The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows

The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows

Co-production by Kate Flatt Projects, Watford Palace Theatre, Greenwich Dance and in Association with EFDSS

Devised by Kate Flatt

Composer Adriano Adewale

Designer Hayley Grindle

Lighting Designer Katharine Watson

Associate Choreographers Amir Giles, Yael Loewenstein and Vanessa Cook

Performers: Marie Chabert, Tim van Eyken, Amir Giles, Jack Jones, Lizie Saunderson

Musicians: Adriano Adewale, Marcelo Andrade, Gustavo Marques,  Alice Zawadski

Community performers from Watford Palace Theatre, and the Greenwich Dance Agency

Production photos by Chris Nash


“In ‘The Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows’, our Players and Musicians have connected with a remarkable group of local people of all ages. Our aim is to break down the barrier between audiences, participants and performers, as we share dance and music drawn from the past and re-imagined in the present, embracing different sources and cultures. Old dance forms and their connection to the rituals of life have always fascinated me: social dance for me is a non-commercial resource of creative inspiration. Through encounters in the Ballroom, the Players weave their dances and stories back into the community, kindling connections and feelings which we all can experience and share.” – Kate Flatt

“I have just had the exciting experience of stepping out on to our reconfigured Watford Palace stage, created for Kate Flatt’s magical Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows.

The audience will go through the backstage pass door and emerge onto the stage itself – but now built out like a vast ship reaching into the auditorium, creating a huge playing area where the boundaries between actors and audiences can dissolve. In the same way, this enchanting dance theatre piece creates a sense of togetherness, with participants from the Watford community helping link the brilliant professional artists in the show with the people who come to see it, so that in a way everyone is a participant.

As we at the Palace prepare for the show, the whole building is alive with activity. Phrases of English folk song echo against complex riffs of Brazilian percussion, and an agelessly beautiful and hugely experienced dancer sits quietly by a group of excited children who have never been on stage before… Come and be part of it with us.”

– Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director, Watford Palace Theatre






Creative Team

Adriano Adewale: Composer

Adriano is a composer and master percussionist born in Sao Paulo Brazil and working in UK since 2000 where he formed his first UK band Sambura and released the album Cru. Adriano is part of the Antonio Forcione Quartet with whom he has performed all over the world. He has also shared the stage with Seu Jorge, Modeste Hughes, and Jools Holland. His album Sementes was released in 2007 and a further album is in preparation. Recent theatre work includes his solo show ‘Sound Journey’ and ‘Mojo‘ with Theatre Rites. This collaboration on Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows offers an extraordinary meeting point between diverse musical influences.


Hayley Grindle: Designer

Hayley is a London based Theatre Designer who graduated from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2002.

Theatre credits include: All The Way Home (Manchester Library Theatre); Mongrel Island (Soho Theatre); Animal Farm (The Peter Hall Company); The Nutcracker, Around The World in Eighty Days, Ben Hur, His Dark Materials, Blue Room, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pied Piper, Nightingales, Max and Beth, The BFG, Country for the Blind, and 3 seasons of Storm on the Lawn (all Theatre Royal, Bath); God in Ruins (RSC); Little Voice, My Mother Said I Never Should, Peter Pan (The Dukes, Lancaster); Invisible (co-production with Transport and the New Wolsey Theatre);Travels With My Aunt (New Wolsey, Ipswich); King Lear (BMW car factory); The Gentlemen’s Tea Drinking Society (Ransom Productions, Belfast); Muscle (Bristol Old Vic/Hull Truck).


Katherine Williams: Lighting Designer

Katharine Williams is a lighting designer working in drama, dance and physical theatre, with some opera, musical and circus projects. Katharine works in the UK and internationally. Her designs have been seen in China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Armenia, Romania, Russia and the Czech Republic. 
She has collaborated with some of the UK’s most exciting emerging artists and companies, as well as with established companies including Aldeburgh Music, the National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Court and the Royal Opera House in London. 

Katharine is co-director of Daedalus



Tim van Eyken: Ballad Singer

Tim came to public attention as winner of the BBC Young Folk Award in 1998 and started out his career as a musician and singer, touring and recording as a member of Waterson: Carthy, Dr Faustus and with his own band Van Eyken. He started to specialise in traditional English ballads and folk stories and developed a strong interest in the potential of theatre to explore these further, which saw him side-step in to more acting work. He has recently graduated from the Oxford School of Drama. Credits to date include: GOOD – Royal Exchange Manchester, War Horse – National Theatre and New London Theatre, Foyles War – ITV, From Dots to Download, Vital Mental Medicine – BBC Radio 4, As Within So Without – New Diorama, Glengarry Glenross – Landor.


Lizie Saunderson: Wise Woman

Lizie trained at the LSCD and joined London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1980. She became a founder member of Siobhan Davies Dance Company in 1988. As a freelance dancer she has been involved in a wide diversity of projects including opera, musical theatre, TV and film. Choreographers with whom she has worked include Darshan Singh Bhuller, Christopher Bruce, Ian Spink, Rosemary Butcher, Jonathan Lunn, and Arlene Philips. She has taught and worked as movement director on numerous performance projects, with professionals, in schools, universities and with community practitioners throughout the UK, in France and New Zealand. Work with emerging performers includes ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ with Wrong Pearls Theatre Company and ‘Moon Ladder‘ with Reddress Theatre Company.

Amir Giles: Young Man and Associate Choreographer

After training at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Amir incorporated several vernacular social dance languages into his work, including tango and lindy hop. In 2010 his work included Entangled shown at Resolution and Pulse Festival in Ipswich. He was assistant choreographer to Kate Flatt on the music theatre work Songs from a Hotel Bedroom shown at ROH2, Linbury Theatre, and on tour and choreographer for the Harbinger Company’s Romeo and Juliet de Buenos Aires. In 2011 he choreographed The Illusion, a solo work shown at Rich Mix and Kings Place Theatre.  Recently he worked as assistant movement director on Paramount Picture’s World War Z, directed by Marc Foster.

Marie Chabert: Young Woman

Marie started off with studies in Anthropology and Art Theory at the University of Lyon 2 in France before she moved to the UK to study Dance at The London Contemporary Dance School and at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has been a freelance dance artist, performer and teacher for the past 4 years. Her career has led her to dance, teach and create in the UK, Europe, Asia and USA with choreographers such as Fin Walker, Filip Van Huffel, Jonathan Lunn, Willi Dorner, Johann Bjorgvinson, Vera Tussing, Made by Katie Green. She is a founder member of the collaborative and multidisciplinary company EU&ME.


Jack Jones: Jester

Jack trained at the Royal Ballet School and English National Ballet School before moving to Portugal to work with Companhia de Dança Contemporânea Portugal and Companhia Olga Roriz. Since moving back to the UK he has worked with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures in Edward Scissorhands and Swan Lake, also creating the role of ‘Maurice’ in Re:Bourne’s production of The Lord of the Flies. He also created the role of ‘Brains’ in Aletta Collins’ The Red Balloon for ROH2, Linbury Theatre and most recently performed in Jealousy, collaboration between dance and sculpture at The Print Room.


Associate Choreographers for Community Participation

Yael Loewenstein:

Vanessa Cook: Greenwich Dance Agency



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