Darcey Bussell retired from professional ballet in 2007 when she was principal dancer at the Royal Ballet. Acclaimed as one of the greatest British ballerinas of all time, she has also performed as guest artist with leading international ballet companies and, is still very much active in the world of dance. In 2012 she replaced Alesha Dixon on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing judging panel and became the President of the Royal Academy of Dance. She is the Patron of the Sydney Dance Company and President of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fund raising appeal. She is a patron of the International Dance Teachers Association, Ceccetti UK, Ceccetti Australia, Dance Teachers Benevolent Fund UK, New English Ballet Theatre, the New Zealand School of Dance and the Henry Spink Foundation and is on the board of the Margot Fonteyn Foundation. Her book ‘Darcey Bussel, A Life In Pictures’ is illustrated with images taken by Johan Persson.
Chris Coe is a self-taught photographer who, since turning professional in 1992, has combined his passion for photography with a love of travel. He photographs travel imagery, landscapes, people, wildlife and architecture in a range of formats including 35mm, panoramic and medium format using both film and digital cameras. He has shot over 40 travel, photography and coffee table books and he lectures on a variety of photographic subjects, from composition to shooting assignments. For Chris, photography is about having fun with light and he particularly enjoys capturing movement.
Colin Finlay is director of Hotshoe gallery and previously Head of Image Resources at the Natural History Museum, London. With many years of experience as a director at both Getty Images and Photoshot, his knowledge of the photography industry worldwide is encyclopedic. He also has extensive experience as a creative director and is a regular contributor to photography magazines. As a curator specialising in archival photography, he has been responsible for exhibitions in many countries around the world.
Tommy Franzén started his dance training in Sweden. Initially he was only taking street dance classes but soon his eyes opened for other dance styles and genres. Tommy began working professionally soon after that at the age of 14 in the musical “Joseph”. He stayed in Sweden until the age of 19 going from musical to musical before he got a scholarship for a 3-year performing arts diploma course at the Urdang Academy in London. He is probably mostly recognised as the runner-up of BBC 1’s “So You Think You Can Dance” 2010 but some might have seen him in Mamma Mia – The Movie, The Pepsi Max Advert “Can Fu”, the Handover Ceremonies at Bejing Olympics 2008 etc. After working professionally as a performing artist for 16 years, Tommy has, in the recent years, also dwelled into choreography. Choreographing credits include Some Like It Hip Hop, Blaze (both at Peacock Theatre) and Cher Lloyd’s music video and the live performances of her UK charts number 1 hit single “Swagger Jagger” etc. This year Tommy won an award for “Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance (male)” by the Critics’ Circle “National Dance Awards” for his efforts in “Some Like It Hip Hop “ and “The Rodin Project” with Russell Maliphant Company.” He was nominated for the same award in 2010 for “Goldberg” with Tamara Rojo at The Royal Opera House and “Blaze” at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre. In 2012 Tommy was also nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” and South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2013 for “The Times Breakthrough Award ”.
Well known in the dance world, Jonathan Gray has been editor of the prestigious publication Dancing Times since 2008 when the previous editor Mary Clark stepped down. Dancing Times celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010.
Born into a showbiz family, Jeremy Hoare picked up a camera at twelve years old and started a love affair that has lasted most of his life. He had a long previous career as an ATV broadcast Television Cameraman and Central TV Lighting Director on a diverse range of programmes ranging from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to The Muppet Show which were shown in the UK, USA and around the world. Jeremy looks for light in a picture, and how it interacts with the subject, as well as being a dynamic composition. However Jeremy is a believer in the visual story that grabs the viewer and pulls them into the narrative of a series. He has been a professional travel and portrait photographer for around 23 years and his travels have taken him to around fifty countries with Kyoto in Japan becoming almost a second home. He has had several photographic exhibitions in London, Tokyo and Kyoto depicting his travel images of Japan, Taiwan, Cook Islands and Tonga as well as another exhibition of Geisha and Maiko images taken in Kyoto
Eamonn McCabe started photographing for local papers before freelancing for The Guardian and other national titles. He joined The Observer in 1976 and won Sports Photographer of the Year four times, covering three Olympics. In 1985 he was named News Photographer of the Year for his work at the Heysel Stadium disaster and in 1988 became a Fellow in Photography at the national Museum of Film, Photography and Television. He joined the Guardian as Picture Editor in 1988 winning Picture Editor of the Year a record 6 times and in 2001 returned to freelancing. He has produced several books, appears regularly on radio and T.V. where he talks about photography and has exhibited widely in Britain and has several pieces of work in The National Portrait Gallery, London.
Ruth Mackenzie CBE
Ruth Mackenzie CBE was most recently Director of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Curator if its finale, the London 2012 Festival which showcased over 25,000 world class artists including Piña Bausch’s World Cities, Anna Theresa de Keersmacher in the opening of Tate Tanks, the prize winning New commission Metamorphosis Titian by the Royal Ballet & National Gallery and countless other commissions in every dance form, including also the first UK wide Big Dance. She has previously been on the Board of Dance 4 and the UK Year of Dance amongst other boards, was General Director of Manchester international Festival and Scottish Opera & Ballet; Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre and Executive Director of Nottingham playhouse, Consultant Dramaturg to Vienna festival, consultant to Tate, BBC, Barbican, British council, Arts Council amongst others and expert adviser to 5 Secretaries of State for Culture, media & Sport. She works as freelance curator and consultant at present.
Erin was one of the founders of Axiom Photographic Agency, a leading travel stock library. Until her departure in early 2012 she was the creative force behind the Axiom brand, creating the archive and developing the agency division. She has worked with global brands such as Barclays Bank, HSBC, The Discovery Channel, Condé Nast, PwC, British Airways, and Vodafone.
In 2010, Erin founded the UK chapter of the charity, Young Photographers’ Alliance, that helps young photographers get into the industry.
Erin has been on the judging panel of several photographic competitions including Travel Photographer of the Year and the Mayor of London’s “Summer Like No Other” Olympic competition. In July 2012, Erin sat on the photographic panel of Adobe’s Creative Week.
Erin is now a creative consultant for a range of clients including the photographic gallery, Margaret Street Gallery. She is also the co-founder and Creative Director of Anello Creative, a new commercial photographic assignment and shoot production agency.
Swedish born Johan Persson was a principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada and The Royal Ballet before becoming a photographer. He specializes in portraiture and promotional and production photography for live theatre. He has exhibited at Westminster, The Riverside Gallery (Richmond), the Mikimoto (Japan), as well as solo exhibitions at The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), The Donmar Warehouse and Sheffield Theatres.
Nicola Rayner is editor of Dance Today which encompasses all elements of partner dance, from ballroom and Latin American, to salsa, Argentine tango, swing, sequence and more. Nicola has written for many publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist, editing the tango section of Time Out Buenos Aires. The Argentine tango is her first love, but she has tried everything from ballroom to breaking, with varying degrees of success.