Helen Curtis - Musical Director, Manager and Co-Founder
Helen has been working in the music profession since graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2000 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in classical piano and percussion. She has a very eclectic taste in music and has unexpected contrasts in her musical professional life, including Brazilian percussion, Swiss folk singing, piano and Georgian polyphonic song. Helen believes that good music is good music, whatever the genre.
As well as intensive self study, Helen has also trained with top UK based Brazilian specialists including the ‘Roots of Brazil’ course by One Voice Music, and taken part in workshops and projects. She spent a month studying percussion and piano in Cuba. Her ongoing journey of experience and study means that today she has become a highly respected UK performer, workshop facilitator and private tutor.
Mo Lindley - visual artist, art project manager and co-founder
Mo, a ceramicist by profession, happily flaps around incomprehensibly no matter what the occasion. Which is fine as his brain works in weird and often wonderful ways and somehow during an explosion of imagination and unfathomable creativity, accomplishes all he sets his mind to do.
Mo studied ceramics at Jakob Kramer College. He has played kit and hand drums all his life and currently performs with Brazilian percussion.
Bridget Withycombe-Wharton - dance director
Bridget’s constant love for dance has been lifelong and very driven by her passion for Latin American and African rhythms. This has led her to deliver within education, performing arts as well as the community with a constant desire to bring people together to represent such a strong and empowering art form. Her belief is that movement is a necessary form of communication for all, and alongside music, dance is responsible for carrying as well as translating traditions, beliefs and stories across nations.
Promoting the use of movement to express and self heal is, in her opinion, an opportunity to give the mind and body freedom and time enabling both to explore and express within a safe environment.
Bridget is Manchester based but often travels with work, delivering dance fitness within the community. This includes ‘Well Being’ sessions. Bridget also delivers within schools and the educational system, often as part of students ‘enrichment’ days. Travelling to festivals such as ‘Tribe of Doris’ during the summer allows her to facilitate workshops and within term time she runs an after school activity ‘Easy Movers’, giving younger children an option to explore movement and its benefits whilst developing their confidence.
Sarah Benbow - costume maker
Sarah comes from a family of costume makers, and was inspired from an early to age in the art of costume making and design. Her Mother, Auntie and Grandma all designed and made elaborate, and innovative costumes and clothes for plays, carnivals and ballets. This instilled an idea that anything is possible where cloth is concerned.
After intense experimentation with making outfits, costume making and drawing Sarah went on to study a Surface Pattern design course at Dewsbury College.
During this time with the help of a Princes Trust Grant Sarah went into business with an inspirational friend, who used different and complimentary techniques- EARTHY KIT was a recycled clothing company based in Hebden Bridge. Scouring rummage sales they amassed fabric and re-made the cloths into their own designs. For a time they also collaborated with HEMPMAN and embarked on their most industrialised phase producing shirts, jeans and skirts out of locally woven hemp, also making bespoke commissions and having a go at anything anyone would ask for!
Later Sarah joined a local samba band ‘Beyondrum’ and began making costumes for them. As a drummer in Orixa Bloco Sarah now has a new outlet and focus for her creative imagination and amazing skills and is excited about the future of carnival!