Creative Collaborators

Gail Parmel – Artistic Director, Choreographer & Co-Founder

Gail Parmel – Artistic Director, Choreographer & Co-Founder

After graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 1996 with a BA Degree, Gail worked for Kokuma Dance Company, before founding ACE dance and music with husband Ian Parmel in 1996. Her career in dance and choreography spans two action packed decades, including 16 years as a choreographer, creating 10 successful touring productions with ACE dance and music. Gail combines captivating, energetic contemporary movement with African Caribbean dance forms, resulting in ACE dance and music being one of the most exciting, eclectic and resilient dance companies in the UK.

Ian Parmel – CEO and Co-Founder

Ian co-founded ACE dance and music and is instrumental in ensuring that the company remains true to its core vision of placing dance at the centre of all they do. Key responsibilities range from fulfilling the company vision, ensuring sustainability and growth and working to ensure budgetary control of current projects while fundraising for future core and capital projects. He ensures that ACE develop their work with audiences throughout the community, ensuring that the quality of this work is exceptional. He pioneers opportunities for emerging black dancers and choreographers to further talent in the sector.

Akiko Kitamura – Choreographer

Akiko Kitamura was born in 1970 in Tokyo. She learned ballet, jazz and street dance in her youth, before studying dance theory at Waseda University. She began a professional career as a choreographer in show business while still in her teens and has choreographed many pieces for commercial films, fashion shows and plays. She has taught since 2001 in the Faculty of Arts at Shinshu University, Nagano, as an Associate Professor. In 2007 she created ‘Blind Trip’ for the SKIN project for ACE dance and music which toured to great acclaim to twenty UK venues. Akiko continues to choreograph, act and direct extensively.

Vincent Mantsoe – Choreographer

Vincent Mantsoe was born and raised in Soweto in 1971 and his work is steeped in the influences of the Pedi, Southern Sotho, Ndebele, and Xhosa cultures. He joined the Moving into Dance training programme and became a ground-breaking contemporary African dancer-choreographer and master teacher.From 1997-2001 he was the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer with the Moving into Dance Company. He is based in France where he founded his Association Noa Company in 2005. Mantsoe has performed at numerous high profile international festivals and taught at universities and has created a large repertoire of solo and group works which have toured extensively around the world.  

Akihiko Kaneko – Video Production Artist

Born in Tokyo in 1967, Akihiko Kaneko studied painting and print making at Tokyo University of the Arts. Since 2011, he has taught as a Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Tokyo Kasei University. He has been presenting his art work at solo exhibitions since 1993, and has created video projections for many high profile stage productions.

In 2007 he participated in the film production of the SKIN project “Blind Trip” for ACE dance and music. Akihiko continues to create and direct video imagery for theatre and dance pieces and for his own installation artwork.

Andy Garbi – Composer and Singer

Andy Garbi is a UK based singer and composer; known for crafting intricate sound worlds that weave his voice with musical orchestration and cinematic texture. His debut solo album  ‘The Sound of One’received critical acclaim and has been featured on BBC R3 Late Junction, Classic FM, Chill FM and RTE Lyric FM. Alongside his solo projects, he has worked with Louis Vuitton, Birmingham Royal Ballet and had numerous collaborations with contemporary dance companies.  Andi has gained many awards including a double distinction and the Masters Prize by Birmingham Conservatoire and the Channel 4 Ideasfactory film music prize.

Keiichiro Shibuya – Composer and Musician

Born in 1973 and based in Tokyo and Paris, Keiichiro gained a Bachelor of Arts in music composition from Tokyo University of the Arts. In 2002 Shibuya established ATAK, a music label releasing CDs of cutting-edge electro-acoustic works by various artists from all over the world. He has produced a large body of musical work including film music and sound installations.He is continually in demand and has worked on many cross-disciplinary collaborations with researchers, scientists, dancers and artists.