The Picnic is a playful look at the very British pursuit of eating food whilst sitting on a prickly blanket. Four dancers brave the rigours of picnicking in a UK summer weather, to the accompaniment of live music from accordionist Martina Schwarz and saxophonist Mak Murtic.
Commissioned by Greenwich Dance for Big Dance 2012, The Picnic was part of an afternoon of performances celebrating dance, music and circus around the south east of London.
A dancer/ choreographer and movement director, Jon graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. He has performed nationally and internationally with Luca Silvetrini’s protein in LOL (lots of love) and is in the original cast of (In)visible Dancing (2010).
Jon has performed for Ballet Lorent and spent 4 years working with young offenders and those at risk of offending with Dance United. Jon has taught in many educational settings from early years to university degree courses. His passion for teaching, dance and movement has led him to work with groups in Africa (Aduna Dance Ethiopia), Palestine (larjee Centre Bethlehem), and in 2013 Jon was part of the team that worked on the mass movement piece for the opening ceremony of the Rugby League World Cup.
Jon is mass rehearsal director for Akram Khan’s Kadamati and was the rehearsal director for the National Theatre’s public acts production of Pericles. Jon is an associate artist at Hull Truck Theatre and is co-artistic director of Tenfoot dance company.
Valentina was born in Rimini, Italy. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School where she completed her BA and MA after spending a year touring with the postgraduate company EDge.
Valentina is the Associate Director of Arthur Pita’s Open Heart Productions. She has created and performed roles in Arthur’s productions since 2010, including the Royal Ballet’s Metamorphoses, God’s Garden and The World’s Greatest Show. She is currently touring with the company’s production of The Little Match Girl.
She has worked with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein since 2011, as performer and Assistant Director. With the Company she has toured the globe performing, teaching and leading projects with hard to reach communities. She has also performed extensively with Frauke Requardt, Will Tuckett, Clod Ensemble, David Rosenberg, Daniel Kramer, Royal Opera amongst others.
Valentina guest teaches throughout the country and designs costumes for dance, including productions for Candoco, StopGap, Sweetshop Revolution, Frauke Requardt and NSCD’s Verve.
Born in Greece, Fania, studied at the State School of Dance in Athens. She joined the National Theatre of Northern Greece and after 3 years she moved to London to become a freelance artist.
She has since worked with PunchDrunk Theatre Company, National Theatre London, The Royal Opera House, Satore Studio,Yorke Dance Project, Maiden Voyage,The Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys and choreographers such as; Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Liam Steel, Fernando Magadan, Cameron McMillan, Lynne Page , Paula Rosolen, Amit Lahav and Alex Reynolds, amongst others.
Film Credits include: The Mummy, How to talk to girls at parties, Les Miserables and Anna Karenina.
She holds an advanced level qualification in Stage Combat(APC).
Fania has returned from Shanghai, China after an extensive period of performing in the immersive theatre show, Sleep No More, with the award winning company Punchdrunk Global.
She danced with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein in (In)visible Dancing, LOL (lots of love), Windows in Progress and The Picnic.
Matthew began his training at Laban, completing his degree with first class honours. He then spent a year at London Contemporary Dance School as a member of EDge, the post graduate dance company, performing work by Trisha Brown, Ben Wright and Kerry Nicholls. After graduating, Matthew went on to work with Bare Bones dance company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and was a founding member of Ben Wright’s company, Bgroup. He has also worked with Liam Steele and Robert Tannion in their company Stan Won’t Dance, performed in operas at home and abroad, taught classes and workshops, and completed his MA at London Contemporary Dance School.
In 2012 Matthew began working with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, notably performing in (In)visible Dancing and May Contain Food. In his most recent work with the company, Matthew completed a rural tour of the duet May Contain Food, May Contain You.
Since 2017 he has also toured Night at the Theatre with Casson and Friends, created The Quiet with Glasshouse dance, and taught a series of children’s dance classes in China. He has just completed a tour of Sleuth with Zoie Logic Dance Theatre – an interactive film Noir detective story.