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 Post subject: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:48 am 
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Press Release


Henri Oguike Dance Company

Spring 2003 UK Tour – 29 January to 12 April



Renowned for his vigorous, intricate and strong sense of musicality,

Jerwood Choreography Award winner Henri Oguike and his company present a programme of five contrasting dance pieces including two premieres, one re-working, and two highly acclaimed company repertory productions.



The two premieres feature a full company work, Dido & Aeneas, Henry Purcell’s music being Oguike’s inspiration to tell this tragic story, and a fast-paced programme finale, choreographed to Rene Aubry’s music, commissioned by the Studio Theatre, London.



Frames Per Second is a solo work reworked to new music by the Kronos Quartet, created and danced by Henri Oguike and commissioned by Dance East. In collaboration with lighting designer Guy Hoare, Oguike explores the relationship between movement, light and sound.



Henri Oguike Dance Company also presents the critically acclaimed Front Line, a sextet performed to Shostakovich’s 9th Quartet in E Flat. With constantly shifting moods, anger followed by listlessness, instruments squeal like animals and engage in wild stamping dances and Melancholy Thoughts, a sextet to four of Astor Piazzolla’s passionate and highly contemporary ‘neuvo tango’ compositions for violin and guitar.



Henri Oguike Dance Company, recent Time Out Live Awards 2001 winner as ‘Most Outstanding New Dance Company’, is passionate about the relationship between music and dance. All choreography is by Henri Oguike.



Spring 2003 - Tour Details


Date Venue Box Office Repertoire



29 Jan South Hill Park Arts, Bracknell 01344 484123 Rep A



4 Feb Studio Theatre, London 020 7641 8424 Rep C



6 Feb Wyvern Theatre, Swindon 01793 524481 Rep A



10 Feb Studio Theatre, Chichester 01243 816162 Rep B



20 & 21 Feb mac, Birmingham 0121 440 3838 Rep A



1 March Arts Theatre, Bath 01225 386777 Rep A



4 March Neptune Theatre, Liverpool 0151 709 7844 Rep A



5 March Southport Arts Centre 01704 540011 Rep A



6 March Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe 01494 512000 Rep A



13 March Theatre by the Lake, Keswick 017687 74411 Rep D



18 March Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking 01483 545900 Rep A



19 & 20 Mar Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban, London 020 8691 8600 Rep A



12 April Richmond Theatre, Richmond 020 8940 0088 Rep E



Rep A Front Line, Dido & Aeneas, Frames Per Second, New Work


Rep B Front Line, Frames Per Second, New Work


Rep C Front Line, H2O (Youth Group piece), “How I Work”, New Work *


Rep D Melancholy Thoughts, Dido & Aeneas, Frames Per Second, New Work


Rep E Melancholy Thoughts, Frames Per Second, Front Line


* A short piece for H2O, HODC’s sister youth dance company, and a ‘lecture demonstration’ entitled, How I Work will be performed at the Studio Theatre, London.



Live music will accompany all performances with the exception of Studio Theatre, London, Chichester and Keswick.





Henri Oguike studied music, drama and dance at Swansea College, Wales and dance & choreography at the London Contemporary Dance School. In 1994 Henri danced with 4D (LCDS’s postgraduate performance group) and later that year became a founder member of the Richard Alston Dance Company. With an award from the Robin Howard Foundation in 1996, he created Amongst Shadows, which led to two further commissions enabling his first full evening of work presented at Acarte Theatre, Lisbon. In 1997 Henri received a Jerwood Choreography Award with which he created The Brutality of Fact. During 1999 he received a second commission from the Acarte Theatre to create Prime Origin and by Studio Theatre, London to create A moment of give. Independent commissions for 2000 include Seen of Angels, Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporaneo (CPBC) and Travel Matrix, UK Rocks. 2001 commissions include Casual Grace, Bare Bones Dance Company; White Space, CPBC and La,La,La …, National Youth Dance Company. Commissions for 2002 include Bright Side for Transitions Dance Company, Broken Strings for Swindon National Youth, Butterfly Grid for London Contemporary Dance School and F.P.S for First Class Air Male (DanceEast). Commissions for 2003 will include new works for the Curve Foundation, West Glamorgan Youth Dance Company and Laban.

<small>[ 12-11-2002, 02:54: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 5:56 am 
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Henri Oguike Dance Co, Wilde Theatre, Bracknell
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

All baby choreographers benefit from having a mentor, but grown-up choreographers must sooner or later slough them off. Thirty-one-year-old Henri Oguike, once a fine dancer in the Richard Alston company and now out on the road with his own outfit, might easily have been tagged as an Alston clone. His music-centred approach – making dance that relates closely to the moods and motifs of the score, and giving the music a living presence on stage whenever funds allow – already has him chasing the same audience as Alston. But on the evidence of his latest batch of pieces, distinctiveness is also part of the package. Here is dance that is stuffed with fresh ideas, bristling with personality. Clearly Oguike is nobody's product: his style is all his own.

Nonetheless it took courage to tackle Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. The American Mark Morris made a legendary dance version, whose revival with full chorus, orchestra and soloists at ENO is still fairly fresh in the memory. For Oguike, on his lower rung of the ladder, a carefully chosen recording must suffice for the moment (Maria Ewing's Dido, seductively voiced).

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:00 am 
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I've moved these two articles here to keep the Spring 2003 material together:

Henri Oguike
By Donald Hutera of The Times


South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell

Quote:
HENRI OGUIKE is the most overtly musical of the current crop of gifted young British choreographers. His response to a score is practically visceral, as was evident during the launch of his company’s spring tour in Bracknell.
Front Line, premiered last year, is a perfect example of how Oguike digs into the fabric of a composition, using it for an exploration of rhythm that his six thrillingly willing dancers then claim as their own. This jolting, unpredictable piece reaches so far inside Shostakovich’s 9th Quartet in E Flat, played live by the Pavão Quartet, that the drama seems to boiling up from inside their skins.
more...

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Hooray for Henri
At long last, Henri Oguike is getting the funding he deserves. By Jann Parry for The Observer.


Henri Oguike Dance Company Wilde Theatre, Bracknell
There are no bounds to Henri Oguike's ambition. He formed his own group three years ago, determined to perform his choreography to live music. He chose young dancers who had just finished their training, and made such lovely pieces for them that everyone thought they were wonderful dancers. When they were made job offers they couldn't refuse (by Kylie Minogue, among others), Oguike had to start all over again.

The Arts Council has now given him enough funding to keep six dancers going for nine months at a time. Musicians are costly, but he's found three different string quartets to accompany his Shostakovich piece, Front Line, on the company's latest tour. (So many theatres want to book the group that no one quartet can manage all the dates.) His latest work, Dido and Aeneas, premiered at Bracknell, ought to have live singers and musicians as well, but until Oguike's reputation matches that of Mark Morris, he'll have to make do with an edited recording.

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:04 am 
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Henri Oguike, Wilde Theatre, Bracknell
By John Percival for The Independent

A healthy dose of courage is needed if a choreographer takes on a subject already tackled by the redoubtable Mark Morris. And Dido and Aeneas isn't just any old Morris piece; it's one of his masterworks, as production and performance: long, big-scale, tumultuous, impassioned. Henri Oguike's Dido & Aeneas (note the differentiating ampersand) is none of those things; it lasts only 40 minutes, his company consists of just six dancers, and he isn't always convincing as a story-teller.

Even so, his Dido had an enthusiastic reception from the largely young audience who attended its premiere on Wednesday at the Wilde Theatre, Bracknell. I wouldn't want to write it off, but what I missed most was relationships among the characters. Oguike can do relationships, as manifested in his abstract ballet Front Line, which was revived especially to open this programme.

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2003 7:33 am 
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<img src="http://www.dancing-times.co.uk/Pics/dancingtimes/200303/front.jpg" alt="" />

Henri Oguike
by Lorna Sanders for Dancing Times

Henri Oguike’s latest work Dido and Aeneas is a demonstration of his continuing faith in the primacy of the relationship between music and dance. His focus on music is unusual among young choreographers: “most innovative of all, by contemporary standards… is his use of music, which is usually classical and often played live”.*1 His choices are also unusually eclectic, ranging from Piazzolla to Shostakovich and Bartok to Aubry.

Donald Hutera, the dance critic, drew Oguike’s attention to Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Not having heard it for some time but always looking for challenges, Oguike revisited the music and was interested. Through it he has tackled a more plot-driven project than usual, making a selection from the music with the objective of creating a more intimate piece. An initial concept of a board game with the gods looking down, he explains, was simplified to the idea of the characters being pieces in a game.

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2003 4:42 am 
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Henri Oguike
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

It has to be a sign of Henri Oguike's confidence that his most ambitious work to date should be a dance setting of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Not only has this opera been definitively marked by the huge inky prints of Mark Morris's choreographic genius, but there are practical reasons why Oguike's version should fall short of Morris's 1989 setting.
While Morris could afford live singers and musicians, Oguike has to make do with a recording. While Morris had the pick of an experienced company, Oguike has only a troupe of eight. And while Morris danced the lead, Oguike has the less versatile Sarah Storer to take the roles of Dido and the Sorceress.

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 1:51 am 
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Henri Oguike
By Jann Parry for The Observer.

Henri Oguike's starting point is music, his choreography a dialogue with the players (live, whenever his small company can afford them). For his Dido and Aeneas, he uses a recording of Purcell's opera, so crudely reproduced when I first saw the piece in January that I gave it another chance at its London premiere in the new Laban theatre. The work is now far better presented, with a programme note to explain Oguike's interpretation of Dido's dual role as Queen of Carthage and the Sorceress, queen of the night.

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 Post subject: Re: Henri Oguike Dance Company - Spring tour 2003
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 1:49 am 
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Henri Oguike
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

The new Laban Centre building on London's Creekside, officially opened eight weeks ago and already humming as a dance school, is only just getting into its stride as a performance venue. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the architects who did Tate Modern, it's hard to miss, glowing like an opalescent spaceship in the murky industrial wastelands bordering Greenwich. Which is just as well given that there are no signs to it from the station. You see it, but have no idea how to get to it.

But it's worth persevering for the pleasure of sampling the liquorice allsort colour-blast of its interior: a great sloping entrance walk bordered with runway lights, shocking pink asymmetrical walls, thick black coils of spiral stairs, and a mural by the artist Michael Craig-Martin. Other attractions include a creekside café, a moss garden (not yet mossy), and a 300-seat theatre, perfectly proportioned for the kind of independent contemporary dance that Laban students hope to produce in the future.

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