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26days since
March 21 Bad Elvis SDC collaboration with BBC funded by Arts Council England Premiere Salford University/Media City

Core Artists

Isolte Avila - Dance Director/ dancer/ international collaborations

Trained with the Cuban Ballet and The Netherlands Dance Theatre. She has a degree in Dance from California Institute of the Arts, where she won a scholarship from the Disney Foundation. She is fluent in BSL grass roots signing and is learning international sign. She has worked with choreographers: Ismael Ivo 1995-1998, Stuttgart Ballet, Milton Meyers, Alvin Ailey since 1985, Carlos Orta Limon Dance Company 1997-1999 and Ornella D'Agostino Carovana SMI 2002-2008.

Her acting experience includes playing Freda Kahlo in Liz Crow's award winning film. Recently she has been working alongside BBC Radio 4 as associate artist on A Small Piece Of Silence, and Dragonfly directed by Sue Roberts, as well as Shall I Say A Kiss directed by Polly Thomas, and will soon be working on a BBC Collaboration with SDC ' Bad Elvis'

She is the founder of the art form signdance, managing and developing the signdance trust through from 1987 - 2000 .

In 2001 she formed Signdance Collective with actor David Bower. Isolte tours and performs internationally with SDC.Within the U.K She has led several projects for the Cultural Olympiad and for London 2012 including the ICARUS Project with Driving Inspiration an Opening Ceremony Project for London 2012, and for the 2012 Festival - Showcase .

Isolte has worked extensively with the Ana Desetnica International street theatre Festival in Slovenia through SDC , and well as with Teatro En vol, coreoarte in Venezuela, and Carovana SMI in Sardinia .
SDC has been developing contemporary street dance/theatre work since 2001

David Karl Bower Director/ film-artist/ Dance Artist/ Actor.

David attended Clwyd Youth Theatre and studied mime with Geoff Buckely. He then studied 'Theatre of the Deaf' at Bulmershe College of Further Education. He joined The Basic Theatre Company, played 'Gary' in the award winning production 'Gary' which premiered at The Warehouse in 1990. He studied the newly created art form Signdance as an apprentice performer at Common Ground Sign Dance Theatre. He played young Lucius at The Octagon Theatre in 'Titus Andronicus'. Orin in 'Children of the Lesser God' in Derby Playhouse'.

He rejoined Common Ground as it became the Signdance Collective as Artistic Director undertook numerous roles in productions includes, 'Asia Rising', 'Travelling', 'You hide and I'll go and blow up the generator', Answer me with Silence', 'Borders and Free ways', 'Caliban and Miranda, the Prequel', Art Pepper in 'But Beautiful', 'The Words', 'Listen', 'Named Space', 'Faust', 'Here', 'New Gold' and 'Half a Penny'., The Other Side Of The Coin'  Whilst collaborating with Sardenian based Dance Theatre Company 'Caravona' he the played the role of the hero in 'The Hero' a large scale site specific happening in Sardenia's street theatre festival. He has also played as a clown in several productions at Gobal Clowns in Holland and Ana Desetnica in Slovenia. He has dramaturged 'The Flight of Icarus' a paralympian production and 'Spenno's Dance'. He appeared in 'The Hatred of Music' directed by Barbara Kaplansky, working with artists from Betontanc. He has toured extensively performing at major street theatre festivals and theatre festivals in Slovenia, India, Spain, Estonia, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Holland and the U.S.A.

He makes films at the Signdance Collective, these include; stage production films, 'Caliban and Miranda', 'But Beautiful', 'You Hide and I'll go and blow up the Generator' and 'Asia Rising'. Short films include 'Secret Signs', 'Relics', 'Beast', 'Firesigns', 'Urban Warrior', 'Campaign to be Me one', and 'Campaign to be Me two'. His films have been screened across the globe at festivals and events.

Radio work includes, Quasimodo, 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', BBC Radio Four, 'Shall I say a Kiss', BBC Radio Four, 'Dragonfly', BBC Radio Four, and 'A Small Piece of Silence', also at BBC Radio Four working with Sue Roberts and Polly Thomas. He has also translated these productions into sign for BBC 'On-line visual radio'

Television credits include; 'Learn Sign Please', a series for children, Channel Four, Casualty, BBC One, 'Travelog, From Noise to Silence, a journey from Calcutta to Sikkim', Channel Four, 'Doctors', BBC One, 'Hetty Wainthorpe Investigates' BBC One, 'Graffitti', S4C. As well as numerous interviews on both television and radio.

Film work includes 'Feel the Rhythm', Directed by James Brecknock, 'Little Voices', Directed by Chris McFall, 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', Directed by Mike Newell. 'Poseidon's Palace', Directed by Fleur Howle. Soon he will be appearing and co-writing in 'Rapid Intervention', Directed by Mark Collins.

David also makes Lantern Puppets for large scale street theatre productions as well as various set design activity.

He is currently an associate lecturer at the theatre department at Bucks New University where his company, Signdance Collective is based. He is currently a director on the board for NDACCA, National Disability Arts Archival Initiative. David has artistically and creatively led the art form 'Signdance' since 1994 and continues to tour extensively both performing and delivering workshops throughout the year.

 Laura Goulden-  Dancer /Performer

 Laura   has worked with SDC since 2010. . Originally from Devon England , Laura  has a theatre degree from Reading University . She also studied at the international school of mime in London .  

Laura  also runs her own company   ' Hand Print Theatre ' .leading inclusive sign theatre projects

 Laura has toured with  SDC on several international tours , including the USA , Austria, Turkey and Slovenia. 

Francesca Osimani  -Actress

Graduated at Buckinghamshire New University in 2011 with a BA Performing Arts degree.

While studying there she performed in a number of productions including ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ by Tom Stoppard, 'Woyzeck' by Georg Buchner and’ Pornography’ by Simon Stephens.

Has taken part in a number of rehearsed readings including: ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ directed by Tom Mansfield and Elisa Amesbury, ‘The Caucasion Chalk Circle’ directed by Pedro De Senna with Signdance Collective, ‘Measure for Measure’ directed by Raji James and ‘A day in the Death of Joe Egg’ directed by Mariano D’Amora.

Was also involved in an original short film ‘I am Julia’ by Olga Stachowska.

A performer in Signdance Collective, she has worked in company productions ‘New Gold’, ’Campaign to be me’ project and 'Our Rights to Relationships' short film. Currently performing in ‘Half-a-Penny’ and ‘The Other Side of the Coin’


DDBH formed in 2006 and played their first show in February 2007, and have performed regularly in London and around the UK since then. Their debut album "Access Denied!" (Copepod, 2009) featured a set of 9 compositions (6 instrumentals and 3 songs) while a subsequent limited edition release "The Verbing" (Copepod, 2011) showcased the duo's totally improvised work.

Since mid-2009, all of DDBH's new material has been composed collaboratively in band rehearsals. The first fruits of this process are featured on the album "The Game Face", to be released in 2012. A subsequent album's worth of material has also been written.

Their live performances feature an unpredictable mix of complex composed instrumentals, free improvisation, cover versions selected for maximum emotional resonance, and Alex's own songs, spontaneously balanced by the two musicians without use of a set-list.

 "formidably knotty, complex music which avoids the dry geekiness of US math rock while beating it hands down in terms of intensity and fluidity... Ward’s guitar work leaps between metallic crunch, Fripp-esque tangle and Chadbourne choogle with astounding energy and precision, while Doulton’s drumming swings with commensurate joy and fury" - The Wire.

 DDBH treat music as something between a four-dimensional sandbox and a hiking trip through the human psyche" - The Dreaded Press.