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Vanessa Haska

Choreographer Vanessa Haska of Greek-Cypriot decent, who has been living and working in the U.K. for the past five years, was one of the two winners selected for The Peter Darrell Choreographic Award 2007, among twenty five up and coming choreographers. Apart from a cash reward, the prize also included the opportunity for the winner to create and produce a choreography that would be performed by members of the Scottish Dance Theatre.

Vanessa Haska's choreography, entitled "Sorry for the Missiles!" was presented at the Dundee Rep Theatre in February 2007, at the Glasgow Royal Theatre in April 2007 and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the 21st to the 26th of August 2007. The performance is also to be included in the main repertoire of the Scottish Dance Theatre during its autumn tour of the U.K. and continental Europe.

The theme of the choreography "Sorry for the Missiles!", as Vanessa Haska explains, is war. During the twenty minute performance, the audience observes a group of people whose daily life is suddenly disrupted by war. "One moment they are happy", says the choreographer, "and the next, a bomb destroys everything and they become unhappy, scared and hurt. The theme relates to Cyprus, my family and friends, and to everything my relatives and acquaintances have told me about the houses they lost, about favorite locations that were destroyed and about people they knew who were killed".

The competition was organized by the Peter Darrell Institute to commemorate the twenty year anniversary of the death of Peter Darrell, the famous choreographer, founder of the Scottish Ballet. Vanessa Haska studied at the Athens State School of Dance.

She continued with postgraduate choreography studies and collaborated with Lucy Baldwin and Sonia Rodriguez. Vanessa won the Movingeast Choreographic Residency 2005 that gave the opportunity to develop her choreography work. Today she runs her own dance group in London and at the same time teaches creative and contemporary dance at the Royal Academy of Dance.