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 Post subject: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:47 am 
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<img src="http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/940000/images/_943608_be2_300.jpg" alt="" />
<small>Darshan Singh Bhuller, Phoenix Dance's new Artistic Director takes the Company on the road again in Spring 2003</small>

PRESS RELEASE

PHOENIX DANCE THEATRE
UK Tour 2003 - 13 February to 9 May


Phoenix Dance Theatre returns to the national touring circuit in Spring 2003 with a triple bill of powerful new work. The tour, which will be Phoenix Dance Theatre’s first under new Artistic Director, Darshan Singh Bhuller, premieres on 13 February at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The company will tour to eleven venues including Sadler’s Wells in London on 3 & 4 April.

Alongside a compelling new work by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller the triple bill also features new, commissioned choreography from major Jerwood Choreography Award winner Fin Walker and from New Zealand-born New Yorker Jeremy Nelson. The three dance works make up a vibrant and diverse repertory that entertains, inspires and challenges.

The Phoenix Dance Theatre UK Tour 2003 includes the following cities and towns: Leeds, Huddersfield, Durham, Blackpool, Belfast, Nottingham, London, Brighton, York, Sheffield, Manchester and Warwick.

A full and detailed Press Release will be issued and distributed within the next 7 days

For more information contact Tony Shepherd on 020 7288 0266

Phoenix Dance Theatre Tour Schedule

February
Thu 13 – Fri 15 West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Wed 26 Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

March
Fri 7 – Sat 8 The Gala Theatre, Durham
Mon 10 – Tue 11 The Grand, Blackpool
Wed 19 The Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Fri 28 – Sat 29 Nottingham Playhouse

April
Fri 4 – Sat 5 Sadler’s Wells, London
Tue 8 Gardner Centre, Brighton
Tue 29 – Wed 30 York Theatre Royal
May Fri 2 – Sat 3 The Lyceum, Sheffield
Tue 6 – Wed 7 Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester
Fri 9 Warwick Arts Centre

<small>[ 11-25-2002, 04:47: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:16 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
PRESS RELEASE

Phoenix Dance Theatre presents

Triple Bill World Premiere
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds on Thursday 13 Feb

Phoenix Dance Theatre presents the world premiere of a powerful triple
bill of new choreography, the first under new Artistic Director, Darshan
Singh Bhuller.

Alongside a compelling new work by Phoenix Dance Theatre?s Artistic
Director Darshan Singh Bhuller the triple bill also features new,
commissioned choreography from major Jerwood Choreography Award winner
Fin Walker and from New Zealand-born New Yorker Jeremy Nelson.

Darshan Singh Bhuller?s Requiem is a powerful and poignant full company
work that tells the tale of a tragic event and its emotionally crippling
aftermath on a community. Requiem is gripping dance theatre with a
narrative thread, combining live dance with film projection and a
commissioned score from Jocelyn Pook (Stanley Kubrick?s Eyes Wide Shut).


Fresh choreographic ideas and striking musical composition are hallmarks
of Jerwood Choreography Award winner Fin Walker, which she brings in
abundance to her first work for Phoenix, a male duet entitled Me and
You, which is performed to a score composed by Ben Park, joint artistic
director of Fin Walker?s own company, Walker Dance & Park Music.

New Zealand-born New Yorker Jeremy Nelson?s The Fact That it Goes Up
draws inspiration from life in a modern city, with movement that is
abandoned, athletic and dynamic, yet detailed
and subtle, revealing the individuality of each of the three male, and
three female dancers. The dance is set to a specially commissioned score
by New York?based composer, Doug Henderson, whose ?hymn to urban life?,
blends a rhythmic heartbeat with the sampled inner-city sounds.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:17 am 
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Very best wishes to Darshan and all at Phoenix. I'm looking forward to their visit to Sadler's Wells later in the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:42 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
INTERVIEW WITH DARSHAN SINGH BHULLER
On BBC Radio4's "Front Row". Sadly it is only available on the BBC website for 1 day

John Wilson profiles Darshan Singh Buller, the new artistic director for the Phoenix modern dance troupe, which is to go on tour for the first time in 22 years. He also hears from dance critic Debra Craine about why the rise of Phoenix should be welcomed.

**********************************

Bhuller comes over well, but John Wilson didn't have much idea and asked things like, "So you don't do ballet?" and "Are you Billy Elliott?".


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:49 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Dance away the heartache
Darshan Singh Bhuller tells Judith Mackrell in The Guardian why he choreographed a tale of child murder.
&nbsp

Whenever there has been a news story about a child who has been killed or abducted, it is hard, as a parent, not to be sucked in to the horror of it all. We find ourselves revisiting that queasy place in our imagination where we envisage that particular child's pain and the family's trauma, and where we flinch from the possibility of finding ourselves living that nightmare ourselves. We run through checklists of safety issues and we want to hold our children close. But we also feel impotent in the face of such powerful, vicarious emotion.

The desire to act, to do anything, in these situations seems a natural response. It is the main reason why members of local communities join the hunt for missing children, why strangers want to share in the family's mourning, and why angry mobs gather outside courthouses when the accused are on trial. It is also the reason why choreographer Darshan Singh Bhuller has made a dance about a community traumatised by the (fictional) murder of a teenage girl.

click for more

<small>[ 12 February 2003, 02:49 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:13 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A great review for Phoenix:

Phoenix Dance Theatre
By Stephanie Ferguson for The Guardian


After nearly two years away from the dance scene Phoenix has risen again in its most impressive form yet. Like the company's new logo - tongues of flame and shooting sparks - the action is hot and full of physical pyrotechnics, with a crackling energy and confident assurance that bodes well.

Artistic director Darshan Singh Bhuller has chosen highly individual dancers for the spring tour and the triple bill from prize-winning Fin Walker, Jeremy Nelson and Bhuller was an impressive showcase for their talents.

Bhuller's Requiem was another of his piercing pieces of social observation. A child goes missing from a shopping mall and a family is torn apart, but the parents are finally united in their grief.

click for more

***************************************

But, Donald Hutera doesn't agree:

Limping from the ashes
By Donald Hutera for The Times


FEW arts organisations are so aptly named as Phoenix Dance Theatre. Founded in inner-city Leeds in 1981, the company grew from a small, vibrant all-male outfit into one of Britain’s more prominent multicultural, mixed-gender contemporary dance troupes.
Now, after a period of financial and creative crisis that essentially ground activities to a halt, Phoenix has risen from the ashes. Last week’s home-town relaunch also kick-started a British tour that finishes on May 9.

The new artistic director Darshan Singh Bhuller’s inaugural triple bill runs a gamut from Jeremy Nelson’s abstract curtain-raiser The Fact That It Goes Up to Bhuller’s own ambitious dramatic narrative Requiem. But it was only Fin Walker’s short, sharp jolt of a male duet, Me & You, that both tantalised and satisfied.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 4:07 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
How to choreograph an abduction
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

Current affairs rarely make their way into dance, and not necessarily because audiences don't want to know. For all the ability of movement to convey fine shades of meaning, it has never been much good with facts. But that didn't deter the choreographer Darshan Singh Bhuller from making a piece about Bosnia a few years ago. Planted Seeds was an astonishing work – stirring, brutal, ugly in parts, and unforgettable. It was impossible to see it and remain unmoved or uninformed; it achieved as much as a TV documentary, in many more ways.

For his first season as artistic director of Phoenix, Bhuller now tackles another difficult topic: child abduction. But this time there's no need to dwell on the crime itself. What interests Bhuller is its impact on the family and wider community: the way it painfully opens rifts between loved ones, the way it draws strangers close in a shared sense of outrage and powerlessness.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2003 3:23 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Guardian.

Quote:
Phoenix has proved a prophetic name for the Leeds-based company, given the number of times it has been reborn and rebranded during the past 21 years. Under new director Darshan Singh Bhuller, though, the company has acquired such outstandingly smart dancers, and such a grown-up, versatile repertory that it won't need reinventing for a long time to come.
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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 3:04 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Lost for clues
By John Percival for The Independent

An announcement on behalf of the National Missing Persons Helpline is an unusual feature for the programme notes of a dance production, but Darshan Singh Bhuller's new Requiem for Phoenix Dance Theatre is an unusual work. Not so much for its mixture of stage action and film: that is almost a cliché nowadays. But concentration on a dramatic situation has become less common, and the nature of the subject is distinctly uncommon, being based on news stories about families who have lost a child.

Some will find this brave, serious and admirable; others (and I veer towards their side) may be tempted to think that he is cashing in on the emotional appeal of a situation that his dances cannot live up to.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:31 am 
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Location: London UK
I thought from the publicity pictures for Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Spring season that viewing their performances would have me contributing to the Nudity in Dance thread in the Issues section, but I’m relieved to say that dancers with their kit off was happily not a feature of the programme I saw.

The fact that it goes up, is an intriguing title for a dance work which turns out to be set in the now familiar landscape of the urban jungle, a setting that fascinates a number of contemporary choreographers as I’ve seen at least three pieces taking place in the urban maelstrom in the past six months. This Jeremy Nelson work shows a sample of people being slowly dehumanized by the pace of modern living and where the dancers perform in a solo manner even in the duets. A slight turn of the head, the barest of acknowledgements: everyone preoccupied with their own thoughts, making physical contact but rarely eye contact. The backdrop is unusually clever with changes of lighting altering the appearance from the innards of some Heath Robinson machinery to the suggestion of a railway signalling system or then perhaps the symbols of a highway code. The score reflects these changes providing a soundtrack of factory noises followed by the sounds of a railway-shunting yard and then the inevitable urban accompaniment of relentless traffic interspersed with hurrying footsteps and a woman’s heels clattering along a street as she breaks into a run.

Me & You by Fin Walker is a highly energetic duet for two men locked in a fierce mock battle to an a cappella score that I think is sung in Latin. The pair grapple, part, pause for breath and then continue in a contest that neither looks like winning, more a kind of “anything you can do I can do better” routine. This is a short piece that puts a smile on the face and comes as a brighter contrast to the opening work

After the interval comes the heavyweight part of the evening as Darshan Singh Bhuller has taken as his subject the painful issues surrounding the disappearance of a child. To an impressive score by Jocelyn Pook and an imaginative set by Jamie Vartan, we are first presented with a cross section of society getting on with their lives, the ominous closed circuit images of a shopping mall chillingly recall the Jamie Bulger case as figures amble across the screen in unknowing normality. Soon it becomes apparent that something is wrong as the words Day One appear on the screen. Friends and relatives, acquaintances and strangers all rally round, all participate in the predictably fruitless search while the frantic parents are torn apart in their misery and begin literally climbing the walls with grief. David Hughes as the father gives a powerhouse performance of a man for whom nothing will be the same again, his dancing taut with impotent rage against the cruellest fate that can befall a parent, his anger alienating him from all around as he faces the impending inevitable conclusion. Afterwards life goes on as before…or so it seems at first until a routine football match erupts into violence instigated by the bereaved father. His experiences have left him emotionally damaged bearing a grief that few can imagine.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 5:54 pm 
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Location: London, England
Phoenix Dance Theatre
Gardner Arts Centre
8 April 2003

Despite financial meltdown and what looked like a precarious future, Phoenix Dance Theatre has re-emerged as a slick, healthy and highly professional operation under the guidance of new Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller. 21 years after the company was formed by three young men in inner-city Leeds, Phoenix Dance may just be coming of age.

Bhuller’s company is unmistakeably a different one to the Phoenix of the 1990s, with a more mature outlook and an international agenda, but thankfully, it is also a company that retains its unique personality.

Bhuller evidently has a vision for Phoenix. He wants to take his dancers (and audiences) beyond pretty patterns and physical stunts. And he has something to say. This spring tour showcases three new works but it is Bhuller’s own, ‘Requiem’, that makes the bravest moves.

The piece examines a community’s emotions and reactions when a child goes missing. This is the kind of serious current affairs that ephemeral art forms don’t always do justice to, but Bhuller just about gets it right. While the narrative isn’t always completely clear, the scenes are familiar enough – CCTV footage, search parties sweeping parkland – and the emotional turmoil is brought sharply into focus.

The dancers are restless, stir crazy, literally climbing the walls; imprisoned by their helplessness and exhausted by grief. The restrained, private torture of the girl’s parents contrasts with the fraught lashing-out of a teenage sibling – the need to clutch, claw, grasp and brawl to feel the physicality of her remaining loved ones.

Their gestures are violent but impotent, repetitive but innovative, and geniunely moving. And poignantly, such anguished despair is balanced with the lighter moments of a fledgling romance – because life and love will always go on.

Bhuller’s work is in complete contrast with the rest of the programme, which serves to showcase some masterful dancers. The opening piece is Jeremy Nelson’s ‘The Fact That It Goes Up’ inspired by busy pedestrian traffic and the accidental patterns that it produces. As our urbanites’ paths interweave some lovely moments materialise out of nowhere and the talents of the dancers as individuals are exposed.

Firstly, eyes are drawn to the tall figure of Martin W Hylton, all soundless jumps and cushioned edges, pushing his long limbs through thick air. Then Lisa Welham whips round the stage with intensity and precision while the fantastically flexible Kialea-Nadine Williams shows amazing control and has a real edge to her performance.

The remaining slice of the programme is a brief but refreshing burst of Fin Walker’s frenetic choreography. ‘Me & You’ is a ten minute duet for two male dancers with Walker’s regular collaborator Ben Park providing the music – which sounds like monks put through a mincer. The male duet is often a noble thing, but this is more like stroppy siblings (and that’s compliment); the energy and effort, the huffing and puffing, interspersed with moments of stealthy stalemate.

It was an interesting evening, but lacking some of the spark of the Phoenix of old – the energy and edge that made them so intoxicating. It would be a shame to see this singular company fade in to the contemporary circuit. They may be soaring to bigger successes, but lets hope Phoenix don’t forget their roots.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance Spring Tour 2003
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:54 am 
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Location: London
Overdose of aimless gusto

Quote:
Zoe Anderson [The Telegraph] reviews the Phoenix Dance Theatre, currently touring

Phoenix Dance Theatre is known for strong dancers and, too often, for weak choreography. When Darshan Singh Bhuller took over as director, the Leeds-based company adjusted its name (from Dance Company to Dance Theatre), took a break from performance, and prepared new works for the current tour. At Sadler's Wells the dancers looked fine. Choreography is still a problem.
more...


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