vanessa abreu
vanessa abreu

Vanessa was born in Madeira, Portugal. In Lisbon she trained in classical ballet (1990-2002) with Sarah Silvin. She joined Escola Superior de Dança de Lisboa (2002-2003) and later completed a BA (Hons) Dance Theatre degree with First Class Honours, Laban. In 2006 she was awarded the Simone Michelle Award for outstanding achievement in Choreography. During her course she had the opportunity to work with inspiring choreographers such as Maria Romih, Mark Lorimer, Marina Collard and Gary Lambert. Throughout this time she was also involved in several collaborative projects, being a member and co-founder of La Tertulia Dance Project (2004-2006).

In 2007 she completed an MA Choreography from Laban. Her independent inquiry lead to the presentation of “I. Standing Woman Dressed in Black II. Seated Female Wearing Dark Dress III. Kneeling Woman in Underwear, Front View” (2007), at the Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban. 

In January 2008, Vanessa becomes an Apprentice Dancer for Union Dance Company, joining their 2007-2008 production 'Haven on Earth' with "Sublime Element" by Tayeb Benamara. Following this period, she soon becomes a Union Dance Associate Artist, choreographing, performing and teaching to date.

Other professional engagements have included work with:  Janine Harrington, The Bridge; Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, TooMortal creation and Tour; Fleur Darkin Company, DisGo and Blake (Innocence + Experience) Spring Tour; The Generating Company, Official Ceremony for the UAE 40th National Day Celebration; Gerrard Martin Dance; Dane Hurst (Rambert Dance Company); Pair Dance, Silent Steps and Rush; Flat Feet Dance; Tânia Bruguera and Pablo Bronstein’s work, at the Hayward Gallery MOVE: Choreographing You; Jennifer Essex, London College of Fashion Production. Recent collaborators have included: Dane Hurst, Vago Tedosio (ARTEVICT), Gary Nurse (Legends of the Underground), Luke Thomas Dunne (En Knap Group), Andrej Gubanov, Mathew Orange (Composer), Noura Sanatian(Violin), Ejnar Askberger (Flute, Voice, Electro), Jane Mclean (White Flag), Jonathan Chadwick (AZ Theatre).

Vanessa is a Southbank Emerging Artist in Residence.

As a winner of the BBC Performing Arts Fund Dance Fellowship 2011, Vanessa is currently training with and shadowing Upswing’s Artistic Director in creating work that incorporates aerial dance, acrobatics and dance.
helka kaski (dancer)
matthew orange (composer, bassoon)
noura sanatian (violin)
maral mohammadi (cello)
jane mclean (rehearsal director)
ejnar askberger (musician, flute,...)
andrej gubanov (film, lighthing, dancer)
claudia giordano (dancer)
susanne mayer (dancer)
ana sophia ribeiro (dancer)
vanessa abreu (artistic director)
dance works
Photo: Mike Conway