Farewell to Carina Howard

12 Dec 2023

Today we bid a very fond farewell to Company Dancer, Carina Howard, as she moves on to the next stage in her career. 

Since starting with Phoenix in January 2023, Carina has worked with Dane Hurst on his production of Requiem and After Tears: After A Requiem, which she performed in Leeds and South Africa, and with Miguel Altunaga on Cloudburst, which he created on our company dancers ahead of its World Premiere in our upcoming tour, BELONGING: Loss. Legacy. Love. Carina performed extracts from Cloudburst during our inaugural Community Engagement Tour this autumn/winter, including at Thackray Museum of Medicine, and she was integral in the restaging of Christopher Bruce’s Shadows

l-r: Carina Howard by Hugo Glendinning & After Tears by Tristram Kenton

“I feel very lucky to have been part of this new era of Phoenix”

We caught up with Carina to ask her about her time with the Company and to find out what it has meant to her to be part of the Phoenix family.

Carina said: “It has been a wild ride being part of the Phoenix family and one that I will forever be grateful for. There has been so much laughter and so much love in one year that I will carry with me wherever I go. The dancers are honestly one of a kind and an unbelievably talented bunch; we’ve formed a bond and way of creating together that I sincerely treasure. They have given me so much support as well as buckets of sass that makes everyday a joy! I cannot wait to be in the audience for their spring tour cheering the house down for these icons. 

I’ve also really appreciated being part of a company with such an important history and vision. I feel very lucky to have been part of this new era of Phoenix and am excited to follow on the journey. 

During my time at Phoenix we created Requiem and After Tears with Dane Hurst and performed these works with Opera North at The Grand in Leeds as well as with Cape Town Opera at Artscape in South Africa. I spent a month with Miguel Altunaga creating his piece Cloudburst as well as working with Christopher Bruce learning his work Shadows. I loved all of these experiences and really appreciate the patience and passion both of these choreographers have for their craft. We’ve also spent a couple of weeks teaching children as part of the company’s Learning & Development offering, and hopefully getting them excited about dance!

Most recently we have been performing Requiem and Cloudburst in the community tour which has been such an interesting experience as the venues are very different from your traditional theatres, Thackray Museum of Medicine being a unique one, as well as visiting schools. I was also lucky enough to be a part of the start of Marcus’ creation, Terms of Agreement, and am very excited to see the final piece in the spring tour. 

My highlight is without a doubt our tour to South Africa. This was a once in a lifetime experience as we had spent seven weeks with the South African dancers at Jazzart Dance Theatre when they came to the UK in April, so to perform with them in their home town four months later was so special.

There are so many highlights from this trip, but one of my favourites is being onstage for After Tears before the curtains go up. Half of us were sitting on each other’s shoulders with Cape Town Opera behind us gently starting to sing and hearing them build up their incredibly stunning vocals as the curtains rose and in that moment feeling a wash of absolute peace come over me. Of course that didn’t last long as within minutes we were dripping with sweat desperately trying to catch a breath whilst remembering our counts for the canon!”

We wish Carina all the very best as she takes up an exciting new position with Mark Bruce Company, and we look forward to seeing her dance again very soon.

Featured image: Hugo Glendinning
Gallery top left: Requiem shoot at Kirkstall Abbey by Rachel Poole
Gallery top centre: Cloudburst in creation by Miguel Altunaga
Gallery top right: Requiem rehearsals by Point of View Photography
Gallery bottom left: Open Company Class by Point of View Photography
Gallery bottom centre: Company Dancers at the Commemorative Book and Virtual Gallery launch event in January 2023
Gallery bottom right: Community Engagement Tour at Thackray Museum of Medicine