Monday, 20 June, 2011
Wednesday, 8 June, 2011
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Summertime is usually when dance companies go to sleep, at least that's how it appears from the outside, so we got in touch with a lot of them and asked what they are planning for the up and coming autumn season.
One thing that has emerged from our discussions with the companies is that touring is becoming very problematic. Funding cuts are making it harder to make touring financially viable. If it costs them more to do the performance than they can realistically expect to make back, never mind turn a profit, then touring isn't going to happen.
The companies want to show the work, the theaters want to take the work but the money isn't there in sufficient quantities. Solutions to this issue are thin on the ground and we could ask the usual suspects what they plan to do about it but we already know what they plan to do about it.
So, here's what the companies are doing at least.
Jasmin Vardimon Company
At the moment the company is moving into a new facility in Ashford, Kent from their current home in Brighton. Unusually the company will not be touring for the rest of this year after they perform 'Yesterday' at Sadler's Wells on the 9th and 10th of June. New touring is being plotted for Spring 2012 both in the UK and overseas with the current crop of work 'Yesterday', 'Justitia' and '7734'. Ms Vardimon will begin creating a new work in May 2012 for a late 2012 premiere.
Motionhouse Dance Theatre
The Leamington Spa based protagonists of all things jumping and bouncing will be kicking 'Scattered' into gear once again for more touring after playing out this season in Macau, China. New touring begins in the Autumn. Plans are also afoot for a large scale work for the 2012 Olympic Games but nothing is confirmed as yet. Motionhouse will also be running their smaller, portable shows 'Cascade' and 'Underground' throughout June, July and August.
Ace Dance and Music
The Birmingham based dance company is currently in the studio creating a new piece called 'Ice' with Japanese dance maker Akiko Kitanura and digital artist Akihiko Kaneko. 'Ice' will bow at the Riley Theatre in Leeds on October 1st. Continued touring will run alongside the company's current works 'Switch' and 'Listen' through into 2012.
The company have been MIA for about two years now but a new work is coming in the shape of 'Can We Talk About This?' which is all about censorship, freedom of speech and causing offence. Here in TheLab™ we know a thing or two about causing offence so this should be interesting. Bows sometime in the summer, no firm dates yet, with touring thereafter.
Hofesh Shechter [Company]
No new work to speak of for a while as the company continues touring both in the UK and internationally with a mix of new and old work including, of course, 'Uprising' and 'The Art of Not Looking Back' alongside the new work 'Political Mother'. There will also be limited performances of a "choreographers cut" of 'Political mother' at certain venues. Don't expect any new work work until late next year.
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
Touring for the moment is done so the company will be focusing on two things. First of all they will be making a completely new, as yet untitled, piece and then the company will be recreating a work from from 1988 called 'Configurations'. Expect to see the company back on the road in the Spring of 2012.
Candoco Dance Company
Affectionately known as the 'Candocans' the company, now in its twentieth year, is pulling together a new triple bill as we speak with a new solo piece crafted by Matthias Sperling and a six dancer work from French dance-smith Rachid Ouramdane. The company are also re-making 'Set and Reset' a piece from the 1980's by avant garde dance maker Trisha Brown. The works are set to premiere at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester on September 14th.
2012 will also see the company taking part in the 2012 Olympics with two commissions that are part of the Unlimited project.
Vincent Dance Theatre
No touring coming up but the company is at the beginning of a creative period for a new work called 'Motherland' following a creative hiatus for the company's AD Charlotte Vincent. The work is set to debut next year, probably in the Autumn. 'Motherland' is aiming for a multi-generational feel. The company are getting rehearsals and development under way at The Point in Eastleigh over the next couple of months.
Akram Khan Company
A dance maker we refer to as 'The Little One' is debuting a new work called 'Desh', a solo, that bows at The Curve theatre in Leicester on September 13th. The larger company of dancers will continue with touring of 'Gnosis' and 'Vertical Road' predominately overseas.
Random Dance [Company]
Everybody's favourite twitch-smith will continue touring 'Far' and 'Entity' to theaters in the UK and overseas until at least the end of the year.
Retina Dance Company
A new work from the Belgian born dance maker and company AD Filip van Huffel in the shape of 'Layers of Skin' is currently in production and is set to bow at the Cultuurcentrum Berchem in Belgium on June 23rd. National and international touring will follow from September of this year.
Scottish Dance Theatre
The next major performance push for the company will be in the shape of a triple bill at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Zoo Southside from 23rd-28th August. Two works were created in-house by Sally Owen and Jane Cleville with a third from US dance maker Kate Weare.
Next year the company will continue to tour their 'Letters from America' series featuring two works one by the aforementioned Kate Weare and another by Benjamin Levy. Touring is set to resume in the spring of 2012.
Surrey based integrated dance company are currently creating a new outdoor work with company dancer Lucy Bennet at the helm. The as yet untitled work will premiere at the Woking Dance Festival on May 23rd with continued touring through the summer. Following that the company will continue to tour their 'Trespass' programme once again in 2012, no word as yet on new works.
Phoenix Dance Theatre
Currently on a touring hiatus they will be back with more performances of their current rep 'Reflected' in the autumn starting on September 22nd continuing into the spring of 2012. The dancers are also creating pieces with dancers from Northern Ballet at the moment, no word as yet if and when you'll get to see those works.