Day 2: Research and Development Week

An Interview with Dancers Ciara Baldwin and Nathan Bartman 

It’s day two of ACE dance and music’s Research and Development week for our brand new production, TEN.

The studio is filled with an exciting collection of talented and enthusiastic dancers, who are working closely with choreographer Jose Agudo throughout the week, along with Artistic-Director Gail Parmel and Rehearsal Director and Choreographer, Andile Sotiya.

The dancers are all very excited to take part in the research phase of TEN, which will begin its UK tour at mac birmingham on 4th November, and have travelled to Birmingham this week from a variety of cities and countries.

We were keen to talk to two dancers, Ciara Baldwin and Nathan Bartman, who have travelled all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to take part in the week’s proceedings.

What is your background in Dance?

Nathan: I started dancing when I was 16 years old with Hip Hop. I joined hip hop crews, I came to the Edinburgh Arts Festival and then, when I was twenty, I trained in contemporary dance and ballet for two years. I then moved to the Cape Academy of Performing Arts where I learned drama, singing, tap dance, contemporary and ballet.

That’s interesting, what made you move from hip hop to contemporary dance?

Nathan: I was so intrigued, I came to see the Edinburgh Arts Festival and I saw a lot of artists. I was inspired by contemporary dance and I wanted to move like that, I didn’t want to be restricted and only do hip hop; I wanted to learn and so that’s what I decided to do.

Ciara: I actually started with Irish dancing In South Africa, funnily enough, and then I moved on to modern dance, like, modern jazz and I loved it! I also went to the Cape Academy of performing arts and did three years there; ballet, tap, hip hop

So what made you both come all this way from Cape Town to work with ACE this week?

Nathan: I worked with Jose Agudo in Cape Town, and realised that this was the kind of dance that I really loved. I would stop at nothing to learn more from the choreographer. He is here at ACE and has a good relationship with ACE so I thought I’d come and learn more from him and be involved with the company.

I had heard that you’re a fan! So what is it about Jose’s style that you find so inspiring?

Nathan: It’s not just the steps, it’s more the thinking pattern; the mind power and will power. I came from hip hop but I wanted to learn contemporary… I wanted to learn ballet and to be disciplined. I really like discipline and I really like pushing myself to see where I can go. I like to destroy limitation. I just want to go and go and learn more and more. The movement is sincere and it’s humble so that’s why I like it.

Ciara, It’s your first time working with ACE so what do you think of the experience so far? 

Ciara: It’s cool. Nice people, nice environment; it’s well organised so I like it.

Nathan, what would you like to bring to the TEN production and what do you feel that you can get out of it?

Nathan: That’s hard! I can bring who I am – what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced in my life. I can bring that to the table and hopefully more. What I can get from it is so much empowerment and so much knowledge, and I’m hungry for that knowledge.

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