LondonDance - Latest Articleshttp://londondance.comLatest news and articles from LondonDanceThu, 16 Aug 2018 12:49:38 +0100Thu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100Become a dance ambassador/articles/news/become-a-dance-ambassador//articles/news/become-a-dance-ambassador/Dance Consortium, in partnership with One Dance UK, are searching for the next generation of dance leaders aged 15-25 to become their new Dance Ambassadors.

Applications are now open to recruit the next cohort of young people to support the delivery of the consortium’s activities as champions of the dance sector and help to inspire new audiences and participation in dance.

Each year, the scheme recruits 20 successful applicants from across the UK, providing a unique opportunity to gain access to networking opportunities and developing participants’ skills and knowledge for a career in dance.

Dance Ambassadors will advocate for the organisations and activities across their networks, with decision makers and stakeholders in their location. They are also required to help at dance events (for example conferences and regional platforms) and when possible provide support in the office at key times in the year.

Vicki Horan, a graduate of the 2017/18 Dance Ambassadors programme, said:

“Being a Dance Ambassador has given me so many great opportunities. I have been heavily involved with supporting the selection process for U.Dance South West and volunteering at the regional platform. Additionally, Dance Ambassadors use the programme to network with each other and with leading dance organisations and companies across the UK. So, it’s safe to say that from being an Ambassador, I have gained a lot of confidence and knowledge about how I would like to work within the dance industry in the future.”

Read the full interview with Vicki here.

Applications close on 17 September. For more information and to apply, visit the Dance Consortium website.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
Matthias Sperling returns to Sadler’s Wells with sci-fi performance lecture/articles/news/matthias-sperling-returns-to-sadlers-wells-with-sc//articles/news/matthias-sperling-returns-to-sadlers-wells-with-sc/Choreographer and performer Matthias Sperling will return to Sadler’s Wells this autumn with Now That We Know, a performance lecture exploring a future relationship between mind and body.

Originally presented at Sadler’s Wells in 2016, Now That We Know continues Sperling’s exploration into a hypothetical future in which science has discovered precisely how our bodies give rise to our minds, and considers how dance and choreography could be expanded by this new understanding.

The show is accompanied by a playfully conceived symposium in which artists and academics build on the themes explored in Now That We Know. The Institute of Neurochoreography – First Open Congress features guest speakers including cognitive scientist Guido Orgs, artist and performance maker Choy Ka Fai, and choreographer Colette Sadler.

Born in Toronto, Sperling studied with Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and went on to study philosophy at university before coming to the UK to complete his dance training with Transitions Dance Company at Laban. He went on to dance with companies including Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance and Matthew Bourne’s Adventures In Motion Pictures before pursuing his own choreographic work, which has been presented at leading arts venues and dance festivals worldwide, including Tate Modern, Royal Opera House and Dance Umbrella. He is a frequent collaborator with Siobhan Davies, who recently commissioned Sperling to create the solo installation Loop Atlas, which was presented in art galleries including the Barbican Curve and Glasgow’s Tramway.

Now That We Know takes place on 1 & 2 November in the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells. The symposium takes place on 2 November at 2.30pm.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
The Place seeks short works for new Startin' Point Festival/articles/news/the-place-seeks-short-works-for-startin-point-fest//articles/news/the-place-seeks-short-works-for-startin-point-fest/The Place is seeking short works to commission for Startin’ Point, a new festival which celebrates the connection between music and dance of the African Diaspora, curated by Hakeem “Mr Impact” Onibudo.

Over three days in October, Startin’ Point Festival will showcase work that honours African heritage, celebrating the contribution of national and international artists to this legacy and encouraging young artists to find their voice and push the boundaries of expression.

Choreographers, companies and collectives are invited to apply with existing short works of 10-20 minutes that can be developed further and be performed at the festival in October 2018.

Each of the three selected pieces will:

  • Receive £1000 to assist in the development of the work to be presented at the Startin’ Point Festival
  • Receive access to rehearsal space at The Place
  • Receive 2 hours of technical rehearsal
  • Perform at the Startin’ Point Festival on 20 October 2018 at The Place
  • Have the opportunity to win the audience prize of £1000 on the night
  • Have the opportunity to be awarded the Startin’ Point Legacy Commission 2019.

The Startin’ Point Legacy Commission will be chosen by a panel of industry experts, according to the work they feel has the greatest potential for future development. The winning choreographer will be given significant financial support and mentorship to develop the presented work into a full-length piece and to find opportunities to present it across the UK in 2019/2020.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 16 August. To find out more and apply, visit The Place’s website.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
Top dance shows to see in August/articles/news/top-dance-shows-to-see-in-august//articles/news/top-dance-shows-to-see-in-august/Swan Lake

Prima ballerina Irina Kolesnikova leads this majestic production of one of the most beloved ballets of all time, from St Petersburg Ballet Theatre. The alternating soloists include guest stars Denis Rodkin, Alexander Volchkov and Kimin Kim as Siegfried, and Bolshoi principal Yulia Stepanova sharing the role of Odette, while the Orchestra of English National Opera performs Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. The company’s 2015 season sold out, and extra performance dates have already been added, so grab your tickets quickly.
22 August – 2 September, London Coliseum

On Mother’s Day

Ekata Theatre’s new physical theatre piece is inspired by writer Saaramaria Kuittinen’s experience of writing to a death row convict for seven years. Performed in the round, it follows the story of a prisoner on death row who is writing to his mother on Mother’s Day. His monologues are supported by two physical performers who use ensemble stagecraft, handheld lights and choreography to re-enact scenes and become characters from his memories.
13 – 16 August, The Cockpit

Carmen La Cubana

This sizzling hot summer musical puts a fresh spin on the famous femme fatale, with an all-Cuban cast, irresistible dance routines and an infectious score which fuses Bizet’s opera with authentic Cuban styles. Select performances include a free post-show dance class with members of the cast, for those looking to brush up on their cha-cha-cha, salsa, rumba and mambo.
Until 18 August, Sadler’s Wells

Shechter Underground

A macabre circus of comedy, murder and desire from Hofesh Shechter Company’s talented young group, Shechter II. This site-responsive show leads audiences in to the atmospheric tunnels beneath Somerset House in spaces not usually open to the public, offering a chance to encounter Shechter’s inimitable dance-meets-rock-gig style in a unique setting. Company dancer Erion Kruja reworks original movement from Shechter’s hit show Clowns to create a darkly comic, topsy-turvy world.
23 – 25 August, Somerset House

Rambert Summer Installation

A unique opportunity to experience contemporary dance up close and go behind the scenes with one of the world’s leading dance companies. This immersive installation from Rambert removes the barrier between the audience and the performer, and takes place in the backstage areas of the company’s home on the South Bank.
24 – 26 August, Rambert


Dancers and JCB diggers become unlikely partners in this free, family-friendly outdoor spectacle from Motionhouse which explores the relationship between man and machine in an awe-inspiring way.
25 August, Griffin Square

Velvet Petal

Scottish Dance Theatre explore the transformative power of beauty this intimate dance work inspired by the life-cycle of the Monarch butterfly and Robert Mapplethorpe’s polaroids. The piece is accompanied with a dance-punk score by Torben Lars Sylvest including music by LCD Soundsystem, Spoek Mathambo, and Four Tet, with a live performance by Abul Mogard. This is its London premiere.
31 August – 1 September, Southbank Centre

NewsThu, 08 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch presents two UK premieres at Sadler's Wells/articles/news/tanztheater-wuppertal-pina-bausch-presents-first-f//articles/news/tanztheater-wuppertal-pina-bausch-presents-first-f/The internationally renowned Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch returns to Sadler’s Wells next year with the UK premiere of two new pieces by Dimitris Papaioannou and Alan Lucien Øyen, the company’s first full-length works created by guest choreographers. Performances take place at Sadler’s Wells – where Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is an International Associate Company – between 14 – 25 February 2019.

The unmistakable style of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch was forged over decades performing Pina Bausch’s huge catalogue of works. Following the choreographer’s death in 2009, the company is now ready to embark on the expansion of this repertoire with new works by two choreographers.

New Piece I – Since she (14 – 17 February 2019) marks the first work that Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou has created outside of his own company. Trained as a visual artist, Papaionannou’s work is renowned for its dream-like atmosphere, inhabited by a circus of contorted and absurd creatures.

Norwegian choreographer, director and award-winning playwright Alan Lucien Øyen creates the second new work, New Piece II (22 – 25 February 2019). As resident choreographer of the Norwegian National Ballet and for his own company Winter Guests, Øyen seeks to reflect the human experience using dance and text.

Tickets start from £12 and can be booked via the Sadler’s Wells website.

Photo: New Piece I – Since she by Dimitiris Papaioannou © Julian Mommert

NewsThu, 08 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0000
The Place offers design-your-own summer dance course/articles/news/the-place-offers-design-your-own-summer-dance-cour//articles/news/the-place-offers-design-your-own-summer-dance-cour/The Place is offering a flexible summer dance course for adults which allows participants to design their own programme over the course of three weeks, choosing from classes led by some of the UK’s leading dance artists including Phoenix Dance Theatre, Theo Clinkard, English National Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

The course runs from 6 – 24 August and there are 16 classes to choose from each week – from exploring New Adventures’ award-winning repertoire to improvisation and yoga for dancers – in The Place’s central London studios.

For more information and to book online, visit The Place’s website.

Photo: Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures © Helen Maybanks

NewsMon, 08 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0000
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE 30 JULY 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-30-july-2018//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-30-july-2018/Monday

Nulla is a short film by New York-based director Jean Claude Billmaier, choreographed by Loni Landon and performed by Evan Copeland (Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More). Developed as a response to our work-driven lifestyles, the film visually expresses the daily struggle of the everyday person in winding down and resetting energy levels back to zero, to an original score by R’n‘B producer Toulouse. It’s available to watch online here.


Circa’s Peepshow at Underbelly Southbank is the latest playful and exhilarating offering from the popular Australian troupe. Directed by Yaron Lifschitz, Peepshow promises to turn cabaret on its head with thrilling acrobatics and devilishly precarious aerials.


Carmen gets a Cuban makeover as Sadler’s Wells presents the UK premiere of Carmen La Cubana, a sultry take on one of the most famous operas ever created, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution. Featuring a large company of singers, dancers and musicians, this new musical mixes Bizet’s classic score with authentic Cuban dance styles such as salsa, mambo, rumba and cha-cha-cha. Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) directs, with new orchestrations by the Tony Award-winning Alex Lacamoire of Hamilton fame.


Watch acrobats soar through the skies of the Square Mile as Upswing and Motionhouse present free performances at Guildhall Yard as part of the City of London Corporation’s Women: Work and Power season. Dance-circus company Motionhouse premiere an all-female version of Captive, which is inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem The Panther and takes place inside a giant moving cage, while award-winning acrobats Upswing share an aerial adaptation of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson (pictured above).


The Open Choreography programme at Siobhan Davies Studios invites audiences to experience and be part of the making process. This week, interdisciplinary artists Tate N Lyle and Fionn Duffy collaborate to explore relations between the sound and the body. Drop in to Friday’s Open Studio to explore the materials and ideas that have emerged from this residency, including works installed and encounters happening throughout the building.


Somerset House and its resident creative producers Crying out Loud celebrate 250 years of circus in London with their second Circus Sampler weekend. In the courtyard, the pioneering Gandini Juggling premiere a special commission, Cascade, performed within the rhythmic rise and fall of the 55 water jets of the courtyard fountains to live brass music from Circus Tsuica, a French band of musical acrobats. Before you leave, stop by the Circus Originals exhibition in the East Wing, which charts the history of contemporary circus from its beginnings in the 1800s through to the present day, and catch the new installation Remember This! from Rose English.


Dance as Medicine: Body, Wellness, Imagination is a regular workshop at Chisenhale Dance Space which offers a creative space for people living with chronic health issues or fatigue. Exploring the idea of dance and movement as medicine, sessions aim to help participants awaken the imagination, find more ease in the body and stimulate creativity.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
ALEXANDRA BURKE TO STAR AS ROXIE HART IN CHICAGO/articles/news/alexandra-burke-to-star-as-roxie-hart-in-chicago//articles/news/alexandra-burke-to-star-as-roxie-hart-in-chicago/Alexandra Burke will join the West End cast of Chicago at the Phoenix Theatre, playing the role of Roxie Hart from Monday 13 August – Saturday 14 October 2018. She joins Martin Kemp as Billy Flynn, Mazz Murray as Mama Morton, Josefina Gabrielle as Velma Kelly and Paul Rider as Amos Hart.

Burke rose to fame in 2008 after winning the 5th series of ITV’s The X Factor. Her winner’s single, Hallelujah, reached number one in the UK Christmas Chart and went on to be crowned the top-selling single of 2008, selling over 1 million copies in the UK alone. Her theatre roles include Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard (London & UK tour), Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (UK Tour), and, most recently, Svetlana Chess in the five-week revival of Chess at the London Coliseum. In 2017, Burke was a finalist in BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing. Earlier this year, she released her third album, The Truth Is.

Chicago originally ran in London for 15 years, making it the West End’s longest running revival. It first opened at the Adelphi Theatre on 18 November 1997 to rave reviews and immediately became a sell-out hit. The multi award-winning musical returned to the West End in March.

Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, Chicago has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1996 Broadway revival was choreographed by Ann Reinking in the style of Bob Fosse, directed by Walter Bobbie, and produced by Barry and Fran Weissler.

Chicago is booking at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End until Saturday 5 January 2019. Tickets start from £20.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
One Dance UK announces 2018 conference /articles/news/one-dance-uk-announces-2018-conference//articles/news/one-dance-uk-announces-2018-conference/The One Dance UK 2018 conference will take place on 23 – 24 November in Leeds, delivered in association with Leeds Dance Partnership.

Titled Leading the way – a stronger future for dance, the conference will provide educational and networking opportunities aimed at everyone in the dance sector, from dance artists and choreographers to students, managers, teachers, academics and healthcare practitioners.

The conference will take place across several key dance spaces in Leeds, including Northern Ballet, Yorkshire Dance and Leeds Beckett University. It coincides with the Dance of the African Diaspora Trailblazers Showcase on 23 November and the One Dance UK Awards ceremony on 24 November.

The full conference programme is still in development but highlights will include Sue Hoyle, former Director of the Clore Leadership Programme, as keynote speaker and a range of sessions and workshops including:

  • ‘Teaching Toolkit’ sessions to give ideas and skills for teachers to take back to the classroom
  • Opportunity for dance teachers to meet representatives from companies about the GCSE syllabus
  • Taking the lead on your own career development
  • Female leadership in dance and diversity in dance practice
  • Juggling caring responsibilities and a career in the performing arts
  • Developing choreographic practice in community dance
  • The challenge of scheduling class, rehearsals and performances to maximise training and performance outcomes
  • Addressing barriers to mental health in training and performance
  • Supporting potential at audition and beyond in physical, psychological, nutritional assessment; leading the way in application of dance science to training, performance and healthcare management

Tickets are now on sale via Eventbrite.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
WEEKLY DANCE GUIDE 23 JULY 2018/articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-23-july//articles/news/weekly-dance-guide-23-july/Photo: Thick and Tight © Judita Kuniskyte


For a gloriously eccentric Monday night, head to Wilton’s Music Hall for A Night With Thick & Tight. This new triple bill from dance theatre duo Eleanor Perry and Daniel Hay-Gordon brings famous faces to life to reveal the yearnings and imperfections of human nature. A monstrous modernist ballet sees Queen Victoria and Miss Havisham mourn their losses, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana find solace in each other in The Princess & The Showgirl, and dancer Julie Cunningham embodies artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore to a krautrock soundtrack in solo piece Radical Daughters.


Equal parts theatrical spectacular and social activism, the stereotype-smashing all-female powerhouse that is Hot Brown Honey brings its audacious mash-up of music, dance and burlesque to the Southbank Centre as part of the Africa Utopia season.


Actress Steph Parry made headlines last month when she stepped in for an injured colleague to take a lead role in the West End production of Mamma Mia! She’s recently been promoted from understudy to the role of Dorothy Brock in the tap dance-studded classic Broadway musical 42nd Street at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.


Company Wayne McGregor proves that dance is in its DNA with Autobiography at Sadler’s Wells, a striking exploration of the body as a living archive set to live accompaniment from electronic music star Jlin. Choreographic innovator Wayne McGregor had his entire genome mapped as inspiration for this piece, and each performance is uniquely decided by a computer algorithm, making this truly cutting-edge contemporary dance.


Sadler’s Wells makes its debut on the National Theatre River Stage with a weekend of free dance performances and family workshops on the Southbank, showcasing a truly diverse range of styles from hip hop to flamenco, ballroom to ceilidh. Breakin’ Convention gets the party started on Friday night with Freestyle Funk Forum, an hour of improvised theatre described as hip hop’s answer to Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Other highlights throughout the weekend include an inclusive ballroom workshop led by Step Change Studios and performances from Vidya Patel & Shammi Pithia, Dotdotdot Dance, Company of Elders and The Dance WE Made.


The ANDROGYNY! workshop at Chisenhale Dance Space is an afternoon of dance and discussion for anyone interested in thinking about gender through dancing. Led by Charlie Ashwell and James Morgan, the workshop welcomes performers of all genders and aims to challenge what ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ dancing looks like.


Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation at Underbelly Southbank is a new adaptation of the beloved fairy-tale from award-winning Metta Theatre, using song and circus to enchant audiences of all ages. It’s written and directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan with design by William Reynolds (the team behind Jungle Book) with music by Matt Devereaux.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
Scottish Dance Theatre brings Velvet Petal to London/articles/news/scottish-dance-theatre-brings-velvet-petal-to-lond//articles/news/scottish-dance-theatre-brings-velvet-petal-to-lond/Scotland’s national contemporary dance company brings its latest show, Velvet Petal, to London this summer following rave reviews from performances in Glasgow, Mexico City and the Edinburgh Festival.

Velvet Petal is inspired by the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, and the transformative power of creating beauty out of whatever you find on the bedroom floor. Choreographed by Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Fleur Darkin and created in collaboration with the company, Velvet Petal sees dancers philosophise, seduce and experiment with their bodies, clothing and ideas.

Set to a dance-punk score arranged by Torben Lars Sylvest including music by LCD Soundsystem, Spoek Mathambo and Abul Mogard, Velvet Petal evokes the heady atmosphere of early 80s New York as audiences witness tough girls and pretty boys living life in the margins, dreaming about being at the centre. The work morphs in content and length for each performance.

Fleur Darkin says:

“Velvet Petal is about change – how humans change by themselves or through relationships with others. It’s about those times in your life when you must transform yourself. I spent a lot of time researching the photographic process and the polaroids of Robert Mapplethorpe inspired me to see things in a new way.

Ever since reading Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids I was compelled to make a piece that captures the energy of constant change and transformation. I hope Velvet Petal will inspire audiences to reflect on their own metamorphoses as they are moved by the marvel of human growth. We are living in tough times and a lot of our depression comes from hearing the news. Velvet Petal is about listening to those private desires and connecting with our dreams. I want the audience to leave the theatre thinking: Anything is possible.”

Velvet Petal is presented at the Southbank Centre on 31 August and 1 September. Before each performance, audiences can experience a 30-minute set of composer Abul Mogard’s emotive and transcendent music, accompanied with visuals by Marja de Sanctis, in the recently-renovated Purcell Room.

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100
Candoco Dance Company unveils new dance film directed by Fin Walker/articles/news/candoco-dance-company-unveils-captivating-new-danc//articles/news/candoco-dance-company-unveils-captivating-new-danc/Candoco Dance Company, the leading company of disabled and non-disabled dance artists, has today unveiled Unspoken Spoken, a new dance film created by Olivier award-winning choreographer Fin Walker (After the Dance, Equus). Created and filmed with support from The Space, Arts Council England and the BBC, the film seeks to raise awareness of Candoco’s work to a digital audience for the first time.

The 17-minute piece, released on Candoco’s website, YouTube and Facebook platforms, is performed by a cast of disabled and non-disabled dancers. The film features 14-year-old Jess Dowdeswell, who has been dancing without her wheelchair and exploring ways to use her body as a means of expression through hip hop and contemporary dance for the past three years. As well as dancing, Jess is a keen sports player and trains with the GB Junior Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Squad, who are looking to retain their title as World and European Champions in 2019.

Unspoken Spoken exposes the potential that exists when we dare to challenge the rules and pushes us to confront the things holding us back. Jemima Hoadley narrates the story through a combination of British Sign Language, voice and movement.

Speaking about the film, Fin Walker says:

“The path we tread is full of information. Information that can lead us, teach us and open our eyes. The path myself and Candoco journeyed on in the making of Unspoken Spoken was rich and poignant. This small ensemble of performers were a complete and utter joy to be with and create with. Their openness, commitment, and belief unwavering. Thank you to them, my brilliant team of collaborators and to Candoco for making this film possible with support, of course, from The Space, without whom there wouldn’t be a film!”

Candoco was founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker and Adam Benjamin. The company’s current Artistic Co-Directors, Ben Wright and Charlotte Darbyshire, joined the company earlier this year and remain curious about what dance can be and how Candoco can change and reimagine perceptions of ability.

Photo by Camilla Greenwell, 2018

NewsThu, 01 Jan 1970 01:00:00 +0100