What do you what to learn from working with Gary as your mentor?
What I hope to learn from working with Gary as my mentor is to gain more confidence in myself as a choreographer/dance artist as well as gaining insights from his experience on how to create and produce work at a professional level. I’d also love to broaden my knowledge of the technical side of performance and how to approach it all in the right way.
I feel like I am only just scratching the surface of my potential as a creative artist and I think working with Gary Clarke will be a wonderful opportunity to grow and develop on my journey as a choreographer.
Tell us about yourself and your company
My name is Jessica Catherine and I am a Birmingham based dance artist and multi-skilled performer. I have danced and performed on contracts internationally including in countries such as Greece and India. I have also worked for companies such as ThickSkin Theatre, Playing Together and Autin Dance Theatre. More recently I have been dancing and performing circus skills and physical theatre at Alton Towers Resort.
I have a broad skillset; including Contemporary dance, physical theatre, gymnastics, synchronised swimming, fire performing, hula hooping, aerial hoop and poi and, have performed around the UK, both individually and as part of a company.
Alongside my work as a performer, I want to continue to develop my creativity and choreography and bring together some of the ideas and inspiration I have gained over the last ten years as a dancer. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with Gary Clarke as my mentor.
What inspires your work?
I trained, and competed, as a synchronised swimmer from a young age before training as a dancer. As part of my dissertation for my dance degree I choreographed a piece called ‘SYNCHRONISED’, which was based on my background in synchronised swimming and the aesthetics of the sport, transposed to the stage as a dance. I want to develop my own artistic style and choreograph inspirational work. I have many ideas for performance pieces and desire to develop them in a professional way. I need to gain the practical skills to manage the many aspects of producing a professional piece for the stage, including technical, such as lighting and sound, and funding and finance. I hope that this mentorship with Gary will help me figure out what I need to do for my next steps.
How did you first get in involved with dance?
I started to dance when I was 13 years old, I came along to a summer dance workshop at DanceXchange and was invited to audition for the youth company Reflex which was led by Clare Palethorpe at the time. I loved my 2 years dancing and performing with Reflex youth so much that I went to study dance at Joseph Chamberlain College and then went on to complete a Dance Degree at the University of Roehampton. My love and passion for dance and theatre runs very deep and I believe there is choreography in the simplest things in life which I find so beautiful and moving. I was once asked, “what keeps you dancing?” I responded, “I can’t not dance”.
Jessica’s Social Media