Gerrard Martin: Artistic Director/ Dance Artist
Gerrard Martin trained at De Montfort University, gaining a BA Hons in English Literature and Performing Arts; he then went on to Northern School of Contemporary Dance and obtained a Diploma in Professional Dance Studies
He has danced for Akademi, Rosie Kay Dance Company, and has toured nationally with Tavaziva Dance, Union Dance Company, as well as dancing for the West End's production of the Lion King, Ballet Black, Aletta Collins Dance Company, State of Emergency, and Phoenix Dance Company.
Aside from modelling, commercial dance contracts, and film engagements, Gerrard has also danced for National Theatre, has toured internationally with the ‘English National Opera’, and the Royal Opera House.
Gerrard has taught and mentored on the Children Youth Dance and Adult Classes & Courses programme at the Place, he is a guest Associate Lecturer at the University of Northampton, and a dance teacher at RADA, (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).
Gerrard has choreographed for Outbox Theatre, Longborough Opera, British Museum, Pegasus Opera and the National Portrait gallery. The West Bengal Federation of Dance, India commissioned Gerrard’s choreography for World Dance Day.
He created his project-based company ‘Gerrard Martin Dance’ in 2011 and has had work featured at the National Portrait Gallery, RichMix and the Emerge, Between the Lines, South Bank Urban, Let’s Dance International, and Cloud Dance Festivals. Gerrard's work has also been selected for The Field Film festival, UK and the Athens Video Dance Project, Greece.
He was an assistant choreographer on the English National Opera’s Porgy and Bess, One Love Musical, (Bob Marley), and the 40th UAE Royal Anniversary Performance, Abu Dhabi.
Gerrard aims to produce works of emotive and socially relevant dance-theatre; to teach and facilitate creativity through movement, yoga, and dance, and wishes to collaborate and engage with artists across different mediums.
He is part of the first cohort of The Kerry Nicholls Dance Mentoring Programme, and is a trained Yoga teacher.
Vanessa Abreu: Dance Artist
Following 12 years of ballet training, Vanessa studied in Lisbon's Escola Superior de Dança and at Laban (BA & MA Choreography), where she received the Simone Michelle Award for outstanding achievement in Choreography.
Professional engagements and collaborators include: Alexis Blake, Candoco Dance Company, State of Emergency, Shobana Jeyasingh, Upswing, Fleur Darkin Ensemble, The Generating Company, Janine Harrington, Haptic Dance, Jennifer Essex, Dane Hurst, Gerrard Martin Dance, White Flag, Pair Dance, Move: Choreographing You (Tânia Bruguera, Pablo Bronstein), Union Dance, Vago Tedosio (ARTEVICT), Gary Nurse (Legends of the Underground), Luke Thomas Dunne (En Knap Group), Andrej Gubanov (Film, Light), Mathew Orange (Composer), Noura Sanatian (Violin), Ejnar Askberger (Flute, Voice, Electro), Jane Mclean (White Flag), Jonathan Chadwick (AZ Theatre).
In 2011, Vanessa was a Southbank Emerging Artist in Residence, received a choreographic commission from En-Knap, Slovenia and was a winner of the BBC Performing Arts Fund Dance Fellowship with Upswing. More recently as a performer for Candoco Dance Company's Jérôme Bel's The Show Must Go On, a recipient of the UK Theatre Awards 'Outstanding Achievement in Dance' 2015.
Joanne Bernard: Dramaturg / Rehearsal Director
Joanne Bernard trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Her performing career started with Kokuma Dance Theatre Company based in Birmingham, which opened up opportunities to work and perform with international African and Caribbean artist.
Joanne was part of the choreographic platform State Of Emergency which resulted in her being asked to take on the role of Rehearsal Director for 4 seasons.
Joanne also became Rehearsal Director for Tavaziva in 2004 and shortly after Rosie Kay, during this time she became Movement Director for children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti and Red Earth Theatre.
Currently teaching Contemporary Technique BA Hons students at Salford University.
Mike Scott-Harding: Singer, song writer, play wright, critic, music producer
Mike Scott-Harding is a singer, songwriter, and playwright. As a singer, he has performed nationally and internationally in some of the worlds prestigious venues.
He has performed in Dubai ('Oil Barons' Ball'), for HRH Prince Albert in Monaco, for Princess Stephanie of Monaco in London, and in Hyde Park, London, as part of 'BBC proms'.
He has vast experience singing in different genres (including Soul, Jazz, R'n'B, Doo-wop, Rock, Blues, and Reggae).
As leader of Soul/Motown group The Tops, he has performed on many elite-line cruise ships for several top companies (including P&O, Royal Caribbean, SAGA and Celebrity) throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Australasia.
As a session-singer he has performed, both live and in the studio, for Brazilian-fusion outfit Da Lata, and for Doo-wop harmony group, The Extraordinaires (including on Northern Ireland’s ‘Late, late show’, and in the 2016 ‘Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend’ festival, Las Vegas.
As a writer-producer, he has written and produced the musical soundtrack for several of Gerrard Martin Dance’s performance pieces.
Mike has recently been commissioned the University of Northampton, writing the music – and performing guitar and vocal – for a multi-platform piece based on Greek play, ‘The Oresteia’.
Gemma Weekes: Spoken Word Performance Artist
Touted in The Independent as ‘a name to watch’, Gemma Weekes is critically-acclaimed author of Love Me (Chatto & Windus).
Her poetry and fiction has appeared in several anthologies and literary journals including IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (Penguin) and Kin (Serpent’s Tail).
Passionate about the subversive, unifying and audience-actuating potential of interdisciplinary work, she is also an established performance/spoken word artist and musicmaker who has performed nationally and internationally at top festivals and theatres.
Kevin Michael Reed: Theatre Maker / Production Designer
Kevin Michael Reed is a theatre maker with production credits in several areas of theatre production, including producer, director, playwright, dramaturg and designer.
A performer into early adulthood, for 15 years, he ran an award-winning fashion photography in New York City's garment district before returning to theatre. He is Artistic Director of Squire Lane Theatrical UK, a theatre production company specialising in developing new works for the stage.
Kevin holds a BFA in Photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY), a MA in Playwriting from City, University of London, and a MFA in Theatre Directing fromThe Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art (Dublin).
Recent collaborators include: The Lir (“X” and “Blood Wedding”), Corn Exchange / Dublin Fringe Festival (“ Bodies of Water ”), Pan Pan Platform / AOB Arts Management (“ Symphony of Worms ”), Asylum Productions / Abbey Theatre (“ The Big Chapel X ”),
Gerrard Martin Dance Company / And What Queer Arts Festival (“ B ”), and Tenth MuseProductions / Omnibus Theatre London (“ Beauty & The Beast, a new adaptation ”).
He produced the critically-acclaimed productions of Reese Thompson's WHORE: A Kid's Play and JOY DONZE: 13 & Not Pregnant at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and most recently directed SHADOWS by Carguil L.G. Webley at Theatro Technis, London and Version 2.0 by Kashyap Rajas at Leicester Square Theatre, London
Noura Sanatian: Musician/ Performer
Noura Sanatian graduated with a BMus Hons in Violin Performance from Trinity College of Music where she studied with Andrew Sherwood and Diana Cummings.
Noura’s creative process and musical voice stems from her love for free improvisation, which has permeated the various collaborative projects she has been involved in over the past few years. She has worked with various composers, theatre companies, dancers, new music ensembles, producers and orchestras some of which include Stars Of The Lid, Heritage Orchestra ft. Aphex Twin, United Vibrations, Ilan Volkov, Lucinda Chua and Chilly Gonzales.
As well as a performer Noura is a passionate and experienced music teacher, delivering whole class instrumental lessons for Southwark Music Service.