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Introducing the cast of 16 Bars

12 September 2016

With one week to go until the NACA Showcase 2016 we will be giving you a daily insight to each of the professional cast members who are performing in Jamaal Burkmar Dance's 16 Bars. All six of the dancers have been asked a series of questions from what they have done in their careers so far to what their party tricks are!

Introducing...

Ashleigh Musk

Where did you study?
I did my undergraduate training in Australia, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, before moving to the UK, where I was a part of VERVE 13 at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
I’ve been working on creating a festival in Spain for the past three years with a company called AGITART (who you can follow on twitter @agitartfigueres) and each year when it happens it’s always a highlight for me - it’s a lot of hard work but is always so rewarding when it all comes together.  

Being in VERVE was also a great experience, it was such an intense year but it changed me so much, as a dancer and as a person!

This project with Jamaal is also shaping up to be another highlight! It’s my second time working with Jamaal and I’m really excited to be back in the studio with him, and I think the London shows are going to be pretty amazing.

Do you have a fun party trick?
Not really… I should work on this!

What's your favourite thing to eat?
I think I have too many favourites to list….

Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read and I guess one of my hobbies is travelling - I just can’t stop! 

Have there been any highlights/funny stories from NACA Showcase rehearsals so far?
I can’t think of any particular highlight, it's just been a really great environment in the studio! The team is great, the other girls are all incredible dancers and people and we have been having a lot of fun in general every day!

Robyn Byrne

Where did you study?
I trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
Being able to travel because of dance is always cool, I've been to some amazing places. Going to Hong Kong to perform in their Chinese New Year parade is definitely a highlight.

Do you have a fun party trick?
I can do a really bad Australian impersonation; I don't know if it's a party trick or a party killer. Considering the amount of awful Irish impersonations I have to listen to from Jamaal I don't think it's that bad.

What's your favourite thing to eat?
Anything with cheese really, at the minute I put feta in everything.

Do you have any hobbies?
I always take up new hobbies but have a habit of not finishing them. I started making a pompom rug nearly six months ago and it's still not finished. I like doing arts and crafty things and I like to bake too!

Have there been any highlights/funny stories from NACA Showcase rehearsals so far?
We're always laughing about something, there's a lot of fast movement phrases in the piece and to help us remember we give some moves silly names.

You can follow Robyn on Instagram @robin.red.breast

Emilie Karlsen

Where did you train?
When I stared getting more serious about wanting to dance as a career I applied to do a one-year full time course at “Spin Off” in Oslo, Norway from 2012-2013. From September 2013 to July 2016, I then trained at Northern School of Contemporary dance in Leeds.

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
I can’t say I’ve had the longest career yet and I only graduated in July, but one of the most important things I have been a part of, in terms of guiding me onto the path that I find myself on, was being a part of a youth company at the Norwegian Opera. This was back in 2011-2012 and we worked with Random Dance Company. Performing in that building and being a part of such a professional project really made me want to keep doing what I do. In addition, moving to Leeds as the only Norwegian student, at the time, was the most challenging and important thing I have done for myself. It opened my eyes to a lot more opportunities beyond my home city and connected me to people around the world.  

Do you have a party trick?
If I do have a party trick, it must come from my clumsy self unintentionally doing something extraordinary.

What’s your favourite thing to eat?
I have an obsession with peanut butter at the moment and I love breakfast, so I would have to say my own special porridge with peanut butter, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, almond milk and a tiny bit of Maldon salt! It’s the perfect combination!

Do you have any hobbies?
I love cooking and baking new things without using a recipe. Not sure if you can call it a hobby, but it is something I do a lot. I also like to draw and write. Another thing that comes to mind is exploring new things and places. Just going for walks and seeing where you end up!

Have there been any highlights/funny stories from the rehearsals so far?
This is not something I would call a highlight, but I borrowed a bike from a friend last week to make it easier to get back and forth from rehearsals. On my way home, I ended up flipping over the front of the bike leaving me with bruises on my face, the palms of my hands, shoulders and knees making the rehearsals quite challenging for the rest of the week. Let’s say I ended up walking all week and the bike has remained untouched.

You can follow Emilie on Instagram @emiliemaka

Natasha Smith

Where did you train?
Northern School of Contemporary Dance  

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
As I graduated a few months ago I can't say I have many highlights but I would say working with Jamaal Burkmar is definitely a highlight for me! It is also a proud moment for me to graduate straight into work, especially with such an incredible artist.

Do you have a party trick?
I'm super boring and have no party tricks haha!

What’s your favourite thing to eat?
Wagamamas all the way!

Do you have any hobbies?
GYM. I'm a huge fitness freak I love weight training.

Have there been any highlights / funny stories from the rehearsals so far?
So far the highlight for me was the photo shoot. It was a really fun experience getting to know everyone outside of the very stressful studio.

Clementine Telesfort

Where did you train?
I trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance but then went on and did a postgraduate course and was part of VERVE at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. 

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
I guess one of the highlight of my career so far was working with Anton Lachky on a brand new creation this year. It was inspiring, challenging, physically and mental draining but a hell of a good time. I had never experienced anything like it/him before and I'd do it all over again if I had to! 

Another highlight was having the chance to show the latest production that I choreographed for MicroMacro, a dance company that I created and direct, at numerous platforms and festivals this year around Europe. We are actually going to be showcased at Tribe 16 festival in London at the end of September alongside Alexender Whitley, which is exciting! 

Do you have a party trick?
I want to say that I am a party trick. Not because I am amazing or anything, but just because I don't have a specific one. I am kind of a clown in daily life, if you know me well, and I have always been the little clown in my family. I hate taking myself seriously and I am not good at it anyways! 

What’s your favourite thing to eat?
Right favourite thing to eat. That's a tricky one. I am French, and it won't come as a surprise that I love cheese and wine. It's just home to me... Otherwise, breakfast is my favourite time of the day, I usually have mashed avocados on some rye bread with a drizzle of lemon and herbs, some grilled haloumi and yoghurt with fruits, nuts and honey in. You cannot eat too much at that time, all you can eat is the right amount! 

Do you have any hobbies?
I love Slack Lining (which is walking a tight rope) in the park on sunny days with some friends, cooking is kind of my hobby too. 

Have there been any highlights / funny stories from the rehearsals so far?
I want to say the funniest moment was when Lucia told us that trick to make everyone focus. It's just a hand gesture that looks like a fox and then she says "focus fox!". I love it and I'll use it in the future for sure! 

Lucia Chocarro

Where did you train?
I trained at Lewisham College for 2 years before doing my degree at the London Contemporary Dance School.

Tell us some highlights from your careers so far.
Soon after graduating I joined Punchdrunk inmersive theatre company for their production The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable, it was an amazing experience and I met some beautiful performers! Upon graduating I also founded a performance collective called Feet off the Ground with three other friends. We work collaboratively in every aspect and that keeps us going! We use Contact Improvisation & Partnering techniques as a base of our work and teaching practice.

Do you have a party trick?
No - I better get practising one... 

What’s your favourite thing to eat?
I love gazpacho, a very refreshing cold soup

Do you have any hobbies?
I love yoga, reading and going on spontaneous days out!

Have there been any highlights / funny stories from the rehearsals so far?
Jamaal has been using some rehearsal time to learn the lyrics to 'Jenny from the block' by Jennifer Lopez, but he is still struggling...!

Photography: Danilo Moroni

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