News & Blogs

10 February 2016
Author: EDge

Meet the dancer: Bianca Brookes

Growing up in Manchester Bianca had an athletic childhood, training in gymnastics, swimming, athletics and dance. She went on to study a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she had the chance to work with Sonia Rafferty, Tony Thatcher, Anna Williams, Marie-Gabrielle Rotie and Wayne McGregor.

  • When did you start dancing?

From a young age I have always loved to perform. I started dancing at the age of three at a local school doing ballet, tap and modern; however, it was not until I attended college (age 17) that I knew this was would be my main career focus.

  • What was the first piece of live dance you watched?

The first live dance piece I watched was Revelations by Alvin Ailey. It was their strength and grace that absolutely captured me, and changed my concept of what contemporary dance was. It really tugged at my heartstrings and gave me the passion for dance.

  • Is there a performance experience that has stuck with you?

Accumulation by Trisha Brown, performed by Theo Clinkard was one of the most memorable performances I have seen. The simplicity of adding one gesture to another was brilliant. The subtle informality of the gestures gave such personality and expression and the performativity I observed was simply human and this has always stuck with me.

  • How would you describe your artistic practice?

I have always had a strong connection with Cunningham technique. The dynamic physicality it requires captures my attention and resonates quite strongly in my body. One of my former teachers taught Cunningham with such passion that I was always very dedicated to the movement, which in turn made the class very fun. In the past few weeks being in EDge I have been taught how important it is to have fun, and to find some enjoyment in what it is you are doing.

  • What/who influences or inspires you as a dancer?

As a dancer the long intense days sometimes makes you feel as though you have blinders on; however, taking inspiration from other dance works, galleries and exhibitions really helps me as an artist. It gives you something else to work with and opens your eyes to the world of art. This year it is my goal to go out and get inspired by others and their work and to feed my knowledge as an artist.

  • Why have you chosen to study on the postgraduate performance programme EDge?

I choose the postgraduate company EDge for numerous of reasons, first is getting to work with renowned choreographers and second there is a great opportunity to tour both nationally and internationally. Also, at EDge you are treated as a professional, you are taken seriously and listened to. Everyone is so friendly, they become your family and for me this close knit community is so important.

I think all the choreographers will challenge me as a dancer in different ways, whether that is physically or mentally. Joseph Toonga’s fusion of popping with contemporary dance is something I have very little experience of. The only time I have done any popping was in the audition for EDge with Joseph himself. Finding the tension and release in the correct place was particularly demanding on the body. I am looking forward to throwing myself into this style and seeing the journey it will take me on.

  • What are you surprisingly bad at?

I am surprisingly bad at floor work. It is hard for me to find the correct amount of release and tension without holding too much tension or flopping around on the floor. This for me is an ongoing process.

  • What are you surprisingly good at?

I am surprisingly good at Limón. I don’t know if good is the right word to use, may be I surprisingly enjoy Limón is a better phrase. I experienced Limón for the first time last year and I really enjoyed finding the falling and recovery and weight and suspension in the body, it was so interesting for me as a dancer. I spent so many years truly believing I had found these qualities; however, until doing Limón I had not.

Bianca will return to her hometown of Manchester to perform with EDge at Z-Arts on Tue 7 June, click here to book tickets

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