15 July 2021

A brand new short dance film made in collaboration with up-and-coming hip-hop artist Joshua Nash, filmmaker Gemma Pons, and teenage dance students from Unlimited Dance Company in North Devon. Commissioned by Beaford and the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

It seems his fire isn’t burning any longer, it’s extinguished. 

A young man. Stalked by his inner demons, burdened by a lost imagination for the future and alienated by the isolation of the current world. Before it’s too late, he seeks an escape to a time when he was younger, more playful…uncaged.  

Through the raw, self-expression of dance, he is transported to a place to reconnect with the freedom, peace and simplicity of his youth. A place that allows for ultimate self-expression and release, with limited restrictions or obstacles. A place to think clearly. 

Burnout is a new short dance film made in collaboration with up-and-coming hip-hop artist Joshua Nash, filmmaker Gemma Pons, and teenage dance students from Unlimited Dance Company in North Devon. It explores the struggles of today’s youth, the complexities of the pandemic’s enforced isolation and the impact it has had on our mental health. 

Photo credit: HowaboutDave

Articulating the frustration of isolation, felt by many over the last year, this raw, strong and emotional dance-film highlights the importance of space, time and reflection as tools to better support our young people’s wellbeing and mental health. It showcases the need for people to connect with our natural environment to improve wellbeing within our communities and recharge. Burnout uses Krump, a dance style popularised on the streets of Los Angeles in the 2000s and characterised by free, exaggerated, and highly energetic movement to aid the expression of raw emotion. 

Filmed on location in London and Woolacombe beach in Devon, Burnout juxtaposes the urban city and the stunning rural North Devon coast, blending together physical movement from three professional adult dancers and eighteen youth dancers: Annie Adam, Bella Ayres, Betsy Nicholls Bristow, Britney Smith, Elowen Reynolds, Georgie Bawden, Isabelle Dibble, Jasmine Turner, Jessica Cardew, Joley Walker, Kayleigh Laird, Lily Moore, Mabel Waters, Madeline Moore, Molly Thomas, Liv Nicholls, Rosie Russell, Summer Madge.

The Devon dancers learnt the choreography remotely over Zoom, with London based Nash, during lockdown 3.0. Together they performed it for the very first time as a combined group on the expansive beach at Woolacombe, when it was filmed on 6 June 2021.

Photo credit: HowaboutDave

'Krump is an art form which is still quite new within the hip-hop dance world, so having the opportunity to share it with young people who live in Devon and might not have done anything like this before has been really special. 

As well as tackling the subject of mental health, which is more relevant now than ever, this film is a real celebration of people coming back together, difference and how we can all start to look ahead after a difficult year.'

Joshua ‘Vendetta’ Nash
Photo credit: HowaboutDave

Commissioned by Beaford and The Rural Touring Dance Initiative in partnership with Joshua ‘Vendetta’ Nash. 

  • Choreography: Joshua ‘Vendetta’ Nash
  • Music: Torben Lars Sylvest
  • Film & Edit: Gemma Pons 

Featuring Joshua Nash, Shangomola Edunjobi, Jordan Douglas and Elite & Company from Unlimited Dance Company.

With thanks to 

  • Claire Smith, Project Manager RTDI
  • Claire Ayres, Creative Producer Beaford
  • Reece McMahon, Freelance Arts Producer
  • Christina Dionysopoulou, Company Producer
  • Viviana Rocha, Assistant Producer
  • Sarah and Ellie, Unlimited Dance Company

Film location permissions granted by Parkin Estates and National Trust. 


The RTDI is a partnership between the National Rural Touring Forum, The Place, China Plate and Take Art. 

In 2015 The National Rural Touring Forum joined forces with The Place, China Plate and Take Art to launch a brand-new initiative designed to assist in the making and touring of contemporary accessible dance to rural areas. The project was set up to address the paucity of dance performance happening in rural areas in smaller community venues.  

The project has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England’s Lottery funded Strategic Touring Programme. Due to RTDI successes in November 2017 the project was given a further £417k to develop the project until July 2021. Over 160 performances have taken place to date along with numerous workshops and training opportunities for artists. 

The Rural Touring Dance Initiative is a partnership project led by The National Rural Touring Forum with The Place, China Plate and Take Art. The project is funded by Arts Council England through its Strategic Touring Fund.