About

Photo by Luis Sosa

Photo by Luis Sosa

Carlos Pons Guerra was born in Gran Canaria, Spain, and has been creating dance since 2012. Nominated for the Best Emerging Artist category at the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2015, he has been described as a choreographer "of innate intelligence and theatricality" by Dance Europe Magazine, and his choreography as containing “dazzling imagery” that is “superlatively danced” by the Financial Times.

Carlos has choreographed for companies including Ballet Hispanico of New York, Rambert, Nashville Ballet, Northern Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Cahoots Northern Ireland, Attakkalari (India), and ENDanza (Dominican Republic), as well as creating and touring his independent work internationally with DeNada Dance Theatre.  

Working in ballet, contemporary dance and theatre, and always with an adoration for kitsch, melodrama and high camp, Carlos creates work that explores gender, cultural and sexual identity, trying to entertain, move and provoke thought through emotionally motivated movement, narrative and theatricality. He is interested in creating unique, absurd and highly emotive worlds and characters onstage. Often stemming from personal experience, distortions of Hispanico/Latino culture, and hugely inspired by film directors/writers such as Pedro Almodovar, Jean Genet, John Waters or Tennessee Williams, “His work combines lacerating social comment with outrageous showmanship. It’s witty, it’s penetrating, and it’s personal.” The Observer

Carlos’ choreography has been performed across the globe at major dance theatres including The Joyce Theatre (NYC), Sadler's Wells (London), the Chennai Music Academy (India), the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Santo Domingo), the United Palace Theatre (NYC) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, as well as in key international festivals including Brighton International Festival, International Dance Festival Birmingham, Gender Bender Festival in Bologna, Homotopia Festival Liverpool, and the International Dance Festival of Santo Domingo. 

In May 2018, Carlos was the subject of a BBC Four documentary co-produced with Sadler's Wells. The film, Prejudice and Passion, followed Carlos' work as an independent choreographer, his approach to gender/sexuality and dance, and his shift from creating adult targeted work to a children's production exploring gay adoption, Penguins. The documentary, which aired May 10th, was part of Sadler's Wells/BBC Four's series, Danceworks, portraying four representative voices of the UK dance scene.

He founded DeNada Dance Theatre in 2012 as a company that subverts, exports and explores Hispanic and Latino culture in the UK and beyond. For DeNada, Carlos has created the three works that form Ham and Passion, a gender-bending triple bill that exploring the history of homosexuality in 20th century Spain. More recently, he created TORO: Beauty and the Bull, a full length Hispanic, queer and postcolonial take on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, which had its national UK tour in 2018. Of TORO, The Guardian says : "Dynamite dancing and extreme sensuality."  Ham and Passion received two nominations for the 2016 UK Critics' Circle National Dance Awards: Best Independent Company and Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) for Marivi Da Silva's role in his Young Man!.

Carlos began his ballet studies at the Choreographic Centre of Las Palmas, under direction of Carmen Robles and Anatol Yanowsky, before training at the Royal Conservatoire for Dance of Madrid 'María de Ávila' and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. During his dance training he also read for a BA (Hons) English Literature through the University of Leeds and the Open University. He was raised in Gran Canaria and moved to the UK in 2005.