Category Archives: Dance
Went to see Siro-A at the weekend at the Leicester Square Theatre. They are Japan’s answer to the Blue Man group. It was truly a “technodelic” experience. It started with a man dressed up as a white stub who shook hands with the audience…
Here’s their blurb:
Spectacular entertainment fusing video mapping, mime, breath-taking optical illusions and movement all set to a pulsating electro beat by on stage DJs.
My favourite bit has to be the Toshinori Abe sequence: it has it all – comedy, catchy tune and impressive moves! Here’s a trailer:
Check out times and dates you can catch this group perform in London. It all ends April 22.
For choreographer Rosie Kay, her latest ensemble production There is Hope was a journey of self-discovery during the research and creation part of the piece.
There is Hope begins in the real world, with an evangelical preacher who reigns over his flock with an iron grip. Rebelling, they are plunged into a world of chaos, where evil has the space to thrive and they are led through a dark world of dictators, perversion and almost alien-like fear. Breaking through these worlds of childlike terror and hell, they enter a world of purgatory, suspended in stasis, in an endless cycle of birth, life and death. A new world transforms with the scent of incense in the air.
The path to enlightenment can be hard work and various means are used to portray the baroque ideals of beauty including meditation, gospel singing and trance states. In the end the material world is stripped away and ultimately offers up a message of hope and redemption.
Both challenging and thought provoking, this new piece of Kay’s embraces her multi-disciplinary style of choreography, diverse collaborations and eclectic mix of visual media. Featuring five dancers and three musicians – performing on a visually arresting set.
There is Hope weaves elements of black comedy, live music, film, song and occasional nudity to deliver its message of hope and redemption. This new work follows the International success of 5 SOLDIERS.
I saw the show at Laban recently and for those of you who are yet to see it, you can catch the show on the following dates and venues:
Ticket prices and start times vary, so please check the websites for more information.
Finally they are back in the UK and if you have never seen Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, you simply MUST if you are up for a bit of culture and a laugh.
Can’t really sum them up any better than this:
…be amused and amazed as the all-male divas of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (or “The Trocks” to their friends) return to the UK following their last sell-out visit. With one foot in farce and the other in classical ballet, their dedicated tootsies shoe-horned into size 10 pink satin pointe-shoes the Trocks return return with a fabulous new programme, a lorry load of costume changes and lashings of diva attitude.
Watch a dancer transform into their ballet-diva alter-ego:
The Trocks plays at Birmingham Hippodrome Friday, 1 & Saturday, 2 February 2013. Performance times: Eves 7:30pm, Sat Mat 2.30pm. Tickets are between £15 and £34.50. There is a free post-show talk on Friday, 1 February. Call 0844 338 5000 or choose your own seat online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com (5% booking fee applies, calls cost from 5p per min). The programme during their Birmingham performances, which is subject to alteration, will be Les Sylphides/Pas de Deux/La Vivandière/Walpurgis Night.
Make sure to join in on this exclusive and LIVE look at one of the world’s most beloved comedy-dance troupes from 4:15pm on Friday, 1 February for the live open rehearsal live stream available on Birmingham Hippodrome’s social networks as well as on its live streaming account.
Candoco Dance Company and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have joined forces to achieve greater access for disabled people into the dance profession and to advocate for the importance of inclusive practice in enhancing creative endeavour, it was announced today by Candoco Executive Director Rebecca Dawson and Trinity Laban Director of Dance Mirella Bartrip.
The partnership, which will formally launch on Wednesday, 17 October prior to Candoco’s performance at Laban Theatre, aims to embed inclusive practice into the culture of dance, integrating disabled dancers, makers, teachers and leaders into the profession. Candoco and Trinity Laban will promote inclusive practice in vocational training, developing progression routes for disabled dancers into pre-vocational and vocational training and providing leadership in establishing the UK as internationally significant for the advancement of inclusive dance practice.
In pursuit of these ambitious aims, Candoco and Trinity Laban are embarking on a comprehensive programme of activity to include providing mutual advisory roles for programme and curriculum developments, and audition processes; developing structured professional development programmes; providing regular placements with Candoco for Trinity Laban students; collaborating on youth projects and company and student performance projects; and Candoco repertory production and performances at the Laban Theatre in Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Dance.
Rebecca Dawson said: “Trinity Laban’s innovative philosophy and diverse community have been instrumental in resourcing Candoco’s groundbreaking workforce and we are very excited to be working together in a formal capacity to harness that history and commitment in order to drive a step change in dance training, performance and making.”
Mirella Bartrip endorsed Rebecca’s view. She said: “I am delighted that the close collaboration of Trinity Laban and Candoco over the years has resulted in consolidation of our association as a formal partnership. As two forward looking and entrepreneurial organisations, our dance artists and educators will collaborate to realize new horizons for dance art in the 21st century.”
Candoco return to Laban Theatre on Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 October for two performances of Three Acts of Play, a triple bill featuring the London theatre premiere of Javier de Frutos’ new duet Studies for C.
Inspired by the poetry of Tennessee Williams and set to traditional Mexican Ranchera music, the duet is a celebration of difference and rebellion.
Richard Raymond has teamed up with internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Akram Khan to bring his directorial debut DESERT DANCER to the big screen. The British film stars Slumdog Millionaire’s Frieda Pinto as well as Reece Ritchie and Tom Cullen.
Set in Iran, where dance is illegal and punishable by prison – DESERT DANCER is the incredible true story of Afshin Ghaffarian who risks everything to fight for his dreams.
The story follows Afshin as he hacks into YouTube (also banned in Iran) and teaches himself how to dance by watching music videos – everything from Michael Jackson and Bob Fosse to Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. With YouTube as his teacher, Afshin starts an underground dance company at university with his friends. As their skills develop the group put on a secret dance performance deep in the desert. Their story plays out against the 2009 protests, when the passion and defiance of a young generation lit the flame of revolution still sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.
Director Richard Raymond said: “When I first discovered this story, I immediately connected with it and felt compelled to share it with the widest audience. It’s a story that provokes unity and reminds us of the hope to be found in human resilience and in the simple determination to fight for what is right.
“This film reflects a belief that we should all have the same rights and basic freedoms, no matter where we come from. And most importantly, we should all have the opportunity to realise our dreams.”
He added: “It has been a privilege and a great experience to collaborate with Akram, whose interpretation of dance is not just visually mesmerising but also beautifully spiritual and it is a testament to the passion and love surrounding this film that such a talented and dedicated cast have worked so hard in training with us.”
Choreographer Akram Khan said: “This film is the beginning of the end of a tradition of trying to capture dance… Because this film is not just about dance, but about the very purpose and reason why dance is so important in our lives.
“I am extremely excited to be working alongside the vision and passion of Richard, where at once, he sees and captures the true essence of the body. Not only is the story an inspiring one about the struggle to free oneself from a political regime through dance, but it is also the very freedom we all have a right to have, regardless of what country, what nationality, or what culture we come from. Dance transcends these boundaries, and film allows us to witness the fleeting moments of the soul in action. I feel this film reveals just that.”
DESERT DANCER also stars Nazanin Boniadi, who is an official spokesperson for Amnesty International USA and has campaigned against the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women and prisoners of conscience.
The film will start Principal Photography in Casablanca on October 17th 2012, before moving to London and then finally Paris. DESERT DANCER will be released in the UK in 2013.
So lucky that I’m able to see ZooNation’s brilliant production of Some Like It Hip Hop again. Enjoyed it the first time around and enjoyed it even more with the tweaks they have done with the show. We see the return of the loveable characters of Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzen…
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what it is:
Had the opportunity to join the cast during their technical rehearsal and managed to catch up with Tommy Franzen (Simeon Sun) and Andry Oporia (Chadwell Chichester III). I filmed a mini interview with them on my iPhone…
The show runs until 14 October at the Peacock Theatre, London and the tour kicks off in Manchester on 18 October. For a full tour line up, check out the Some Like It Hip Hop page
Join in the conversation and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Renowned British artist Akram Khan choreographed a prominent section of Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. The brief from Boyle to Khan was one word – ‘Mortality’.
The section featured 50 specially selected professional dancers, a 9-year-old boy and Khan himself. Set to the voice of Emeli Sandé singing Abide With Me, the piece was a moment of reflection and contemplation following the vibrant and astonishing, high tempo proceedings.
Khan’s work brought an infectious stillness to the London 2012 Ceremony, a reminder of our own mortality and the transfer of possibilities and hopes between generations. Danny Boyle invited Khan to choreograph the section after watching a performance of his piece Vertical Road – which explores similar themes.
Throughout his career Akram Khan has captivated audiences all over the world with his unique way of storytelling that cross cultural boundaries.
Following his performance in Isles of Wonder Akram Khan said: “Working with Danny and his team on the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games has been an exciting and humbling experience. I was daunted but always felt honoured and proud.
“I have tried to reconnect our intimacy and creativity to this gigantic world, to all our roots and to our hopes for the future. It seems almost natural for arts and sports to sit side by side: in both we desire to test the very limits of what we’re capable of doing. In sports human endurance, in arts human imagination.”
Following the Opening Ceremony, Akram Khan Company will resume a global tour. Akram’s Olivier award winning solo production DESH will go to Rome, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Athens and Paris before returning to London’s Sadler’s Wells in October. His other multi-award winning works Gnosis and Vertical Road will be touring Germany, India, Taiwan, USA and France.
Opening ceremony with TV commentary
Three brilliant pieces from English National Ballet were put on show at the awe-inspiring St Paul’s Cathedral. The company returned to St Paul’s as part of the City of London Festival‘s golden jubilee year with an excerpt from Ballet Russes Suite en Blanc created by the legendary Ukranian-born Serge Lifar as well as the world premeieres of two new dance works Of a Rose (choreographed by Antony Dowson) and Van Le Ngoc‘s The Four Seasons.
The dancers were ever so graceful and were accompanied by fantastic music by the Orchestra of English National Ballet featuring City Chamber Choir. one of the highlights was during Of A Rose where it featured a solo soprano voice and the 15th century English poem Of a Rose, a Lovely Rose against the backdrop of St Paul’s magnificent altar.
What a brilliant evening set in such an historic place with beautiful dance, music and a celebration of art. Thank you City of London Festival for having an array of interesting events in your festival programme. The festival ends on July 27.
Currently on the last leg of their North American tour, Vertical Road has reached critical acclaim around the world. The Guardian describes it as: “The dance is beautiful and harrowing, and draws us into a strange, potent world of memory and self discovery.”
Recent accolades for the piece include winning the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award 2011 for Best Modern Choreography.
Vertical Road is Khan’s latest contemporary ensemble work realised by an eclectic cast drawn from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. With a specially commissioned score by long-term collaborator, composer Nitin Sawhney, Vertical Road draws inspiration from the Sufi tradition and the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi.
Exploring man’s earthly nature, his rituals and the consequences of human actions, Vertical Road becomes a meditation on the journey from gravity to grace. The piece explores these ideas in a ground-breaking work of contemporary dance, choreographed by Khan himself and performed by eight hand-picked dancers from around the world led by the uber talented dancer/choreographer Salah El Brogy, who plays the role of the traveller. El Brogy has been mesmerising audiences across the globe with his moves and is proving to show that dance portrays a deeper meaning that can really touch the soul. El Brogy is an artist with a message who continues to make a mark in his field.
Vertical Road sees Khan returning to pure movement in his choreography, eliminating the text and dialogue that have featured in recent works such as DESH and zero degrees. Rooted in his classical kathak training, but informed by his experience and virtuosity in contemporary dance, Vertical Road has strong Middle Eastern influences, and continues Khan’s interest in exploring the interfaces between different cultures and creative disciplines.
Check out what Boyle had to say below:
Khan, who’s work Vertical Road won “Best Modern Choreography” at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards last week, is recovering well from a tendon injury sustained earlier this month. His performance at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony will be his first public performance in 2012.
Khan said: “It is a thrill and an honour to be collaborating with Danny Boyle on the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“The eyes of the world will be on London, in what will be one of the most watched performance events of all time. To be able to contribute is one of the most rewarding and exciting moments of my career.”
“My work has always been about courageous and ambitious experiences, that take audiences on a unique journey that crosses cultural boundaries and I look forward to bringing all these qualities to my Opening Ceremony performance.
“I am recovering well from my recent injury and am looking forward to getting back to preparing for this incredible event,” he added.