Feature: New Fabulous Beast resource pack for teachers and students

Monday 20 January 2014 by Lise Smith

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre - Rite of Spring

Award-winning contemporary dance company Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre is returning to London this spring with performances of The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. Dance Touring Partnership has launched a free resource pack for teachers and students to accompany the performances and an ongoing education programme, introducing the work to dancers aged 16+.

Led by Artistic Director Michael Keegan-Dolan, Fabulous Beast has become known for its innovative narrative theatre productions bringing together dance, physical theatre, spoken word and song. Keegan-Dolan won the Critic’s Circle Award for Best Modern Choreography in 2007 for his work The Bull, which was also nominated for an Olivier Award. Created in 2009, The Rite of Spring was performed last year at a season of works at Sadler’s Wells celebrating the centenary of Stravinsky’s iconic score, alongside Akram Khan’s iTMOi (in the mind of igor) and a performance by the National Youth Dance Company with Riot Community Company.

The original performance of Stravinsky’s score, with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, is often viewed as a turning point in modern dance and music. Keegan-Dolan told Judith Mackrell in a Guardian interview last year, “The moment he chose to have his dancers turn in their toes, stick out their elbows and pound against the floor, everything changed.”

Fabulous Beast’s new education pack contains interviews with Keegan-Dolan, and with the dancers and creative collaborators, about the creation of the piece. There’s also useful context and background material on Stravinskyand the Ballets-Russes; and discussion points, lesson ideas and creative tasks for teachers introducing the work to GCSE, A-level or BTEC students. The pack can also be used to support young people working towards Silver or Gold Arts Awards, on Gifted and Talented (G&T) programmes, or at Centres for Advanced Training. the resource pack is free and can be downlaoded here.

The company also offers a 90-minute schools workshop suitable for dancers aged 16+, in which students can learn repertory phrases and explore the creative processes used to create both The Rite of Spring and Petrushka. The workshops are led by two company members and cost £150+VAT – see this page for further information.

Fabulous Beast will perform in London on 8 and 9 April – for more information or to book, see www.sadlerswells.com

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