Caldonia Walton trained professionally in contemporary dance, graduating with a First Class BA Honours degree from London Studio Centre. She has performed for choreographers Zamira Kate Mummery (ZK Dance), Douglas Thorpe (Mad Dogs Dance Theatre), Cirque Bijou, Edd Mitton, Hannah Vincent, Dam Van Huynh, Wayne Parsons, Ana Lujan Sanchez and Lizzie J Klotz. She performed in the month run of rock musical, The Quentin Dentin Show, at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and returned as co-director and choreographer for both of its production runs in Central London. She has worked on various projects with Hofesh Shechter Company and East London Dance and with Motionhouse Dance Theatre and Birmingham mac, and performed in music videos for Eliza and The Bear, Tankus The Henge, Them&Us and I Am Fya. Caldonia has also been mentored by Kerry Nicholls Dance through her Performance Mentoring Programme.
After presenting her independent choreography work at our Arrive Dance Platform in 2017, Caldonia joined Ransack as a dancer in 2018 and has since performed in our touring production 'Momenta,' alongside working with the company to research and develop new work.
Gemma Prangle graduated from the University of Exeter in 2011 with a BA (hons) Drama, and went onto complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Physical Theatre with Jasmin Vardimon Company. She has performed for Frantic Assembly in their production 'Little Dogs' and continues to teach on the company's education team. She has also performed as part of the ensemble, for Cardiff based company Taikabox for their Dance Shorts Tour, and for Notional Theatre in their multimedia performance 'Awkward Turtle'. Gemma also choreographs and performs in her own work as a solo artist performing her new work 'Dances I made on my Bathroom Floor,' at Wales Dance Platform 2015 and C12's Emerge Festival in London. Gemma was nominated for 'Best Female Dance Artist' at the Wales Theatre Awards in 2016. Gemma has recently worked with Light, Ladd & Emberton, Caroline Lamb, and 'We Made This.'
Gemma joined Ransack in 2013 and has worked for the company in numerous community and performance projects since then including dancing in our tour of ‘Murmur’ (2019).
Alex Marshall Parsons trained at Edge Hill University, graduating in 2012. He is Artistic Director and performer in his own company ‘Gary and Pel Live Action Cartoon’. As a dancer he has performed for a range of dance and theatre companies including Bombastic Dance, Earthfall Dance Company, Theatr Pena, Kitch n Sync Collective, and Chloe Loftus Dance, Gary Clarke Company and Lea Anderson. He has also taught for Motion House Dance Theatre and was rehearsal director and choreographer for Edge FWD Dance Theatre.
Alex joined us in 2017 for our film projection R&D project and returned to the company in August 2018 for our premiere performance of ‘Murmur’ and toured with the company in our Autumn 2019 tour.
Sydney Robertson studied at the University of Exeter in the UK before starting training at Jasmin Vardimon's JV2 (2015/2016) touring nationally and dancing a triple bill choreographed by AΦE, Vincius Salles and Jasmin Vardimon. He then freelanced in London working with Southpaw Dance Company, Royal Opera House, Tate Modern (Phoebe Davis/ Nande Bhebhe), before becoming a company member of B-Hybrid dance with Brian Gillespie. In 2018, Sydney continued his training at SEAD in Austria and toured with Landestheater's La Gazzetta, directed by Alexandra Liedtke and choreographed by Paul Blackman (Jukstapoz). Since returning to London, he has worked in both commercial and theatrical projects with Benjamin Milan (Box Artist Management) and Joao Cidade'
Sydney is one of the newest members to the team, joining us in February 2020 and working on our digital project ‘Digital Interludes’ including research and development of our new double-bill performance.
Mike Williams is an independent dance artist based in South Wales. A graduate of Roehampton university 2006, Mike has held some prestigious company roles from Earthfall (2008-2010) and FFIN DANCE (2010-2014) and has been performing on a project basis with Exim Dance Company since 2012.
2015 marked the debut of Mikes first steps as an emerging choreographer. He toured his first professional solo throughout the UK, including the Wales Dance Platform 2015, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Cloud Dance Festival in London. Mike is currently in the initial stages of researching his new solo, ‘BoxedIN’ after having a rewarding and explorative week as an Artist in Residence in March with National Dance Company Wales. Alongside his work with Ransack Mike also dancers for Joon Dance and is a keen Yogi, and CrossFit athlete.
Alongside performing for Ransack, Mike is involved with a number of our community dance projects in partnership with Artis Community and is a regular tutor on their community dance class programme. Mike leads classes at 'Dolau Primary School, directs 'Inspire' Youth Dance Company and currently delivers the company's 'Movers' and Youth Dance online classes.
Hannah Miles is a freelance dance artist based in South East London. In 2019 she graduated with a First Class BA Honours in Contemporary Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Since graduating Hannah has had the pleasure of working on the latest English National Ballet Film, Cinderella Games. She has also worked with a variety of dance companies including: Protein Dance (Invisible Dancing, 2018), State of Flux Theatre (Don’t Touch Me), Errant Company (Tutu Trouble), Flux: Intermedia, Opera de Bauge Festival and Vice Versa Dance Theatre (friEND). She has collaborated with Laura Weston on various projects including as an associate artist for ‘one, four, six’, a piece created for students at London Studio Centre for the Moving Words platform.
Hannah is one of the newest members to the team, joining us in February 2020. She is looking forward to joining Ransack Dance Company to research and develop new works.
Artis Community Practitioners
Abril Trias is a therapeutic and community arts facilitator, with a creative background in dance movement, film and autobiographical arts. Driven by a spirit of exploration, Abril merges film and performance with visual arts; seeking to portray delicate but thought provoking messages to the audience. Following the completion of a work placement with Artis Community; a module of her (BA Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree at with USW, Abril now works as a community dance and arts practitioner for the organisation. She delivers a weekly after school dance and art club at Miskin Primary School and assisting the delivery of their ‘IncluDance’ inclusive dance group.
Becky Johnson is a freelance dance artist who specialises in improvisation, collaboration, and inter-disciplinary work. Recent collaborations have been with cinematographer Sam Olly in “The Hanging room trilogy” and visual artist Anna Coviello in “EXHIBIT”. She also recently held a residency with Groundwork pro to explore her latest solo work, “Didi’s Cookbook” in which she worked alongside Director Julia Spencer to create a short film for the work. Becky took part in EXPLORE 2019 with Artis Community and Ransack Dance Company as an independent artist following her graduation from the Dance Degree course at USW and has since gone onto work as a community dance practitioner with Artis Community. In this role she facilitates inclusive community classes and workshops for a range of ages and abilities, including ‘IncluDance’ group and the ’11 Million Reasons to Dance’ project.
Liam Wallace trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance working with choreographers such as Odette Hughes, Douglas Thorpe and Avatâra Ayuso before graduating with a BPA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance in 2015. Since then Liam has been developing his teaching practice in contemporary dance working as freelancer with various companies to develop a style of teaching that promotes openness and individuality in movement. Liam joins EXPLORE 2021 as a community dance practitioner for Artis Community, previously delivering contemporary dance classes at Gwaunmeisgyn Primary School and Pontypridd High School and currently delivering their ‘Evolve’ dance classes; an online improvisation led creative dance class for adults.
Independent Dance Artists
Tommy Davies' background is in break dance and hip hop styles. He has been a professional competition and commercial dancer for over 15 years. His dancing experience is extensive including dancing for the Black Eyed Peas, Butlins Tour, Strictly Come Dancing, Avant Cymru, Nitro Circus and many more. He also has a degree in Events Management. Alongside this he has taught dance to a range of abilities and ages and teaches a range of regular classes in his local community in Cardiff. He has also recently set up a programme of online classes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Tommy’s most recent aim as a dancer is to branch out to work with different styles and mediums of dance to evolve himself as a dance artist. Tommy is hoping to gain further understanding of ‘cross over points’ in different styles throughout his participation in EXPLORE and how to use these in his dance movement and teaching practice. He loves the idea of jumping into other people’s ways of moving and seeing alternative connections within dance and music.
Rachel Laird joins the EXPLORE online programme from her base in London. She initially trained on the dance degree course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance before going onto complete a post graduate diploma at Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School. Since graduating she has performed for The English National Opera and Peut Etre Theatre touring their work SHH...Bang! to China, Roisin O'Brien in A Falling Ballet, The Natasha’s Project and A Truefitt Collective with whom she trained as one of the first Dancing Mindfulness Facilitators in the UK. In addition she has also co-founded a dance theatre duo called the ‘Sliding Doors Collective’, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Rising Tides and Resolution Festival.
What excites Rachel about EXPLORE with Ransack Dance Company is the opportunity to form an online community with the collection of participating artists whilst exploring company rep, getting an insight into the research and development of new work and the company practice of Ransack, alongside the opportunity to also work with Artis Community in training sessions and on their community dance programme.
Beth Hopkins photography
Bethan Cooper is a dance practitioner from Powys. She trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has since completed RAD Advanced Ballet Certificiate at Distinction level. She currently works as freelance practitioner with companies such as Brecon Festival Ballet, Impelo, Mid Wales Dance Academy and Ballet Cymru. She has a range of performance experience including recent performances as a dancer in ‘Cell’ with Impelo, which also involved facilitating workshops based around the key stage two science curriculum and dancing in Brecon Festival Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’. She is also currently a dance teacher on Ballet Cymru’s DUETS programme. She hopes that her experience on the EXPLORE programme will inspire her to keep developing both her physicality and creativity in order to be the best dancer and teacher she can be.
Keith Trodd Photography
Becca Head Photography
Daniella Powell is a dance artist based in Neath Port Talbot. She trained on the dance course at NPTC Group of Colleges before completing the dance degree course at University of South Wales (cohort 2016-2019). Whilst in training she worked with a range of professional choreographers and also set up her own dance company, Nevím Dance Company, which allowed her to investigate and explore her own practice. In 2017 she performed with Nevím at Ransack Dance Company’s ‘Arrive Dance Platform’. In addition she was part of Step-Up residencies at National Youth Dance Wales and was taught and mentored by Kerry Nicholls. Daniella took part in the EXPLORE Project in 2018, joining Ransack Dance Company in their open R&D rehearsals and performing with the company. She also performed as a dancer in the ‘Community Flash Mob’ scene for the company’s premiere of ‘Murmur’ at the Memo Arts Centre, Barry.
Since graduating Daniella started her P.G.C.E training, embarking on a placement with the dance department at NPTC Group of Colleges. She is looking forward to collaborating with a range of different artists from different backgrounds and learning from Ransack’s choreographic methodologies on the 2021 EXPLORE programme, whilst also taking her learning from the course back to her students, to help ‘inspire and grow the next generation of dancers.’
Olivia Paddison is a dance artist based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. She graduated in 2015 with a BA (Hons) in contemporary dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. Upon graduating she joined Compañia CaraBdanza in Madrid as an Apprentice Dancer, touring nationally in Spain, followed by joining Elephant in the Black Box Company. Since returning to the UK, she has worked as a Trainee Producer with Leeds based Balbir Singh Dance Company and was one of the Dance Artists involved in the European Dance Project Performing Gender: Dance Makes Differences. She has also toured nationally with North East-based Fertile Ground Dance Company. In 2019 she began working with Bigfoot Arts Education Ltd, leading creative workshops and residencies in primary and became a Dance Practitioner with The D Project Dance Company, teaching a range of dance and creative sessions in multiple different community settings. Olivia is also currently working with Kuchipudi Dancer and Choreographer Payal Ramchandani.
Olivia is very keen to develop her practice in a way that prioritises social inclusion and cohesion. She has an experimental and diverse approach to her own movement practice, combining contemporary dance with elements from Martial Arts and other disciplines. She is keen to explore new ways of merging movement styles and techniques and is excited to share her own practice whilst also learning from the practice of Ransack’s dancers and creative team.
Shawnna Cope Michalek
Coalesce Dance Theatre
Lucy Jones is joining the EXPLORE programme as a work placement artist. She is based in Treorchy in Rhondda Cynon Taf, in which both Ransack Dance Company and Artis community are based. Lucy began her journey into dance with Artis Community at age 7, growing through their dance pathway before joining their Expressions Dance Company and Insync Inclusive Dance Company. She also attended a number of intensives with National Youth Dance Wales and with NDCWales – later becoming an Associate dancer with the company. Lucy went onto train on the degree course at Northern School of Contemporary Dance followed by working with choreographers Joss Arnott and Sharon Watson with Emergence – the postgraduate company of University of Salford. Following her training Lucy has taken part in intensives with Company Chameleon, Kerry Nicholls, Cai Tomos, Miranda Tufnell and Mathieu Geffre and participated in CPD training with Ransack Dance Company, joining their open rehearsals within the EXPLORE training programme in 2018. In addition she has danced with Phoenix Dance Theatre for their Choreographers and Composers Lab, National Dance Company Wales for their ‘Laboratori’ and joined the artist development and mentoring programme with Omidaze Productions. Lucy is looking forward to taking part in this year’s EXPLORE programme to develop her dance training and connect with other artists. She hopes to build on previous relationships but also make new ones.
Development Officer and Dance Leader
Artistic Director, Ransack Dance Company
Arts Associate, Artis Community
Linzi is the Development Officer & Dance Leader for Artis Community. she coordinates a range of arts programmes, as well as delivering weekly and project-based workshops and leads on the community practice training sessions involved in the EXPLORE project.
She has a BA (hons) Degree in Dance, a Post Compulsory PGCE, and has attended various CPD courses related to Dance and Dementia, Movement Therapy, Inclusive Practice, Dance for Older People and Dance for Parkinsons. Linzi has been working as part of Artis Community since 2010 and has gradually built on her professional career as a community dance practitioner. The most rewarding part of her job is "working with such a vast range of people, creating positive relationships and watching the change it can provoke in someone’s life."
Sarah is the founder of Ransack Dance Company, setting up the company in 2013. She directs the team of dancers, musicians and film artists to choreograph touring production work. Sarah leads on the dance production training sessions and supports the community practice training involved in the EXPLORE project.
Prior to setting up Ransack, Sarah trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, graduating with BA Hons in Dance Theatre in 2010. She has performed for Rosemary Butcher, Charles Linehan, Kerry Nicholls, Darren Johnston, Will Dorner, Tamsin Fitzgerald (2Faced Dance) and The Configur8 Project, and presented work at Resolution 2011 as an independent choreographer. In 2012 Sarah also completed an Apprenticeship with Earthfall Dance Company.Alongside her professional directing and performance work Sarah is an experienced community dance practitioner and educator and has directed a number of youth groups. Previously she has been Education Manager at 2Faced Dance Company, and she currently is 'Arts Associate' and dance tutor for Artis Community. She also is a Dance Ambassador for National Dance Company Wales.