Strictly Come Dancing
Since 2006, Kele has had the privilege of choreographing and coaching the Argentine tangos for BBC’s hit series Strictly Come Dancing. Kele and co-choreographers Ralf Schiller, Los Ocampo, Giraldo Escobar, Peter Baldock and Andrew Cuerden have worked with Strictly champions Caroline Flack, Mark Ramprakash, Harry Judd, Kara Tointon, Alesha Dixon and Tom Chambers, as well as Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson and Ashes-winning England cricket captain Michael Vaughan; actors/singers Jason Donovan, Natalie Gumede, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jake Wood, Nicky Byrne, Holly Valance, Anita Dobson, Emma Bunton, Scott Maslen, Ricky Whittle, Patsy Kensit, Ali Bastian, Tina O'Brien, Matt di Angelo and Rachel Stevens; and tv/radio presenters Matt Baker, Susanna Reid, Gethin Jones and Lisa Snowdon. (Click here for videos)
Darren Boyd's Little Cracker
Darren Boyd’s Little Cracker (Sky1) is a 12 minute, silent comedy film set in the world of 1980’s ballroom dancing. Kele worked in close collaboration with writer/director/star (and BAFTA award winner) Darren Boyd, considering his meticulous storyboard and the technicalities of each shot, as well as the requirement that the actors convey character and comedy all while dancing competition-style choreography. These multidisciplinary requirements gave Kele the opportunity to exercise her expertise as an actress, dancer and choreographer, as well as satisfy her passion for dance storytelling. (Produced by Little Comet Productions; starring Darren Boyd, Doon Mackichan, Theo Stevenson, Tom Meeten and Barunka O'Shaughnessey; music composed and arranged by Ian Masterson)
After witnessing one of Kele's Dance Al Fresco events in Regent’s Park, writer/director Stephen Poliakoff was inspired to include the surreal, joyous, outdoor event in his BBC drama Joe’s Palace. Kele choreographed and coached Rumba and Cha Cha Cha sequences for actors Rupert Penry-Jones, Kelly Reilly and Rebecca Hall. She also helped recreate Dance Al Fresco for the shoot - setting up the dance floor in the pitch dark of an early November London morning, and overseeing 40 dancers for the filming.
Up-and-coming Milton Keynes-based Carabosse Theatre & Production Company invited Kele to provide consult on movement and choreography for their new adaptation of Mervyn Peake's trilogy Gormenghast. Working alongside artistic director Sally Luff and movement director Caz Tricks, Kele assisted the creatives in conceiving the physical world of Gormenghast, and coached the actors in developing the physical life of their characters. Kele also led the company in chi gong warm-ups (see Life Force Chi Centre).
When the Open Theatre Group (Open University) decided to tackle a modern-dress version of Macbeth with 'sexy young witches', director Caz Tricks and associate director Sally Luff approached Kele. Could the witches have Argentine Tango as the foundation of their physical life and movement patterns? Kele led a number of Argentine tango master classes for the witches as well as the Hecates (yes, plural), Lady Macbeth and the entire cast, helping them explore the use of tango movement in conjunction with the rhythms of the text, as well as how Argentine tango movement and styling can be used to convey the characters' sensuality and sexuality.
In 2011 Kele was approached to create a new ballroom-themed, main stage show for the annual Erotica exhibition at Kensington Olympia. Kele asked the multi-talented Andrew Cuerden to collaborate, and together they produced and directed Dance Seduction, a bespoke 25-minute spicy dance spectacular. Twelve wonderful dancers, including Andrew and his partner Hanna Haarala, worked together to develop the choreography for a seven-dance show, which they performed during the three day exhibition. Nuno & Rebecca Fernandes, DSI, Black Widow, Boudicca Blue Bodyart and Desiree Designs all contributed to the costuming and body art. Click here for Andrew & Hanna's website.
Tango-Shakespeare Fusion Project
In 2011, with the support of the RSC Studio, Kele began developing a theatre project combining Shakespeare and Argentine tango. The initial stage of experimentation, supported by the RSC Studio, included contributions by director Alison Bomber, actors Sophie Russell, Ansu Kabia and Adam Burton, and dancers Omar Ocampo, Cesar Velasquez and Alexandra Wood. Kele and this creative team spent two weeks experimenting with combinations of voice, movement, actor and dancer. The next stage of development is being considered.
RSC Long Ensemble Actors Project
After Kele taught a series of Argentine tango master classes for the RSC, actress Sophie Russell asked Kele to choreograph for Sophie's "Long Ensemble Actors Project" piece. The project on Argentine tango was performed for an in-house audience at the RSC's Waterside Space in Stratford-upon-Avon. The performers included Sophie Russell, Ansu Kabia, Adam Burton, Richard Katz, Paul Hamilton and Debbie Korley.
No Way Out
Director Luke Kernaghan took inspiration from Argentina’s Dirty War of the 1970s to create his version of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential masterpiece No Way Out (Huis Clos). Kele choreographed seven Argentine tangos during a four week rehearsal process. The production was performed in 2009 at London’s Southwark Playhouse with actors Elisa de Grey, Alexis Terry and Miguel Oyarzun.
When Strictly Come Dancing’s Darren Bennet & Lilia Kopylova created Latin Fever, their own Latin/Ballroom stage show, they asked Kele and Ralf to co-choreograph the Argentine tango for themselves and their company of eight dancers. The show had a five-week run in London at the Peacock Theatre (Sadler’s Wells), followed by a UK national tour.
Additional...- "It Ain't Necessarily So" - Darren Bennett & Lilia Kopylova in ENB’s Strictly Gershwin (with Ralf Schiller)
- AA “Strictly Car Insurance” - television advert
- The Dancer's Body - Host: Deborah Bull - BBC2 (tango scene)
- Travels With My Tutu - Host: Deborah Bull - BBC2 (Tango Al Fresco scene)