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  • Posted 5 October 2016

    Meet the cast: Gala by Jérôme Bel

    With under a week before Jérôme Bel’s Gala has its London premiere at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham we thought we’d introduce a few cast members to you. We are really proud to be working with all sorts of artists in Tottenham as part of our 6 year project, LIFT Tottenham. We caught up with a few of the local cast members to find out who they are and what they are most looking forward to about Gala.

    Read our short interviews and see them perform on Tuesday, 11 October.



    Zach is a 17 year old student from The Vale School in Tottenham and is a true local having grown up on the Ferry Lane Estate, just up the road from Bernie Grant Arts Centre.

    LIFT: What is your connection to dance?

    Zach: I have been dancing all my life. I am a creative person and I love music, drama and of course dancing. I really got started at the Vale school where are all encouraged to express ourselves through the arts. I write and perform songs and raps with my band the Dysfunkshunalz and am part of the Royal Academy of Dance Inclusive Dance Company.

    LIFT: How did you get involved with Gala?

    Zach: My teacher got a call from LIFT asking him if he could propose any performers for the show. I made a two minute video as an audition and I got in!

    LIFT: What are you most looking forward to about Gala?

    Zach: I am so excited about Gala. I get a chance to show people how I dance while learning more about dance from the rest of the cast. I am performing to an Afrobeats track and am looking to add a modern twist to some traditional African dance moves.


    Andy is a professional actor who has lived in the area for the last 5 years.

    LIFT: What is your connection to dance?

    Andy: I don’t really have a connection to dance which is one of the most exciting things about being involved in Gala.  I have the opportunity to try something new and learn about an art form that I know very little about.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?!

    LIFT: What do you do with your spare time in Tottenham?

    Andy: I like frequenting the many pubs, bars and Turkish restaurants that the area has to offer.

    LIFT: How do you feel about the upcoming project?

    Andy: I’m extremely excited about the project.  At this stage, I don’t really know what to expect but I’m looking forward to meeting new people and I get to perform at 3 venues that I never thought I would ever get the chance to perform at.  Working in Tottenham is cool as well.

    LIFT: What’s your signature dance move that you can’t wait to perform in the show?

    Andy: If I can get The Macarena in, I’ll be happy.


    Jackie was born just down the road and after moving around a bit has lived in Tottenham since 1978. She is very involved with community activities in the area and leads the Tottenham Community Choir as well as Creative Dance 60+, an organisation for local people to dance and be creative together and make new friends.

    LIFT: What is your connection to dance?

    Jackie: I dance in an older people’s company Damn Fine Dance and regularly attend Rambert Mercury Movers. Locally, I also dance with neighbours at Creative Dance 60+. As I child and young person I learned Russian Ballet, attended a stage school as a student before studying Laban Movement and Dance. I taught dance and keep fit for Haringey Adult Education including at Broadwater Farm and Crouch End, when I was at home looking after my small children. I have just completed a work-based doctorate “Active Older People Participating in Creative Dance – Challenging Perceptions” and my Viva presentation is on 14th October. In 2014, I gave a presentation at the first TEDxTottenham, held at Bernie Grant Art Centre. It was “Sing Dance and Smile” about the importance of sharing meaningful activities with others outside your home. Most of my spare time involves dancing and creative arts for older people and across generations.

    LIFT: What is your favourite thing about living in Tottenham?

    Jackie: My favourite thing about Tottenham is that people from different backgrounds help one another and pull together when there are celebrations or problems. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in London.

    LIFT: How do you feel about the upcoming project?

    Jackie: I am looking forward to the GALA performances and think it is a great honour to be dancing in such prestigious venues. Cross-generational dancing is great because sharing ideas and dancing together is always empathetic and fun and I am sure working with Jérôme Bel will be an enjoyable challenge. My biggest concern will be remembering what I am supposed to be doing! 

    LIFT: What’s your signature dance move that you can’t wait to perform in the show?

    Jackie: My signature dance move I suppose is smiling with big open movements. I just love dancing and I have a wide range of moves – just give me some music of any kind and I can interpret it. It is great to share this love with an audience.


    See Zach, Andy and Jackie in Gala on Tuesday, 11 October