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.
It was really great to have attended The First Light Awards 2013 as it was an event that celebrated young talent that fills the future of British filmmaking full of hope.
Held at ODEON Leicester Square in London, the ceremony was hosted by funny duo comedian Iain Sterling and CBBC’s Hacker T Dog.
For more information, visit the website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, I was invited to the Chromaroma press launch held at the picturesque North Tower, Tower of London.
Developed by the award-winning digital agency Mudlark, Chromaroma is
…an online multiplayer game played out as you travel the city of London with your Oyster Card. By using Oyster data we are able to show you your Tube travel, and every journey means you amass points, taking a few steps further along the way to owning London.
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what it is about:
Press, gamers and Chromaroma’s biggest players gathered to hear from the people behind it headed by Toby Barnes. Using Oyster Cards and Bike Keys, Chromaroma allows users to embark on missions, collect items, gain points and support team members or make it all the more difficult for the opposition.
As teams players can capture stations and aim to dominate the map. It is a game: Risk meets Foursquare, a 21st century twist on a classic game and giving users the opportunity to conquer the London Underground network.
Players are divided up into colour-coded teams. When each player taps in or out of a station they gain points. The team that gains the most points then ‘owns’ that station. At the end of the season the team with the most stations wins the game and takes London.
But Chromaroma is not just a game, it is a storytelling platform from where people can play as fictional characters or as themselves in the physical world. To find out more, follow Chromaroma on Twitter.
I’m signed up to it already and flying the flag for the Green team.
To quote an amusing merchandising shirt I saw on Friday, “real men wear tights”. And certainly, this weekend has been living proof of that after seeing Balletboyz The Talent at Sadler’s Wells and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Balletboyz The Talent was created in 2009 by Artistic Directors / Balletboyz founders Michael Nunn and William Trevitt. Handpicking nine young male dancers, who are at the start of their careers, the 2011 tour features a mix of three works choreographed by Russell Maliphant, Paul Roberts and Jarek Ceremek.
The boys are: Taylor Benjamin, Kai Downham, Miguel Esteves, Adam Kirkham, Anthony Middleton, Edward Pearce, Leon Poulton, Matthew Rees and Jesús Sanz. Needless to say, they were brilliant and showed their versatility through the three pieces of work. The short video just before the second piece started was a delight to watch as it gave the audience an insight as to how the nine were chosen and the journey they have taken to deliver Balletboyz The Talent.
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what they did in the 2011 tour:
Then to Birmingham, where I was off to watch The Trocks, another all male dance group. Founded in 1974, The Trocks have earned themselves international acclaim for combining beautiful dance and comedy (they have performed in front of British Royalty you know!). The hilarity of the performers never took away the main focus, which was ballet in which they were absolutely magnificent.
The very grand dames of ballet did Swan Lake Act II/Pas de Deux, Go for Barocco/Raymonda’s Wedding. I wish I could tell you more about the two curtain calls but I don’t want to ruin it if you haven’t seen it, but it just made me cry with laughter especially the final one, which was just totally unexpected! They deserved the standing ovation they got.
From the welcome announcement through to the final bow, everything was just super brilliant, absolutely fantastic and just simply awesome. I better stop there and show you some videos before the hyperbole police arrests me.
There are still a few weeks left of their UK tour, but they’re currently embarking on an international tour until 2012, so there are plenty of chances to catch them wherever you are in the world.
Tonight was my last ditch attempt to catch SHOES, The Musical at London’s Peacock Theatre. This feel good show left me wanting to go shopping straight after, but in all seriousness, there was a copious amount of talent and hard work that went on to the making of that production. Congratulations to Sadler’s Wells for yet another amazing project.
This is what Sadler’s Wells said about it:
After the smash-hit world premiere at Sadler’s Wells, Richard Thomas and Stephen Mear’s fabulously original new show, Shoes, transfers to the Peacock Theatre for a limited eight-week run.
A celebration of one of the greatest passions of the modern age, Shoes is a song and dance spectacular that takes audiences on a journey from the lows of the croc via the agony and ecstasy of the stiletto, to the highs of the platform boot. Fresh from the pen of Richard Thomas (co-creator of Jerry Springer – The Opera) and the feet of top showbiz choreographer Stephen Mear (Sweet Charity, Mary Poppins), Shoes is a wickedly irreverent and affectionate look at the special power this seemingly innocuous item of clothing holds over many a shoe-addict.
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what the audience has said about it and snippets from the show.
I can’t recommend it enough to those who LOVE shoes and dance as much as I do. It was witty, funny and just simply entertaining. There were songs about Uggs, Crocs, Jimmy Choos and Ferragamo to name a few. There was even an Evita-style ode to former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, who is of course internationally renowned for her rather large shoe collection. The 12 dancers were brilliant as they showcased various dances from contemporary to hip hop through to folk. Needless to say, this was a result of a powerhouse of dance makers involved in the choreography. Also, the four singers plus the live band were absolutely amazing.
For a behind the scenes feature, here’s one from The Telegraph.
The show’s eight-week run is nearly over, so do catch it. It’s on until Sunday, so get booking!
On March 24, more than 150 cities across the world raised money for their favourite local charity as part of Twestival. In case you didn’t know, Twestival is a global Twitter festival where Tweeps from various backgrounds meet up, socialise and of course help raise vital funds for their cities’ chosen charities. Here’s a little insight to it:
Our event, which took place at South African bar Cape, near St Paul’s, was supported by the Financial Times. There was live music from Jack Whiskerd, Tamra Carhart and Tres B, who was one of the 75,000 helped by Centrepoint. There was karaoke thanks to Lucky Voice and yummy burritos from Chilango as well as a raffle draw, which had lots of fabulous prizes including some Angry Birds merchandise.
Centrepoint’s Martyn Paré-Hall said that he and his colleagues “simply wouldn’t be able to do our job” without the donations that come from initiatives like Twestival.
He added: “We work tirelessly to give many vulnerable young people a chance to better their lives and look forward to a future that is full of opportunity.
“Every penny we get from London Twestival will be spent on the vital services we provide to around 800 homeless young people each day including providing a safe home, help into training and education and support to tackle health issues to turn their backs on homelessness for good.”
I’ve really enjoyed being part of such a proactive team and meeting so many like-minded individuals. A karaoke session on the night gave birth to the Ice Ice Ladies which consists of myself and other London Twestival team members: Katie Wilkinson, Sam Morris, Louisa Douma and Francine Higham. Here I am with my friend, Ellesse Digital Producer Katie at the start of the event:
Looking forward to the next London Twestival already! Also, congratulations to all the other Twestival teams for raising cash for good causes.