JJ Formento and Vanessa Downie set up Ajos Dance in 2013, in order to make work that reflects the human experience. They are driven to make work that drills down into issues that deeply affect people or remain at the centre of everyday life: central themes such as difficult relationships, loss, homelessness, spirituality often inform the work and they ask audience members to reflect strongly and to ask deeper questions about their lives and existence.
Having graduated from Central School, JJ's growing experience quickly flourished into a stunning career as dancer with Royal Ballet, The King and I and Miss Saigon, West End. He now channels his broad and extensive experience into creating choreographic work about humanistic experience, that deeply moves audiences.
Vanessa’s training at The Place and with Laban Guild has led to wide and varied performance work as a dance artist. For instance, she has performed with Secret Cinema, Shunt, LSO, and worked with Nathan Evans, as well as recently showing work in Germany and Amsterdam.
Wrestled from a restless sleep by a dramatic dream, Native American ancestor, Kanawha Madonna, appears and makes an unreserved request that cannot be refused.
Life will never, ever, be the same again.
This solo explores ways in which the legacy of America’s indigenous peoples can impact one’s life in the present day, tracing changing attitudes relating to the connection with the spirit of ancestry, at first an unsettling source of fear...
now viewed as a precious gift..
Choreographed and performed by Vanessa Downie
Photo credit: Ivos Consi
Facebook: Ajos Dance
Ancestral Whispers is supported by an artist residency at Clarence Mews.