The Man: Gareth Clark
Gareth is best known as one half of Mr and Mrs Clark, a company he established with Marega Palser. The Clarks have presented their unique brand of dance theatre across the UK, Europe and into North America. He continues to develop his own creative journey, undertaking guest lecturing roles at universities in Wales and through community workshops and performance pieces for Wales Millennium Centre, Cape Town Opera, Volcano and Hijinx Theatre Companies. Gareth is a founding member of the arts collective Newport International Airspace.
The Woman: Belinda Neave
Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance before moving to Wales in the early 1970s. She has performed extensively nationally and internationally with a diverse selection of companies as well as pursuing a successful solo career. Belinda was a founder member of Welsh Independent Dance, an umbrella organisation for professional independent dancers in Wales, working as the Development Director for the company in the 1990s. During her 40 years in the profession, Belinda has worked as a performer, choreographer, teacher, technician and administrator.
The Twins: Marega Palser and Caroline Sabin
Marega Palser is a performance-based artist living in Newport, South Wales. She originally studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and after graduating in 1985 went on to work with various theatre companies, as well as being a founder member of the dance theatre group Paradox Shuffle who were based in Cardiff. She has collaborated with many artists and musicians and has performed and made work for Gallery spaces and for outdoor events both in this country and abroad and in 1994 she went to Japan to study and work with Butoh dancer Tetsuro Fukuhara. In 2008 she completed a BA Honours in Fine Art at Howard Gardens (UWIC) in Cardiff, and a year later received a Creative Wales Award to develop her art and performance practice. She is one half of the performance duo Mr. & Mrs. Clark who have been making work since 2001.
Caroline Sabin studied Fine Art in Brighton, then dance and theatre in Amsterdam. She has worked with This..This, Insects and Oranges, Dead Ophelia, Cleopatra, Greg Nash, Disco Sister, Peter Greenaway, Ian Kerkhof, Earthfall (including Too Old to Dream which won the Bafta Award for Best Short Film in1999), Marc Rees, Good Cop Bad Cop, Screen Gems, Svetosar Sprusansky’s Hamlet, Equilibre, Sean Tuan John, Living Theatre, Eddie Ladd, Dr Who, Dirtyfitgrannies, Kitsch’n’synch, Gerald Tyler, Mr and Mrs Clarke, Volcano, Willi Dorner, Joanna Young, Yello Brick, Lea Anderson and National Theatre Wales. She also makes her own work (most recently A Curious Zoo) which has shown internationally and has two short films – Rest/Full and Tune for a Woodland Creature – in the permanent collection of the Film House of the National Library. She also practices Chinese Medicine and Bodywork.
The Pet: Bert Van Gorp
In 1987, Bert Van Gorp began dancing with Alain Platel at the Klapstuk Festival (Leuven, Belgium). He then created a series of dance solos (Polymorfia), various dancing-acting duets, and founded the Contrecoeur company, which was then subsidised by the Flemish government and produced, among other works: the Contrecoeur Quartet, 6 & 8 (a piece for 6 dancers), Combinaison (a trio on Woyzeck), Boeken & Juwelen (a quintet based on The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov), L’Air Pur (a quartet on perpetual motion, causes and effects in dance), and Hanging out with Jesus (a quintet for the opening of World Expo 1998 in Lisbon).
In 1999, Bert Van Gorp staged for the first time at the Maison de La Bellone (Brussels) L’Avenir est à la tendresse (a quartet for dancers aged 40, 50, 63 and 74 years), with Simone Forti, Louis Ziegler, Dyana Payne Myers and Sean Tuan John. Van Gorp then danced for Angélika Oei (Netherlands), Louis Ziegler (Le Grand Jeu Co., France) and Sean Tuan John (Great Britain).
Since then, Bert Van Gorp has been working mostly in Wales (solo, duets and trios) and has continued to work with Sean Tuan John and Louis Ziegler. He is also a graduate teacher of Flemish primary education, organizing workshops and projects for young children, in France and the Netherlands. Since May 2011, with Ivan Favier, he has been developing the research project Two Old Men at L’L.
The Other One: Makiko Aoyama
Born in Aichi, Japan, Makiko Aoyama graduated from Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2005. Since then she has worked for and collaborated with various companies and artists including: ACE dance and music, Collision, The Cholmondeleys, Lea Anderson, Fuel Theatre, Brightonshed, Frauke Requardt, Joanna Young, Sadler’s Wells Sampled and Clod Ensemble.
Makiko has also helped choreograph works for Create (working together with a group of disabled adults and young children), Fuel Theatre – Phenomenal People (performing her solo piece as part of WOW festival at Southbank Centre), and Japan Society Family Day at the Golden Hinde – Momotaro. She has recently collaborated with a pianist Michael Start developing a new piece.
Choreographer and Director: Lea Anderson
Lea Anderson is a founder member and Artistic Director of The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs, two of the foremost contemporary dance companies in the UK. As well as touring extensively throughout the UK and overseas, the companies are renowned for their pioneering work in non-theatrical spaces and venues.
Notable works include Flag (1988/2006/2007), Flesh and Blood (1989/1997) Car (1995/96), The Featherstonehaughs Draw On The Sketchbooks Of Egon Schiele (1998), Smithereens (1998), 3 (2001), Double Take (2004), Yippeee!!! (2006) and Edits (2010).
Throughout her career Lea has also created work for television, video and film. In 2002 Lea was awarded an MBE for her services to dance, and in 2006 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Dartington College of Arts.
Lea’s work in non-theatrical spaces includes the Quicksilver series of performed research projects at Tate Modern 2008-2010. Lea’s films Flesh and Blood and Cross Channel have been designated as set texts for GCSE and A’ level Dance and Performance Studies in the UK. Her latest works are Hand In Glove, (2015) a performed exhibition of choreography and costume at The V & A museum London and a new work in progress, Pop Portraits.
Composer and Musical Director: Steve Blake
Steve has worked closely with Lea Anderson as her Musical Director since 1986. He has also collaborated with (among others) The Sofa Trio (Hungary), Retina Dance, AKRAM KHAN and New Art Club. Steve has co-directed/choreographed (with Maho Ihara) and performed in his own award winning work as 10,000 STEPS.
He has played various instruments (sax, drums, banjo, fiddle) in a number of bands (and styles) over the years including Alan Clayson & The Argonauts, Goat, The Pointy Birds, The Victims Of Death, B- Shops For The Poor, Nigel Burch & The Flea Pit Orchestra, Man Aubergine, but now focuses mainly on The Creekside Ceilidh Band (British and American traditional dance music) and The Squirrel Hunters (fiddle and guitar duo playing American Old Time music). He is also a dance accompanist at Trinity Laban conservatoire of music and contemporary dance.
Designer of the Objects and Costume Designer: Tim Spooner
Tim Spooner is an artist working in painting and live shows. Since 2010 he has been making and demonstrating collections of puppets or performing sculptures, presenting them in vibrating compositions of living and inanimate matter, sound and electricity. These shows aim to expand an understanding of the physical world by revealing something of its inner life.
Recent shows include The Telescope, where a series of tiny magnetic and chemical events are enacted under a microscope camera and presented as a documentary account of an uncertain landscape; and Subliming Furiously, where the material qualities of the voice are tested and amplified in the story of a journey through an abstracting woodland (supported by a Dance and the Homemade Commission from Chisenhale Dance Space).
He is currently working on a new show for children and adults, The Assembly of Animals. On a slowly expanding stage, visions will emerge from the darkness, and then gradually reveal their mechanics.