The Collective

Esme Benjamin

Dance Artist / Somatic Practitioner

With a background in professional dance and somatic/therapeutic practices, Esme has a curious and holistic approach to the body and movement. Esme began her training at Dixon Woods School of Dance, she then went on to train professionally at London Studio Centre, and later completed a MA in Dance & Somatic Wellbeing: Connections to the Living Body. For the past decade Esme has performed and taught all over the world, working in a variety of companies, including Headliners Theatre Company, Origin (previously known as Retina), Uchenna Dance and Movement Angol where she is currently an associate artist.

During more recent years, Esme began to develop her own practice, heavily influenced by the work of her Mentor Francis Angol, (Director of Movement Angol). Esme has an innovative approach to creation, drawing on Somatic Practice and mixing creative disciplines such as movement, sound, art and writing in order to explore the unconscious stories of the body. She is particularly interested in aspects around the marginalised and privileged body, which led her to co-found beCOmotion, a movement community focusing on representation, inclusion and accessibility.

Esme’s practice is centred around the question of how we live awake inside a body? Exploring ways of creating a more intimate relationship with our body through sensory awareness and integration, empowering our own bodily knowledge and aliveness of a body in movement.

Ana Beatriz Meireles

Dance Artist / Movement Teacher & Director

Following a journey through classical ballet training in Portugal, Ana developed her movement studies in London from 2009. Ana is a movement teacher, movement director, dance and theatre artist, and Dynamic Reformer Pilates facilitator. Following completion of a 1st class B.A (Hons) Dance Theatre degree from London Studio Centre (UAL) in 2012, Ana worked professionally in dance and theatre productions including site-specific work, stage and screen. She has performed for companies such as Renaud Wiser Dance Company and Cascade Dance Theatre, and in recent years, in Macbeth at the Young Vic and Julie at the National Theatre. Ana has continuously been involved in the making and showcasing of KWAM Collective’s work. She has taught various dance styles to a wide demographic and currently teaches Dynamic Reformer Pilates. 

As a 2020 graduate of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s MA Movement: Directing and Teaching course, she has continued to develop her movement expertise in relation to teaching student actors within higher education, particularly in conservatoire settings, as well as movement directing student productions. She has furthermore recently movement directed Sleepwalking by Hannah Khalil at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, directed by Audrey Sheffield.

Ana’s professional experience in contemporary dance and theatre settings, her expertise in functional movement and interest in anatomical and somatic approaches, largely influence her current and developing practice.

Klaudia Franziska Wittmann

Dance Artist / Movement Psychotherapist

Originally from Germany, where Klaudia was part of the national team for rhythmic gymnastics, she pursued her creative development in dance and physical theatre in London from 2009, training at London Studio Centre and Jasmin Vardimon Company (JV2). She later completed an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths University.

Klaudia worked with various choreographers both nationally and internationally, including Sounding Motion Dance, Balbir Singh, Lara Ritosa-Roberts, Pascal Merighi, Moxie Brawl, Acrojou as well as being part of the creation of MAZE by Jasmin Vardimon and Turner Contemporary as part of JV2. Moreover, her professional experience includes works for camera, both in feature and short films, including Otto Floss – Freelance watcher.

Klaudia has mentored and choreographed for Portfolio2016 by Sound & Music, and continuously created and performed for KWAM Collective. She has further established an artistic collaboration with Experiment 6, an independent, artist-led group that promotes experimental dance in South London.

In 2016, Klaudia decided to delve into the therapeutic aspect of movement and specialised in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, a practice that involves the moving body and speech to explore psychic life. She has worked in a number of clinical settings with children and adults, including psychiatry, addictions, sexual and physical abuse. She is currently pursuing further training in psychoanalysis at the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

Arturo Bandinelli

Experimental Filmmaker / Training Psychoanalyst

Arturo is an award-winning experimental filmmaker, researcher and training psychoanalyst at Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research in London. In his creative and academic research, he investigates the relationship between subjectivity and otherness, gaze and identity, sexual politics and bodies. He holds an BA in Film and TV from London College of Communication (UAL) and an MA in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck University. 

His graduation sci-fi short film Otto Floss: Freelance Watcher (2014/15) acquired international recognition, including screenings at  the ECU European Independent Film Festival (France), London Sci-Fi Film Festival (UK), Lago Film Festival (Italy), Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (France), Vigik Film Festival (Russia), Festival Utopiales (France)  and Young Cuts Fest (Canada). The film imagines a parallel reality where humans are invisible unless they are being seen, meditating on the constitutive role of the Other’s gaze in the formation of human subjectivity.

In the last few years, Arturo started experimenting with non-fictional film formats in collaboration with choreographers, dancers, visual and performance artists, including Peter Brandt (I did not invite you into my body, 2018), Murat Adash (One in the Other, 2018; Correspondence (Contact), 2019), Maria Meinild (A Hum, 2019), Kat Cooley and Maire Dee (Walls of Limerick, 2018/19) Lara Ritosa Roberts (Phantom Footsteps, 2020) and Celina Liesegang (Viscera: Autopsy of a (non)Human Body, forthcoming in 2021) 

Arturo’s recent experimental dance film Walls of Limerick (2018/19) investigates the psychosocial effects of political borders through a unique combination of contemporary, Irish and vertical dance. As of March 2021, the film has received international acclaim with nearly forty screenings (including: FIVAC, International Festival of Video Art, Cuba; ECU, European Independent Film Festival, Paris; and CineAutopsia, Bogotá Experimental Film Festival, Colombia)  and six awards (Certamen de Soria, Spain; InShadow Festival, Portugal; Dance Film Festival Prague, Czech Republic; MarDelDance, USA; TDP International Dance Festival, Ireland; and The Richard Harris International Film Festival, Ireland).