About the programme
Co-created and delivered by ZooNation and artist Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus, The Artists is a creative retreat for curious Hip Hop creators who wish to gain personal, practical and artistic support to stimulate their choreographic practice. Selected participants gain mentoring and practical sessions with industry leaders, space to develop their creative leadership and, critically, the opportunity to test burgeoning choreographic ideas on professional dancers.
The Artists provides much needed space to think and create without the pressure of a final product. Selected artists are given space to explore their practice and creative ideas with the benefit of having access to up to 9 professional dancers (provided by ZooNation) to try their ideas on in real time.
To date we have delivered different editions of The Artists including a full 2-week retreat and a solo edition. Every iteration of the programme includes payment for participating artists, access to ZooNation dancers to explore ideas, time with ZooNation artistic staff (include Kate Prince and DJ Walde), provision of a digital asset documenting their work (to be sued for onward personal promotion) and the opportunity to share their experience with a discreet invited audience.
The Artists 2023: Chaquille Forrester-Osborne
Chaquille grew up in West Norwood, South London. He attended Italia Conti Academy of the Arts to study styles such as Contemporary, Ballet, Tap and Jazz. He joined Twist and Pulse Dance Company (TPDC), where he became a semi finalist on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in 2010.
Other performance credits include Breakin’ Convention and Sky One’s Got To Dance. He has also danced professionally for artists including Stormzy (Glastonbury and The Brit Awards), Donea’O, Casscade, Hudson East and many more. He is now the co-founder and co-creator of South London based krump collective GSB.
“I’m looking forward to expanding and exploring my creativity, knowledge and artistry as a movement director, choreographer and performer. Allowing the style and culture of krump to be showcased, appreciated and understood on a deeper scale to various audiences’’.
The Artists 2023: Jessica Larsh
Jessica is an actress and dancer based in East London. She has a passion for story telling and taking people on a journey through performance. Jessica’s commercial credits include Sky, Nike and Strongbow, and television performances including Emily Atack Show, Ted Lasso and The Kitchen. Jessica has worked with artists including Years and Years, WizKid and Rita Ora, and sites being a finalist on BBC’s The Greatest Dancer as an influential moment in her dance career.
“My favourite dance styles are Salsa, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Commercial and Afro. I’m looking forward to to digging deeper and seeing where the project takes me, and learning new things about myself. I’m nervous, but intrigued and excited and ready to explore”
The Artists 2023: Olivia Francis
Olivia’s journey started in dance over 16 years ago. Primarily within the Hip Hop style from Hip Hop choreography and freestyle. Throughout school and college Olivia studied Dance and Performing Arts, with a focus on contemporary dance and drama which helped broaden her knowledge and skills within different fields of creativity.
In 2014 Olivia joined Boy Blue which aided the journey and development of her own artistic style. Through this, she discovered popping, animation and waving were her passion. Dance has allowed Olivia to work professionally performing on stages including Sadlers Wells, Barbican Theatre, Rose Theatre, Latitude Festival, The BBC, Channel 4, Queens Platinum Jubilee, MOBO Awards and with artists such as Anne Marie, Stefflon Don, Skrapz and Black Sheriff.
“I hope to come away from The Artists feeling a sense of power, pride and enthusiasm to explore choreographing even further. I’m looking forward to developing my confidence and leadership within a creative space with other artists, without doubting my abilities and skills”