Union Dance presents two new, compelling and distinctly
contrasting productions for Spring 2003.
With its eclectic mix of hip-hop, martial arts and streetwise wit Union Dance premieres two compelling and distinctly contrasting productions for 2002, Urban Classics II and Permanent Revolution V2R, featuring choreography from South Africa's Vincent Mantsoe and New Yorker Doug Elkins.
Union Dance has evolved as a culturally diverse company whose virtuoso command of contemporary dance, martial arts and street dance redefine the links between style and movement. Union Dance's philosophy is to create innovative work by using sources outside European mainstream dance traditions and to communicate through dance the concept of cultural diversity. Union's last four productions, Dance Tek Warriors, LifeForms, Dance in House and Imaging the Invisible effectively combined contemporary techniques with street dance, martial arts and capoeira.
Urban Classics II
Urban Classics II, in essence 'A Taste of Union' from the last 8 years, features the creative talents of Artistic Director Corinne Bougaard, Associate Choreographer Doug Elkins, and Union artists Garry Benjamin and Michael Joseph. Urban Classics II is crammed full with favourite vignettes of the Union Dance repertoire that illustrate the company's philosophy to the max, with energetic solos and vibrant ensemble pieces performed to the sounds of Sitar Funk and Talvin Singh, all rich in the musical traditions of the Asian and African sub-continents.
Permanent Revolution V2R
Inspired by the experience of migration and cultural enrichment, Permanent Revolution V2R stretches Union Dance into unknown territory. Vincent Mantsoe (South Africa) Bawren Tavaziva (Zimbabwe) and Doug Elkins (New York) are international choreographers with distinct and separate cultural experiences. Their vastly different ways of working with choreography and music are given full licence in Permanent Revolution V2R, where collectively these differences are celebrated and at the same time fused. Within a culture informed by a multitude of real and virtual migrations, Mantsoe, Tavazia and Elkins create a rich, sensory world in which memory and place collide to challenge notions of identity.
Born in South Africa, Union Dance Company Artistic Director Corrine Bougaard trained at the London Contemporary Dance School and at Alvin Ailey in New York. A solo career at Ballet Rambert preceded her role as founder member, choreographer and Associate Director of Extemporary Dance Theatre. Awarded the first Arts Council bursary for an Artistic Director of Dance, she set up Union Dance in 1985 with a mission to explore and express an identity through dance with reflects the growing cultural fusion of contemporary British society.
Hip-hop, ballet capoeira and break-dance meet head on in the world of New York's Doug Elkins, the former break-dancer and club-kid turned choreographer. Associate Choreographer of Union Dance, Elkins has created work for Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Dance Alloy and Candoco. In 1997 he was the recipient of a Bessie, recognised for " walking the walk as well as talking the talk, not to mention utterly tanking what's left of post-modernist pretension, all the while fashioning a singular provocative poetics of dance".
Having completed commissions for Dance Theater of Harlem, Soweto-born Vincent Mantsoe has developed into one of Africa¹s most prominent dancer/choreographers. Vincent Mantsoe has received numerous accolades, the FNB VITA Awards for Choreographer of The Year and Most Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer in 1999 as well as the Prix de Peuple at the Festival International de Nouvelle Danse, Montreal in the same year. He was the recipient of the 2001 FNB Vita Choreographer of the Year and Best Male Dancer in the Contemporary Style for his solo Barena, which also received critical acclaim as part of Dance Umbrella 2001. Vincent Mantsoe is currently Resident Choreographer and Associate Artistic Director of South Africa's Moving into Dance company.
Born and trained in Zimbabwe, Bawren Tavaziva joined Tumbuka Dance Company and toured Africa and Europe from 1993-7, under the direction of Neville Campbell, former Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Company. Bawren had also performed as a guest artist with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe. He joined Union Dance as a soloist in January 1999, and then toured with Phoenix Dance Company in 2000, returning to Union in 2001. Bawren choreographed for The Mission in 2001 and Permanent Revolution V2R marks his first choreographic work for Union Dance.
Union Dance Spring Tour dates 2003
24 Jan The Theatre, Chipping Norton 01608 642350 Rep A
28 Jan Bedales Oliver Theatre, Petersfield 01730 304253 Rep A
29 Jan New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich 01473 295900 Rep B
1 Feb Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon 0870 609 1110 Rep B
30 & 31 Jan Stratford Circus, London 020 8279 1000 Rep A
11 Feb Palace Theatre, Redditch 01527 65203 Rep A
1 March Greenwich Dance Agency, London 0208 293 9741 Rep B
5 March The Playhouse, Harlow 01279 431945 Rep A
Rep A Urban Classics II
Rep B Permanent Revolution V2R