Meet the DEBS: Charlotte Mclean

Charlotte McLean

Charlotte Mclean is one of our DEBS at Dance Base, and is a performer, choreographer and teacher. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and Scottish Dance Theatre, and has since performed in the UK, Switzerland, Poland, Australia and the USA.

She recently performed her piece And at Dance Base over the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, and developed it as part of a residency during the Spring 2018 Term.

Read our latest blog, to discover more about Charlotte, her work and her time at Dance Base as a recipient of the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme (DEBS) at Dance Base.

1. What are you most excited to explore as a recipient of the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme?
I’m excited to have more mentoring and sessions with Al Seed; he is the main reason I applied to DEBS this year. I’ve been working on my solo for almost a year now and to have his guidance throughout the rest of this year will be invaluable. 

2. What’s your favourite project that you were involved or performed in?
I recently worked in Bern, Switzerland with Pink Mama Theatre. The piece was called Jungle and its main topic was colonialism. My character was a feminist British chav, and it was really fun fully delving into one character for a few months. I was singing, dancing, acting and rapping about the monarchy!

How I Know You by Hannes Langolf. Credit: Ludo des Cognets

3. What are you currently exploring in your work or research?

Being young, being a woman, being Scottish, being alive and being proud of all of these.

4. Are you currently working towards a specific body of work?
I'm not sure. I worked with Claricia Kruithof and Jack Webb during my residency at Dance Base in the first week of January, and with both I worked on such different topics and ideas. I’ve trained primarily in contemporary but I did sing in the new version of And which I shared at the end of my residency week, so I may explore this.

And by Charlotte Mclean. Credit James Keats

5. How would you describe your practice in 5 words?

Vocal. Female. Yoga. Glittery. Eager.

6. Do you explore themes within your work?
So far I’ve been exploring being young, being a woman, being Scottish and being alive and being proud of all of these.

7. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Real life, my life and people that inspire me.

8. What are you currently listening to?
Helen from the Dance Base office caught me belting out Belle from Beauty and the Beast in the studio the other day. Sometimes it’s cool to pretend you’re someone else for an hour.

9. What was the last performance that moved or inspired you?
Hard question. It’s hard when you are trained to watch performances so analytically. I saw a street talk from a Russian activist when I was in Switzerland and it moved me in the sense that the world is so vast and I know very little about it. It made me think about why I’m here, and how I can use dance to impact on the world.

10. Do you have any upcoming events / work that you’re involved with?
It's always dependent on whether choreographers get the funding, which I’m slowly learning as a freelancer, but as I write this I’m on the train to London to work with Eva Recacha. She has a new piece Aftermath which will premiere at Lilian Baylis in Sadlers Wells in October this year. I am dead in the piece and excited to work on it more, and be dead for a while. 

Read more about DEBS here, and find out about Charlotte and her work, by visiting her website:

Photo Credits from top to bottom:
And by Charlotte Mclean. Credit: James Keats
Jungle by Pink Mama Theatre. Credit: Marianne Wenger
How I Know You by Hannes Langolf. Credit: Ludo des Cognets
And by Charlotte Mclean. Credit: James Keats

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