Help Needed for EdFringe Artists

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Writing this at 2am is definitely not one of my better ideas.

I have spent many years advocating for freelance artists' financial rights when faced by low pay, no pay, profiteering, exploitation, extortion and more. Which segues perfectly to the one annual experience which encompasses all of the above: Edinburgh Fringe. 

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#cdfgend: The Summary

Read more ...On Sunday 10 January, I held an open space event on gender and (in)equality in the dance industry, organised through Cloud Dance Festival and with the partnership and collaboration of Donald Hutera, Sally Marie, the Female Choreographers' Collective, Kaleidoscopic Arts, Technique Exchange and others. 

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You're Invited to an Open Space Event about the Gender Debate

We've been talking about gender inequalities in dance for a long time now. Most of the conversations we've had and the articles which have been written have focussed on the plight of female choreographers, leading to initiatives such as the Female Choreographers' Collective, founded by Jane Coulston and Holly Noble, Kaleidoscopic Arts, founded by Lucia Schweigert and Konstantina Skalionta, Tamsin Fitzgerald's The Bench and Charlotte Vincent's The Table.

But after all these years of panel debates, panel discussions, conferences, articles and conversations, how have things changed across the independent dance sector for the people working in it? While debates etc are great at stimulating post-debate conversations, in time, the conversations fade away and little changes, however people's frustration at the ongoing situation and at not being heard remains.

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The Rural Touring Dance Initiative

Read more ...The Rural Touring Dance Initiative was launched today at the National Rural Touring Network's Annual Conference; although around four to five years in development, it was largely instigated by discussions at last year's conference, which also held the first ever NRTF dance showcase.

This is a new scheme which aims to address the current underrepresentation of dance in rural touring across the UK through offering residencies, seed funding, a £45,000 production award, workshops, and selecting eight artists or companies per year whose work will be toured between 2016 and 2018.

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Preshow Speech

funny-animal-pictures-102I'd planned to give a preshow speech before tonight's Cloud Dance Friends show to help explain its background and put it in context. But after a day spent running around the theatre (literally), I figured I'd not spent enough time thinking about it or preparing for it. So here's the speech which I would have given - and many thanks to everyone who attended tonight.

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Your Feedback Required

As I mentioned previously, I'm currently seeking advice across the industry on how to make Cloud Dance Festival relevant to dance artists' needs, and so I've put together a survey asking some of the key questions I need your feedback on, for example about how people create work, what their creative process is, and what support people receive and would like to receive.

Every response provides me with invaluable insights into how people work and what needs to be done to offer the support they need, so I would be very grateful if you can take the time to fill it out. Many thanks!

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CDF Awakens...

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Read more ...It's been a while. Sorry about that.

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Dance Writers & Bloggers Sought

We are seeking to revive and expand the magazine section of our website and are seeking people interested in writing about dance and reviewing dance to contribute.

If you are a dancer, choreographer or work in the dance industry and are interested in regularly writing articles, features, conducting interviews and/or reviewing shows for us then please email us at write [at] including a link to your blog if you have one, and/or two samples of your writing.

Although many of the shows we review are in London, it's important to have a national perspective, so we'd like to hear from writers and reviewers from around the country.

We regret that we aren't in a position to pay our contributors, however free tickets will be offered for reviewing.



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CDF Update

We'd like to thank everyone who helped make 2013 such an incredible year for CDF - from the amazing choreographers and dancers who participated, our tireless team, our audiences and everyone who supported our work and helped make Lacuna and Showtime happen.

So, of course, a lot of people are asking us what happens next for CDF and most importantly, when the next festivals are!

A lot changed for CDF in 2013, so that affects how we'll be operating in future. As you probably know, CDF was on hold for two years, during which time I went freelance and interviewed a lot of people in the dance world from students and new graduates to established choreographers and artistic directors. Based on those interviews, and my own observations of the industry, there is a clear need for more concrete support for new and emerging dance artists, so that will be CDF's focus from now on. Therefore, Showtime, our November festival, was intended to trial and identify specific support needs, and to generate industry interest in building partnerships to help deliver that support.

As we don't want to do "just another platform again", before we can announce the next dates, we need to start building those partnerships and secure funding - as Showtime really taught us that we can't do this properly without funding.

It's early days, but what we want to be able to offer includes:
- free and/or subsidised rehearsal space for the duration of the creation period
- advice, support and where relevant, mentoring, through partners
- financial support
- travel bursary for artists based outside London
- comprehensive marketing support
- industry interest, eg commissions, residencies and bookings
- arranging post-festival packages of support, including mentoring
- arranging follow-up performances of new works

We're also committed to developing our package of professional development workshops, not only for dancers and choreographers, but also emerging dance photographers, writers and film-makers. This will also include panel discussions on a range of industry topics, and explore how they affect other artforms beyond dance.

So this means that we've got quite a bit of work to do before we can announce the next festival dates. If you'd like to participate in our upcoming festivals, please subscribe to our Future Festivals newsletter, and you'll be informed as soon as we're ready to announce the next dates. If you'd like to be updated about general CDF news, then please do subscribe to our regular newsletter, and if you'd like to discuss our work with us, then please do get in touch.

Chantal Guevara
Director & Producer

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flyersIt's competition time! We have two amazing photos by James Rowbotham, as you can see, so we're asking you to recreate either image by yourself and/or with friends, and you could win a pair of tickets to see our festival on either 15th, 16th or 17th November.

Tweet us the photo at @clouddancefest, or post the photo to our Facebook page by Tuesday 12 November - we look forward to seeing your results!

We've got a really exciting lineup showcasing the best in emerging choreographers from Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham as well as London - do have a browse through our website to find out more about them!

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We're Crowdfunding!

We're thrilled that we've received Arts Council funding to cover the core costs of our November festival, but we need your support to help us make this festival the success it can be, and to have the chance to play a pivotal role in the careers of the choreographers and dancers we work with.

This won't be just any festival; please visit our crowdfunding campaign which our wonderful Development Manager, Camilla Halford, has prepared, along with an explanation of why this festival is so significant and why your help is so important. We've also devised ways for you to become more involved with what we do, and to enjoy our work in a variety of formats.

Our crowdfunding campaign is here:

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All Change!

After producing thirteen festivals on a frayed shoestring of a budget, we are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded Arts Council England funding for our upcoming festival, Showtime, which will enable us to start exploring ways to develop Cloud Dance Festival further, in order to become a more vital resource for the emerging dance industry. We're also focussing on the ancillary fields of dance photography, writing and video, and developing professional development programmes to assist people entering these fields.

The other exciting news at Cloud Dance Festival Towers is that our team has grown significantly, thanks to our Arts Council grant: we'd like to welcome Tom Crawshaw, a freelance venue and arts festival manager who has many years' experience of managing and producing Buxton Fringe Festival and Oxford Fringe; Camilla Halford, an independent arts manager with an impressive track record of development and strategy, and is currently working with IJAD Dance Company; Vanessa Pope, a freelance theatre and cabaret producer; and last but by no means least, Eleanor Turney, a freelance editor and PR specialist - among many other skills.

Tom Crawshaw joins Cloud Dance Festival as Assistant Producer; Camilla Halford is joining us as Development Manager; Vanessa Pope is working with us as a Marketing Consultant, and Eleanor Turney is our PR Consultant.

In the meantime, do enjoy our impressive new lineup for our next festival... it's Showtime!

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November festival: call for applications

Following our relaunch festival in July, we are seeking applications for our next festival!

Cloud Dance Festival is a contemporary dance and ballet platform aimed at showcasing the most talented artists working in the industry, and at providing a platform where their work will be seen and appreciated by audiences new to dance as well as industry members.

Our next festival, Showtime, will be held at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London on 15 - 17 November. The application deadline will be Sunday 29 September.

Applications are open to everyone working in contemporary dance or contemporary ballet, whether you are a new graduate or a more established artist. Pieces should be completed by the time of performance and last up to 15 minutes in length, however we also have limited slots for pieces up to 20 minutes in length.

We will provide all performers with a DVD and photos of their work, as well as reviews for their future use.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 29 September 2013. We will notify all applicants within two days.

You can find information about our information and selection process on this site, or on our applications microsite

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Volunteers Needed

Do you have a spare few hours? Would you be able to help us with the preparation for our next festival?

We anxiously need volunteers to help with PR, marketing and admin, as well as volunteers to help during the festival itself - we need people who are happy to muck in and get started straight away.

If so, please get in touch, and we'll find something for you to do!

Please email us with a bit of information about you and a copy of your CV to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Reviewers Sought

Cloud Dance Festival is a platform for emerging artists, and we are committed to providing our participants with at least two reviews per evening, as part of our support.

The next Cloud Dance Festival will be held on 5 - 7 July at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in North London, with 6 or 7 different short works presented each night.

We are seeking dance reviewers who can commit to covering the Saturday night (6 July) of the festival, and submitting the reviews within 10 days. The reviews will be published on our website.

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Please Support Us

We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help us cover the costs of our upcoming festival so that we can focus on using our proceeds from our ticket sales on supporting the artists participating in this festival, all of whom are unfunded and have had to pay for all the costs incurred in creating and/or preparing their works for our festival.

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New Website!

Hello, and welcome to our new website. We wanted to launch our new festival, crowdfunding campaign and website all on the same day - but rather than delaying things any longer, we've released a partial website for now, and will be adding back all the usual pages over the next few days. They're still there, if you want to search for them, though!

Please bear with us while this new website settles into place - we couldn't wait any longer to show it to you.

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Opportunity for emerging dance photographers

Are you starting out in dance photography? Are you seeking more experience, or the opportunity to develop your portfolio?

Photography is an essential part of Cloud Dance Festival, as it brings together dance photographers at different stages in their careers, and so for our next festival, we are offering a limited number of spaces each day for emerging dance photographers to join us and our other photographers for our tech rehearsals.  

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Cloud Dance Sundays

Finally we can announce the first of our offshoot projects.... Cloud Dance Sundays!

Treat yourself to something special, and celebrate the end of the week with an evening of great dance, at a wonderful pub theatre in Kentish Town.

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Dance Bloggers & Reviewers Sought

As some of our reviewers have moved on, and others are less available than before, we're looking for some more reviewers based in or near London to join our busy team, covering contemporary dance and modern ballet.

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