TICKETS FOR THE DANCE & THEATRE EVENT
BRANCHES: THE NATURE OF CRISIS, DIRECTED BY INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED CHOREOGRAPHER CONSTANZA MACRAS AND PART OF THE LONDON 2012 FESTIVAL, WILL GO ON SALE ON MONDAY 30th JULY
National Theatre Wales’ 22nd production – and its third and final contribution to the London 2012 Festival – will be a visually extraordinary event staged in Wepre Park, Flintshire, and with a digitally interactive livestream on a high street in Cardiff. Mixing world-class dance and theatre, Branches: The Nature of Crisis will be an experience which merges the world of the urban hen night with the rural fairytale.
It is the brainchild of Argentinian-born, Berlin-based choreographer Constanza Macras, inspired by the theme of transformation; a key theme in the Welsh myths of the Mabinogion, a notable feature in Wales’ diverse landscape, and a significant sight on any high street on a Saturday night – hens in fancy dress.
The characters performing in Wepre Park will be victims of the Credit Crisis -. Macras will listen to and record stories from many of the people affected by the so-called ‘credit crunch’ in Wales – from unemployed teenagers to farmers who can no longer afford to grow crops – and weave them into her story, asking ‘what is the crisis transforming us into?’
On the production’s final weekend, images from the forest will appear on huge billboards in Cardiff’s city centre, a surreal mirror image of urban weekend nights, drawing young revelers away from their routines. The city audiences will be invited to interact with the action through their mobile and smartphones, and send text that will affect the world of the live performances.
Constanza and 12 performers – six Wales-based, and six from her acclaimed dance company DorkyPark – will work alongside musicians, local artists and community members, and an international creative team, to create this event.
Constanza Macras was born in Buenos Aires in 1970, and studied contemporary dance and fashion design. Following her dance education in New York, where she also danced at legendary Merce Cunningham Studio, she started to develop and present her own performances in Amsterdam. After moving to Berlin in 1995, Constanza founded the dance company DorkyPark in 2003, in which she is gathering dancers, musicians, actors and artist of various genres and countries around her. In her work, Constanza examines social, political and cultural developments and translates them into multilayered pieces that combine text, video, dance and sound. As a choreographer and director, Constanza has taught workshops and master classes in Japan, the United States, India, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch Berlin, the Universität der Künste UdK Berlin and Hochschule für Musik, Berlin. In 2008 Constanza Macras received the Goethe-Institut Award for an outstanding German production for Hell On Earth. In 2010 she was awarded with the Arts at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) William L. Abramowitz Residency. In the same year Constanza Macras was awarded the German Theatre Award DER FAUST for best choreography for Megalopolis.
The cast includes:
Wales-based performers: Gareth Aled, Rosalind Haf Brooks, Catriona James, Adanna Oji, Jem Treays and Lara Ward
Gareth Aled trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Theatre credits include: The Heart of Robin Hood (RSC); Faust, Cendrillon, Tosca, The Tsar’s Bride and Romeo et Juliette (all for the Royal Opera House); Solomon and Measure for Measure
(both for Elan Frantoio, Italy). Television credits include: Miliband of Brothers. Film credits include: Harrigan’s Nick. Radio credits include: Boom Boom and True To My Land.
Rosalind Haf Brooks trained at Kate Simmons Dance Ltd (2000-03), and London Contemporary Dance School (2004-05).
Theatre credits include: Gravitas, Gig, and The Factory (Earthfall), Cabba Hay, Bezerkus, and The Fun Girls (Mr and Mrs Clark), Sometimes We Look (Marega Palser), Phantasma and Blyshdance (Sean Tuan John), Erendira, Soledad, and Monstrous Regiment (Firenza Guidi), Out of the Box (Run Ragged Productions), Wardrobe Diaries and Walk the Plank (Citrus Arts). Film credits include: Postcards, The Last Gig, and The Factory (Earthfall), Anteduluvian (Sean Tuan John), and Flicker (Mr and Mrs Clark).
Catriona James trained at East 15 Acting School. She is a versatile actor of mixed Malaysian, British and Canadian heritage and has varied experience in theatre, film, street and interactive performances and cabaret. Recent appearances include: Ms Peek, in the cabaret duo Peek & Boo, as part of the hugely popular Port of Amsterdam cabaret at the Wales Millennium Centre, Jacinta Condor in Serious Money, and as an ensemble member in the independent feature film The Inspection House (devised and filmed over 10 days in Poland. Theatre credits include: Serious Money (Waking Exploits); The Death of Tintagel (Saltpeter Productions); 5 p.m. No particular afternoon (Likely Story). Television credits include: My Holiday Hostage Hell (Prospect Pictures/Virgin 1). Film credits include: The Inspection House (Samsonov Co-operative) and The Games (Optimistic Productions).
Adanna Oji trained at East 15 Acting School.
Theatre credits include: Crowning Glory (Theatre Royal Stratford East/Team Angelica), The Container (Sherman Cymru/Chapter), Wealth (Elephant Foot/Edinburgh Festival), Back In Five Minutes (Little Episodes), Coming Up For Air (Nu Century Arts), One For Me (Fairgame Theatre Company and The Calabash (Tiata Fahodzi). Television credits include: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency (Series) (Mirage Enterprises/The Weinstein Company). Radio credits include: Dark And Lovely (Bauer Radio Creative London), Farming First (Red Kingdom), The Tale Of Two Cooking Pots And Other Stories (Crying Out Loud Productions), Deck The Halls With Rows And Folly (Hospital Barnet Radio), Popular Children’s Stories (Cbeebies Radio 7), Defending Europe (Manifesta7), and The Life And Times Of George Bridgetower (City Of London Festival).
Jem Treays trained at The Laban Centre. He is a 2005 ACW Major Creative Wales Award Winner. He is artistic director of Run Ragged Productions who have just completed a Welsh tour of dance work Out of the Box. Performance credits include: National Dance Company Wales (repertory works from 1990-1994), Eugene Onegin (WNO), Geisha (MotionHouse), Choreo 5 (Tanja Ramen) and I surrender myself to you (Charlotte Vincent Dance Theatre). His choreographic credits include work for: National Theatre Wales (The Village Social), National Dance Company of Wales (In the new Moon and Icarus and sons), Welsh National Opera (Eugene Onegin), Theatr Iolo (Am I Dreaming) and many productions for RWCMD. His independent dance work includes: Walke Talkie, Is This it? Transducer and Gorgeous.
Lara Ward trained at the University of Chester.
Theatre credits include: Gravitas, Gig, and The Factory (Earthfall), LifeDeathLife (Caroline Sabin), Am I Dreaming? (Theatr Iolo), and Bezerkus (Mr and Mrs Clark). Film credits include: The Factory and The Last Gig (Earthfall), Common Ground (Uma O’Neill), Gravitas – Postcards (Chris Forster), and Y Mapiwr (Endaf Emlyn).
DorkyPark performers: Ana Mondini, Miki Shoji, Hansel Nezza, Nile Koetting, Louis Becker and musicians Almut Lustig and Kristina Lösche-Löwensen.
Ana Mondini was born in Brazil, and studied ballet, modern and contemporary dance. She was a soloist at Bale da Cidade de Sao Paulo and other companies. She developed as a choreographer as well as a dancer, working for Cisne Negro Cia de Danca, Teatro Guaira, and Bale da Cidade de Sao Paulo among others. She got many awards for her work in Brazil. Ana was artistic director and choreographer at Republica da Danca in Sao Paulo and later at Tanztheater Staatstheater Kassel in Germany, where she moved to in 1996. She does choreography for theatre, musicals, opera and free scene projects as well. Since 2007, Ana has been performing for Constanza Macras | DorkyPark, in Brickland, Megalopolis, Oedipus Rex and Berlin Elsewhere.
Miki Shoji was born and grew up in Yokohama, Japan. She started to dance at Michiko Yano Modern Ballet Academy in 1989, and after becoming an official company member, danced in many of its productions. In 1997, she moved to Kazco Takemoto DANCE VENUS in Tokyo and danced in many productions, art festivals, outdoor performances and workshops. Miki has also danced in many pieces by choreographers outside the company in Japan. In 2009, she moved from Tokyo to Berlin, where she met Constanza Macras | DorkyPark.
Since then she has been working with them in many productions, including Oedipus Rex in 2009, Megalopolis in 2010, Berlin Elsewhere in 2011 and Here/After in 2011.
Hansel Nezza received a diploma in Performing Arts at Estudis de Teatre (Barcelona) based on the pedagogy of J.Lecoq, training with Stefan Metz and Lilo Baur. He studied drama at the studio of Manuel Lillo and Txiqui Berraondo and worked with Javier Daulte. His training includes work with Iñaki Azpillaga and Germán Jáuregui (Wim Vandekeybus), Jordi Cortés (DV8), Frey Faust, Kirstie Simson, Julyen Hamilton, David Zambrano, Juan Kruz de Garaio Esnaola (Sasha Waltz) and Susan Klein. From 2003 to 2007 he was artistic director of the space for arts Taller22 in Barcelona. Alongside his own work as the Artistic Director of MARABULA, he has also collaborated with Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods (research week) and Davide Camplani/Sasha Waltz & Guests (FROM TO). Since 2009 he has been working with Constanza Macras | Dorky Park. Hansel Nezza has led workshops in Spain, Germany, South Africa and Mozambique.
Born to American and Japanese parents in Kamakura Japan in 1989, Nile Koetting has been keenly interested in watching stage performances since high school. In 2008, he entered Tama Art University to study oil painting and media arts. After two years, he went to Helsinki to study sound arts at Aalto University Helsinki as an exchange student. During his university days, he started dancing and collaborated with artists both inside and outside Japan. After he came back from Helsinki, Koetting also started working as a fashion model. At the invitation of Constanza Macras, he made a special appearance in production of Here/After in 2011. Koetting has recently been involved in installations, videos, design, and stage productions in Tokyo.
Louis ‘Lou-Ease’ Becker is a 25-year-old dancer from Berlin. He was born and raised in the east part of Berlin, the son of a German mother and a half-Nigerian father. His specialty is bboying and other hip hop dances like pop and lock. He was also educated in modern and classical dance in a artistic school as an acrobat. He is part in a Parisian group called Bad Trip Crew, which is why his dancing style is a mix of influences from acrobatic movements, french finesse and traditional African dances. He has performed with choreographers like Nils ‘STORM’ Robitzy (‘Es war einmal’) and Kadir ‘AMIGO’ Memis (‘Hüzün’). Alongside all this he has started to work on his solo work and choreograph his own shows.
Almut Lustig studied orchestral percussion at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover/Germany. There she established the basis of her varied musical working. During her studies, she collected first experience with several orchestras (like Orchester from Hessischer Rundfunks, NDR Hannover and DSO Berlin), contemporary music (for exemple with Karlheinz Stockhausen), theatre music (Staatstheater Hannover, Schaubühne Berlin, Berliner Ensemble, Hebbeltheater Berlin) and experimental music (ensemble ‘a rose is’). Since 2003 she has been teaching as assistant professor at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover.
Since 2005 she has been working with Constanza Macras and her ensemble DorkyPark as instrumentalist and composer, which has brought her to numerous festivals for dance and theatre. As a member of several bands, she is also working in the context of popular music.
Almut lives in Berlin, has won several prizes and has been playing concerts worldwide as a soloist and with different ensembles.
Kristina Lösche-Löwensen is a violinist and stage musician. She lives in Berlin, was born in Gehrden, Germany and studied music and German in Hannover. Since then she has worked with various theatres and musicians. She is a member of ‘a rose is’, a group working on crossover forms between theatre, performance, music and installation (www.aroseis.org, directed by Julian Klein). She worked with Constanza Macras for the first time in 2004 for ‘Big in Bombay’. Since then, she has collaborated on several pieces with her and DorkyPark (including No Wonder, Sure, shall we talk about it?, I’m not the Only One, Megalopolis and Berlin Elsewhere), playing various instruments, feeling most at home on violin and Theremin.