Choreographed and performed by: Asha Thomas and  Yinka Esi Graves
Musical Composition and Guitar: Guillermo Guillén
Lighting Design: Manu Majastre
Artistic Advisor: Chloé Brulé-Dauphin
(Original 'Guajira' recording - Rocío Márquez)

It is said that Clay is the matter that we are made of. Buried in that matter are the memories that mould our experiences, our understandings and gestures. Memories that seem to belong to a time long before our very thoughts were shaped. Ancient yet familiar, they accompany us from places that only our cells have been.  In CLAY Asha Thomas, American contemporary dancer and Yinka Esi Graves, British flamenco dancer,  draw from their collective memory and experiences to create a unique language between them. It is their very dancing that goes in search of the past whilst being informed by it. One dancer of half Jamaican and Ghanian descent and the other from a long line of southern baptist preachers, explore the connections between who they believe themselves to be, and the unconscious parts that make up who they are. CLAY asks us to locate the parts of ourselves that have formed over long periods of time, surviving the wear of migration to still be found today.





 Yinka Esi Graves has danced from a young age, from ballet and jazz to afro-cuban dancing. After taking up flamenco whilst at University she moved to Spain in 2008 to train with artists such as La Lupi, Manuel Reyes and Pepa Molina. Yinka first took to the stage with the fusion company Kataka, created by Cristobal Reyes and Ana Yerno, with whom she toured in Spain. For the past 5 years she has been invited to present her work at Classically British, an annual showcase of young British dancers.  Since 2011 Yinka has been performing in tablaos and venues such as Casa Patas’ Café Cantante (Madrid), The Hackney Attic (London) and La Sala Zero (Seville) as a solo dancer. She was invited to create and present a site specific piece for the Chale Wote Festival in Accra, Ghana in 2014. That same year Yinka co-founded dotdotdot dance alongside two other flamenco dancers. Most recently the company was invited to curate and perform in an evening at the Lilian Baylis, Sadler's Wells as part of its Wild Card series.

Asha Thomas (Atlanta, Georgia, United States) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Juilliard School in New York City in 1999 under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy and, upon graduating, became a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where she was a principal dancer for eight years. In 2007, Asha relocated to France to work as a freelance artist with several dance companies: Compagnie Salia nï Seydou (Poussières de Sang) , Raphaëlle Delaunay (Bitter Sugar/ EIKON/ Ginger Jive), Richard Siegal /The Bakery (Glossopoeïa), Prue Lang (Timeproject), Philippe Ménard (Air, Heroine, Rock), Boris Charmatz (Flipbook/ 20 Dancers for the 20th Century installation) and most recently, Olivia Grandville (Combat de Carnaval et Carême). In 2015, choreographer Philippe Ménard created a solo for and in collaboration with her entitled Héroïne which is currently being performed around France.  In addition to her work as a dancer for other companies, Asha develops and produces her own choreographic work through her company, Compagnie Ima, which she created in 2010.   She is also the co-artistic director and choreographer for a new production, Dawn’s Early Light (A Retrospective of American Song and Dance), that she has developed in collaboration with American singer Crystal Petit.  For more information, go to www.ashathomas.net 

Guillermo Guillén began his career as a flamenco guitarist in 1999 and moved to  Seville  in 2006.  From 2007 to 2011, he works with singer Rocío Márquez, with whom he was awarded the prize "Lámpara Minera" at the International Festival Cante de Las Minas de La Union (2008). He has worked and collaborated on several recording projects as a guitarist, composer and arranger: Rocío Márquez: “Aquí y Ahora” (2008), “Lámparas en la Mina”(2009), “Claridad” (2011). Iñigo y Gaztea Ruiz: “Expediente 21.001 –  Las     tres heridas del Poeta Miguel Hernández” (2010).  Paco Mejías: “Bajañí de Fígaro” (2011). He works with other recognized flamenco artists such as Raúl Micó, Francisco Contreras “el niño de Elche”, Elena Morales, José Galván... He also works with a number of flamenco companies including "El Cuarto Escalón" with Adriana Bilbao, "Cia la Rueca" by Maria Mandrágora... He continues to collaborate with Esperanza Fernández and Miguel Vargas in the Flamenco Arts Center in Seville.  He performs recitals in flamenco clubs and is featured in some of the most famous music and Flamenco festivals in Spain and worldwide... not only accompanying singers and dancers, but also as a soloist and teacher. In October 2013, his acclaimed show "De Viajes... - Guillermo Guillén Flamenco Trio" premiered at the opening of the "No siesta, fiesta!" festival in Tromsø (Norway). His musical interests have led him to collaborate with musicians from other cultures: “Zambra Morisca” with the Moroccan singer Samira Kadiri, Silk Road Festival de Damas (Syria)... In addition, he has composed and arranged the music for various audiovisual projects, documentaries and short films. He also regularly participates in shows, accompanying musicians, singers, and dancers in television and radio events. 





October  11 &12    Châteauvallon- Scêne Nationale                      Ollioules, France         Buy Tickets

October 28              Z -Arts Centre /  STUN                                     Manchester, UK          Buy Tickets

November 4 & 5     Festival Mes de Danza (Sala La Fundición)       Sevilla, Spain            Buy Tickets


October  26          Z- Arts Centre / STUN                                 Manchester, UK         Buy Tickets



For bookings and inquiries please contact: 

Technical Director: Manu Majastre

Production Manager:  Laurène Blanckaert
+33 (6) 09 17 39 15

CLAY is coproduced by: 
Châteauvallon- Scène Nationale