Flying Solo: an intimate understanding of independence

Flying Solo

Researching an intimate alternative to independence through dance performance in 2019

Flying Solo begins in April 2019, when three Ensemble dancers Hayley Matthews, Tyrone Isaac-Stuart and Nii-Tete Yartey perform their own solo show in the place they feel they began. These will be intimate shows separated by 4000 miles, at Noyam Institute of Dance, Dodowa, Ghana, which was founded by Nii-Tete’s father the late Professor Francis Nii Yartey , with whom Nii-Tete first began to dance; on Wanstead Flats, London, where Tyrone used to go and practice in thickets of trees where he felt he couldn’t be seen. This will be part of Waltham Forest borough of Culture proejct ‘The People’s Forest’; and in Ealing, London at St Barnabas Church, where Hayley choreographed her first dance piece while at Margaret Dance Academy at age 15 (to Addicted to Love! by Robert Palmer.) Dates for these shows on out tour page.

From there the soloists will gather at Home Live Art in Hastings, UK with Ensemble performer and Director Martin Gent, where they will explore how to weave their solos into a triple bill, while researching finding a way to be together while loosing nothing of themselves, their work, their past and their integrity. The triple bill research intends to connect audiences to solo performance as a lens through which to see a way of being alone together - a way of expressing uniqueness without fear - this is our intimate alternative to independence we want to propose. We feel ‘independence’ is a construct which there is pressure to adhere to, a construct that traps us in a space where pain, struggle, stubbornness and loneliness reigns and where true uniqueness, peppered as it is with need and desire, does not have space to be. Flying Solo sets us free of this, and shares this freedom with you.

There will be a talk and sharing at Home Live Art, Hastings on Monday May 6th at 17:00.

The soloists will then open the Flying Solo Triple Bill at Brighton Spiegeltent as part of Brighton Fringe on May 13, in London as part of The Waltham Forest Borough of Culture Peoples Forest on Saturday May 18 and at the Noyam Institute, Dodowa, Ghana Saturday October 12.

In Dodowa the triple bill will be accompanied by a 3 day intensive open to artists with an ‘independent’ practice Oct 12 -15. This intensive will also be held in the UK at Home, Live, Art, Hastings, September 6-8.

To round up this year long project the soloists will return home to perform their single solo shows close to where they each live now. For Hayley at St Lukes Church, Kentish Town, London and in Norwich (venue tbc) for Nii-Tete at the Noyam Instutite in Ghana where he began, marking the three year anniversary of his father’s passing, and for Tyrone on the Wetlands in Waltham Forest, London, where he spends hours wandering with his creative mind these days. These dates will be out soon.

Alongside the soloists, Ensemble Photographer Al Simmons will be following and documenting the project through photographs, film and a blog, being a photographer who speaks, as he follows the project. This work will become a Flying Solo blog, published on Ensemble’s website, and an exhibition, which we will open at the close of the project in London (venue tbc).

The Solos and Soloists



Tete, performer, teacher and choreographer is the son of Ghana’s foremost dance choreographer and teacher, the late Professor Francis Nii-Yartey. Having taken on directorship of National Dance Company Ghana in 2015 after his father’s death, becoming its youngest director, Tete recently stepped down to turn his attention to his father’s love and brainchild Noyam Dance Company and Noyam Institute of dance.

We spend our time searching everywhere for keys to doors that were never locked to us. We step out scavenging for scraps forgetting that we are the lions that went on the hunt, we play jester to a throne whose crown belongs on our head. Daakye interrogates the place of the Contemporary African Artist in a modern world and how his past can be both his distraction and salvation.


Photo credit Sonia Sanchez

Photo credit Sonia Sanchez

Hayley, dancer, choreographer and Rolfer and founder of Ensemble. She trained independently with mentorships with Adam Benjamin (Candoco founder) and Professor Francis Nii Yartey, Ghana, alongside following an intuitive ‘independent’ training across the UK and Europe. Hayley dances and brings voice into her work, she strives to dance to bring experiences of intimacy and grace to audiences and to find courage not to hide but show herself, in vulnerability, purity, and fierceness in performance.

Home Solo

To accept the isolation of trauma as an opportunity to grow, Home Solo explores the journey home to oneself as one is now, and the sanctuary ones artistry can provide when one feels place-less.



Tyrone, soloist, musician, conceptualist, collaborator and choreographer, blends his skills as dancer and musician with spoken word in dance theatre stories. He studied Jazz saxophone at Middlesex University and the University of New Orleans and developed further as a dancer while performing for East London’s finest; Boy Blue Entertainment.


In line with an album Tyrone is currently making, Fractals explores never ending patterns, there is a journey within it, it seeks how repetition can be a journey to the new. Fractals takes different forms in different spaces, it is a collection that researches it’s relationship to different indoor and outdoor spaces.

The solos are a chance to see these dancers up-close, they will be raw and bare, relying only on the dancer’s skills as performers, their individuality and courage.

You can view the Home Solo trailer in this link https://vimeo.com/258504637 Tete and Tyrone’s solo trailers, will be listed on our tour dates page soon. You can find full Flying Solo performance and workshop dates with links to bookings when they are open on our tour schedule page.

Flying Solo is supported by Arts Council England, DanceEast, OPENEaling, WCCM, Studio Wayne McGregor, Noyam Institute of Dance and Norfolk Arts Projects Fund

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