New Wave Associates
Wilkie Branson is an interdisciplinary artist and, as co-director of the project based Champloo Dance Company, an associate company at the Bristol Old Vic. Self taught in both dance and film, which form the main focus of his work, the roots of his practice are in BBoying. Wilkie’s dance style has developed into a unique fusion, with expression, accessibility and integrity at it’s heart. His most recent works, White Caps and Stronger are currently touring internationally in Europe, North America and Asia. Awarded the Arts Foundation Choreographic Fellowship in 2012, Wilkie is also a member of the Sadler’s Wells Summer University.
Julie Cunningham has worked professionally as a dance artist for 15 years performing, both nationally and internationally. After training at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, Cunningham worked with Ballett der Stadt Theater Koblenz, Germany, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Michael Clark Company.
Cunningham has worked on projects with Boris Charmatz for Musée de la Danse and is a guest teacher at Trinity Laban and Zurich University of the Arts. In 2014 Cunningham was awarded Outstanding Modern Performance at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for New Work with Michael Clark Company, and was nominated for the Emerging Artist award for choreography in 2016.
Cunningham was the inaugural Leverhulme Choreography Fellow at Rambert and was part of the dance artist/curator mentorship programme through Siobhan Davies Dance. Julie Cunningham & Company was launched in 2017 and became associate company of Rambert in 2018. Cunningham has created new work that has been performed at the Barbican, The Place, Dance Base Edinburgh, Tramway Glasgow, Siobhan Davies Studios, Wilderness Festival, National Theatre River Stage, V&A Museum, Southbank Centre and Shoreditch Town Hall as part of Dance Umbrella Festival.
Alexander Whitley trained at the Royal Ballet School. He joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2000 and was promoted to first artist in 2002. Alexander later joined Rambert Dance Company in August 2004, has toured with Michael Clark and Sydney Dance Company, and joined Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in September 2010. Alexander has twice been nominated for Outstanding Performance in the Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards. Alexander choreographed five pieces for Rambert including Solo? which was taken into the company’s repertoire. He is currently a Choreographic Associate at the Royal Opera House.
Project O is a collaboration between London-based artists Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila Johnson-Small. Project O make dances to dance themselves out of the desire for, and expectation of, an aesthetic assimilation that upholds a system of white supremacy that is at once subtle, blatant and all pervasive. Project O is the performative fruit of conversations between the duo, who look to the body as a site of politics, considering the tangible yet often ignored impact of a colonial history in the UK today, and the tendency towards fetishisation, exoticisation and fear of the other. The work intends to expose some of the structural workings of racism and misogyny and their impact on bodies, sparking debate and pushing for conversations about how to live with agency – and a sense of a future – among these painful and uncomfortable histories.
Tearing at the edges of contemporary dance since 2010, Project O have made dances for the stage (O), performative interventions in public spaces (Be Your Black Girlfriend), choreographies for bodies that are not their own (SWAGGA), a performance lecture (Benz Punany), a school (The New Empowering School) and a publication (A Contemporary Struggle). Alongside their production Voodoo, presented in the Lilian Baylis Studio in Spring 2017, they are currently working on a series of site-responsive short works, Native Instincts: Psychic Labours.
Project O are residents at Somerset House Studios, London, Associate Artists at Dance Research Studios and were awarded the Artsadmin Artist Bursary in 2014. Project O have presented work at the Southbank Centre, Somerset House, British Dance Edition, British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2015, Chisenhale Dance Space, The Yard and Chelsea Theatre, among others.
Hetain Patel is a visual artist and performance maker whose practise crosses a number of art forms. His works have been shown in institutions including Bodhi Art, New York; Sydney Festival; Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; and the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing. This year he completed new commissions for the Tanks at Tate Modern; the Southbank Centre; and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton. Hetain undertook a week of research in Sadler’s Wells in 2012 with eight dancers, and is due to premiere a new theatre piece, Be Like Water, at the Royal Opera House, London in November 2012.
A solo artist and director of female collective XXV, L’atisse Rhoden trained with dance companies Avant Garde Dance and Far From the Norm, before moving on to create her own theatre-based work for Sadler’s Wells’ Breakin’ Convention festival and its artist development programmes Open Art Surgery and Back To The Lab.
Intensely physical, her work is inspired by future sounds and heavily influenced by surrealism. Her work goes beyond performance and she has produced many fundraising events, such as Dance For Defoe. She explores dance as activism, working with groups of creative young women to find new approaches to improvisation.
She has featured in work including A Harlem Dream, curated by Ivan Blackstock and critically acclaimed TV series Black Mirror.