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 Post subject: Bedlam Dance Company
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 2:17 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://members.aol.com/mzalfen/BEDLAM2.GIF" alt="" />

Bedlam Dance Company

<img src="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/bedlam/details.gif" alt="" />

Press release

Flexible Shorts

Bedlam Dance Company celebrates its 10th anniversary with a collection of old favourites and new commissions.

Yael Flexer steps into the spotlight for a special revival of her charming and witty signature piece, Yes? , whilst New York Dance and Performance Award winner David Dorfman has made Short Term especially for the company. In Lifelong, Jamie Watton’s three highly charged performers battle to reach a finish line.

Dynamic movement and intricate gesture combine to create an infectious blend of humour and sophisticated dance. Enjoy watching the company's exceptional dancers weave their way through these informal, inviting and intriguing works.

Fri 4 Oct - Meet the Artist
Free to ticket holders after the performance.

In 1997 Yael Flexer was the winner of a Jerwood Choreography Award.
“Dance that is unforced, unaffected, charming and smart” Time Out
“A deft blend of kinetic, visual and aural magic.” The Times
“The rise and rise of Israeli born Yael Flexer to the front rank of contemporary choreographers has hit the home stretch” Metro

<small>[ 09-05-2002, 23:34: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Bedlam Dance Company
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2002 6:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 54
GENU-FLEXION

by Donald Hutera


One of the loveliest things about Yael Flexer’s dances is their untrendy, non-dumbed-down accessibility. This Israeli-born, London-based
choreographer makes work that is unpretentious, warm and often humourous, yet without giving short-shrift to the complexities and
ambiguities of being alive. “I like to keep it open,” is how she puts it. Once a
dance is made, Flexer says, “it becomes itself.” There is an improvisatory element to her working method. “I give the dancers the
freedom to change what a dance means along
the way, and for the audience to intervene.
They can alter what seems serious one night
and make it funny the next.”

Flexible Shorts, Flexer’s current touring programme, consists of four dances which have been put together in recognition of the tenth anniversary of company. “When I started,” she remembers, “I guess what I aspired to, or what existed at the time, were companies like V-Tol, The Cholmondeleys, Yolande Snaith, Ricochet and DV8. The map has changed quite a lot since then, with many people working in a variety of ways and not much increased funding. My vision has gradually changed over the years too, to a point where now I’m almost schizophrenically interested in creating work that is at two extremes: very large-scale pieces alongside ultra-intimate work. My imagination gets tickled by the idea of creating dances with big groups of people. These seem to draw in new audiences and incorporate elements like film and installation work. But equally, I’m constantly fascinated by the fragility and depth of solos and duets, and the work that both performers and viewers have to put in to make that relationship work.”

Either way, Flexer says, “I’m more interested in having a good time and not over-dramatising something I make.” At the same time she feels a need “to make something that gets an immediate response. I always need to have a dialogue. It’s that ultimate Jewish thing.”

Flexer is reviving her solo Yes? “It was always playfully seductive and cheeky,” she remarks, “but it’s become more womanly now.” And more confident, a reflection of changes within her. “Before, when I was very timid, it had a real sweetness. Now I’m enjoying my presence onstage. The form and ideas are so clear you could almost do it through the ages. It’s very delicate and light.” Slightly Less Flexible, a duet for dancers Fiona Edwards and Lisa Kendall, is an examination of “how heavily or lightly something is taken.”

The bill is rounded out by dances by other choreographers. Flexer and
Hanna Gillgren comprise the cast of David Dorfman’s Short Term. She
praises him as “wild to work with. It’s got too many ideas for one piece. He uses what’s around at the time. It talks about relationships as places of aggression or leaving, and the strategies of ownership.There are little snippets of autobiographical statements in it, and some truisms. It’s light, but with a residue.”

Jamie Watton’s Lifelong is the one piece with no text, although in Flexer’s words “it talks about the relentlessness of dancing and dancers. We’re usually pushing ourselves. The gorgeous lighting is by Lucy Carter [Flexer’s regular collaborator], and the score by Jules Maxwell has a Russian influence. There’s a boxing ring setting, the idea of competition, and yet there’s a delicate humour that is very Jamie.” The dance is for three women. Flexer herself isn’t one of them, but you can be sure the work will be imbued with her spirit too.

WHO: BEDLAM DANCE COMPANY
WHAT: FLEXIBLE SHORTS
WHEN: FRI 4 - SAT 5 OCT
WHERE: THE PLACE:
ROBIN HOWARD DANCE THEATRE
TICKETS: 020 7387 0031

<small>[ 09-08-2002, 08:58: Message edited by: Donald Hutera ]</small>

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Bedlam Dance Company
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 5:49 am 
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Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Guardian.

Quote:
The finances of the independent dance world can make understudies an unaffordable luxury. So when Fiona Edwards landed awkwardly during Bedlam Dance Company's dress rehearsal she not only put herself out of commission, but two of the company's scheduled works.
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 Post subject: Re: Bedlam Dance Company
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 10:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1640
Location: London UK
The Bedlam Dance Company suffered an unexpected glitch on Friday night when one of the dancers became injured during rehearsals leading to a major change in the programme and two of the pieces to be performed that evening were substituted by promotional videos instead. However in no way did this diminish the enjoyment of myself and the rest of the audience, though I don’t feel it would be fair to comment on these two works under the circumstances.

The evening began with Yes? Both danced and choreographed by Yael Flexer (what a smashing name for a dancer), a piece that was both witty and involving and danced in part to the sombre music of Marin Marais. Flexer also appeared in the longest work of the evening, a duet entitled Short Term in which she was joined by Hanna Gilgren as her friend/adversary where they explored their chalk and cheese relationship both verbally and physically. The choreographer of Short Term was David Dorfman who also danced in the third live work of the evening, a solo called Work in Progress. Dorfman is a strangely compelling dancer despite looking thickset and slightly heavy looking in baggy sweatshirt and tracksuit. I found his dancing was both sensitive and dynamic as he became more and more agitated by the increasing volume of what appeared to be the sound of heavy machinery. A metaphor for the modern world crushing the human spirit perhaps? I don’t know. That is one of the pleasures of watching modern dance, you are often able to form your own interpretation of what is happening on stage.

This was the first time I had seen Bedlam dance and I liked them a lot. The dancers all have strong sympathetic personalities and the choreography is full of feeling and humour. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.


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 Post subject: Re: Bedlam Dance Company
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Times.

Quote:
YAEL FLEXER, an Israeli-born, London-based dancer and choreographer, founded Bedlam Dance Company a decade ago. Last weekend’s Dance Umbrella showings of her touring programme demonstrated just how flexible she is. Injury forced her not only to scrap a trio by guest choreographer Jamie Watton, but also to become a replacement in her own work Slightly Less Flexible on a day’s notice.
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