Featured Choreographer and Dance Photographer:
A United Kingdom dancer, choreographer, and dance photographer, Irven Lewis has an unique ability to bridge gaps and fuse urban dance styles with classical forms in an enjoyable way. Irven’s first experience of dance was through the local community center in Leeds. There was no formal dance training but he observed and experimented with the improvisational street jazz styles being developed.
After Dancing and performing in local shows in Leeds, Irven auditioned for the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden winning a three-year scholarship. Upon leaving his training at the Academy, Irven Lewis created the company, Brothers in Jazz. The company uniquely combined British Street Jazz with classical techniques, giving the company’s style an edge. It was the foundation of Be-bopdance, a mixture of Nicholas Brother style Jazz combined with Ballet, Contemporary and the dancers’ own quick and precise footwork with expansive mambo movement.
After touring extensively with Brothers in Jazz, Irven broke away from the company to found his new company, Irven Lewis Dance Theatre. Irven then started exploring the traditions of Jamaican culture passed on to the new generations in the UK from a different perspective. Instead of representing tradition through existing dance forms, he is now exploring a dance language that emerges from the communications of young Britons with Jamaican heritage. The rhythms of conversation along with dynamics and spatials form of body expressions inform the dancer, which merges into physical theater and text. Irven Dance Theatre has performed and toured nationally and internationally.
His work’s include a residency with Bucks dance Step Afrika UK, a 6 week community project as part of the Sadler’s Wells Community Dance Showcase, and Rhythm Blast residency for Free Summer on the South Bank. Irven is also engaged in a 3-year relationship with Derby Dance in collaboration with Punch Records. Irven also received an Arts Council England Continuing Professional Development Award under Pro-Motion and a Trailblazer Fellowship from Dance UK and ADAD.