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"Without your

 

cultural identity

 

you become whatever they tell you to be"

Biography

I'm a dance practitioner since 1995. My mission is to broaden cultural leadership skills and help raise standards in dances of the African diaspora through advocacy, education and performance.

I'd like to share my knowledge through my work and hopefully add a valuable contribution to Dance whilst inspiring others".

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Trained at The Conservatory for music & dance in Lisbon and worked on portuguese TV (1,2,3 by Carlos Cruz, Herman Jose's "Pensao Estrelinha" and Joaquim Letria) and Theatre Revue (A Grande Festa by Morgado productions) prior to arriving in the UK. She then trained at Urdang Acadmy and later settled at The London Studio Centre with a full scholarship.

Iris worked on an apprenticeship program with the late William Louther from London Contemporary Dance Theatre. She went on to perform with "Badejo Arts" and "Kokuma Dance Company" amongst others.

In 2006 Iris created, directed and produced “El Barrio - The musical” - performed at Jackson’s Lane Theatre to a packed audience. Since then, she’s been a steady advocate of Afro - Latin dance styles in the global festival circuit. In 2008 Iris created her own dance academy - Studio Afro Latino- and In 2010 Iris founded BATUKE International Music & Dance Festival which was held fo 10 years and received funding from the Arts Council of England for the last 5 years.

In 2021 Iris graduated from her MA in Dance pedagogy in Afro-Latin dances and is currently creating collaborative projects with different artists and institutions developing the representation, education and promotion of dances of the african diaspora.

TEACHING IN EDUCATION

AkomaAsa Performing Arts Academy

WAC - Weekend Arts College

IRIE

London Studio Centre

Hackney College

National Youth Dance Theatre

Morley College

FESTIVAL FOUNDER / ORGANIZER

In the last 10 years organized and programmed BATUKE! -  a yearly international dance festival with receipt of Arts Council support. In 2017/2018 Iris was recipient of One Dance UK Trailblazer fellowship award and Lisa Ulmman’s travelling scholarship which allowed her to travel to Angola and create a documentary on local artistic development and opportunities. In 2018 she presented her solo work in progress “Uprooted” as part of her fellowship and research. Iris is currently studying for her MA in Dance pedagogy and creating collaborative projects with different artists.

BATUKE DANCE COMPANY

Batuke Performance Project 2010-2019

Iris choreographed and directed for her Batuke Project Dance company yearly to perform at the festival. The company also performed various other Afro-Latin festivals nationally and internationally. 

Some works include:

Diaspora Songs

Musseke

Luanda Social Club

 

Choreographed/Directed

Co-choreographer for "Strictly Dance Fever -BBC with Graham Norton"

Created / Directed "El Barrio-the real salsa musical" at Jackson's Lane theatre 2006  - www.elbarriothemusical.com

Arts & Business awards (05/06)

MJ 2 Salsa tribute Solo- toured the International festival circuit for 4 years

"Muxima" solo, opened at Paris Salsa Congress.

"Quitandeira" is a solo piece interpreted with live percussion,. Quitandeira showed the invisibility of the street vendors in African countries. Performed at DAD - One Dance UK -"Open Stage" - Pavillion dance Southwest / Bournemouth. Feb 2015  

Tiggs Da Author music video - "Georgia"(2015). Provided and choreographed Kuduro dancers

Programmer

BATUKE! Afro-Luso festival 2010- 2015 ( AC Funded in 2015) - Creative Director

One Dance UK: Re:Generations 2014  Festival- Project Co-ordinator

Film and other credits include:

"Evita" -the film - with Madonna, choreographed by Vincent Patterson

Piccadilly Jim -film- choreographed by Litza Bixler

Kylie Minogue "Chocolate" video - choreographed by Michael Rooney

Rachel Stevens, "Some girls" video. Freestyle dancer

Robin Williams - "An audience with.."

Henrique Iglesias - "TOP" - "CD-UK""GMTV" - "The Des O'Connor show" - Salsa Dancer

Kiss FM awards & Video with Roll Deep "Shake a leg" - Freestyle dancer

Cher "I Believe" video - Freestyle dancer

"The Mobo Awards" - with Jay Z 

Presenter

Iris is a confident presenter, having been a guest presenter at several festivals, regularly presenting her monthly event in London - the largest Salsa & Kizomba night in the UK-

Iris is asked to mediate and regularly interview Afro-Latin artists for different projects.

Iris has a collection of instructional DVDS sfor sale he has scripted and presented 

 

Dance School

In 2005 Iris created Studio Afro Latino dance school which focuses on Afro-Luso culture. She has brough new awareness to the UK over the dances from Angola, and Cape Verde. She has trained and manages a team of 9 instructors who teach regularly in London and abroad. She also has a school franchise in Lille - France.

 

AWARDS

One Dance UK Trailblazer fellowship award 2017 /2018

Lisa Ullman Travelling scholarship 2017

LUKAS Awards - Kizomba Teacher of the year 2013

Lifetime achievement award for Kizomba in the UK

Lifetime achievement award for UK contribution to Salsa - Salsa UK

UK and Open World Salsa Champion (99/03)

 

Iris is also a ITEC qualified Massage Therapist