expressive dancer, a freestyler and movement explorer, believing in the power of the arts in education and as a positive communication tool. I love dancing everywhere and especially look forward to Grenada.
Melissa Carby (member since 2010)
I come from a British and Jamaican background, which I feel, connects me to the Caribbean fusion of connectingvibes*. I enjoy rehearsing work and have often rehearsed other dancers in the company. I have always wanted to travel and dance so this is an important first step.
Nafia Tendo Bukenya (member since 2010)
I’m originally from Rwanda and I grew up in Uganda before moving to Kenya and then to London at the age of thirteen. Moving to London opened up lots of opportunities and through dance I found of a way of telling my story. I want to develop as a choreographer so I am excited about meeting new artists and sharing skills.
Veronika Koleva (member since 2011)
When I started dancing I did not know what a dance career meant but I knew that I was passionate about dance. I started my training in Bulgaria and years later my desire brought me to London. However, this is not the end of the journey. I would love to develop myself as a choreographer and introduce people to my work. Travelling to Grenada is a first step.
Jordan Mitchell (member since 2011)
Dance is such a big part of my life. I started my dance journey with classes in Ballet and Modern and now feel that I have become a versatile dancer performing diverse dance styles such as African, Caribbean and Contemporary. Travelling to Grenada will give me many new experiences, which I intend to use to further develop as a dance teacher.
Shareece Sadiki ( member since 2011)
My cultural background is from Jamaica and through connectingvibes* I have been given the opportunity to explore African and Caribbean dance, which connects me to my roots. I love performing and strive to be a fluent and stylish performer. Performing in Grenada will allow me to show my work on an International level.
Diana Zvjagintseva (member since 2010)
I’m originally from Estonia and my dance training started at the age of 8 in a youth dance company where I studied classical Ballet along with traditional European dances. In London with further training and by joining connectingvibes* I rediscovered dance. When it comes to my dance style, it can best be described as a fusion of African, Caribbean and Contemporary dance. I believe the trip will be a very beautiful adventure that will lead to many more exciting opportunities.
Please give whatever you can afford to support this project and help us spread the word. Thank you!
07-01-2013 05:44 PM
We’ve made it!
Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t have achieved this without YOU.
We’ve still a lot of hard work ahead but we’re inspired and so looking forward to what we can accomplish this year.
What a FANTASTIC way to start 2013!
Beverley, Rosie and the connectingvibes* company members.
05-01-2013 01:49 PM
A BIG “Thank you!” to Farooq Chaudhry the Producer of the Akram Khan Company for arranging a donation through AKCT the charitable arm of the company.
And thank you again to all of our supporters - we’re nearly there now.
Beverley, Rosie and the connectingvibes* company members.
03-01-2013 08:36 AM
Happy New Year!
Many thanks to all our supporters for your help with our funding campaign, your help has been much appreciated. The company is now turning its attention to 2013 and preparations for the launch of the new programme.
The 2013 season will contain established works, “Breeze Easy”, “Waiting For…”, “No Lasagne”, and “Jump Up”. New works are also being added to the repertoire, which will include a choreographic debut by Nafiat Tendu Bukenya, the company member introduced in a previous update and new pieces by ourselves, Beverley Glean and Rosie Lehan. There is a lot of hard work to be done but with our inspiring dancers our level of confidence is high! The rehearsal process although hard is always fun.
Events/Dates for Your Diary
connectingvibes* has just successfully auditioned for new company members and we look forward to linking with our sister company, Connectingvibes USA, and forthcoming arrangements for the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival where both companies will be appearing. The two companies will link up creatively in the following months through video to be consolidated before the Festival commences.
To include a stint in Lewisham Shopping Centre – watch this space!
We hope to make links with the Grenadian Embassy as they celebrate their 39th Year of Independence.
30st January 2013
Performance for the Annual General Meeting for IRIE! dance theatre, which is always a celebratory event.
24th-25th April 2013
Launch of New Programme at City and Islington College.
29th May- 1st June 2013
Grenada National Dance Festival
Spread the Word!
We are in the last few days of our current fundraising campaign and are racing to meet our target of £5,000. The campaign ends on 8th January at 2pm on an all or nothing basis so we need one final push.
Please help us to spread the word – any final donations would be brilliant!
Beverley, Rosie and the connectingvibes* company members.
24-12-2012 11:14 AM
We’d like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for your support.
Rosie & Beverley
20-12-2012 01:47 PM
...And They Can Bake Well Too!
connectingvibes* raised £105 with their cake sale on Tuesday 18 December at City & Islington College. The funds have been added to the fundraising pot for the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival campaign.
Thank you to everyone who supported this event and a special thank you to the first year Dance Foundation Degree students who gave a helping hand!
18-12-2012 10:12 AM
The connectingvibes* team were busy in the kitchen yesterday preparing for a Cake Sale today at City & Islington College. The proceeds will go towards this current campaign to raise funds to perform at the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival.
So if you’re at City & Islington College today do look out for the dancers and sample their culinary treats.
17-12-2012 10:08 PM
Past the Halfway Mark!
We’ve now set up a ”Thank You” page on connectingvibes* website to acknowledge those who have been so generous in their support of our campaign to raise funds to perform at the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival.
We’ve past the halfway mark now so we’re optimistic and even more determined that we will reach our goal.
But we couldn’t have come this far without you.
Rosie & Beverley
Click Link Below for “Thank You” Page:
14-12-2012 04:25 PM
H A Marks Ltd Construction Company Lifts Our Funding to 47% of Our Target!
We received our first company donation today from H A Marks Ltd – a construction company that has “gained a reputation as a principal contractor serving London and the South East”. The company prides itself on being a one-stop shop for its clients.
We are especially grateful to receive such a generous donation from this company.
And thank you to everyone who has supported us.
13-12-2012 12:44 PM
connectingvibes* BRAND NEW T-Shirts for the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival arrived yesterday – literally hot off the press! They were still warm when the box was opened.
Beverley and Rosie were the first to try them on and everyone who has donated £20 or more will receive one of these lovely T-Shirts!
12-12-2012 11:05 AM
It has been a busy time for connectingvibes* recently as the company strives to fundraise for the forthcoming trip to Grenada and get on with its usual business of creating and performing work. The support over the last few weeks has been fantastic and we are encouraged by the response to our fundraising campaign. Many thanks for all your support and good wishes.
Last week the company performed for the Annual Conference for the Black and Multicultural Forum in the Civic Suite at Lewisham Town Hall. The company performed “Breeze Easy”, on carpet in a council chamber, which although unusual, was a particularly enjoyable event for the warm reception that the company received from the delegates. The organisers did everything they could to make the dancers feel appreciated. Thank you and we hope to continue to have links with this organization.
Meanwhile, away from performance events, the dancers have been busy welcoming and integrating new company members. It is important that connectingvibes* looks to the future and, although new members will not be travelling to Grenada, they will hopefully have travel projects in the future.
Following the recent audition in November seven (7) new members were welcomed into connectingvibes*. We now have a company of fourteen (14) enthusiastic and hardworking dancers.
In terms of rehearsing, the company has been busy working on their established repertory while exploring new ideas for the launch in April 2013. Company member Nafiat Tendu Bukenya has started her first choreographic piece for connectingvibes*, and the dancers have enjoyed exploring many ideas for the piece, which will be completed in the New Year.
Thank you again to all those that have supported us, we will continue to keep you updated as we hopefully get nearer to our target.
Please continue to spread the word!
Photo Credit: Daniele Di Silvio
10-12-2012 12:35 PM
Here’s the design of the T-shirt that connectingvibes* has created for the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival.
This is one of the ways in which we are thanking those who have donated £20 or more to this campaign.
Hope you like the design. Please continue to help us spread the word about this fundraising campaign.
Thank you for your support.
30-11-2012 05:38 PM
Caribbean Dance Teacher, Sheba Montserrat, Recalls the 2000 Grenada National Dance Festival
At the 2000 Grenada National Dance Festival, I enjoyed the wonderful combination of Dance, the Caribbean and Performance.
As one of the members of the newly formed connectingvibes*, I had the privilege to enjoy, all the above, on the Caribbean spice island of Grenada.
Our time in Grenada, participating in the bi-annual dance festival was a wonderful complement to IRIE! dance theatre’s Diploma in African and Caribbean Dance which I’d just completed.
Participants in this event traditionally predominantly come from other neighbouring Caribbean islands. So our company had travelled the furthest to participate in the festival.
Our two weeks in Grenada, were relaxed and stress-free. We showcased our talents and abilities with a package of varied dance techniques comprising of, Bele, Contemporary, Salsa and Contemporary Reggae Vibes.
We participated in the many different workshops from other visiting companies. This allowed us to celebrate and enjoy the full extent of our dance range, both as a company and individuals.
This aspect of the Grenada experience taught me to validate all that is available to me here in London, and to view any dance experiences I might have abroad, as being different rather than better.
The opportunity to travel and share our passion in a professional capacity was priceless!
As a performer still practising in the APD (African Peoples Dance) sector, teaching Caribbean Dance for IRIE! dance theatre is one of the streams of my income which I greatly enjoy.
Although the avenues for professional development in Caribbean Dance can be scarce, through the connectingvibes* and IRIE! network I have also been able to enjoy professional development in both my teaching and performance skills.
I’m excited for the present connectingvibes* dance company who have been invited to perform at the 2013 Grenada National Dance Festival. It would be a wonderful experience for the company and I do hope they are successful in raising the funds they need to make this trip possible so please support this fundraising campaign in any way you can. Thank you.
23-11-2012 04:39 PM
When we first received the invitation to attend the 2013 Grenada National Festival we were both excited and a little daunted as we know that fundraising can be challenging. So we are really encouraged by the response we’ve had thus far to our campaign and grateful to everyone who has made a donation and or otherwise expressed their support.
For instance, yoga and dance teacher, Sharmita Ray, sent us the following note:
“Would love to see the company perform in Grenada. Having taught and worked with some of the dancers, I have seen first hand how hard they are prepared to work, and how much their love for dance communicates to an audience. It is a really wonderful opportunity - I wish you the best of luck in raising well-deserved funds (and I’m secretly jealous I’m not coming along too!)”
We realise that many of you would also love to accompany connectingvibes* to Grenada. However, although we can only take a small number of dancers to Grenada, we are confident that the experience the dancers will gain will mean that they will be able to have a positive impact upon the lives of many others including aspiring dancers, other artists and young people as Denzil Barnes, a former member of connectingvibes*, explains: