ACCA

About Us 

ACCA are Leeds based dance theatre duo Anna Cabré-Verdiell Bosch and Charlotte Arnold.

ACCA first met during their studies at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and as they both shared backgrounds in acting and voice training from an early age, moved towards a more multi-disciplinary, physical theatre practice. A few years after graduating they fell towards each other as two creatives who like thinking, writing and moving. After some time investing in exploring and playing, ACCA was born and they began formally collaborating together at the start of 2020.

 

ACCA’s style has a physical backbone, but draws on character and conceptuality to investigate the topics which inspire each project. As a trilingual company, ACCA weaves both Spanish and English culture and narratives into the work, as well as championing and celebrating femininity. The nature of Anna and Charlotte’s work together for ACCA is entirely collaborative, and non-hierarchical. They draw on each other’s strengths, and the direction, creation, performance and planning of all projects is split evenly between the two.

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Anna Cabré-Verdiell / Co-creator & Performer 

Anna grew up in Barcelona where her dance training began at the Institut del Teatre professional conservatoire. Alongside performance, her interest in communication expanded into academia obtaining a degree in journalism at Ramón Llull University. Afterwards, she moved to Leeds to graduate from NSCD with a First Class Bachelors Degree with Honours.

 

As a co-creator, Anna has worked on several inter-disciplinary pieces such as the chamber opera The Growth of the Silk, performed at The Place Theatre as part of Tete a Tete Opera Festival; Romeo & Julien, a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s story, and her current work with ACCA.
Other recent endeavours include performing in the restaging of Joan Jonas’ early works by the Tate Modern; the touring of Frankenstein by Cascade Dance Theatre, and performing an excerpt from This is not a wedding by Gracefool Collective streamed live for the BBC Dance Passion day. In parallel to her performance commitments, Anna has been developing a solid teaching practice. She has delivered sessions at TripSpace, ProDance Leeds, NSCD and Leeds University Union amongst others. Additionally, Anna works as a freelance writer, currently producing written work for various online dance sources. 

Charlotte Arnold / Co-creator & Performer

Originally from Suffolk, Charlotte started contemporary at the DanceEast CAT before going on to train at NSCD on both the BA and MA programmes where she worked with James Finnemore, Joss Arnott and Gemma Nixon during her studies. After graduating Charlotte joined Black Box Dance Company in Denmark, first as an apprentice and then as a company dancer, where she performed works by Marie Brolin-Tani, Tim Rushton and Tina Tapgaard, amongst others, touring internationally.

Currently based in Leeds, Charlotte is a freelance dance artist blending performing, teaching, creating and writing into her practice. As a facilitator she has delivered for movers aged 4 to 70+ and from beginners to professionals in a broad range of dance styles for organisations such as ProDance Leeds, Northern Ballet, Kala Sangam and NSCD. She currently works with Tom Hobden’s Unit and FRONTLINEdance as a performer and has received creative commissions from Assembly House, Ilkley Literature Festival and NSCD.

 

She also performs and directs her own dance theatre company ACCA, is the administrator Skinner Releasing Network, edits the digital zine Artychoke, and heads up programming for ProDanceLeeds. 

Occupational Hazard

First created in early 2020, Occuaptional Hazard attempts to examine those innocuous behaviours which are perhaps not so innocent. Easily escalating into something else; something unexpected, unwelcome and difficult to overcome. Stemming from explorations into consent, sexual fantasies and objectification, Occupational Hazard is a journey that walks the fine line between suggestive and unsolicited. In the midst of the current feminist effervescence, thanks to movements such as #metoo, Occupational Hazard focuses on non-verbal language - the way we sometimes use it and the interpretations that it can awaken.

Meet Linda and Becky – two air hostesses that are going about their normal work day. We see them enjoying a cup of coffee before the flight, travelling to the gate, and greeting the customers. They perform the emergency demonstration and take to the air, whilst everything seems to be going just fine. The hostesses are smiling, they are nice, attentive, pretty cute... But slowly, some sort of rigidity takes over; a robotic discomfort dominates the movement making it harder and harder to keep smiling whilst doing their job. Throwing into question how they deal with the events that have unfolded and maintain composure for the rest of the flight.

 

The piece was developed with in kind residencies at Yorkshire Dance, Seven Arts and The Dance Studio Leeds and premiered in February 2020 at the Women Who Dance event at Open Source Arts. A digital version of the piece was selected for FlockFest 2020, and the fifteen minute sketch has been programmed by Slung Low, Open Source Arts, Rural Arts (2021) and Yorkshire Dance's No Dress Code (2022)

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Audience Feedback - No Dress Code 2022

GRACEFOOL COLLECTIVE

gracefoolcollective@gmail.com

TEL: 07835090908

 

 

December 2020

Dear Arts Council England,

I am delighted to be writing in support of ACCA’s application for funding to develop their new work ‘Cautivas’.

I have seen these two artists go from strength to strength since they first started creating together, their work is brimming with energy and physical prowess and as a duo they are utterly committed to the honing of their choreographic craft. ACCA is also a company worth investing in, both Anna and Charlotte are immensely dedicated to the freelance dance community in Leeds, and both are hugely invested in sharing their skills and artistry with the wider community and have been key supporters and contributors to Gracefool’s sister project, ProDanceLeeds. The fact that they have chosen to base themselves here to make work is a testament to the city, and we cannot afford to lose artists like these.

At this critical time for artist across the UK, I believe now more than ever is the time to support young companies such as ACCA to have the invaluable time and space to develop their artistic voices so that they will be ready to bring exciting new work and projects to audiences and communities alike in 2021. At this crucial stage in their career, ACCA’s work deserves investment, and I for one am excited to see what this support would allow them to discover.

Kind regards,

Kate Cox
Co-Artistic Director, Gracefool Collective Co-founder and Programmer, ProDanceLeeds

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Letters of Support 

Occupational Hazard Development and Preview 2022 (Collaborators)

Luke Wilson

Sound Artist

Luke Wilson is a composer, sound artist and music therapist living in the North of England. With over ten years of experience working with dance and performance artists, Luke has composed music for a wide variety of different projects (Denada dance, Louise Ahl) providing live performance, composed soundtracks and sound design.

 

Inari Hulkkonen

External Eye/ Dramaturg

Inari works as a dancer with Gracefool Collective, Vanessa Grasse, Swen Steinhauser and Lewys Holt, and as a dramaturg and creative support with choreographers Lewys Holt (Footnotes and Phrases, premiere in 2018) and Simone Mousset (BAL 2: Pride and Disappointment, in development with a premiere in June 2021). 

 

Matt Angove

Technical Expert

Matt Angove is Slung Low’s technical director and an award winning sound designer. He will be assisting us with exploring lighting over the R&D, and the technical requirements of working outside of a theatre space.
 

Jake Evans

Dance Artist

Jake is a dance artist based in Chapeltown, Leeds. After gaining his BPA and MA degrees as Northern School of Contemporary Dance, he went on to tour productions by Vincent Dance Theatre, Gary Clarke Company, and Tuckshop Dance Theatre. Other choreographers he has worked with include Aletta Collins, Tommy Smalls, Josh Hawkins, Gary Rowntree and Sam Burkett. He is also a drag performer and a member of the performance collective the House of Decay. His own work explores themes relating to the self, queer identity and ‘gender failure’, taking inspiration from the worlds of fashion and cabaret. 
 

Solomon Charles-Kelly

Photographer

Solomon Charles-Kelly is a self-taught photographer. He was born in Leeds, but having travelled a fair bit, has lived and taken pictures all over the world. His journey has brought him back home to Leeds and into contact with musicians and dancers, the latter of which are now his main focus. The last project he worked on was a magazine article: a resistance themed piece, for which he collaborated with local singer, poet, playwright and dancer, Akeim Toussaint Buck.

 

Mati Torres Laborde

Marketing & Social Media

Mati Torres is currently finishing  the L4 Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing, accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has accomplished a Marketing apprenticeship role assistance with the company FedUP Studio Lab (March-Aug 2022).

Mati is a freelance Dance Artist & Movement facilitator. She manages daily Digital marketing activities when running her dancing business. Among her areas of interest are:  Social Media Marketing management,  content creation & audience engagement.

Mason Jubb

Rehearsal Director / Dance Artist

Mason is a multi-faceted dance artist based in Leeds. Working as a performer with Rees Dance Company ACE funded work "Living Shadows" for both of the development phases. Mason often collaborates with Wayne Sables Project, as an independent artist on the digital work "Alone", as well as several ACE funded projects as part of his role as the Dance Development Officer at Dance Action Zone Leeds. Mason creates work surrounding social policy as the choreographer for both the DAZL Youth company and the Kick Off Boys Youth Dance Project. Mason was the Rehearsal Director for NSCD Centre for Advanced Training Scheme in 2018 and 2019.


 

Rachel Fullegar

Comedy Mentor

​​Rachel graduated from NSCD in 2013 with a 1st class BPA(Hons), the Undergraduate Achievement Award and Kathleen Tattersall Leadership Award. Her love for making immersive, interactive, interdisciplinary work for intergenerational audiences has led to long-term collaborations as a performer/deviser with companies such as Same Difference, Yorkshire Life Aquatic, Qdos Creates and Rusticus Arts. 

Rachel also works as a Movement Director, most recently on Theatre State’s new musical Say Yes To Tess at Leeds Playhouse and, for both Blackout and Black Roses with Bunbury Banter Theatre Company, Scotland, where she is Associate Artist and a mentor for their youth theatre programmes.

 

Joao Maio

Producer

João Maio is a contemporary dance artist and creative producer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. After graduating with a First Class Honours Degree and completing the MA in Dance & Creative Enterprise at NSCD (2018), João began to work as a Creative Producer independently and for Leeds-based community development organisation Open Source Arts. João continues to develop his interest in furthering his understanding of the national artistic ecology and enhancing it, also being the independent board member at Leeds Dance Partnership.

Tammy Tsang

Dance Artist

Tammy Tsang (she/her) is an interdisciplinary dance artist from Hong Kong, currently based in Leeds. Her work is informed by the intricacies of the human body. With a focus on her audience’s bodily experience, Tsang plays with sensory systems, tactility and tangibility.

Hannah Sibai

Set Design

 

Hannah is a British/Syrian performance designer based in Yorkshire. Since training at Wimbledon School of Art in London she has designed over 80 productions across 13 years in the UK and Europe. This includes theatre, film, music videos and installations. She also often leads design workshops for arts organisations, community centres, theatre festivals, schools and universities, and is an Artistic Associate at Upstart Theatre.

Nrika Anyika

Videographer

Ndrika Anyika is a British-Nigerian director and director of photography from Yorkshire. Her work focuses on film and documentation, collaborative art, identity, race, class and queerness and all the ways these experiences can intersect. She was commissioned by the BBC on two occasions in 2020 and thoroughly enjoys working collaboratively with other artists.

Rike Zöllner 

Costume Designer

Rike Zöllner is a London based Costume Designer originally from Germany. She trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (MA) after a degree in Literature and Performing Arts in France. Since, she has gone on to design costumes for Opera, Theatre and Film, but her focus remains within the fleeting conditions of life performance, accentuating the performers movement and responding to its physicality. 

She has worked with choreographers such as Dimitris Papaioannou, Ben Wright, Theo Clinkard, Colette Sadler or Tim Etchells. In 2019 she was awarded as an Honorary Associate of the Royal Welsh College Of Music And Drama.

  

Other Work

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Cautivas R&D 2021 - supported by Arts Council England Project Grants and partnerships with Slung Low, Yorkshire Dance, Pro Dance Leeds and The Dance Studio Leeds.​

The piece imagines a world where all arts and culture have been outlawed and interacting with art in any form is now illegal. In this world a desperate artist abducts a high ranking politician and attempts to rehabilitate them back to the cause of the arts.

Themes explored include: power dynamics, resistance & authoritarianism, isolation within isolation, conflict & reconciliation. We will also be playing with bending gender roles and clowning. Audience engagement will be centred around people who live in South Leeds - a demographic who don’t regularly engage with the arts, or if they do it’s never in a theatre, gallery or established arts venue. A key theme we’re trying to communicate is that the arts are for everyone, used by everyone and should be accessible to everyone.

Watch the sharing here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19dXNNSWU8O1TsIH70IvtRagbHgOeSeZc/view?usp=sharing

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ACCA’s second piece, ACCA Danst, created during lockdown, is a pastiche of Rosas Danst Rosas, which sees two dancers, in two different houses moving through the same choreography to a repeating Bulerias beat. ACCA Danst started as a simple tribute to the iconic piece of choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, but quickly became a social commentary of lockdown blues and the film format reinforced this notion. The film was one of 38 works selected to take part in the Leeds Summer Group Show exhibition 2020, and was chosen as one of six show winners, receiving a cash prize and an interview with The State of the Arts magazine. The exhibition also reached over 3000 views during the course of the month. 

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EVEolution is a short film by ACCA commissioned by Ilkley Literature Festival 2021. Playing with the iconography of fashion shows and drag queen aesthetics, the piece explores the natural evolutionary series from a comedic, dance-theatre approach. First we meet Amoeba, a single cell organism not quite sure what’s going on, then the slinky, fin flapping Fish and the ever spiky Reptile as she prowls across the stage. Jumping next to Primate, who swings through the final stages of human development, we settle last with Eve in her recognisable human form as she contemplates the dilemma of eating the forbidden fruit.

Blending fashion, theatre and dance with a sprinkle of evolutionary biology, life and the journey to EVEolution, is a catwalk.

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ACCA Facilitates

Both Anna and Charlotte are highly passionate movement facilitators. With the lockdown easing over summer, ACCA opened up weekly company classes in partnership with The Dance Studio Leeds. The aim of the sessions is to offer a space for professionals in and around Leeds to come together to connect and practice. Over the course of September and October the classes gathered a total of sixty-five professional who joined in. Although the sessions have now stoped due to Covid-19 restrictions, ACCA is ready to bring them back on as soon as its safe and allowed to do so. Until then, ACCA is offering weekly 'pay as you feel' sessions online.

Both Charlotte and Anna - as independent practitioners - have recently been asked to take over on the running of ProDance Leeds - Leeds professional dance classes programme - as part of a trio with dance artist and producer João Maio.

Writing Work

Another strand of ACCA’s work is their writing practice. On one side, ACCA’s blog is a space for Anna and Charlotte to comment on daily life through creative, critical and thoughtful pieces of writing

 

On another note, as writing is an aspect of their collaboration that they were looking to further develop, ACCA has launched an online magazine under the title Artychoke Zine. The purpose behind this seasonal publication is to emphasise and showcase arts and culture as extraordinary tools of and for resistance. The publication's first and second issues have brought together twenty artists from a multiplicity of disciplines such as illustration, poetry, photography, tattoo art, motion design, dance, music, embroidered art, writing and graphic design. With resistance as the core subject of the zine, the first and second editions' specific themes focused on a reflection on resistance over 2020 and the politics of the pandemic respectively. Since its launch Artychoke Zine  has had a digital reach of over 18, 000 people. 

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