Flora Wellesley Wesley is a dance artist, performer, improviser and teacher who lives and works in London.
During the COVID-19 lockdown Flora cultivated a personal laughter practice inspired by a London Clown School course and the Voic(e)motion work she has done with Guy Dartnell. She did an online Laughter Yoga Leader course in April and has since developed a regular laughter teaching practice, Laugh Time With Flora, alongside her personal practice.
As a solo artist Flora makes bold, exuberant and intimate multi-modal work. Between 2017-18 she developed the umbrella project The Weather Inside, creating a body of live performances, photographic portraits, films and writing out of her interest in how seasonality, environment and mood interlink. She has a Selfie Dance series and a history orchestrating ensemble and solo improvisation performances for theatres, galleries and festivals, as well as community halls, gardens, pubs, shops and rooftops. Her work has been supported and programmed by Sadler’s Wells, DanceEast, Chisenhale Dance Space, the Cuming Museum, Villa Lena Art Foundation and Coventry University.
Freelance projects have included: dancing for choreographers Simonetta Alessandri, Seke Chimutengwende, Last Yearz Interesting Negro, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Florence Peake, Eva Recacha and Robbie Synge; working with visual artists Yelena Zhelezov, Ed Fornieles, William Hunt and Eddie Peake; appearing in films by Hugo Glendinning & Tilly Shiner, and Grace Schwindt, and live art works by Richard DeDomenici; acting in Lost Text/Found Space productions; and doing collaborative research with artists Kira O’Reilly, Guy Dartnell and Evy Jokhova.
Flora co-directs Nora (2014-present) with dancers Eleanor Sikorski and Stephanie McMann. As a trio they invite choreographers to create new work for them to perform and tour. To date they have worked with Liz Aggiss, Simon Tanguy, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, Deborah Hay, and Eleanor Bauer. Nora is in the process of producing Nora Reels, a documentary series about the often hidden work of performers. They are also making the film Nora the Many in collaboration with choreographer Eleanor Bauer.
Between 2009-2013 Flora was one of eight artists that made up the editorial team of BELLYFLOP, an online performance magazine that was dedicated to reflecting on, documenting and intervening in the contemporary dance scene in London. She was also a founder member of Hiru Dance Organisation from 2008-12, creating ‘meanwhile dances’ The Cave and Lazy Susan, as well as The Public House, a pop-up home for performance in Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre.
Flora represents dance artists on Equity Council (elected to Choreographer’s seat 2018-20 & 2020-22). She has been working to improve and promote dance artists’ workers’ rights, conditions and pay since 2013 through grassroots activism and the team work of Equity Dance Committee. Flora is also a proud member of Chisenhale Dance Space.
Flora teaches dance, improvisation and laughter classes to both professional and non-professional performers and has led undergraduate and postgraduate student workshops at conservatoires and universities across England.
To watch a short gestural portrait of Flora – one of a series of 52 Portraits by choreographer Jonathan Burrows, composer Matteo Fargion and filmmaker Hugo Glendinning – go here.
To view Flora’s video work, visit Vimeo.
Follow her on Instagram @florawellesleywesley.
To contact her, write to floramww[at]gmail.com