Announcing Choreographers for First Year Commissions 2022


Wednesday 9th March 2022, 7:59pm Announcing Choreographers for First Year Commissions 2022


Each year NSCD commissions a range of artists to create new work with our students. This year we're excited to reveal that students in their first year of the BA (Hons) programme are working with:

  • Gary Clarke 
  • Ruby Portus 
  • Ella Mesma

See the results in their evening performances as part of Flock Fest 2022 on Friday 1 & Saturday 2 April.

Tickets available soon


Gary Clarke

Gary Clarke is currently regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent dance artists. Since graduating from NSCD in 2001, Gary has worked prolifically with companies and choreographers of international standing including Lea Anderson’s The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Lloyd Newson’s DV8 Physical Theatre, Liv Lorent’s balletLORENT, Candoco Dance Company / Jerome Bel, Retina Dance Company, Nigel Charnock + Company, Bock & Vincenzi, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Productions, New Art Club, Javier De Frutos and Wendy Houstoun. Gary has also established himself as a respected choreographer whose work has toured both nationally and internationally to critical and audience acclaim.

In 2018, Gary Clarke received an Honorary Fellowship from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.



Ruby Portus

Combining movement, text, voice and her continuous drive to save the world, Ruby Portus creates playful dance theatre work that tackles important socio-political issues in light-hearted and humorous ways. Interests that often fuel her work include gender politics and the climate crisis.

Ruby was a Young Associate at Sadler’s Wells 2018-19 and is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School and VERVE at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.



Ella Mesma

Ella Mesma began her dance journey in salsa clubs in Bristol and Leeds, which led to her performing around the world. Ella travelled to Brazil to perform in the carnival parade and discovered her passion for aerial skills while she was there. Craving a contrast in dance styles, she began to learn Breaking and moved to London to study her masters at London Contemporary Dance School.

Since then she has worked with different companies and choreographers including Russel Maliphant, Uchenna Dance, Lea Anderson, Southpaw Dance Company, as well as performing in the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

In 2014, she founded Ella Mesma Company (EMC), with the aim to create a space where the dancers wellbeing was a priority, and where all the styles were valued equally. EMC have received commissions from Sadler’s Wells, National Centre for Circus Arts, and Dance City. Ella has also been Associate Artsist at Dance City (2017), Trinity Centre Bristol (2018), Slate World (2020), Pervasive Media Studio, and Pavillion Dance South West (2020-2021).