Faculty: Contemporary

Contemporary Staff

Luisa Figuerola MSc, Cert.Ed, BA  Assistant Principal (Student Support)

Luisa trained at Escola Superior de Danca in Lisbon graduating with a BA in Choreography in 1993. She continued her studies at Laban where she obtained a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies and was part of Transitions Dance Company in 1996. As a professional dancer, Luisa worked with BI MA Dance Company, The Cholmondeleys, Protein Dance, Theatre En Corps and First Person Dance Company. Luisa also worked with the Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs in the role of Rehearsal Director for the revival of Anderson’s piece “Flesh and Blood”. Luisa began teaching at Bird College in 1997. She currently holds the positions of Technique Studies Coordinator on the BA and National Diploma programme and Head of Movement on the Foundation Degree programme. Luisa also has an MSc in Dance Science and is a qualified Pilates Matwork Teacher.

Joana Simas MA
 FDA, National Diploma, BA (Hons)  Academic and Assessment Manager

Joana is Portuguese and trained at the Ginasiano Dance School in Porto, Portugal. After spending a year in Brazil working with Corpo Dance Company, she came to London to complete her training at Laban. She has performed with Edwards & Watton in the award winning “House of Delights”, Amanda Gough Dance Company, Akram Khan, Double Vision Dance Company and Theatre Encorps. In 2001 she worked with Siobhan Davies Dance Company in the recreation and performance of “Bank 2001”. She is a founder member of Melanie Clarke’s Blue White Dance Company and continues to perform regularly with them. Joana also has a Masters Degree from Laban in Education Dance Documentation and Aesthetics. She currently teaches Release based dance technique at Bird College as well as Dance Analysis and Dance Appreciation and Criticism.

Fortu Angelini Cert HE, MA  Contemporary Tutor

After studying ballet in Italy at the Centro Regionale della Danza Lyceum directed by Mara Fusco, Fortu completed two Certificates of Higher Education at London Contemporary Dance School securing a scholarship from the Robin Howard Foundation. Fortu also holds a Master of Arts in Choreography from Trinity Laban and the City University of London. He has extensively performed in Italy for Balletto di Napoli, Movimento Danza, Balletto di Spoleto, Fondazione Niccolò Piccinni and Teatri 90, besides with Just Feel It (Japan), Euregio Tanz Forum (Holland), Opera Royal de Wallonie (Liege), Rowhead Dance Company e Nutshell Dance Company (London). Recently Fortu worked at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Secret Cinema and as extras with the Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch London.   Read moreFortu has more than a decade of experience in teaching Contemporary Dance, Contact Improvisation and Choreography at all levels. He is also a visiting lecturer and assayer in Italy and at The Place in England. Fortu has choreographed works for the stage as well as for television and has directed several professional training, summer courses, events and workshops in Europe and worldwide. In 2011 Fortu organised a university exchange with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the London Contemporary Dance School, together with “L’Orientale” University of Naples and The University of Florence, creating and managing performances and conferences to promote dance as a curriculum subject at university degree level in Italy.

Nikki O’Hara A.I.S.T.D. PGCE, BA (Hons)  Jazz Tutor and Choreographer

Nikki graduated from Bird College with a first class degree in Dance and Theatre Performance. She has since worked with Motionhouse Dance Theatre, devising and touring the shows of Fearless, Volatile and Perfect, and also under the direction of Helen Parlour with Footwerk Productions. Nikki has also worked with Wired Aerial Theatre touring Handmade/Manmade, using bungee assisted dance, and alongside various other corporate events opened The O2 Centre in Greenwich. She has performed in several site specific performances, the most recent at Goodrich Castle, commissioned by English Heritage.   Read moreNikki has also been funded by The Arts Council to produce some of her own work, collaborating with Vanessa Cook under company name All Play, and has enjoyed successful tours of the UK and Europe with Its Rude to Point, and PUSH. Nikki has most recently performed internationally with aerial dance company Gravity and Levity during 2010/2011. Nikki holds a PGCE qualification in further education and has a varied teaching career in secondary and further/ higher education vocational establishments, including Bird College and Performers College, teaching contemporary, jazz and contact improvisation, whilst also freelancing around Europe in both choreographic and teaching contexts. Nikki is part of the central teaching team for the ISTD where she has devised the boys work for the new Advanced 1 and 2 Modern syllabi.

Tina Krasevec   Academic and Contemporary Tutor

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