CriticalDance Forum

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:58 am ]


Photo by Jorge Monedero



Tue 18 & Wed 19 October, 7pm
South Bank Centre: Purcell Room
08701 454 555
Prior to Catherine Diverrès
£4 or Free to Catherine Diverrès ticket holders*

With his unique style, a hybrid of Latin and contemporary dance, Brazilian-born Jean Abreu has established himself as one of Britain's rising talents. With the Jerwood Choreography Award Jean won in 2003, he has developed his first group work Fijis, a trio for two men and a woman. The piece explores concepts of modern sexuality and how human instinct impacts on moral decisions.

This piece is complemented by music specially composed by John Metcalfe and lighting design by David Holmes.

*Subject to availability: booking essential.
Free tickets for Brief Encounters only available when booked at the same time as the main stage performance. Free tickets not available online.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:45 am ]
Post subject: 


By Jean Abreu

Purcell Room, South Bank Centre
18th and 19th of October, 7pm

Fijis, the new trio piece by Brazilian-born choreographer Jean Abreu is an
intense work where contradictory experiences of sensuality, violence and
longing provide the catalyst for human transformation through the encounters
of the three performers. The piece takes his audience on a journey to an
imaginary place inspired by the unique cultures and rituals of the Polynesian
Islands. Abreu excavates the collective unconscious to create an intense work
that challenges western moral and cultural assumptions. The fluidity and
overwhelming energy of Abreu’s vivid movement language and unique
choreographic style’a hybridization of Latin and contemporary dance
techniques’are taken to new levels in Fijis.

Joining Jean on this exploration are Slovakian born dancer Andrej Petrovi’ and
former Wim Vandekeybus dancer Eleonor Valere. With his creative
collaborators’including New Zealander composer John Metcalfe, lighting
designer David Holmes, and costume designer Tony Wood’Abreu creates a visceral
and unforgettable intervention in contemporary dance.

Jean Abreu established himself as one of Britain's rising talents with a
repertoire that includes the highly acclaimed pieces ‘Hibrido’ (2002), ‘O
Lungo Drom’ and ‘Urge’ (2004), and this years’ ‘Raizes’. The work of this
recipient of the 2003 Jerwood Award for choreography and Associate Artist at
The Place has rapidly gained support from many institutions in the UK and
Europe. Fijis is Jean’s first group piece and represents an exciting new stage
in his career.

Additional information:

Born in Brazil, Jean Abreu studied traditional Brazilian dances and started
his career in Rio de Janeiro. Jean graduated from Laban in London in 1999.
Between 1999 and 2004 Jean performed around the UK and Europe with Protein
Dance while creating his own work. In 2001 he was commissioned by the
Yorkshire Dance Centre and created the duet 'Hibrido'. In 2003, he performed
'Hibrido' at The Place for Resolution! and in Amsterdam as part of Aerowaves.
The same year he won the Jerwood Award for Choreography. In 2004, he
choreographed two new pieces: the solo 'O Lungo Drom' which premiered at
Resolution!, and the duet 'Urge', as part of the first edition of the Place
Prize. 'Urge' was also performed at Teatro Libero in Palermo, Sicily. In 2005,
he choreographed and premiered 'Raizes' at Dance East in Ipswich. 'Raizes'
explored his Latin origins and their influence on his personal movement
language and choreographic style. He is currently Associate Artist at The

£4 or FREE to Catherine Diverres ticket holders (Free tickets available only
when both shows are booked at the same time / limited availability)
Box Office 08703 800 400 Online at

Vanessa Desclaux
15 devonshire close
HP6 5JG Amersham
T: +44 (0)7 891729446

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:19 am ]
Post subject: 

By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage

Brazilian-born Jean Abreu is one of Britain’s rising dance talents. He has a movement style that successfully merges Latin and contemporary.

Fijis is a trio developed from work for which he was awarded a Jerwood Choreography Award in 2003. It displays a fused movement language and choreographic style. The piece explores concepts of sexuality and how human instinct impacts on moral decisions. The work examines some of the natural tensions generated between two men and a woman to music specially composed by John Metcalfe and an atmospheric lighting design by David Holmes.

click for more

Author:  Thea Nerissa Barnes [ Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Jean Abreu company FIJIS presented a new piece in Dance Umbrella’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER at the Purcell Room South Bank London, 19 October 2005. Presented before main attractions of a dance evening, BREIF ENCOUNTER is intended to provide choreographers, new and experienced, a forum for new works. It is stated in the program notes that Abreu’s movement language and choreographic style is a hybridization of Latin and contemporary dance languages but the work presented would take Abreu’s style to new levels. What was performed was a finely crafted contemporary dance expression that visualised through movement, gestures and dramatic inferences the dancers’ embodied views of human sexuality. It is perhaps here that Abreu’s choreographic skill illustrated its potentiality; numerous bodily narratives evidenced in standing postures and travelling with walks, runs and skips that skimmed the floor or dropped effortlessly onto the floor, interspersed with fluid etched gestures that defined characters and desires. The strong lightly statements, designed by David Holmes, assisted in focussing the solo statements, duets and the interaction of all three dancers, two men, Jean Abreu and Andrej Petrovic and one woman, Eleonor Valere. Composed music by John Metcalfe created the ambience for the unfolding of varied relationships that indicated yearning and preference.

Abreu and Petrovic and Valere stand downstage. The stance is strong, the gaze, piercing. The stance is broken by moving through the space, an arm gesture leading the progression. As a piano is heard the dancers disburse with a resultant configuration ending with Valere and Petrovic downstage left and Abreu upstage right. The lighting state holds Abreu in a strong linear light that moves stage right to left. Abreu moves in and out of the light hands and torso folding, reaching longing, eventually ending just upstage in darkness. Valere and Petrovic touch, caress and envelope. The movement brings all to centre and the music accompanies this escalation in energy and broader use of space. Petrovic then moves with Abreu. The progression develops tension as the music changes becoming hard, staccato. Their interaction brings a different layer of intimacy, a different relationship of desire. The progression takes another course when Petrovic returns to Valere and Abreu is alone. Valere reaches then eventually touches Abreu; this touch seems one of empathy, compassion. The music changes and this last configuration of movement and use of space seem to indicate a coda. This final section seems a summation of the movement that has gone before but doesn’t actually comment on the drama between the characters. There is a Latin flavour with the sharp changes in the back and spiral in torso and subtle hip inferences. The stories though illustrated in the sequences of interactions speak of different types of intimacy none of which were really resolved.

Abreu’s new work appears to be a reasonable development for a choreographer who may have a diverse history but is in a position of choice. Hybridization is not a word that would be attached to this work unless you account for Abreu’s heritage as a denominator. Abreu’s embodied knowledge though is a starting point of numerous possibilities that would allow for works that have no obvious discernible Latin inclinations. It would seem that with this new work Abreu, a more experienced choreographer at this stage, has chosen to cull the “Other” ness and become more “mainstream”. With these choices there is no need to play the race card by emphasising Abreu’s past hybridised choreographic strategies. There is a Latin presence but in a time when cross cultural dance making is the norm Abreu’s work is a variation not novelty. Genealogy intact Abreu kept his altered presence with inferences in the music, in the costumes (?), and perhaps world view that assisted in the interpretation of the drama between the characters. This work though is a contemporary work in the same spirit as any other contemporary dance maker be he or she French, African, American, Britain, Korean, from Brighton or Madrid.

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