CounterPointe opens in London

Norte Maar, CounterPointe, The Broadway, Julia K. Gleich, ballet
Exciting news! Norte Maar (Brooklyn, NY) joins forces with The Broadway (Barking, UK) to present the 2nd edition of CounterPointe an important series, which originated as a collaboration with Brooklyn Ballet to present a forum for women choreographers working with the pointe shoe to show and discuss their work. The series will run at The Broadway June 18, 19 at 8pm all tickets £10. The series is curated by Julia K. Gleich. For info and tickets click here.

This production is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


In addition to the performance, a Q&A with the choreographers about issues surrounding ballet and women and investigating pointework to be led by an esteemed professional or scholar of dance is offered to the public at the end of each performance. Susie Crow of Ballet in Small Spaces will join the discussion on Tues, June 18. Other guests TBA.

CounterPointe at The Broadway will feature the following choreographers:

  • Briar Adams
  • Sophie Adams & Aisling Cook of Ballet Ensemble London
  • Carys Applebee
  • Deborah Kate Norris
  • and featuring a new solo by Jennifer Jackson and a sneak preview of Julia K. Gleich’s Speak Easy Secrets

About the Choreographers:
Briar Adams is an Australian/British choreographer who received her early ballet training in Melbourne, studying the Cecchetti method with Jan Turner, Rhyll Kennell and Anne Butler before entering the National Theatre Ballet School under Beverly Jane Fry. She graduated in 2003 and worked with Melbourne based choreographers Elissa Meyer Thomas and Resit Kortel, before relocating to the UK in 2005. Briar has performed with Tees Valley Dance (Kristine Sommerlade), DansConnect (Merville Jones) and  Ballet Soul (Ben Love). She has worked extensively on collaborative projects with UK choreographers including Catherine Bell, Tanya Sleeman, Katia Lom, Yuyu Rau, Elizabeth Peck and Arlene Phillips. Joining Combination Dance Company (Anne-Marie Smalldon) in 2010, Briar has danced with the company in various productions including the recently commissioned ‘Lucia’ for Opera Holland Park. Combination was recently commissioned to produce work for Sky3D, and Briar facilitated the Company’s collaboration with Wayne MacGregor Random Dance for Big Dance 2012. In addition to her performance work, Briar choreographs for events, galas and music videos (recently including Seasfire & MrFogg). She regularly teaches workshops for Step Into Dance, and directs the MASSK Youth Dance Company. Briar’s company, Hack Ballet, was launched in 2012, performing at RichMix, Bermondsey Street Festival, Battersea Park and The Place. The company blends modern ballet technique with other influences including contact improvisation and contemporary dance to create accessible, inspirational performances. In addition to theatrical venues, Hack Ballet performs in unusual spaces including outdoor festivals and clubs (Proud Camden, The Black Heart, New Empowering Church Hackney) taking contemporary ballet to new audiences.

Sophie Adams and Aisling Cook founded Ballet Ensemble London in 2010 with a passion for incorporating fashion, art and pop culture into their choreographic performances. Utilising a classical ballet base, they hope to bring the art form to a new audience by creating dance theatre which the audience can enjoy and relate to. Ballet Ensemble London have previously collaborated with artists from different mediums to create original choreographic works through film and live performance; each highly stylised and unique. From starting out by choreographing for music videos, dancing for live music acts at London’s top music venues and creating bespoke performances for events all over London and Europe; they are now fusing ideas and experience together to create new and original works. Ballet Ensemble London has created works and performed them at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including Somerset House, The Foreign Office, The V&A Museum and Kensington Palace. They have also performed at top music venues such as Koko, festivals such as The Secret Garden Party, and many private parties and functions both in the UK and Europe, creating a unique work or adaptation for each event.

Carys Applebee is currently in her 3rd year at Central School of Ballet before which she trained at a local dance school in Chichester. Applebee was introduced to choreography during her first year of Central and choreographed her first piece for Design for Dance project in January 2012. Applebee drew inspiration from the project and was especially taken by those works presented by the Rombert School and London Studio Center. She pursued her choreographic interests and entered Design for Dance again last year with the intention to explore the movement and push her dancers, who are classically trained to use their bodies in a different way. Despite using pointe work nearly every day at Central, she has not created a full piece on pointe. She will present her first full piece on pointe for CounterPointe.

Jennifer Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in dance at the University of Surrey and also teaches choreography at the Royal Ballet School.  A former dancer and choreographer with the Royal Ballet and Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, her research into ballet pedagogy and somatics draws on embodied dance and teaching practice as well as on-going study with Roger Tully.  She has led workshops and presented papers on creative strategies in ballet in Korea, Japan, Australia, Sweden, UK and USA and regularly collaborates with Susie Crow on writing and Ballet Independents Group (BIG) activities.  Her current research into mature dance practice, Dancing the Invisible (2012), is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and develops improvisational practice alongside work begun in 2010 with From Here to Maturity dance company at the South Bank Centre, London.  Other practice as research includes choreography for English National Ballet: Time Chant (2011) and Other Diamonds (2010);  dancing: No time Ago (2009) and writing in Dancing Times and Research in Dance Education.

Deborah Norris completed her vocational training at Elmhurst Ballet School. After gaining a BA Hons and MA in Dance Studies she continued her training at the Jose Limon Dance Institute, New York, studying with Carla Maxwell, Risa Steinberg, and Alan Danielson. Deborah is on the faculty at Edge Hill University, lecturing in Classical Ballet, Limon Technique and Western Theatre Dance and has recently choreographed  Overture, Applause, Concerto for 3rd Edge Dance Company. She also teaches at Centre Pointe Vocational College, Manchester teaching contemporary, rhythm tap and choreographing for annual showcases and competition work. Having choreographed work for international competitions and platforms including the International Dance Grand Prix, Barcelona, and the World Ballet Championships in Florida, Deborah’s contemporary work has also been performed at the Cunningham Studios, and Peridance, NYC and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, she has recently finished assisting David Needham on the National Tour of ‘The King and I’. Current projects include a new play, Hearts Core,  which is being commissioned by Community Arts Northwest, and Project Outlaw, a new ballet, working in collaboration with composer Jonathon Clarke.

About the Curator:
Julia K. Gleich
is a critically acclaimed choreographer, teacher, scholar, and mathematics aficionado interested in recontextualizing ballet: creating new environments for traditional works and illuminating the relationships between the traditional and the contemporary. Her company, Gleich Dances has performed throughout the UK and US with seasons at NYC’s Joyce SoHo (’01, ’03) and Centre for Performance Research (’11, ‘12) receiving critical notice in The New York Times, Village Voice, The New Criterion and Brooklyn Rail. Ms. Gleich is on faculty at Trinity LABAN Conservatoire of Music and Dance (London, UK) and is Head of Choreography at London Studio Centre.

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