United Kingdom The Place in London Unveils Its Season of Contemporary Dance
Spring Loaded, the annual season of contemporary dance held at The Place off London’s Euston Road since 1987, runs this year from the 25th April to the 14th June. Established UK and international choreographers from different backgrounds will present works in movement styles that challenge conceptions of what dance is and where its boundaries lie. Four of the artists (Eva Recacha, Vera Trussing, Igor and Moreno) have received support from The Place’s own Work Place programme for professional choreographers. The season, which includes three premieres, starts with Easy Rider, in which Spanish-born Recacha looks at superstition and the need to belong. Also in April, Southpaw Dance Company (which is based in the North East of England) uses break dance and contact improvisation in Riots and Men on a Mission, works inspired by social unrest and the use of recreational drugs.
The programme for May begins with Vera Trussing’s ‘poetic’ T-Dance, in which four dancers are connected at shoulder-height by short, wooden sticks to form a ‘motion sculpture’. Last Man Standing by James Wilton Dance mixes martial art, break dancing and capoeira to examine the themes of danger and the desire to survive. Under the title of Assembly, Joe Moran’s Dance Art Foundation presents three works by the theatre-trained choreographer which look at intimacy and risk, formalism in choreography, and masculinity. London-based duo Igor and Moreno borrow from their native Basque and Sardinian folk traditions (adding voice and text) to create Idiot-Syncracy, their ‘jumping dance’. Japanese performance artist Mamoru Iriguchi presents an evening of three works: Projector/Conjector; One Man Show; and GRAFT. The first is a ‘Swan Lake-inspired love duet’ between a man with a television screen on his head and a woman with a projector on hers. Drawing perhaps on the choreographer’s background in zoology, GRAFT involves the displacement of body parts. The final performance this month will be Trailblazers Showcase – Exposure, by the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), an organization whose aim is to make the dance of the African Diaspora ‘a viable and valued’ part of the British cultural experience.
The first performance in June is of Michael Marso Riviere’s Matches and Halfway to The Other Side. The French-born, Midlands-based choreographer works with Lebanese actor/dancer Guy Nadar and performer Salah El Brogy (who recently appeared at The Place in Luca Silvestrini’s ‘Border Tales’) to create two new duets, one dealing with destruction and renewal, the other inspired by Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’.This is followed by the third edition of In Good Company, in which six dancers from the Hofesh Shechter Company choreograph work of their own. Philippe Blanchard and Italian filmmaker twins, Luca and Gabriele Stifani collaborate on This is that, a dance piece that uses the spoken word, and to which the adjectives ‘charming’, ‘comic’ and ‘touching’ have been applied. In Hide the Laban-trained, Cardiff-based dance artist/choreographer, Deborah Light, uses image, sound and text to create an environment in which three women ‘reveal and re-invent themselves’. The season ends with Witness, by Jo Fong, a piece that deals with the representation of women in art and dance, and in which performers ‘saturate’ the space through the use of three cinema screens.
To accompany a season whose slogan is ‘Where dance is going next’, and which in the past helped launch the careers of choreographers such as Wayne McGregor and Matthew Bourne, The Place is running a Spectator School. This includes short films, talks on some of the performances, and backstage tours (http://www.theplace.org.uk/
Fri 25: Eva Recacha (premiere)
Sat 26 Eva Recacha
Tue 29 Southpaw Dance Company
Wed 7 Vera Tussing
Thu 8 Vera Tussing
Sat 10 James Wilton Dance
Tue 13 Joe Moran
Thu 15 Igor and Moreno
Fri 16 Igor and Moreno
Wed 28 Mamoru Iriguchi (includes a premiere)
Sat 31 Association of Dance of the African Diaspora
Wed 4 Mickael Marso Riviere
Fri 6 Hofesh Shechter Company presents In Good Company (premiere)
Sat 7 Hofesh Shechter Company presents In Good Company
Tue 10 Philippe Blanchard
Fri 13 Deborah Light
Sat 14 Jo Fong