Laura Careless is a Brighton-based dance artist. Through dance performance and education, she advocates for the reclamation and rewilding of our physical instincts.
Laura’s critically acclaimed solo performance work has toured to venues in the UK and the US. She also performs in Rebel Boob, a post-verbatim production based on interviews with women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis, which tours the UK in October 2022.
Laura is a graduate of The Royal Ballet School, London; the Ecole-Atelier of Maurice Bejart in Lausanne, Switzerland; and The Juilliard School Dance Division in New York City, where she received the John Erskine Prize for Artistic and Academic Excellence. Upon graduation from Juilliard, Laura became a founding member and Principal Performer at Company XIV, a Brooklyn-based multi-media production company. XIV’s performances blend dance with theatre, opera, circus, burlesque and opulent design in live performance and film and have been recognised by the Drama Desk, Bessie, and New York Independent Theater Awards. Laura has also worked as a guest artist with Buglisi Dance Theatre, Aszure Barton and Artists and the Metropolitan Opera.
Teaching and dance education has been an equal passion with performing throughout Laura’s career. She is a Curriculum Specialist for Juilliard’s K-12 department and is the Dance Education Consultant for Rambert. Through her teaching, she seeks to empower students to move like themselves, prioritising their physical, mental and soulful wellbeing.
Helen Castor is a historian of the middle ages and the sixteenth century and a Bye-Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Her book She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth was widely selected as one of the books of the year in 2010, and was made into a television series for BBC Four in 2012. Since then, she has written on Joan of Arc (2014) and Elizabeth I (2018). She has worked extensively for BBC TV and Channel 4, and presents Radio 4’s Making History.
Jonathan Watkins is a Director, Choreographer and creator. Over the last few years he has adapted Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ for the stage, made the ballet adapted of George Orwell’s 1984 for Northern Ballet (National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography) and created the film ‘Kes Reimagined’ with The Space and BBC. He was the Clore Fellowship Dance Fellow 2021.
Belle Mellor is an award-winning freelance illustrator and animator working from Brighton. Her most prolific area to date has been the editorial field, where she relishes the speedy deadlines, idea generation, and interaction between text and image. A growing passion for movement and sequential thinking led her to an MA in animation at the Royal College of Art, and her films have been screened at animation festivals worldwide.
See Belle Mellor’s creations at www.bellemellor.com
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Angela El Zeind is a theatre maker, performing arts lecturer, artistic director of Speak Up! Act Out! cic, and an Applied Theatre workshop facilitator.
Her practice as a director involves working with theatre makers, community groups, charities, corporations, and educational institutes, as well as with individuals as a mentor and coach. She has been working as a freelancer for over twenty years, and is always learning how to do this more effectively.
Bisan Toron is a vocal artist, composer and voice teacher. Born in Syria and raised in Paris and New York, Bisan holds a degree in classical voice performance from NYU and a masters in Ethnomusicology from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. She did further studies in voice improvisation with the Roy Hart-based company, Pantheatre, in France.
Bisan’s music is informed by a multitude of cultures and vocal traditions, which she threads with vocal articulations that arise from the moment. Her curriculum entitled ‘Voice Creatures’ supports the embodied sounding of deeply held impulses and emotions in the body through the exploration of the myriad colors of the voice.
Her 2008 debut CD is entitled ‘Backstage Reveries, Voice Sketches by Bisan Toron’ and her second album, ‘Toward the Roar’ was released in 2015. She has been a recording artist for several film soundtracks, including the acclaimed film, NYsferatu, which she performed live at the 2017 Rome Film Festival. In 2017, Bisan was a recipient of the AFAC (Arab Fund for Arts & Culture) grant for her album, ‘Migrant Songs; which is due for release in 2022.
Bisan is currently based in Lisbon. She performs and teaches both virtually and in person across Europe and the United States.
Aviva is educated as an architect and a psychologist. Her work explores questions of relationships in time, space, and movement. Aviva has worked as story consultant for film and text. She has collaborated with Laura on The Space Where the Body Should Be and other works. She lives in Stockholm and New York examining nature, the psyche, and what it is to be in connection.
Anne Careless has been making clothes and costumes for her daughter for over thirty years, from Laura’s first stage costume (a very expressive demon for Carrabosse in the Sleeping Beauty) to her wedding dress. Her costumes have appeared on the stages of the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. Anne loves being involved in a wide range of creative projects. These include running a Performing Arts Department on the Isle of Wight with extra-curricular groups receiving national recognition; creating a parterre garden for her Jacobean which was featured in Good Housekeeping magazine; and her involvement as a Library Manager in Gloucestershire Libraries’ Art of Libraries initiative to increase cultural engagement in libraries.
Colin Holden Design is a creative company that designs, builds and installs scenery and props for theatre and immersive events.Based at their workshop near Lewes the team of Colin Holden and Nancy Angus have been working together for many years to make unique things for imaginative people. Their collaborators and clients include Channel 4, The Body Shop, Vevo and Fabrica Gallery.