WHAT IS your taste in dance?
The latest from China, where modern dance is still a comparatively young art form? A new piece by a young Spanish choreographer who has worked closely with pop princess Kylie Minogue? Or perhaps an innovative mix of physical theatre and dance which challenges some of society’s most basic principles?
All three – and more – are on offer in the dance season at the Lawrence Batley Theatre this spring.
This trio of dance dates in the new season signals the theatre’s commitment to movement and dance since it includes work that cannot be seen anywhere else in the region.
First to arrive on February 20 are an ensemble of 13 performers from the Beijing Modern Dance Company.
This award-winning company is at the forefront of modern dance in China which is, in some ways, still in its infancy.
There have only been two decades of consistent development in modern dance since the country’s reforms in the late 1980s.
Today, just as China’s economy is blossoming, so too is creative expression and in contemporary dance the Beijing Modern Dance Company is at the forefront of this development.
This spring the company makes its UK debut and its February date at the LBT is certainly a coup for the Huddersfield theatre.
It’s a chance to see a company which takes its inspiration from a broad range of cultural traditions, from Chinese folk dance and martial arts to classical dance and traditional opera.
The company will bring three works to the LBT. Expect disciplined, beautifully visual dance layered with symbolism and imagery.
There’s more excitement in early April when CandoCo Dance Company stages pieces at the LBT by two European choreographers, Rafael Bonachela and Arthur Pita.
CandoCo is an innovative, award-winning integrated dance company, co-founded in 1991 by Celeste Dandeker, a star performer with London Contemporary Dance who sustained a spinal cord injury while on stage.
The company today continues to feature both able-bodied performers and disabled performers in works by leading choreographers.
Rafael Bonachela was born in Barcelona and spent 12 years as a dancer with Rambert Dance Company.
His first choreographic work for Rambert was premiered 10 years ago at Sadler’s Wells.
Since then he’s continued to work with Rambert, set up his own company, Bonachela Dance Company, and worked extensively with companies here and in Europe.
In 2002 he choreographed Kylie Minogue’s routine at the Brit Awards. Since then has worked extensively with the Australian pop star, as well as with other performers from the music world.
The piece he has created for CandoCo is called And Who Shall Go to the Ball? with new music by the legendary Scott Walker. He shot to fame in the mid-60s as the bass player and lead singer of The Walker Brothers who enjoyed massive success with hits such as The Sun Ain’t Going To Shine Anymore and Make It Easy On Yourself.
The Stepfather, a new work by choreographer Arthur Pita, is the other featured work for CandoCo. Born in South Africa, Pita trained at the London Contemporary Dance School and danced for several years with Matthew Bourne’s Adventures In Motion Pictures.
This new double bill will be at the LBT on April 3 and will be followed a little over two weeks later by Gravitas, a piece created by the Cardiff-based dance and physical theatre company Earthfall.
The piece uses live music, film and movement to deliver a dance work which looks at the paradox of freedom of speech and the nature of power and protest. Powerful stuff in prospect on April 18.
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