We hold three festivals annually largely to work around the availability of companies who would be unable to participate if our festivals were only held once or twice a year. Our July festival is our largest festival of the year, while our November/December festival is normally a selection of the year’s highlights with a small number of selected applicants.
Over our twelve festivals to date, over 130 companies have performed, with 38 companies performing in more than one festival. We choose a small number of audience and festival favourites from each festival and invite them to return, which not only helps them develop their own audiences, but also stimulates creativity: although these companies are welcome to perform the same work again, most usually decide to create a brand new work for each festival. In addition, many of the works presented at each festival are brand new, choreographed specifically for our festival. We also support artists from the regions, helping them to develop a London audience base for their future work; nearly a third of the participants to date have been based outside London.
What distinguishes Cloud Dance Festival from other contemporary dance showcases is the support we offer our performers and our emphasis on artistic quality; while many other showcases’ remit is to provide performance opportunities for emerging artists, we strive to present only high-quality dance. This is for the benefit of our audience, especially if they are new to dance; it also reflects well on our participants for their future endeavours.
In addition, we also actively support other areas of the dance industry, and have schemes in place to support and mentor emerging dance photographers and dance writers.