Independent Choreographer and Director, DeNada Dance Theatre

Born in Gran Canaria, Spain, Carlos Pons Guerra began his dance training at the Royal Conservatoire for Dance of Madrid before undertaking an undergraduate degree in Contemporary Dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

In 2015, Carlos was nominated for the UK Critic's Circle National Dance Awards in the category of Best Emerging Artist. In 2016, his company, DeNada Dance Theatre, was nominated for the Best Independent Company category of the same awards.

Carlos has choreographed for companies including Ballet Hispanico of New York, Rambert, Northern Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Cahoots Northern Ireland, Attakkalari (India), ENDanza (Dominican Republic), VERVE (UK) and more.

Carlos’ work has been performed across the globe at major dance theatres including The Joyce Theatre (NYC), Sadler’s Wells (London), the Chennai Music Academy (India), the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Santo Domingo), the United Palace Theatre (NYC) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, as well as in key international festivals including Brighton International Festival, International Dance Festival Birmingham, Gender Bender Festival in Bologna, Homotopia Festival Liverpool, and the International Dance Festival of Santo Domingo.

Hugely inspired by film, art, literature and people worlds in the works he stages, Carlos’ creations for DeNada Dance Theatre are entertainingly theatrical, kitschy, darkly humorous. Ham and Passion, a gender-bending triple bill that explores the intrinsic drama that comes with being Spanish, enjoyed two national tours of the UK with several international performances. More recently, he created TORO: Beauty and the Bull, a full length Hispanic and queer take on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, which had its national UK tour in 2018, with sold-out performances at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio and Leeds’ Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre. Of TORO, The Guardian says: “Dynamite dancing and extreme sensuality.”  Ham and Passion received two nominations for the 2016 UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards: Best Independent Company and Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) for Marivi Da Silva’s role in his Young Man!

In May 2018, Carlos was the subject of a BBC Four documentary co-produced with Sadler’s Wells. His film, Prejudice and Passion, followed Carlos’ work as an independent choreographer, his approach to gender/sexuality and dance, and his shift from creating adult targeted work to a children’s production exploring gay adoption, Penguins, created for Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The documentary, which aired May 10th, was part of Sadler’s Wells/BBC Four’s series, Danceworks, and was presented alongside films about former Royal Ballet principal Zenaida Yanowsky, choreographer Shabaka Jeyansingh and dancer Dickson Mbi.

In 2017, Carlos was invited by artistic director Eduardo Vilaro as guest choreographer for Ballet Hispanico’s Instituto Coreografico in New York, and he was also a guest choreographer at Northern Ballet’s 2016 Choreographic Lab He works closely with dramaturge Peggy Olislaegers and is mentored by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.