Festival Professional Class

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During the Festival we are delighted to be hosting daily Professional Class, taught be a range of teachers from around the world who will be joining us this August.

Each morning class will focus on professional level technique and is for trained professional dancers to get them ready for their day ahead. 

Our programme of public classes will restart in September.


Tuesday 9 – Sunday 15 August | 09:30 – 11:00 | with Stephen Pelton

Pelton’s classes move from Limon-based swing, fall and recover fundamentals to ballet placement exercises to yoga-inspired strengthening practices to combinations exploring Pelton’s own lyrical and idiosyncratic movement style.  Each day’s movement material accumulates into a final choreographic sequence that reinforces technical principles from earlier in class.

Movement dynamics, musicality and a passionate use of space are essential qualities of Pelton’s classes. As is his insistence upon using humour as a means of breaking through our inhibitions, unifying the group and finding new dimensions in our dancing. As one of London’s best-loved teachers of Limon-inspired contemporary technique, Stephen’s commitment is to meet, challenge and inspire each dancer, whatever their level of expertise, through direct feedback and supportive encouragement.

About Stephen Pelton:

Stephen is artistic director of Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre and associate director for Yorke Dance Project and the Cohan Collective. He began his dance training at SUNY Purchase, began choreographing at Connecticut College then danced in Boston for four years with Gerri Houlihan’s Boston Dance Project and Susan Rose’s Danceworks. In 1989 he moved to San Francisco where he danced with Della Davidson and in 1993 formed Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre.

Now based in London, Stephen is one of Europe’s most sought-after teachers of Limon-inspired dance technique. In London, he teaches at Laban, Central School of Ballet and The Place and teaches company class for Yorke Dance Project, DV8, Random, Matthew Bourne/New Adventures and Ballet Boyz.

Pelton’s work has been performed throughout the US as well as in London, Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Berlin. In San Francisco, the company won a Cable Car Award for Waltzes for the Dayroom and was nominated three times for the Isadora Duncan Awards, including a nomination for best choreography for and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me. The company has created several works in collaboration with playwright Brian Thorstenson including Sugarfoot Stomp and Tuesday—a play for dancers. Stephen’s solo works The Hurdy-gurdy Man and A Hundred Miles have each been presented at Dance Base in Edinburgh during the Fringe. In 2015, Pelton’s Lauda Adrianna received its world premiere in Glasgow performed in collaboration with the world-famous Gavin Bryars Ensemble. Pelton and company are currently premiering a new full-length work End without Days, 5-21 August at Dance Base.

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Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 August | 09:30 – 11:00 | with Lai Hung-Chung

In these morning workshops Lai Hung-Chung (Artistic Director Hung Dance)will demonstrate Hung Dance’s movement language techniques, focusing on the dynamic and stationary space around the body. Setting out from a single point of movement, joints and muscles on the body are deconstructed, where an individual part moves while the rest of the body remains stationary. Furthermore, the round and twirling elements of TAI-CHI become the forces to gradually move the other muscles and joints of the body. This technique can be applied to any part of the body to create unique movement logic and mechanical body language that is both dynamic and stationary at the same time.


About Lai Hung-Chung

One of the best of the young choreographers working in Taiwan today. - Taipei Times, 2020

Lai graduated from the Dance Division of Tsoying High School and TNUA's Department of Dance. In 2016, he participated in the MOC's Taiwan Creative Dance Competition, clinching a gold medal, 2 outstanding awards, and one excellent award with 4 dance creations to become the first ever choreographer to receive 4 awards at the same time during the competition's 17-year history. From 2017 to 2018, his submissions to international choreography competitions have won numerous awards out of over 100 submitted dance pieces.

After founding Hung Dance, he placed emphasis on cultivating the dancers' abilities and developing inspirations for dance pieces. He devised innovative ways to train the company based on the creative concept and needs, as well as searched for a balance between contemporary thinking and dance. In addition, he has devoted himself to a wide range of international collaborations and new talent development programs in the hope of expanding the diverse dance scene in Taiwan.

About Cheng I-Han (Rehearsal Director)

A Keelung native, Cheng I-Han graduated from Taipei National University of the Arts’ School of Dance and received her master’s degree from TNUA’s Graduate Institute of Dance. She joined Hung Dance in 2017, where she is currently a full-time dancer and rehearsal director. Cheng participated in LAI Hung-Chung’s works “Birdy” and “Watcher,” which won numerous international choreography awards. She performed in the company’s annual productions “Boundless,” “Out of Elegant,” “See You,” and “Formless Erosion,” and was the principal dancer in tours of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Estonia, United States, Cote d’Ivoire, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

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Tuesday 23 - Sunday 28 August | 09:30 – 11:00 | with Vincent Hantam

Join Vincent Hantam each morning to invigorate both your body and mind with a Professional level Ballet Class. This 90-minute class is for professional dancers and dancers with extensive experience of classical ballet and will celebrate being back in the studio together again, making full use of the space and welcoming our bodies into a regular practice for the week.

Vincent will focus attention on movements and phrases to strengthen the body and reengage with techniques that we perhaps haven't been able to explore outside of the studio.

About Vincent Hantam:

Vincent is from South Africa and has danced most of the principal roles with Scottish Ballet from 1975-1991. He is best remembered for his Spectre De La Rose, Mercutio and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and many more.  

His career has seen him perform with many companies both locally and on the international stage. He has produced many ballets for various companies including O'Caritas from Peter Darrell, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty (Act III) and Othello.  

In September 2012 Vincent became the first "Artist In Residence" at the University of Edinburgh. Although he still dances, teaching is his forte!

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Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council
Living Wage