The British Council and Arts Council England have awarded Carlos Pons Guerra with the Artists' International Development Fund, with which he will travel to the Dominican Republic to research and choreograph a work on the graduate company of the National Dance School of the Dominican Republic (Endanza Juvenil). It will allow him to accept the invitation from the National Dance School, the Ministry for Culture and General Administration of Fine Art of the Dominican Republic, undertaking four weeks of research and choreographic development in Santo Domingo in January 2016.
During his time in the Dominican Republic, Carlos will also workshop choreography and share and develop his practice with the National Dance Company and the National Dominican Ballet.
Working with dancers from these companies will allow Carlos to research and deepen his understanding of Caribbean\Hispanic cultural identity, a current interest in his work. He will also be exposed to trends in Caribbean\Latin American contemporary dance, ballet and folkloric dance, influencing and developing his current choreographic language and aesthetic when he returns to the UK.
The project includes a series of networking opportunities with key industry professionals in the Caribbean and Latin America, forging new relationships and testing international markets for his work. Throughout the four weeks, Pons Guerra will also attend all cultural and artistic events organized by the Dominican Ministry for Culture.
Through this exchange, Carlos hopes to share his choreographic practices and tendencies developed in the UK with Dominican dancers, particularly the young graduate dancers of Endanza Juvenil, advocating for the rich and varied cultural panorama of Britain.
Carlos' host and mentor during the project will be Stephanie Bauger, current director of the graduate company of the National Dance School and ballet mistress for the National Dance Company. Bauger was a principal dancer for Julio Bocca's Argentinean Ballet for 8 years as well as principal dancer for the National Dominican Ballet. As choreographic assistant for Belgian-Colombian choreographer, Anabelle López Ochoa, she has worked with companies including the National Ballet of Cuba, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, Atlanta Ballet, the National Dominican Ballet and Ballet Hispánico of New York.
The Artist International Development Fund is a highly competitive fund jointly funded by the British Council and Arts Council England, which offers early stage development opportunities for individual freelance and self-employed artists based in England to spend time building links with artists, organizations and/or creative producers in another country. See more at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/apply-for-funding/artists-international-development-fund/#sthash.wcWWFwWH.0VL5M5Nf.dpuf
Carlos is extremely grateful to the British Council, Arts Council England and the partner institutions in the Dominican Republic for offering him such an invaluable development opportunity. He is very keen to advocate for the UK dance scene at an international level, developing his artistic practice whilst in the Caribbean, and hoping to contribute to the sector as much as possible when working back in the UK.
We would also like to thank the UK dance institutions who support the continuous development of Pons Guerra and DeNada Dance Theatre, amongst them Spin Arts Management, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Yorkshire Dance.