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Early Adventures: Meet the Dancers

1 February 2017

In the build-up to our 2017 tour of Early Adventures, the show that helped to launch the career of Matthew Bourne, we will be introducing you to each cast member and if you click their names you can read their full-length biographies. Remember the tour opens at Bath Theatre Royal on 2 February and will be touring in England, to Madrid and Los Angeles. Click here for tour dates and booking info.

Edwin Ray

Edwin trained at Laine Theatre Arts, graduating in 2002. Since then he has performed in many New Adventures productions including Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Cinderella, Nutcracker! and Edward Scissorhands. He also performed in the original cast of Sleeping Beauty in 2012, creating the role of King Benedict.

Edwin has been in many musicals and most recently he was covering and playing the role of Bert in the UK tour of Mary Poppins. Other theatre credits include Rolf in The Sound of Music (Bahrain Summer Festival), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre, West End), Chicago (UK Tour), Footloose (UK tour) and Fame (Aldwych Theatre, West End & Edinburgh Playhouse).

You can follow Edwin on Twitter: @EdwinJRay for a further insight into his world.

Jamie McDonald
Jamie began her training at The Legat School of Dance, Sussex and The Creative Dance Company before graduating from Millennium Performing Arts in 2010. Jamie first performed with New Adventures the same year as graduating in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Following on from this she performed in Matthew’s Nutcracker! in 2011, returned for the 2013/14 tour of Swan Lake and also was a part of Sleeping Beauty in 2016.

Jamie most recently performed in Kiss Me, Kate with Welsh National Opera, touring nationally. Other Theatre Credits include: L’italiana in Algeri (Garsington Opera); Samson et Dalila (Grange Park) and Corps de Ballet in The Phantom of the Opera (UK tour).  also regularly assists in the delivery of Re:Bourne workshops.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter (@JamieEmmaMcD) and Instagram (@jamiemcd15) for a further insight into her world.

Mari Kamata
Born in Miyagi, Japan. Mari started dancing at the age of six at Sendai City Ballet School in Sendai, Japan. She later went on to train at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London (2004-2007), where she graduated with a first-class honours degree.

Joining New Adventures in 2010 Mari was first seen as the Romanian and Monaco Princesses in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. She has since performed in Nutcracker!, Dorian Gray, Edward Scissorhands and both the 2012/13 and 2015/16 tours of Sleeping Beauty. She is also featured in Matthew Bourne’s Christmas documentary, Swan Lake 3D and the 2012 film of Sleeping Beauty. Aside from performing Mari has completed the Yoga Alliance 200 certification and is a qualified yoga instructor.

You can follow Mari on Instagram: @marichanchan72 for a further insight into her world.

Sophia HurdleySophia has been a member of the company since 2002, first seen in Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, playing the roles of Marshmallow and Cupid. Since then she has performed in many more New Adventures productions, including creating the role of Miss Bunny Munroe for Matthew’s production of Edward Scissorhands in 2005. Sophia also created the role of Feral in Sleeping Beauty in 2012.

Sophia’s other credits include performing in West End productions such as Phantom of the Opera, for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and has choreographed many of her own works. She is a regular teacher for London Children’s Ballet, is a member of the Ballet Faculty at Performers College in Essex and is a Workshop Leader for Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures. Sophia launched her own business Three Pointe Dance, which you can find out more about by visiting threepointedance.com

You can follow Sophia on Twitter: @sophiahurdley & @3pointedance for a further insight into her world.

Paris Fitzpatrick
Another dancer making their debut with the New Adventures company in Early Adventures is Paris, who started his professional training at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in 2008, age 12. He was a finalist in the BBC Young Dancer Ballet Category in 2015 and following graduating from training in June 2015 he was featured in Northern Ballet's Nutcracker, The Great Gatsby and Swan Lake.

Paris took part in A Summer Adventure in 2016, which gave a rare opportunity for a group of 20 dancers to work with Artistic Director, Matthew Bourne, Associate Artistic Director, Etta Murfitt and Sam Archer, currently playing Boris Lermontov in The Red Shoes. Here Paris got his first experience of Early Adventures, working with the other dancers to recreate Matthew’s Watch with Mother, due to be performed at some venues with the show. Paris also had the chance to respond to themes from The Red Shoes.

Danny Collins
Danny trained at Millennium Performing Arts and was first seen in a New Adventures production in 2009 as part of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. Since then he has played many different roles in Matthew’s Cinderella, Nutracker! Play Without Words, Sleeping Beauty, Edward Scissorhands and The Car Man.

Outside of New Adventures Danny performed alongside João, playing the role of Jekyll in The McOnie Company’s Jekyll & Hyde in 2016. Following this run he was nominated for the National Dance Award’s Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) for his performance in this production. Over the last year Danny also played the role of Frank Schultz in the Award-Winning Show Boat musical, which Lez Brotherston, New Adventures Associate Artist, designed the set and costume for!

You can follow Daniel on Twitter: @DCollinsWright for a further insight into his world.

Tom Clark
Tom has been a member of the company since 2009, first seen in the UK tour and New York City Center outing of Swan Lake. You may have most recently seen him in the 2015/16 tour of Sleeping Beauty playing the roles of Carabosse/Caradoc and Lord Rupert. Tom is very excited to be returning to the company for Early Adventures.

Tom has also performed in West End shows and been featured in TV adverts, film and music videos. Outside of the world of dance Tom is co-owner of the successful clothing brand Tommy Popcorn.

You can follow Tom on Instagram: @_tomclark for a further insight into his world.

Reece graduated from Central School of Ballet in 2013 and was immediately snapped up for Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake 2013/14 national and international tour. He has since worked with a variety of choreographers and companies, including C-12 Dance Theatre (Watson, Shhh!), Grange Park Opera (Fiddler on the Roof, Onegin, Fiddler on the Roof at the BBC Proms), Yorke Dance Project (repertoire by Robert Cohan & Sir Kenneth MacMillan) and Rosie Kay Dance Company (5 Soldiers).

Reece also teaches ballet and contemporary dance, regularly supporting the delivery of workshops for Re:Bourne, the educational arm of New Adventures. Reece is thrilled to be performing in Early Adventures and thanks his family for their continuing support.

You can follow Reece on Twitter: @reece_causton for a further insight into his world. 

João Carolino
Making his debut with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures we are pleased to welcome João Carolino. João trained at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and was recently in Jekyll and Hyde at The Old Vic Theatre, which was choreographed by Drew McOnie, who has a long-standing relationship with New Adventures and performed in the 2012 tour of Early Adventures.

João also took part in A Spring Adventure last year, which is a week-long intensive where dancers have the opportunity to learn New Adventures repertoire and experience how the company functions and creates new material.

You can follow Joao on Twitter and Instagram: @J_Carolino for a further insight into his world.

Main Image: Roy Tan

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