News: Dance at Whitechapel Gallery

Monday 17 January 2011

The relationship between dance and the visual arts which was at the centre of several high profile exhibitions last year looks set to continue in 2011. As part of sculptor Claire Barclay’s year long exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery three different groups of performers and choreographers have been invited to make live work in response to her installation, Shadow Spans. The architectural mix of the East End with its dark cobbled alleyways, Georgian townhouses and modern buildings were Barclay’s starting point for this work, which has become a complex space for exploration, discovery – and for being observed.

The first group to work in the gallery space are Ben Ash, Henrietta Hale and Rachel Lopez de la Nieta, who work together as Dog Kennel Hill Project. They developed their work _*Figure Stuck, Stuck* _in the public space of the gallery last November, giving onlookers the chance to see contemporary dance in the making. The finished work will be shown this week on Thursday 20 & Friday 21 January.

From 2 – 20 March dance artist Matthias Sperling and choreographer Siobhan Davies will present a new performance in the Gallery, which will be informed by Davies and Sperling’s engagement with Barclay’s installation and the ideas behind her work. No strangers to the gallery space, Sperling worked with Davies on her exhibition The Collection at the Victoria Miro Gallery in 2009 and last year Davies turned her Southwark Studios over to an exhibtion of work made in response to dance. They will make the work at Siobhan Davies Studios and perform it within the Shadow Spans installation over four hours a day for a period of three weeks.

From 30 March – 17 April Royal Ballet Principal Zenaida Yanowsky will perform a piece by choreographer Will Tuckett, which will address the similarities between the formal elements of classical dance and the architectural elements of Barclay’s work. Tuckett also dances with the Royal Ballet and has worked with Yanowsky frequently. In 2007 they collaborated with film makers the Brothers Quay on a gallery installation – A Homage to Monteverdi’s Orfeo

Performance details:
Dog Kennel Hill Project **Performance: 20 & 21 Jan 2011, 7pm. 7.00, 7.40 & 8.20pm.
Audience numbers for each performance will be limited to 30. Admission: £7/£6.
Siobhan Davies Dance **2-20 March, Weds-Sun, 1-5.30pm & Thurs 4-8pm. Free admission.
Royal Ballet **30 & 31 March, 6 & 7, 13 &14, 16 & 17 April, 3-6 pm. Free admission.

Claire Barclay’s Shadow Spans is a Bloomberg Commission for Whitechapel Gallery, which invites an international artist to create an annual site-specific artwork inspired by the rich history of the former library now occupied by the gallery.

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