Dancers and Musicians


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Dancers and Musicians

Dancers and Musicians 2016

Gemma Payne 

Gemma2015Trained at The Royal Ballet Upper School and Central School of Ballet in Classical Ballet and Contemporary. I am currently a freelance performer and choreographer based in London. My latest work is ‘To Ted, To Sylvia’ choreographed by Gemma Payne. Performed with Sam Archer
Previously a performer with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures for 11 years and Gothenburg Ballet, Sweden.

Hannah Kidd

hannah-kiddHannah began her training at Elmhurst Ballet School and from there went on to London Contemporary Dance School where she completed her MA in Dance. In 2007 Hannah joined Richard Alston Dance Company, with whom she performed both nationally and internationally for six years. Her most recent performances include ‘Collapse’ by New Movement Collective for the Barbican, ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ for Scottish Opera by Ashley Page, Cunningham’s event ‘Dancing around Duchamp’ at the Barbican, London, Darren Ellis’ ‘Revolver’ for The Place Prize for Dance, NMC’s ‘Casting Traces’ UK Tour and Mark Bruce’s ‘Dracula’ which won the South Bank Sky Arts Award 2014. Hannah was nominated for the National Dance Award’s Outstanding Female Performer in late 2012. Alongside performing Hannah has taught in many of the UK’s leading dance conservatoires, she has taught on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at LCDS, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Central School of Ballet and at Trinity Laban, as well as for dance companies Richard Alston Dance Company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Mark Bruce Company.

Jade Brider

JadeBriderHeadshot2016Jade grew up in Australia and commenced vocational training at The Graduate College of Dance. Recently graduating London Contemporary Dance School Jade has worked with choreographer Lea Anderson on the work, ‘Hand in Glove’ performed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, York Dance Project on their re-construction of Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Sea of Troubles’ and choreographer James Wilton on his work ‘Drift’ for the Beijing 60th Anniversary Gala performed in Beijing, China.

James Aiden Kay

JamesAidenKay-4James trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance gaining a First Class Honours degree in Contemporary Dance. During his time there, he worked with Kerry Nicholls, Lizzi Kew-Ross, Rika Okamoto and Gary Lambert. James then toured around the UK and Europe performing with EDge, the postgraduate dance company of London Contemporary Dance School. He performed repertoire from Trisha Brown and new works by Ben Wright, Yael Flexer, Idan Cohen, Joe Moran, Dog Kennel Hill Project and Mariana Tengner Barros.  On completion of his training, James has been involved in several projects: Street Stories at the Royal Opera House. Slow Knowing, choreographed by Katarzyna Witek at The Place, London, new works for Hack Ballet and IJAD Dance Company. Connect It, a dance and music collaboration at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. Laban Event 2015 performing two Rudolf Laban pieces for Summit Dance Theatre in Switzerland.  James also works as a freelance dance teacher alongside performing and enjoys creating new work. As co-director of Traceworks Dance he has performed at Resolution 2016 and Swallowsfeet Festival 2016 with new work, Jazz Scene.  James is thoroughly excited to be dancing in the Cohan Collective developing and learning artistic skills from such acclaimed artists.

Jordi Calpe Serrats

jordieJordi is originally from Mallorca where he trained in Ballet and Contemporary dance techniques before moving to London and training at the London Contemporary Dance School and at the Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance. Since graduation, Jordi has worked with the Richard Alston Dance Company, National Ballet Ireland, English National Ballet, English National Opera, Royal Variety Show, Hubert Essakow, Anthony Van Laast, Lucy Burge, Aleta Collins, Tim Casson, Opera Holland Park, Lynne Page, Christopher Marney, Drew McOnie, Morgann Runacre-Temple and Arthur Pita amongst others. Film and television credits include the art film ‘The Death Of Pentheus’; the art short film ‘Crystal Delays’ (choreographed by himself); BBC Blast; feature films ‘Acts Of Godfrey’ and ‘Sunshine On Leith’; and music video ‘Moves’ by ‘Bright Light Bright Light’.

Liam Giacuzzo

liamLiam Giacuzzo, born the 9th of august 1994, starts dancing at the young age of four, first at his mothers school, than at the “Cenacolo Arabesque” directed by Doriana Comar, in the countryside of his hometown, Monfalcone, Italy. It’s thanks to Doriana’s help that he can study with some excellent guest teachers such as Carlos Gacio (first dancer at Opera Nacional de Cuba, then maitre de ballet at the Wiener Staatsoper), Georgina Ramos Hernandez (Instituto superior de Arte, Havana) and Bruno Vescovo (first dancer at the Teatro alla scala, Milan).  Travelling often, he had the chance of partecipating in some prestigious dance courses, such as The Royal Ballet Summer School at White Lodge, London (2007) and the Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive at New York (2009).  Liam continues his study at the Wiener Staatsoper Ballettschüle, where he graduates under the direction of Simona Noja in 2013, with excellent grades in contemporary dance.  In 2014, he decides to deepen his studies of contemporary dance with the EkoDance International Project, directed by Pompea Santoro (Cullberg Ballet, and Mats ek assistant), in Turin. There he began to analyze, study and dance the work of Mats Ek, with roles such as Don Josè in Carmen, The Prince in the Sleeping Beauty and the Night Man in På Norbottem.  He is currently still working with the Eko Dance Company, dancing new pieces from coreographers such as Pedro Gomez, Paolo Mohovic, Marco de Alteriis, and he is also dancer with The Very Secret Dance Society, directed by Raffaele Irace, where he performs original pieces such as “Lunar” (Irace) and Twin Shadow (Hans Henning Paar, Münster Theater).

Sharia Johnson

shariaSharia trained at the BRIT school and with The Places’ Centre of Advanced Training (CAT) where she performed works by choreographers Richard Alston, Ahn Ngoc Nguyen, Daniel Proietto and Bawren Tavaziva. She joined Rambert Youth Dance Company (Quicksilver) and graduated from Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in June 2015. At Rambert she performed works by Christopher Bruce, Robert Cohan and Ross Mckim. Sharia recently toured nationally and internationally with INALA choreographed by Mark Baldwin. She joined Richard Alston Dance Company as an apprentice in 2015.

Wayne Parsons

wayne-parsonsWayne has worked with Richard Alston Dance Company, National Dance Company of Wales, Sydney Dance Company, Motionhouse, Mark Bruce Company, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Joe Moran Dance, Kim Brandstrup, Yorke Dance Project, SmallPetitKlein, Shobana Jeyasingh and Oguike Dance amongst others. Throughout his performance career, Wayne has also developed his choreographic practice. Whilst at NDCWales he created two ensemble works for the company and a solo on himself. In April 2013 Wayne was selected by the National Centre for Choreography to attend the LAB at DanceEast, Ipswich. He was also awarded the Choreographic Development Fund from DanceEast in December 2015. More recently Wayne was awarded the Enterprise Ideas Fund by East London Dance to develop a new work titled Vestige. A section of this work was recently presented at Wiltons Strike! Dance festival in May 2016. Wayne has been commissioned to create works for London Studio Centre, Intoto Dance Company, London Contemporary Dance School, Arts Active in Cardiff, CAT Ipswich and Monmouthshire Youth Dance Company amongst others.

Sarah Barbagli

Sara Barbagli was born 10th september 1990, and started dancing at the age of six at the “Il Mondo a Passo di Danza” dance school, directed by Raffaella Ravetti and Nadia Dini, in Turin.  In 2009 she began her apprenticeship with the Ariston Proballet dance company in Sanremo, directed by Marcello Algeri and Sabrina Rinaldi. She danced on stage with productions of “Queen the Ballet” and “Opera Ballet Rock”, in collaboration with the artistic director of Albano Ballet Company of America.  In 2012 she joined the Eko Dance International Project in Turin, Directed by Santoro Pompea, where she studied and danced parts of Mats Ek repertoire, such as Swan Lake, Pa Norbottem, Pas de dance, House of Bernarda Alba, Giselle, Carmen and Sleeping Beauty. With this project, she had the chance of working with various young choreographers such as Pedro Gonzalez, Valerio Longo, Diego Tortelli, Fabio Crestale, Marco de Alteriis, Raffaele Irace and Paolo Mohovic. Sara is also giving Pilates class in many different schools around Turin, and has a first stage Postural Pilates Teacher certification.

They will also be joined by Yorke Dance Project Company Dancers Amy Thake, Edd Mitton, Freya Jeffs, Kieran Stoneley and Ben Warbis.


Musicians 2016

Stephen Upshaw

stephenSince making his concerto debut at 17, he has won several competitions and played in festivals around the world including IMS Prussia Cove, Lucerne, Brighton, Huddersfield, London Ear (where he was a featured artist for two consecutive years), Wien Modern, Oxford Chamber Music, Musica Nova (Finland), and the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival alongside artists such as Gary Hoffman, Philippe Graffin, Jennifer Stumm and the JACK Quartet. In recent seasons, recital and chamber music engagements have brought him to Boston’s Jordan Hall, London’s Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall and Royal Opera House, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Stephen recently performed Feldman’s complete “The Viola in My Life” at London’s Cafe Oto and has given numerous national and international premieres with groups such as Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Proton (Switzerland) the Harvard Group for New Music, Le Balcon (Paris), Aurora Orchestra and Rambert Orchestra (London), and the Bodø Sinfonietta (Norway), working closely with composers such as John Adams, Heinz Holliger, Julian Anderson, George Benjamin, Christian Wolff and Michael Finnissy, who recently composed a new solo piece for Stephen. He was also recently invited to join London’s acclaimed Riot Ensemble as violist and artistic board member. A passionate chamber musician, Stephen has toured the USA, Europe and Asia with the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields and its music director, Joshua Bell, having also collaborated with the London and Irish Chamber Orchestras. Chamber Music mentors include, among others, Paul Katz, Ferenc Rados, Alasdair Tait and members of the Takacs, Belcea, Endellion, Arditti and Borromeo Quartets. He was formerly a member of the London-based Geminiani Quartet, who earned first prize in the Alexander and Buono International String Competition and won the ISA prize (Austria) for their interpretation of music of the Second Viennese School. Additionally, Stephen has a strong interest in synthesizing music with other fields and has helped realize collaborative projects with the Boston Architectural College, Transport Theatre Company, Rambert Dance Company and Parasol Unit Art Space. He is also the artistic director of “Sounding Motion” – a new company exploring the relationship between live contemporary chamber music and dance. Recognized for his work in this area, Stephen was recently invited to give a presentation at the New England Conservatory on the topic of entrepreneurial musicianship and interdisciplinary collaboration. A native of Atlanta, he studied with Dr. Marilyn Seelman before earning a BMus(Hon) from the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Carol Rodland and Martha Strongin-Katz. Additionally, he has appeared in masterclasses with Thomas Riebl, Andras Keller, Kim Kashkashian, Pinchas Zukerman and Nobuko Imai. Stephen completed his Postgraduate studies in the class of David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was elected a Junior Fellow, and is grateful for support from the Guildhall School Trust, the Albert Cooper Memorial Trust and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.  Stephen plays a 1715 Daniel Parker school viola currently made available to him by Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust.

Simon Limbrick

Simon“exemplified perfectly Cage’s intention of drawing significance from insignificant sound.” – Guardian, 2011

“In the ferocious Zyklus, Simon Limbrick’s virtuosic manoeuvres around a circle of percussive weaponry laid bare the jagged energy of one of Stockhausen’s most effective creations.” – Neil Fisher ,The Times, 2009

Simon Limbrick’s involvement in music embraces performance, composing and education. He was a member of the systems orchestra The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping, recording for EG Edition, Virgin Records and creating scores for leading dance companies. As a percussionist experienced in a wide range of genres, he continues to create music with artists across the world including leading UK ensembles such as Alabama3, Apartment House, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, notes inegales, Gavin Bryars and Pete Lockett. He is featured on recordings on Blue Note Records and ECM amongst others. He has premiered many new pieces and commissions, many composed for him, including works by Javier Alvarez, Brian Elias, Vic Hoyland, Philip Cashian, Andrew Poppy, Howard Skempton, James Dillon, Frederic Rzewski, Claude Vivier, Thea Musgrave, Harry de Wit, Michael Wolters and Ed Kelly. An extended durational piece lasting up to 24 hours, surfaces, was created in 2011 in collaboration with the composer James Saunders and with support from the ACGB, then performed in Norwich, Aldeburgh, hcmf and broadcast simultaneously as a live web-stream. In 2013, he was in-residence at the Yehudi Menuhin School and coached young musicians in the celebrations of Britten’s music at Aldeburgh. He has produced ten solo CDs, the most recent being ‘Relay’, a double CD of contemporary steel-pan music, which are frequently broadcast and available on well-known download sites and is currently researching for a PhD at Middlesex University. Sound Composer for the film 3 Church Walk , nominated for AHRC Award October 2015, directed by Emily Richardson. Six short films are now viewable on his Youtube channel and to be released with 5.1 Surround sound.

Rebecca Speller

rebeccaRebecca studied music at Newcastle University under Juliette Bausor (Principal flautist – Royal Northern Sinfonia) achieving a first class ‘outstanding’ final recital. As part of her training she spent a year studying in Berlin with Bianca Hase and attending Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. She currently studies under Robert Winn (Professor of flute at Hochschule für Musik Köln) and Patricia Morris and was generously supported by the Tillet Trust and The Zetland Foundation to attend Oxford Flute Summer School 2015 performing in masterclasses led by Robert Winn and Peter Verhoyen (Principal Piccolo deFilharmonie). She has performed all over the UK in venues including The Sage Gateshead; Union Chapel, London; Cafe Oto, London; Seahouses Music Festival; Theatre Royal, Newcastle; The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed; Colchester Town Hall; and in numerous classical ensembles, for musical theatre shows, and in contemporary music and improvisation groups including: London Musical Theatre Orchestra, London Free Improvisers Orchestra, Amadeus Academy Orchestra, Helios Orchestra, Newcastle Wind Quintet, Newcastle Sinfonietta, Noize Choir, and ICMuS Salsa Band.  Alongside performing, Rebecca is an avid composer and has had her composition Hocketus David premiered by Royal Northern Sinfonia at The Sage Gateshead, and her piano quintet Solemn Scene debuted by Ives Ensemble in Kings Hall, Newcastle. In 2011 Rebecca was commissioned to compose and perform the music for a sold-out tour of Wanting For Angus theatre production, run by INK festival.  Now based in London, Rebecca works as a freelance musician. Current projects include performing as a solo artist; an orchestral musician; a composer and arranger; leading a flute, violin and piano trio; and performing concerts in schools, care homes and hospitals as part of a flute and clarinet duo. She has gained a place to study an MMus in flute performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire from September 2016.

Daniel Espie

danielBorn in London and raised in the Philadelphia area, pianist Daniel Espie, 2013 graduate of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, has been performing internationally for over ten years. Daniel has maintained a busy performing schedule as a solo and collaborative artist, accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists and playing chamber music in a number of different settings. Daniel has performed with large ensembles including the Temple University Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, and New Music Ensemble, as well as smaller chamber groups such as the Temple Ensemble, based in London.  In the year following his undergraduate studies with Harvey Wedeen and Joyce Lindorff, Daniel was a Garrigues Scholar at Temple University, maintaining solo and collaborative work, performing in collaborative masterclasses with Shiela Kibbe and Tom Rosenberg, local Artist Series Recitals, and a recital with works of Samuel Barber. In addition to maintaining an active schedule of performing, Daniel teaches privately and is currently enrolled in postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Rustem Hayroudinoff. His studies at RAM involve an intense course in solo piano repertoire as well as chamber music performance and academic studies. Current research involves the music of Toru Takemitsu and his multi-cultural influences. Recent accolades include the Jacobs Music Steinway Award (2013) in recognition of outstanding pianistic ability, musicianship, and artistic and academic scholarship at Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance, the Dr. Millard E. Gladfelter Tribute Scholarship (2012), and second prize the Royal Academy of Music’s Delius Prize for his performance of Delius’ Romance and Cello Sonata with cellist Amy Goodwin. Daniel has also performed as a soloist in masterclasses for Phillip Kawin, Imogen Cooper, Michael Tsalka, Joanna MacGregor, and Andrei Pisarev. He has performed at the PianoSummer Festival in New Paltz, New York and the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy.