Gail Parmel MBE

Artistic Director & Co-Founder

About Gail

Gail Parmel is Artistic Director of ACE dance and music.

Born in Leeds in 1970, she is very proud of her Yorkshire roots. She graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 1996 with a Bachelor’s degree and after working for Kokuma Dance Company, Gail founded ACE dance and music with husband Ian Parmel in 1997.

Gail’s career in dance and choreography spans two decades, including 16 years as a choreographer creating 10 successful touring productions with ACE dance and music. Until recently, one of the UK’s more hidden female talents, Gail combines captivating, energetic contemporary movement with African Caribbean dance forms. Her choreographic vision has resulted in ACE dance and music becoming one of the most exciting, eclectic and resilient dance companies, of any genre, in the UK.

Gail’s approach is one of collaboration. She is unafraid to challenge preconceptions about contemporary dance and enjoys fusing intercultural and interdisciplinary themes to stimulate debate about what it means to engage with contemporary dance in 21st Century.

Over the years she has joined forces with world-renowned choreographers such as Akiko Kitamura (Japan), Robert Moses (U.S.A), Vincent Mantsoe (South Africa), Andile Sotiya (U.K.), Douglas Thorpe (U.K.), Jose Agudo (Spain) and Barwen Tavaziva (Zimbabwe).

In 2010 she was identified as one of Cultural Leadership Programme’s (CLP) ‘Top 50 Women to Watch’, an inspiring list of 50 influential women working within the arts and culture sector across the UK. She was also voted one of the 20 Most Inspirational Women from the African Diaspora in Europe, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day by the African Diaspora Professional Women in Europe (ADIPWE).

In recognition of her contribution to the art form, Gail was shortlisted for ‘One Dance UK’s Dance of the African Diaspora Lifetime Achievement Award 2018’.

Gail became a Member of the British Empire in the 2020 Queen’s birthday honours list in recognition of her services to dance and art in Birmingham.