The story so farBirmingham International Dance Festival 2020  was to open on 5 June with Apaches, a celebratory large-scale performance in Birmingham’s Centenary Square.  Led by Saïdo Lehlouh of French Company Black Sheep, and a team of professional dance artists from France and the UK, over 100 young people from across the West Midlands were to take part in workshops, and the creation, rehearsals and performance of this spectacular show.

The ambition of the project is to unite young people from across the region, provide a platform for young people’s voices and movement language, the sharing of practices and the invaluable experience of a professional creative process. Sadly, the COVID 19 lockdown has meant that the festival and Apaches have been postponed.

However, the ambition of the Apaches project continues with Apaches Online.

We are excited to bring the Apaches Lead artists’ online in an exciting series of short tutorials every Saturday from 13 June for five weeks hosted on our DX Instagram TV.

These tutorials will be exploring and sharing different approaches from our professional artists, which has been developed and integrated into their personal practice representing a variety of artistic backgrounds such as Contemporary, African dance, Hip- hop and Breakin. Our ambition is that we continue to share learning, practices and skills to bring a sense of community to all across the West Midlands.


Sat 13 June, 2pm / Contemporary Flow with Martina Bussi 

Learn a 5-minute contemporary sequence that you can do in your home to get the body moving.

Originally from Italy, Martina trained at London Contemporary Dance School and graduated with a MA in Performance from the University of Kent in 2010. She has since performed with various dance companies including, Henri Oguike Dance CompanyLeila McMillanTom Dale Company, Tavaziva Dance and spent 7 years touring internationally with dance-circus company Motionhouse 

Do Martina’s sequence here

Sat 27 June, 2pm / Contemporary Warm-up with Chris Radford

An easy contemporary exercise that can be used to warm up the body before dancing.

Christopher Radford is from Birmingham and started dancing as a member of ACE Youth and trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance receiving first-class honours Recently, alongside performing, Chris has been teaching and choreographing on many schools and youth programmes throughout the Midlands. He has been creating his own work with partner Sara Macqueen, that has been performed at festivals including Birmingham Weekender, BIDF and Fest4all. 

Learn Chris exercise here


Sat 11 July, 2pm / Killer Arms and Cognitive Exercise with Nathan Lafayette 

A short body aware exercise to help with lines when doing choreography and build strength in the arms

Nathan Lafayette is a Birmingham based choreographer, performer and Hip-Hop theatre maker. He creates work around the themes love, death, morality, connection, energy, growth; with a strong focus on pure and vulnerable honesty.  Also, a holistic and multiskilled teacher currently working for DanceXchange & Zoonation.

Do Nathan’s exercise here


Sat 25 July, 2pm / Improvisation Task with Molly Wright

A 5-minute tutorial on improvisation using the whole body.

Molly trained at Trinity Laban graduating with an honours degree in Dance Theatre in 2008. Following graduation, she has worked as a freelance artist across both London and the UK. For the past 6 years, Molly has been the lead artist for the over 60’s dance group “Leap of Faith” as part of her role at ELD. This led to her forming her own dance company, “Damn Fine Dance” which recently made their debut performance at Sadler’s Wells as part of the Elixir festival. 

Do Molly’s tutorial here

Sat 8 August, 2pm / Breakin’ Step with Jamaal O’Driscoll

Jamaal brings a how-to tutorial and breaks down a popular breakin move, the 6-step.

Jamaal has been a part of the dance community since 2010, practising a variety of dance styles, and developing a strong technique within the hip-hop style of breaking. In 2019, Jamaal created O’Driscoll Collective to give back to the community, facilitating conversation through movement, continuing to teach and deliver performances in a variety of settings.

Do Jamaal’s tutorial here

Apaches credits:  The project is led by Saïdo Lehlouh of Company Black Sheep, with a team of professional dance artists from the West Midlands. Apaches is produced by DanceXchange for Birmingham International Dance Festival 2020 (BIDF 2020) and co-commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome, in collaboration with their B-Side Hip Hop Festival.

Images: Antony Shintai