Cindy Claes is an artist wearing many hats: Choreographer & Director, Dancer & Actress, Dance-storyteller & Playwright, Dance teacher.
Born and raised in Belgium, Cindy has been based in London since 2005. As a true dance backpacker, she has travelled to Africa, USA, Jamaica, Trinidad, and all over Europe. Her many dance trips abroad allowed her not only to train and expand her skills, but also to work as an artist and do in-depth choreographic research while collecting invaluable experiences along the way.
Cindy fell in love with both Reggae & Dancehall culture late 90s when still living in Belgium. From experiencing it first as an “imported culture”, she embarked on a long journey, hungry to know more, wanting to study the art form more in-depth. She has been traveling to Jamaica to experience Dancehall first hand since 2010. Cindy has been the recipient of several awards in London, which supported her many explorations overseas: the Lisa Ullman Traveling Scholarship Fund, ADAD Trailblazers 2013-14, the Bonnie Bird UK New Choreography Fund, Grant for the Arts / Arts Council England.
Influenced by the Hip Hop Theatre movement which has been growing and pushing boundaries since the 90s, Cindy is also passionate about using Dancehall in Theatre, telling stories through dance.
Being an ADAD Trailblazer 2013-14, she is currently setting up a Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program between Jamaica and the UK. The vision is ambitious. Cindy has been dreaming of the project since 2007. She lead informal Dancehall Theatre sessions at Edna Manley College (Kingston) in 2010 and 2011. In 2014, she was finally able to bring over Shady Squad straight from Kingston to London, not only to teach but also to perform as part of her Dancehall Theatre Production. Commissioned by the most renown Dance Theatre venue in London, Sadler’s Wells, her show Wild Card: Dancehall Takeover was sold out weeks in advance. After this incredible accomplishment, Cindy has lead a series of Dancehall Theatre session in Jamaica, with the support of DanceJa. Latonya Style fully supported the project. The DanceJa Collective and Cindy Claes showcased work at Talent Pree: Dancehall Theatre Takeover in March 2014 and also appeared on Television Jamaica (Smile Jamaica) for an interview about the Dancehall Theatre Exchange Program.
Cindy’s aim is to tell electrifying stories through dance. She has presented work internationally (UK, Belgium, Hollywood, Jamaica, etc.). Her unstoppable fountain of energy is her signature. Her shows are artistic earthquakes touching people’s souls and hearts through laughter and tears.
She set up her own dance company in London in 2008. Cindy Claes Productions portrays the Hip-Hop, Dancehall and Krumping community as intellectual, outspoken and articulate. Their earthshaking productions stand for transformation within society. Dance Theatre is used as a tool to make people think, educate audiences, raise awareness, entertain and bring communities together.
Cindy hit London with her first full-length production in 2011, which fused basketball, Hip Hop, Krumping and acting: “Voices in The Alleyway”. She created two new full-length Dancehall Theatre productions in 2013: “Is My Whining Winding You Up?” and “School Fi Wifey” (commissioned by Midland Actors Theatre). She also wrote and directed a very political Dancehall / Hip hop Theatre production in Belgium: “PuzzelB” early 2014.
Professional Blog: www.cindyclaes.wordpress.com
Personnal Blog: www.ablogforcitizensoftheworld.wordpress.com
FB: Cindy Claes
YouTube: Cindy Claes
INFORMATION ON CLASSES (London, UK)
Every Tue 6-7.30pm at Studio68
Every Wed 8.30pm-10pm at Maryland Studioz