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The Sofa Dance Performer Biographies

The Sofa Dance Performer Biographies

The Sofa Dance:

When the world is no longer your stage… 30 acrobats physicalise the shared exhaustion, frustration and complications of living within drastically limited space, creating absurdity and beauty while stuck on their sofas. A short film that gives a snapshot of the extraordinary spring of 2020 and how differently we all dealt with it, finishing with an invite to the viewers to share their own experiences from the comfort of their sofas…

Mimbre is an acrobatic theatre company fusing acrobatics, dance and humour to create visual poetry in unconventional spaces.

A strong middle-aged woman standing in a lunge with her head held high, her hand is at her waist in a fist. She stands in front of her green sofa with a turquoise blue patterned throw over it, the background is a view onto a white kitchen and a window.
Alison Halstead in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Alison Halstead

Biography
Prior to it all, Alison was a company member of National Theatre Schools’ tour, in Hamlet. Alison is an Associate Performer with Mimbre. Shows include: ​Dior S/S 2019​ (Christian Dior); ​Aida​ (ENO), ​Wondrous Strange​ (Mimbre/RSC) and ​Falling Up​ (Mimbre/National Theatre). Last year, she made her RSC debut in the Swan Theatre in ​Venus Preserved​ and T​he Provoked Wife​. Other credits include: ​Hole​ (Royal Court); ​Future Bodies​ (HOME/Rash Dash/Unlimited); Julius Caesa​r (Sheffield Theatre); ​The House of Bernarda Alba​ (Graeae/Royal Exchange Theatres); ​Blood Wedding (​ Graeae/Dundee Rep Theatres); ​Exhibit B (​ Barbican); ​As You Like It​ (Taking Flight); ​Prometheus Awakes​ (Graeae/La Fura dels Baus); ​Macbeth​, i, and ​King John​ (Chicago Shakespeare) and ​Antigone​ and ​No Place Like Home (Steppenwolf).
Alison Halstead, About Lockdown:
During this time, the daily workouts with Mimbre have been magnificent. A community.
I have started a 1,000-piece Frida Kahlo puzzle. Will I finish? Who knows? I have started watching Ozark. I have begun gardening. Am reading 3 books. Will I finish any of them? Lots of connection to friends and family.
Am trying to live in gratitude.
CV Highlights
Worked on ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Christian Dior, Haute Couture S/S 2019); ​Aida​ (ENO), Wondrous Strange​ (Mimbre/RSC) and ​Falling Up​ (Mimbre/National Theatre).
Last year, she made her debut in the Swan Theatre in ​Venus Preserved​ and The Provoked Wife​ (RSC).
Other credits include: ​Hole​ (Royal Court); ​Future Bodies​ (HOME/Rash Dash/Unlimited); Julius Caesar (Sheffield Theatre); ​The House of Bernarda Alba​ (Graeae/Royal Exchange Theatres); ​Blood Wedding (​ Graeae/Dundee Rep Theatres); ​Exhibit B (​ Barbican); ​As You Like It​ (Taking Flight); ​Prometheus Awakes​ (Graeae/La Fura dels Baus); ​Macbeth​, I, and ​King John​ (Chicago Shakespeare) and ​Antigone​ and ​No Place Like Home (Steppenwolf).
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@4footsix
Twitter: ​@actorhalstead

A young woman landing her feet from a handstand onto her dark grey sofa with ochre and red throw pillows on it.
Anesta Matuhrin in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Anesta Mathurin

Biography
Anesta is a freelance circus performer, with a specialisation in hand balancing and a background in acrobatic gymnastics. She continues to be involved with Mimbre and has worked with the company on exciting projects such as ​AIDA​ (English National Opera 2017) and ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Paris fashion week 2019). Earlier this year she partook in Mimbre’s first all-femxle Acrolab.
Amongst other credits, a few favourites are: ​The Way Out ​(BBC FOUR) ​The Bartered Bride (Garsington Opera) ​Zero​ (Circus Mash) M​ r Tumble’s Circus Arena Tour​ (BBC) and ​Future Flames​ campaign (Coca Cola/ Olympics)
Anesta’s early circus career began in a traditional travelling circus setting and has since moved on to include many different types of productions, from Cabaret to Theatre, television and more. In recent years she has enjoyed working with companies who, like Mimbre, have a socially positive ethos.
Anesta Mathurin, About Lockdown:
…can I really go back to hair removal after so long?
CV Highlights
Anesta has worked on ​Aida​ (English National Opera 2017) and ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Christian Dior, Haute Couture S/S 2019), ​The Way Out​ (BBC FOUR) ​The Bartered Bride​ (Garsington Opera) Zero (Circus Mash) ​Mr Tumble’s Circus Arena Tour​ (BBC) and ​Future Flames​ campaign (Coca Cola/ Olympics).
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@the123electra

A young woman mid-fall onto her cream coloured sofa. A light blue border is around the screen capture.
Arielle Lauzon in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Arielle Lauzon

Biography
Arielle Lauzon is a french Canadian acrobat who always knew she wanted to become a circus performer. After 11 years of competitive gymnastics in Canada and the United-States, her acrobatic background and passion for the arts got her into the Circus School of Quebec’s professional program in 2012. It is where she specializes in hoop diving, slack rope and clown.
During her professional training, she also developed skills in basing, movement and general floor acrobatics. She graduated in 2016 and has since then performed and toured in Canada, France and the United Kingdom.
Powerful acrobat and dynamic artist, Arielle has no trouble lighting up the stage with companies such as Cirque Eloize, Flip Fabrique and Théâtre le Trident (​Midsummer Night’s Dream)​ , Mimbre (​The Exploded Circus​, ​Fierce Sisters​), Dior (​Dream Parade)​ and Théâtre ATempo (​CAMPING)​ .
Arielle Lauzon, About Lockdown:
It’s a day by day coping strategy. One is a good day and I’ll train online with the Mimbre community that keeps me sane, spend time in the garden, cook A LOT of yummy food. And if the next day is a bad day, I’d still do all of those things, because they keep me even more saine on the bad days. A sense of community has been key to keep me happy.
CV Highlights
Worked with Cirque Eloize, Flip Fabrique and Théâtre le Trident (​Midsummer Night’s Dream​), Mimbre (​The Exploded Circus​, ​Fierce Sisters​), Dior (​Dream Parade)​ and Théâtre ATempo (​CAMPING)​ .
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@ariellelauzon


A middle-aged woman sits on a duck egg blue sofa wearing black leggings and a black top with white and light plink patters. She looks into the camera with a warm smile. Behind her a crimson and white patterned throw rug and a mustard yellow throw rug rest on the back of the sofa.
Charmaine Childs in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Charmaine Childs – Strong Lady Productions

Biography
Charmaine is a Strong Lady. She has been touring the world for almost 20 years performing feats-of-strength with her signature blend of elegance, comedy and muscle.
Her work is mostly for outdoor arts festivals, also exploding onto variety and theatre stages. She performs solo in ​STRONG LADY​, a show that centres around lifting men from the audience as if they were feathers. You can also find her in duo and ensemble shows as an acrobatic base, and as speaker or compere at events – and keep your eyes peeled for her new circus-theatre show ​POWER​!
Charmaine works to uplift and connect audiences in shows that celebrate the strength we all share.
Charmaine Childs has performed at many of the world’s most exciting outdoor arts festivals: Kleines Festival, La Strada and Tete-a-Tete in Germany, Valladolid and Trapezi Reus in Spain, Passage in Denmark, Penabilli in Italy, Rues et Cies in France, Fremantle Street Arts and Woodford folk festival in Australia, Glastonbury Festival, GDIF, SIRF and Out There Festivals in the UK and many more. She has worked as an ensemble member with Mimbre, in duos with
Mario Queen of the Circus and Reuben DotDotDot and in variety seasons with the GOP. Her theatre show ​POWER​ was a commission of Week 53 festival for The Lowry, Salford and The Lawrence Batley Theatre also supported by Jacksons lane, Cambridge Junction CAE and Turtle Key Arts.
Charmaine Childs, About Lockdown:
She has been missing the anchor of laughing with audiences terribly through the lockdown. It has been a rollercoaster – but the space to reflect, refocus and grow has been a definite silver lining. This strong lady plans to emerge from her sofa, stronger than ever.
CV Highlights
Founder of Strong Lady Productions (​POWER). ​Worked with Mimbre, in duos with Mario Queen of the Circus and Reuben DotDotDot and in variety seasons with the GOP.
Outdoor arts festivals: Kleines Festival, La Strada and Tete-a-Tete in Germany, Valladolid and Trapezi Reus in Spain, Passage in Denmark, Penabilli in Italy, Rues et Cies in France, Fremantle Street Arts and Woodford folk festival in Australia, Glastonbury Festival, GDIF, SIRF and Out There Festivals in the UK and many more.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@strongladyproductions
Twitter: ​@StrongLadyShows
Website: ​www.strongladyproductions.com

a young woman sits on her light grey sofa looking into the camera, she wears an ochre long sleeve top and red trousers with white stripes along the outside seams of the legs. Behind her is a desk with notebooks, an open laptop and plants.
Emily Nicholl in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Emily Nicholl

Biography
Emily Nicholl is a Scottish circus artist based in Edinburgh. She co-devised and performed ‘​Tipping Point‘​ with Ockham’s Razor, Total Theatre Award for Best Circus winner 2016. She makes contemporary dance duets with Nathan Johnston, premiering at Resolution Festival (The Place 2019), worked with Mimbre on Dior’s ​Dream Parade​ (Paris Fashion Week 2019) and has worked extensively on both intimate contemporary circus theatre and large-scale outdoor events as aerialist, flyer, rigger, stage manager, producer. Her current research interests lie in our connection to the outdoors, exploring multi-disciplinary practice through photography, and she is delighted to be a Jerwood Fellow with Imaginate for 2020 – 2021 to develop learning around theatre making for young people with additional support needs. Working with Mimbre has brought her an enormous amount throughout her career and she is excited to be involved in a project which connects with other artists and the wider community during this time.
CV Highlights
Emily Nicholl has worked with companies such as Ockham’s Razor, Mimbre and Dior.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@emily_nicholl_
Twitter: ​@emily_nicholl_

a young woman lies on her front on the back of her brown leather sofa with her head propped up on her hands. She wears light pink dungarees, a teal long sleeves top and thick grey socks. She sneakily glances down at a small black dog sitting in the foreground of the picture. In the background is the kitchen.
Farrell Cox in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Farrell Cox

Biography
Farrell Cox, a black British actress, aerialist theatre maker and solo performer. Trained at Dell Arte International, East15 Acting School and with renowned clown Philippe Gaulier. Farrell has had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally in her career; working with companies such as Glyndebourne opera, The RSC, Hot Brown Honey, Mimbre Acrobats, HBO, Samsung, Les Enfants Terribles and the London Olympic 2012 Ceremonies, to name a few. As a multiskilled and disciplined artist Farrell, always brings enthusiasm and energy to her performance work.
Farrell Cox, About Lockdown:
However recently locked in and housebound like the majority and bored in the house, in the house bored, her only audience has been the dishes and the fire alarm cheering for her. Not all of her food has set off the fire alarm. During lockdown Farrell has shared recipes and low waste living tips on her social media.
CV Highlights
Farrell trained at Dell Arte International, East15 Acting School and with renowned clown Philippe Gaulier.
Work with companies such as Glyndebourne opera (​Rigoletto​), The RSC, Hot Brown Honey, Mimbre Acrobats (​The Exploded Circus)​ , HBO, Samsung, Les Enfants Terribles (​Alice’s Adventures Underground​) and the London Olympic 2012 Ceremonies, to name a few.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@Farrell.c and​ ​@typicalhungryvegan
Twitter: ​@chatterfaz
Website: ​https://www.farrellcox.com/

A woman doing a hand stand doing the splits, with her supported on the knees of three women who are sitting on a black sofa.in the background are plants a painting a drinks cabinet and a mirror.
Fiona Thornhill in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance 2020

Fiona Thornhill

Biography
After eleven years competing nationally and internationally as an elite artistic gymnast Fiona was accepted onto the two year Foundation Degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts, progressing onto the BA Honours where she graduated with a First in July 2015. In her first year she performed at the ​100th Royal Variety Performance​ in front of the Queen, with Mark Ronson and Katie B at the Torch Relay Concert in Hyde Park, in front of 80,000 people. Fiona has appeared on TV for BBC’s ​Tumble​, ​The John Bishop Show​,​ Blue Peter​ and the ​Move to the Beat​ 2012 Olympic Documentary. She has largely featured in music videos for Henry Green, Block Party and Katie B as well as modelling for Ben Hopper and Sylvain Deleu. Fiona continues to perform in Cabarets across London; Café de Paris most regularly, as well as high end corporate and commercial events with her solo Cyr Wheel act and Acrobatic/Dance act both in the UK and abroad.
CV Highlights
A National Centre for Circus Arts alumna, Fiona has appeared on BBC’s ​Tumble,​ ​The John Bishop Show,​ ​Blue Peter​ and the Move to the Beat​ 2012 Olympic Documentary. She has largely featured in music videos for Henry Green, Block Party and Katie B as well as modelling for Ben Hopper and Sylvain Deleu. Fiona regularly performs at Café de Paris.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@fionathornhill
Twitter: ​@fiona_thornhill

A mixed race woman in her early twenties sitting on her sofa and looks straight in the camera, she wears beige trousers and a bright pink bikini top, She has a cool and unimpressed facial expression with her elbows resting on her knees. In the background are a variety of potted plants, kettlebells, books and glass bottles. A white and black spotted cat sits looking into the camera in the right hand corner.

Freya Stokka

Biography
Freya is a Norwegian acrobat. She moved to Bristol half a decade ago, to study at Circomedia. Being a fan of doing everything, she joined Mimbre for their show Lifted last year, while finishing her BA in Circus at the same time. She has also worked with companies such as Citrus Art and Cirque Bijou, and in cabarets like The Decadent Rabbit and Carnie Cabooze.
She is a base, but has no time for anyone telling her how strong she is (for a woman). She believes feminism can only ever be intersectional, that action speaks louder than words, and that the only way forward is to decolonize our brains and our societies.
Freya Stokka, About Lockdown
Her lockdown has been filled with tomato plants, cats and a lot of feminist and anti-racist theory.
CV Highlights
A Circomedia alumna, Associate Performer at Mimbre (​Lifted​). Works with Citrus Art, Cirque Bijou, The Decadent Rabbit and Carnie Cabooze.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@freya.stokka_circusartist

A woman in bright red trousers rolling in a headstand on blueish grey sofa her sofa doing the splits. She is in her twenties and is of East Asian heritage.
Jackie Le in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Jackie Le

Biography
Jackie Le is a Circus Artist specialising as an Aerialist. She’s travelled all over the world providing entertainment by displaying different limber shapes up in the air on many an apparatus.
Jackie Le, About Lockdown:
Jackie now resides at home in Lockdown London spending quality time on Zoom and when not social distancing via a computer screen, Jackie spends her time attempting to figure out how to hang upside-down from the spiral staircase trying to continue researching movement in an enclosed space without bumping her limbs into the stairs, walls or floor.
CV Highlights
Clients and venues include: Camelot Lottery, Itsu, Bush Hall, Battersea Evolution, J.P. Morgan, Buddha Bar (Marrakech) Hilton (London and Lodz, Poland), Honda, The Aeronaut, The Coronet, PowWowNow Conference Calling, Granary Square, Corinthia Hotel, Channel 4/All 4, Play’n GO, Sony, Dell Intel, GAP, Neighbours, Eletrowerkz, Udderbelly Southbank, London Wonderground, Virgin Atlantic (Barbados), One Billion Rising Charity, Bournemouth Tourism Awards, Comic Relief, Digital Media Awards, Save the Children and many more.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@_jackiele_
Twitter: ​@jackiele
Website: ​www.jackiele.com

a woman kneels at the foot f her cherry red leather couch, looking in to the camera lens with her elbows on her knees and her face resting against her hand
Jess Ladley, in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Jessica Ladley

Biography
Jessica Ladley started dancing at the age of three and by the age of fifteen she was also competing in Sports Acrobatics. In 2012 she decided to move to London to follow her dream of joining the Circus. Jess is a BA Hons graduate from the National Centre where she specialised in Cyr Wheel, working to combine her strong dance background, creative choreography skills and acrobatic foundation with the wonders of the wheel. Jess has performed across the globe with companies such as Strut and Fret, on the west end with Mimbre in the English National Opera’s performance of ​Aida​ and on national television with audiences over 80,000 viewers. She is also one of three Co-Founder’s of all female circus company Alula Cyr, ​HYENA​, where she toured nationally and internationally.
Jessica Ladley, About Lockdown:
During lockdown I have been doing and leading home workouts, learning the banjo, playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch and binging on Netflix. If lockdown has taught me anything, it is be accepting.
CV Highlights
National Centre for Circus Arts alumna. Worked with Strut and Fret, Mimbre and English National Opera’s performance of ​Aida.​ She is also one of three Co-Founder’s of all female circus company Alula Cyr (​HYENA​).

A mixed race woman her early thirties, in an ochre loose knit jumper and black shorts dancing on her black couch and a burgundy throw rug couch.
Joana Dias in The Sofa Dance by Mimbre and Arthur Le Fol.

Joana Dias

Biography
With a natural passion for performance, Joana Dias, an aerialist/acro flyer, has been singing and dancing since she can remember. Joana was a National Champion in ballroom dance for 7 years straight, representing Portugal at the Blackpool Dance Festival.
At age 18, Joana represented Portugal in The Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 and performed in​Fame,​ ​The Musical and High School Musical IandII​in Portugal. She discovered her love for circus in Chapitô, undertaking further training at The National Centre for Circus Arts in London. There she completed a degree, specialising in Aerial Hoop and learnt techniques as an acrobatic flyer. Joana has been performing in various contemporary circus shows, cabarets, corporate events, private parties, cruises and festivals in the UK and abroad. Joana performed in ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ at the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2019 Paris fashion week with Mimbre and is a cast member of Upswing’s ​Bedtime Stories​. She is now in the process of creating her first solo show.
Joana Dias, About Lockdown:
During this pandemic I spent the time learning how to cook, reading, brainstorming ideas for my first solo show, trying to be better so I can change the world.
CV Highlights
A ​National Centre for Circus Arts alumna, worked with Mimbre and Dior​ in ​Dior’s Dream Parade (Haute Couture S/S 2019) and with Upswing​ (​ ​Bedtime Stories​), and as a resident artist for the cabaret show ​Legends in London​.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@joaniancora
Twitter: ​@JoanaIrinaDias


A woman in a blue top, mustard yellow trousers and a brown hat with her toes pointed. And her hands raised
Julia Cheng in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Julia Cheng

Biography
Luton-London based Julia Cheng is a creative director with extensive expertise in dance and self-produced work, obtaining an impressive portfolio of commissioned works and funded projects.
A versatile performer and choreographer, in 2014 she founded House of Absolute, an all-female collective of multidisciplinary dancers. Her technique continues to evolve because she seeks to break boundaries in any given style, she is continually creating new works whilst teaching and mentoring dance across UK, Europe, Africa and Asia. Her influences have led to cross-collaborative works with artists in contemporary dance, music, painting, visual art and poetry.
Having judged, won and competed in many Hip Hop battles since 2007, most recently, Julia participated as a judge/mentor for BBC Young Dancer 2019. She was also a runner-up recipient of the Arts Foundation Futures Award 2019 for Hip Hop Dance. Her prolific reputation has led to campaigns with Dr Martens, Vogue Italia, Wella, Kowtow New Zealand and BBC World Service Persia.
Julia has considerable stage and theatre commissions including works for London Jazz Festival, Roundhouse, Sadlers Wells Theatre, V&A Museum, Southbank Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Contour London Symphony Orchestra, British Council Cairo, Wilderness Festival, China Changing Festival, Jazz Refreshed, Love Supreme Festival, University of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, East London and many more.
CV Highlights
Worked for London Jazz Festival, Roundhouse, Sadlers Wells Theatre, V&A Museum, Southbank Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Contour London Symphony Orchestra, British Council Cairo, Wilderness Festival, China Changing Festival, Jazz Refreshed, Love Supreme Festival, University of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, East London and many more.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@juliachenghoa
Twitter: ​@houseofabsolute
Website: ​https://www.houseofabsolute.com/



A woman sits on a navy blue L-shaped sofa with her feet on a stack of book, she hold a book close to her chest.
Karin Melin, in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Karin Melin

Biography
Karin Melin’s circus journey started at an early age on the kitchen table after dinner when she wanted to show everybody that she could stand in a bridge while singing a song. She soon became the cartwheel champion in her school since she could cartwheel all the way to the cafeteria.
Later on, between 1997-2007 she trained and performed all over the world with her youth circus Ludvika Minicirkus. The circus journey then continued, in 2014 she graduated from the well-known school DOCH, dance and circus university.
In Karins work one can often see depictions of her childhood and how she puts great value to her imagination. She twists and turns ordinary objects and expresses her art strongly by placing herself on a trapeze and then balances freely on her head. Orderly and alert is she, always, and prioritises her work most of all. From Karin you’ll get quality with a pinch of sugar.
Karin Melin, About Lockdown:
Training and especially the training sessions with Mimbre acrobats have kept me in some sort of balance during this period. I have continued my work to discover how it would be to live upside down.
CV Highlights
An alumna of DOCH, University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm. Worked with Mimbre (​Dior’s Dream Parade)​ , Trädgårdsdrömmar (​Gardendreams)​ , Cirkus Cirkör, Clowns Without Borders.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@​upsidedownkarin
Website: ​karinmelin.com

A woman upside down in a hand stand on her couch. She is surrounded by plants and there is a piano to one side.
Lina Johansson in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Lina Johansson

Co-Director and Choreographer Biography
Lina Johansson is Joint Artistic Director of Mimbre, an acrobatic theatre company fusing acrobatics, dance and humour to create visual poetry in unconventional performance spaces. Lina also works as a director, choreographer and movement director for circus, theatre, opera and fashion. Originally trained in circus skills and specialising in acrobatics and acrobalance, she has acquired further training and influence from a variety of movement and performance practices. These have shaped and informed her style and the physical language she has developed for a range of theatrical settings – always pursuing heightened physicality, stretching the subtle and spectacular ways that choreography and physical imagery can be used to enhance or tell a story.
Lina Johansson, About Lockdown:
During the Covid-19 quarantine, Lina has tried to maintain her mental and physical wellbeing while balancing work, fitness, home-schooling, mutual aid support and teenage parenting… The verdict is out about how well she has managed.
CV Highlights
Directing and choreography credits include: Choreographer for Dior’s Dream Parade Spring-Summer 2019 Haute Couture Show, Paris; Director ‘Wondrous Strange’ at Royal Shakespeare Company; Movement Director for ‘Aida’ at English National Opera; Director, ‘Fierce Sisters’ at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; Associate Director for ‘City of the Unexpected’ with National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: @mimbre_acrobats
Facebook: @mimbreacro

a woman perched on the armrest of her ivory coloured couched, her elbows rest on her knees and she looks off to the side in a contemplative way
Lisa Whitmore in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Lisa Whitmore

Biography
Lisa Whitmore’s love of partner acrobatics began in competitive gymnastics. After finishing her degree in sports science she found circus and went to Circomedia to continue acrobatics and to study aerial and performance, where she is now as the lead tutor on their degree programme. This has led to performing at many destinations – Israel, Maldives, Bolivia, India, Doha and Croatia, to name a few. Work has also included Beechman circus, performing with the English Touring Opera and with Mimbre for Dior’s​ Dream Parade​ Haute Couture SS 19. TV appearances include ​Blue Peter,​ Sky 1 – ‘​Don’t stop me now​’, ITV – ‘​Red or Black’​ and BBC – ‘​Take Off​’.
Lisa Whitmore, About Lockdown:
Lockdown has brought many challenges, including how to teach acrobatics online! She has missed doing partner acrobatics and found it hard to be at home knowing she had a busy performing season set up which had to be cancelled. However, she was very excited to be asked to be part of The Sofa Dance project and work with such a great team.
CV Highlights
Lisa is a Circomedia alumna, and has performed with the English Touring Opera and with Mimbre for ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Dior Haute Couture SS 19). TV appearances include ​Blue Peter,​ Sky 1 – ‘​Don’t stop me now​’, ITV – ‘Red or Black​’ and BBC – ‘​Take Off’​ .
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@whitmoreacro
Website: lisawhitmore.com

a woman lying upside down in a teal couch wearing a mustard yellow jumpsuit, her legs are raised, and her arms rest agains the front of the armrests
Lissy Lovett in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Lissy Lovett

Biography
Lissy Lovett is normally Mimbre’s Executive Director and is also a board member of Trans Creative and an editor for The F-Word. Lissy gave up acting in 2008, but lockdown has given her a chance to connect with Mimbre’s creative work and rediscover her inner performer. She’ll be back to the spreadsheets soon.
CV Highlights
Lissy Lovett has worked with a number of organisations including Mimbre, Trans Creative, The F-Word and Stagetext.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@lissylovett
Twitter: ​@lissylovett

a woman on a concrete rooftop in a position with her arm raised as if swimming on a mattress with a colourful patterned coverlet. There are power tools in the foreground.
Lucie Maisha N’Duhirahe in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Lucie Maisha N’Duhirahe

Biography
Lucie Maisha N’Duhirahe started circus in Switzerland aged 7. Throughout the years her love of performing and circus grew through teaching and performing- sharing skills and time with others. At 18, she taught circus in Brazil, before joining the National Centre for Circus Arts (London), specialising in the discipline of double cloud. After graduating in 2009, alongside her performance partner Francesca Hyde, the pair founded the company COLLECTIF AND THEN… Together, they have toured internationally to 4 continents. Collectif and then… was awarded the Oxford Samuel Beckett Award in 2016 for their show ‘The Machine’ which premiered at the Barbican. Over the past 2 years she was one of the cast member of Cirkus Cirkör’s show “Epifonima”. She also works with the KENEBA project in Burkina Faso in a performance in collaboration with local artists. Lucie values circus for its ability to express what cannot easily be conveyed in words, in a language that transcends national and political boundaries.
Lucie Maisha N’Duhirahe, About Lockdown:
Looking at the past couple of months and trying to remember what I have been doing to not totally loose the plot is quite tricky.. it all seems quite hazy. But I guess trying to focus on doing, making, talking to people, learning things that brought me joy and trying to allow space for confusion and anger to exist within that. Being upside down and in the water, screwing bits of wood together and making stuff out elderflower.
CV Highlights
Lucie co-founded the award-winning company COLLECTIF AND THEN… She has worked with Cirkus Cirkör and works with the KENEBA project in Burkina Faso in a performance in collaboration with local artists.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@upsidedownlu​ @collectifandthen
Website: ​cargocollective.com/collectifandthen

A woman lying on a dark grey mattress with an open book resting on her face she is surrounded by piles of books.
Lynn Scott in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Lynn Scott

Biography
Lynn Scott has been working as a juggler and circus performer since the completion of her training at the National Centre for Circus Arts in 2013. She has worked internationally as a solo performer and also in various companies, recently with the likes of Gandini Juggling, Upswing Aerial Arts and Mimbre. Travelling as far afield as Taiwan and Peru, and closer to home, completing tours around the UK and Europe.
Lynn Scott, About Lockdown:
My relationship with my feline lodger has developed into a much more codependent realm.
CV Highlights
National Centre for Circus Arts Alumna. Worked internationally with Gandini Juggling (including 8 Songs)​ , Upswing Aerial Arts and Mimbre (​The Exploded Circus​).
Teaching At NCCA
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@lynnscottradio1

A woman siting on her bed on the backrest of her dissamebled wheelchair. She holds the wheels on either side of her face. She wears bright green trousers a blue sweater and thick grey socks.
Maiya Leeke in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance,2020

Maiya Leeke

Biography
Maiya Leeke is a Contemporary dancer from the North West. She is particularly interested in conscious movement and the mind/body connection. As an artist with different abilities, Maiya’s mission is to show what dance can be, challenging people’s perceptions of what is possible whilst using a wheelchair. When not upside down/facing the ‘wrong way’ in her chair, she loves being out in nature, spending time with her Cockapoo Lottie and getting lost in music. Maiya is in the process of developing her own unique style translating standing movement to the floor and discovering daily, more interesting ways to make her wheelchair balance, spin and generally behave not like a standard wheelchair! Maiya is here to push boundaries, create change and share her deep love for moving with the world.
Maiya Leeke, About Lockdown:
Lockdown for me feels very surreal. I’ve spent a year over the last 3 in isolation so it’s weirdly confusing to keep reminding myself I am not poorly this time, the world is! I count my blessings daily for all that I do have, the beautiful, new opportunities that are arising and I cannot wait for the day I can hug everyone in the world again! Basically the lack of hugs is my biggest problem… oh and I miss the 3D world. Haha!
CV Highlights
Maiya has worked with Daryl Beeton Productions and Mimbre.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@maiyaleeke
Twitter: ​@maiyaleeke

A woman sitting in a grey couch with her young teen daughter on one end of the couch, sitting on the armrest and the woman's toddler on the other end of the couch. All three of them have their arms crossed, the children are smiling.
Natasha Khamjani and children in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Natasha Khamjani

Biography
Natasha trained at London Studio Centre and began her career as a performer before deciding to concentrate on being a creative from behind the scenes. Her versatility enables her to work across the industry including theatre, commercials, bespoke commissions and Ceremonies. She worked on all four Olympic Ceremonies in London as a mass movement coordinator as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow & at Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected in Wales. In 2019, she worked on the Manchester Day Parade and the Norwich Festival.
She was Assistant Director & Choreographer on the people’s opera ‘Silver Birch’ with a cast of 150, which premiered at Garsington Opera, receiving fantastic reviews and was filmed and featured on BBC Arts and is currently teaching on their Lockdown project ‘Monday Motivation’ live on Garsington Opera’s social channels every week at 10am (very nerve-wracking).
She is Co-Artistic Director of Folk Dance Remixed who’ve just completed their 7th year of touring at outdoor events, a groundbreaking company fusing folk and hip hop dance and music. They are thrilled to have been awarded funding to tour again and hope to be up and running in 2021 although they’ve been keeping a strong online presence with ‘Folk Dance Remixed Fridays’ on their website.
Natasha is a passionate and sought after education specialist working for organisations including Mimbre, East London Dance, Garsington Opera, ROH, ENO, WNO, Glyndebourne, Grange Festival, Into Opera, Southbank Centre, Royal Academy of Dance, Millennium Performing Arts, and Southwark/Merton Music Services plus various schools and colleges.
Natasha Khamjani, About Lockdown:
She has kept busy in Lockdown teaching for Mimbre, Garsington and her own performing arts school DNPA as well as launching ‘Folk Dance Remixed Fridays’ and taking part in various Lockdown projects including creating a Family Street Dance Battle for the Southbank Centre and a Folk Dance Remixed 10th Anniversary film!
She also feels like a professional juggler with homeschooling and trying to hold on to her career as a freelance choreographer!!!
CV Highlights
An alumna of the London Studio Centre. She is Co-Artistic Director of Folk Dance Remixed. Worked with organisations such as Mimbre, East London Dance, Garsington Opera, ROH, ENO, WNO, Glyndebourne, Grange Festival, Into Opera, Southbank Centre, Royal Academy of Dance, Millennium Performing Arts, and Southwark/Merton Music Services plus various schools and colleges.
She has worked on all four Olympic Ceremonies in London as a mass movement coordinator as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at ​Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected​ in Wales. In 2019, she worked on the Manchester Day Parade and the Norwich Festival.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@natashakhamjaniartist
Twitter: ​@natashakhamjani
Website: ​natashakhamjani.com​folkdanceremixed.com


headshot of a woman in a cream coloured long sleeve buttoned shirt against a dark emerald green wall
Nikki Hill in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Nikki Hill

Biography
Nikki Hill hails from the hills of Wales. She quivers and quails at the demise of the whales. She trained firstly in circus and theatre at Circomedia, and since, in clown and theatre at L’école Philippe Gaulier. She is silly and wise and flexible and cries when she can’t run in the wilds with her hound.
Nikki Hill is a Circomedia alumna, a theatremaker and educator. She is the founder of Dripping Tap Theatre and collaborator with the #Pianodrome. She is passionate about creating work that has no real definition but uses all the senses to explore the world. She recently came back to the UK from a whirlwind of a year studying at L’école Philippe Gaulier, straight into the arms of a pandemic. She hopes that the world will continue to hold out its arms to welcome the absurd and allow performances of a many varied nature to jostle around inside the hug. Giving space to ask questions whilst simultaneously getting a loving squeeze and a poke in the ribs. If there ever was a time for the clown, it might be now.
Nikki Hill, About Lockdown:
Lockdown life has been both quiet and busy, lonely and overwhelming; hitting points all through the spectrum of highs and lows in the isolation station. It’s thrown into sharp focus what it means to have a ‘home’, and how we occupy space. This through the lens of a very transitory person.
And since living on my own through some of this period, I’m even more aware of how important touch is.
CV Highlights
A Circomedia alumna and co-founder of Dripping Tap Theatre.

A woman in a headstand on her cherry red leather couch. Her legs are spread out in a split with one of her knees bent. Her black top has white lettering on it reading: Strong, Fearless, Beautiful.
Rachel Baird in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Rachel Baird

Biography
Rachel Baird has performed acrobats for 15 years as both a partner and group acrobat and as a solo performer. Specialising in tumbling and movement acrobatics she has performed on many stages including the Wales Millennium Centre, The National Museum Wales, and on various festival stages including Glastonbury Big Top and Greenfields stages, Boomtown, Play, Bestival and Shambala. Originally from Oxford, Rachel trained gymnastics in her local gym before starting her semi-pro rugby career, which culminated in playing for Ulster Womens XV for 3 years.
From rugby into Outdoor Education at LJMU where Rachel practiced adventure pursuits including rock climbing and mountaineering alongside joining a Cheerleading team rejuvenating and sparking a performance acrobatics career spanning 2 decades.
She has since studied both the degree and the masters at Circomedia and currently teaches for their Youth Circus programme as well as running her own independent tumbling classes in Bristol.
CV Highlights
A Circomedia alumna, worked with Mimbre, Acrojou, Le petit cirque du noel. Festivals: Glastonbury, Boomtown, Redfest, PLAY, Shambala, Chinese Pole in the Social Club, Bestival.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@circusrae
Twitter: ​@CircusRae
Website: ​rachelbaird.co.uk

a woman on her sofa with one of her legs raised straight and high, her toes flexed in a dancer's position. She sits on her dark mauve leather couch with a small plant on the floor and  a white labrador dog sleeping to the foot of the couch.
Rebecca Solomon in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Rebecca Solomon

Biography
Rebecca Solomon is usually described as a powerhouse aerialist and tutor, specialising in rope, trapeze, straps and redefining storytelling standards, at the moment she is indulging in baking instead. After beginning her circus career at Greentop Circus in Sheffield, performances as part of ​Hive City Legacy​ (part of the Australian Brief factory collective), The Brownie Club, ​Fierce Sisters​ (Mimbre), ​Splash​ (Extraordinary Bodies), ​Red Palace​ (Shotgun Carousel), and ​Sky in the Pie​ (Feathers of Daedalus). In 2019, she began creating her own show Second-Hand Child, which got its first preview in February 2020.
Rebecca Solomon, About Lockdown:
Since lockdown, Rebecca has been playing dress-up with her housemate, getting her steps count in by dancing in her living room and creating stop motions out of plasticine.
CV Highlights
Rebecca has performed in ​Hive City Legacy​ (part of the Australian Brief factory collective), The Brownie Club, ​Fierce Sisters​ (Mimbre), ​Splash​ (Extraordinary Bodies), ​Red Palace​ (Shotgun Carousel), and ​Sky in the Pie​ (Feathers of Daedalus). As well as performing and devising her own solo production, ​Second-Hand Child.​
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@upside_down_ray​@second.hand.child

a woman in a high bridge on her blue sofa, the couch sits between a  kitchen table and a fridge
Rebecca Rennison, Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Rebecca Rennison

Biography
Rebecca is a highly skilled aerial artist, coming from a professional dance background and with experience performing all over the world, in commercials, TV and arena shows. She combines acrobatic skill in the air with her natural movement fluidity.
She has worked for Mimbre Acrobats – ​The Exploded Circus​; Elekron, Studio City Macau – China; SOHO, Stufish Productions at The Peacock Theatre London; ​Dracula:​ Upswing & The New Vic Theatre; The London Cabaret Club; Casino Lisboa; Hikapee – ​Home​ (The Lyric); Circus Krone (Germany); P&O Azura (World Cruise); Chivaree Circus and Glastonbury Festival.
Rebecca Rennison, About Lockdown:
Lockdown has been sad, crushing and confusing but also at times it has been surprising, inspiring and hilarious.. I have grown stronger in my love of teaching and have been doing online workouts almost everyday.
CV Highlights
She has worked for Mimbre Acrobats – ​The Exploded Circus​; Elekron, Studio City Macau – China; SOHO, Stufish Productions at The Peacock Theatre London; ​Dracula:​ Upswing & The New Vic Theatre; The London Cabaret Club; Casino Lisboa; Hikapee – ​Home​ (The Lyric); Circus Krone (Germany); P&O Azura (World Cruise); Chivaree Circus and Glastonbury Festival.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@bexi_
Twitter: ​@Bexi___
Website: rebeccarennison.com

a woman lies on her stomach on her sandstone couch looking tired with her hand trailing down on the floor. Her daughter in a light pink ballerina dress sits on the floor with a lego house in front of her. Around them are bookshelves filled with books and CDs.
Rebecka Nord and daughter in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Rebecka Nord

Biography
Founder and Artistic Director, Circus By Me
Rebecka Nord worked in the acrobatic duo Stint with Sofia Wålstedt for nine years, touring around the world with both short circus acts and longer shows. They became known for their strong emotional life reflections of two ordinary women in a less than ordinary world.
She graduated from the Centre des arts de cirque de Lomme with a specialisation in partner acrobatics in 2007 and has worked in different constellations ever since. Rebecka has worked on a variety of different projects, among them a show that crosses hip hop and circus, HipCirqEurop’; performances with the dancer Antoine Dutrieu; creating a new circus act with fellow acrobat Catalina Castellano and touring with the UK-based company Mimbre in 2014.
She has done several tours with Clowns Without Borders as a clown, acrobat and tour leader. For example in Nepal, Palestine, Lebanon, Kenya, Greece and Sweden.
Rebecka has experience as a flyer, a middle-man, and a base. She loves to develop acrobatic languages that suit every new group.
Rebecka Nord, About Lockdown:
During lockdown I learned to slow down from an insanely busy year. I cooked a lot, had long walks in the Norwegian forest with my partner and played with my children. It sounds amazing and it was, but at the same time I lost the most wonderful tour that I had worked for, for a long time, and I lost myself a little while losing my circus identity.
CV Highlights
Founder of Circus By Me with two successful productions (​Djeliya​ and ​Det får bära eller brista​). Worked with Mimbre (​Bench​) and Dior (​Dior’s Dream Parade)​ . Worked with Clowns Without Borders Sweden, Las Errantes and The Walkers.
Social Media Handles
Website: ​circusbyme.com​ ​and baraellerbrista.com


headshot of a woman with straight shoulder length dark blonde hair against a pink wall
Reece Lyons, 2020

Reece Lyons

Biography
Reece Lyons is a Transgender Actress, Writer and Performance Poet based in London. She is a current Resident Artist at The Roundhouse where her work has previously gone viral and been watched by over 4 million people online.
CV Highlights: ​Recent credits and commissions include: ​HANNA​ (Amazon Prime); Girls At Night On The Internet​ (Knot Productions);​ Fierce Sisters​ (Mimbre).
The Brit School for Performing Arts and Technology alumna.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@reecelyons_
Twitter: ​@reecelyons_


A woman in lavender trousers and a pinkish mauve vest top lays upside down on a sandstone sofa with her dark curly hair hanging off the front of the sofa, she looks into the camera. Her legs are raised into a diamond shape, her hands on her knees.
Rosy Roberts in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Rosy Roberts

Biography
Rosy Roberts is a physical performer, acrobat & theatre-maker. Rosy undertook 2.5 years of a medical degree at Bristol University before following an impulse to clamber on top of people & stand on her hands. This led her to Circomedia where she completed the BA honours degree in 2015. She now works with Mimbre as an Associate Performer, performing ​If I Could I Would​, Wondrous Strange​ and ​Lifted​ in outdoor locations nationally & internationally. With Mimbre she performed on the​ Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Dior Haute Couture S/S 2019) and for the English National Opera in ​Aida​ (2017). Rosy has a penchant for animal transformation and has played a monkey (in ​Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle​, Warner Brothers), a chicken in her own offbeat cabaret act about broken eggs & smashed egos, and a dog in ​Oh No George!,​ Can’t Sit Still (2020).
Rosy Roberts, About Lockdown:
In lockdown, the growth rate of Rosy’s strawberry & tomato plants is inversely proportional to her muscle tone, i.e. massive strawberries, weedy biceps.
CV Highlights
A Circomedia alumna, Rosy now works with Mimbre as an Associate Performer, performing ​If I Could I Would​, ​Wondrous Strange​ and ​Lifted​, ​Dior’s Dream Parade​ (Dior Haute Couture S/S 2019). She has also performed in ​Aida​ (English National Opera, 2017), in ​Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle​, Warner Brothers and in ​Oh No George!​ (Can’t Sit Still, 2020).
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@rosy_roberts
Twitter: ​@_rosyroberts

A white woman in her early twenties in a yellow shirt and black shorts is doing a one-handed bridge on her navy blue couch. In front of the couch is a mauve Persian-style rug.
Ruby Gaskell in The Sofa Dance by Mimbre and Arthur Le Fol.

Ruby Gaskell

Biography
Ruby is a playful circus artist and physical performer. A graduate from the National Centre for Circus Arts, London in 2017. Her main disciplines are Dance Trapeze and Contortion with an aptitude and love for clown, movement and character play. She also has a background in theatre design, so her performance work tends to be theatrical and visually bold. Ruby relishes in collaborative processes where different art forms meet, and tends to push her circus skills out of the ordinary context of the ‘circus’ genre. Ruby has worked internationally for companies such as Strut N Fret, Mimbre, Creativiva.
Ruby Gaskell, About Lockdown:
Going outside whatever the weather has been keeping me sane. Dancing out the lockdown frustration, or zooming about on my roller skates!
CV Highlights
A ​National Centre for Circus Arts alumna​, Ruby has worked internationally for companies such as Strut N Fret, Mimbre, Creativiva.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@rubygaskell

A woman in a headstand with her head in a basket and her arms straight in front of her holding a caddy box with children's toys in it behind her is a kitchette.
Silvia Fratelli in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Silvia Fratelli

Biography
Co-founder of the UK-based all-female acrobatics company Mimbre, Silvia Fratelli is a pioneering performer and educator in the UK Outdoor Arts and Circus field. Fratelli has made her mark on the creative industry both as an artistic director and a performer within the company, taking part in many of its productions that have toured nationally and internationally.
Her performance credits include: ​Lifted​ (Mimbre), ​Dream Parade​ (Mimbre/Dior), Ruby Robinson (Sky Arts), ​Aida​ (ENO), ​The Party​ (Nearly There Yet), ​Wondrous Strange​ (Mimbre/RSC) and ​If I could I would​ (Mimbre).
Currently, she leads on Mimbre’s acrobatic training and well-being programme and investigations, developing Mimbre’s team of core acrobatic performers. She manages the company’s international bookings and tour logistics.
Along with her core company commitments, she works on external projects. She provides artistic directional consultancy to other performance-based companies and projects, especially ones that align with her company’s core and founding mission of shattering exclusionary stereotypes within the Arts. She was also on the steering committee for One Dance UK’s first Hip-Hop and Circus Conference.
Silvia Fratell, About Lockdown:
Lockdown started abruptly, so I had no time to prepare for this. I didn’t believe it would last more than two or three weeks. Now, almost after 3 months I feel exhausted, not having had a day for myself to read, spring clean, try out a new activity or simply rest. Homeschooling, looking after a toddler and trying to work and keeping fit has totally drained me. I miss team training, rehearsals, performing and travelling around with my team. I love my job because of our physical complicity. I really miss that. Probably my family has kept me sane and exasperated in equal measures…my patience threshold is much higher than I ever thought though!
CV Highlights
Co-founder of Mimbre, Silvia’s performance credits include: ​Lifted​ (Mimbre), ​Dream Parade (Mimbre/Dior), ​Ruby Robinson​ (Sky Arts), ​Aida​ (ENO), ​The Party​ (Nearly There Yet), ​Wondrous Strange​ (Mimbre/RSC) and ​If I could I would​ (Mimbre).
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@acrosilvia
Website: ​mimbre.co.uk

A woman sitting on a black sunchair with her arms on the armrest. She is wearing sunglasses mustard coloured dungarees and a whit long sleeve top underneath. She is outside against a white wall with a large terracotta plant pot with a plant in it.
Sophie Northmore in Mimbre’s The Sofa Dance, 2020

Sophie Northmore

Biography
Originally from Devon in the UK, my training began as a competitive artistic and acrobatic gymnast where I performed in both Germany and Finland. With a love for performing I started dancing alongside my training and went on to take a Foundation Degree at The London Studio Centre. This was followed by a BA Hons Degree in Contemporary Dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where I graduated in 2014. From graduation I spent a year performing, training and teaching in Australia. Since October 2015 I have been working as a freelance artist creating, performing and teaching within both dance and circus disciplines including hand to hand, partner acrobatics and contemporary dance. Within this I have been performing nationally and internationally with indoor and outdoor works.
Sophie Northmore, About Lockdown:
Prior to lock down I was due to be working on performances with Mimbre, Joli Vyann and Lost In Translation Circus this summer. During lock down I have been based in Bristol joining online projects, offering and taking part in online classes. In my spare time enjoying sunshine in the garden, planting vegetables and chatting to friends via zoom.
CV Highlights
A Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance alumna, among many, Sophie has worked with Mimbre, Joli Vyann and Lost In Translation Circus.
Social Media Handles
Instagram: ​@sophie_northmore_freelance
Twitter: ​@SophieNorthmore
Website: ​https://www.sophienorthmore.com/



Julia Cheng, Rosy Roberts, Rebecca Rennison in The Sofa Dance by Mimbre and Arthur Le Fol.

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