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Challenge 59

Challenge 59 is a dance and film project directed by Jo Rhodes and co-produced by East London Dance. The project empowers school children and their teachers to actively engage with health and wellbeing issues within their communities through the use of dance and film. Predicated upon a fast food restaurant promising to serve customers within 59 seconds, Challenge 59 asks: what else could be done in 59 seconds that can empower children to reclaim their health and take responsibility for their lifestyle choices?

Over the the academic year 2017/18 the Challenge 59 team will provide bespoke teacher training and creative workshops and artist residencies. The project gives partaking schools access to a comprehensive teacher’s resource with complimentary learning tools and online access to dance tutorial videos. Furthermore, Challenge 59 will be offering a series of family workshops, networking opportunities and events over spring/summer 2018 to bring communities from the Education, Youth, Health and Arts sector together and celebrate the achievements of the partaking schools.

Meet the Team


Artistic Director & Producer

Jo has been an independent dance artist and teacher for fifteen years and is passionate about creativity, dance, health, education, collaboration and partnership work. She has been teaching and developing bespoke training for teachers in school settings as well as facilitating and devising professional dance development courses across the UK - for both specialist and non-specialist practitioners (Royal Ballet School for Young Creatives / Youth Dance England and The Place).
She has co-authored national publications, such as ‘Commissioning Dance for Health and Well-Being’ and authored a chapter in the Diploma for Dance Teaching and Learning Reader (Trinity College London). Jo has spoken at multi-sector conferences about dance as a vehicle for learning both in education and health settings. Currently Jo teaches at The Place, Siobhan Davies Dance and is an Animateur for Essential Alston.


Project Manager

Silke has been managing and producing dance and performing arts activities for over fifteen years. Her work ranges from producing showcases and performances, large-scale participatory projects and career support schemes to education & community outreach projects. During her employment with various London-based National Portfolio Organisations she gained extensive experience in partnership work through being the lead producer for British Dance Edition (2012 at Greenwich Dance), Big Dance Bromley (2010) and the Royal Opera House & East London Dance productions 'Street Stories'. Her portfolio of clients as an independent producer includes Alesandra Seutin I Vocab Dance, Gaby Agis, the late Nigel Charnock, ATMA Dance, Vox Novus (USA) and Floating Space Theatre (Sri Lanka).


Creative Collaborator

Marie has gained extensive experience as a performer (Yael Flexer, Jonzi D, Fillip Van Huffel, Rashpal Singh Bansal, Nina Atkinson, Annie Lok, Joss Arnott and Sivan Rubinstein), dance artist and teacher over the past sixteen years. She has collaborated on a number of large-scale community projects working with a range of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to produce high quality performance pieces. Recent projects include co-directing the intergenerational project ‘The Little Witch’ for The Place and a British Council funded community music and dance project in Kathmandu. Marie regularly writes education resources for companies such as the Royal Opera House, Siobhan Davies Dance and English National Ballet.



Daisy is a BAFTA nominated television producer, director and journalist who has created, developed and delivered content for networks around the world. Her credits include Mary Beard’s ‘Pompeii: Life and Death In A Human Town’ (BBC2 and Discovery), ‘Salvage Hunters’ (Discovery), ‘Venice:24/7’ (Nat Geo and BBC4), ‘Great Continental Railway Journeys’ (BBC2), ‘Britain's Deadliest Addictions’ (C4) and ‘Captive’ (Netflix). Daisy is the Development Executive at Northcross Films and Senior Producer at Curve Media.


Lighting Cameraman & Editor

Razaka (Raz) is a self-operating director of photography. Over the past fourteen years he’s worked steadily on a variety of projects including factual television for the BBC, documentaries, music videos, dance films, video installations, arts projects and, more recently, feature length dramas. This has led him to shoot in many places around the world including India, South Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan, China and South Africa. Raz has worked on a range of commercials from the popular ‘Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts’ to ‘Lucozade Sport Lite’ and ‘DJ Fresh’. He was camera operator for the documentary film ‘RETT: There is Hope’, which was honoured with the Rising Star Award by the 2012 Canada International Film Festival.


Photographer & Camera

Briony is a filmmaker and photographer. Her gentle approach to revealing stories through her camera enables her to produce compelling research and promotional material in a documentary style. Published, awarded and exhibited internationally, Briony's work is included in the curricula of various Higher Education courses. She is particularly interested in themes of identity, multiculturalism and social integration and is currently producing a multimedia documentary on British/African families in East Africa, with the support of Arts Council England. Her short documentary 'The Dad Project' about her relationship with her Dad in the last months of his life was highly acclaimed by industry and audience alike.



Alex is a composer and musician providing bespoke scores and soundscapes for film, television, dance and theatre. With a background in music from a young age and performing on a range of instruments in orchestras, rock & metal bands, folk ensembles, duos and solo performances, Alex has developed a wide compositional palette that draws from a variety of genres and influences. He has worked for a number of production companies and enjoys collaborating with directors, producers, writers and choreographers, most recently these include scores and/or live performances for Fools Cap Theatre Company, Adverto Films, Alvin Ailey Choreographer Matthew Rushing, Feet Off the Ground, Ephemeral Ensemble, Box Step Productions, MSP Productions and more. Alex works regularly as an accompanist for dance at The Place, Trinity Laban, Pineapple and English National Ballet.



Sia and Dani are dance artists hailing from South London. They have both grown from community dance through to professional dance over the past ten years, earning their dance degrees at the University of East London and Kingston University respectively. They regularly perform and teach as a duo, taking their energetic fusion of street and contemporary movement across the UK. Sia and Dani are active members of Avant Garde Dance, touring work nationally and internationally. They have been finalists on ‘Got To Dance’ (2014) and have performed for Breakin' Convention (2014/2017), Laura Mvula (2016) & Move It (2016/2017).


Sound Designer

Jonny has been working in sound post-production for over fifteen years working on feature films, documentaries, natural history programmes and animations. His work as a Sound Designer requires anything from making an interview edit sound smooth and continuous to creating the sound of prehistoric landscapes and everything in between. Finding a creative challenge - large or small - is what keeps Jonny excited about his work as a sound designer.

Partners, Funders & Supporters

Challenge 59 is directed by Jo Rhodes Dance and co-produced by East London Dance.

Made possible through the financial support of Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, the Dance Enterprise Ideas Fund and THAMES. Supported by East London Dance and Rich Mix. In partnership with University of Bath.

Challenge 59 was originally conceived by Jo Rhodes in 2007 in partnership with Halton Borough Council’s Arts Development Team, Halton’s Healthy Schools Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Jo Rhodes DanceEast London DanceArts Council EnglandThamesTower HamletsRich MixBath University