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Black British Ballet

Greta Mendez MBE

Ethnic heritage: Trinidadian

Year of birth: 1954

Training: Det Dansk Ballet Academy, London Contemporary Dance School

Ballet career: Greta Mendez joined the Scottish Ballet in 1979 and was the first Trinidadian to dance with the company.

Dance career: As a dancer, Mendez has performed almost everywhere, including the Royal Opera House, the Himalayas, in prisons and on television. She was a director and performer at MAAS Movers, Britain's first black contemporary dance company; Nin Dance Company, Battimamzel Dance Company. Mendez was also actively involved in the drive for independent and black dance in the '70's and 80's.

As a Movement Director, Mendez has worked on plays by Shakespeare, Wole Soyinka and Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, for theatres such as The National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and the Tricycle (now Klin) Theatre. She directed Coups and Calypsos by Nourbese Philips and The Adventures of Snow Black and Rose Red by Queenie (Valerie Mason-John).

Mendez is an international artist who has worked in Greece, Italy, China, India, Kashmir, Trinidad and Tobago and Indonesia. Her artistic skills include working as a choreographer, dance and drama tutor, carnivalist, theatre and movement director, performance artist, producer, and filmmaker. Mendez was an Associate Director of Talawa Theatre Company and an Advisor and Assessor for the Arts Council.

Dance Your Dance. Dance the stories of humanity. Dance the guns to Silence.
- Greta Mendez, MBE