Press Release Dance Umbrella at The Queen Elizabeth Hall
Dance Umbrella is celebrating 25 years of successfully presenting and promoting adventurous contemporary dance. This year’s anniversary festival features a special anniversary season of dance at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
“Since 1989, when Dance Umbrella first presented Cie. Emile Dubois from France and Britain’s Second Stride at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the South Bank Centre has become a regular and most popular Dance Umbrella venue. Over the last 14 years, the festival’s impressive line-up of international; artists on the South Bank has included Merce Cunningham,. Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Stephen Petronio, Maguy Marin, Rennie Harris, DV8, Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Javier de Frutos and Akram Khan.” Val Bourne, Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Umbrella
“SBC’s regular autumn collaboration with Dance Umbrella is always one of the highlights of the calendar which we look forward to; high quality, high profile and high energy. The Festival invariably brings in a great audience and lots of lively artists”. Julia Carruthers, SBC Head of Dance and Performance STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY
Sat 18 & Sun 19 October at 7.45pm
To commemorate its association with Dance Umbrella, which now stretches to 17 years, New York’s Stephen Petronio Company returns to the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a triple bill of new work featuring the world premiere of The Island of Misfit Toys. Part of what Petronio has called his ‘Gotham Suite’, this is the companion piece to the acclaimed City of Twist made last year.
As always, Stephen Petronio's work assaults all the senses with powerfully modern landscapes, combining intensely physical choreography with vivid sound and visual design. Started before but influenced by the tragedy of September 11th, City of Twist paints a series of archetypal portraits in a charged and shifting landscape inspired by life in New York City, with the rhythm of urban humanity is at its heart. City of Twist features an original score by music and live art legend Laurie Anderson and costume design by Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ.
Receiving its world premiere, The Island of Misfit Toys is set to music by experimental rock icon Lou Reed with visual design by influentual artist Cindy Sherman. The programme is completed by Broken Man, Petronio’s first solo since 1996, set to music by Blixa Bargeld.
Collaborating with some of the most talented and provocative artists in the world, Stephen Petronio has built an accomplished body of work, integrating new music, visual art and high fashion to great effect. Petronio has collaborated with visual artists Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Donald Baechler, Stephen Hannock, Justin Terzi, Charles Atlas, Tal Yarden and Trisha Fox; composers Michael Nyman, James Lavelle, Wire, Yoko Ono, Beastie Boys, Diamanda Galás, Sheila Chandra, Lenny Pickett, and on numerous works with David Linton; fashion designers Imitation of Christ, Leigh Bowery, Manolo, Paul Compitus and Tanya Sarne/Ghost; and long time collaborator and lighting designer Ken Tabachnick.
The first male dancer in the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Stephen Petronio danced with Brown from 1979-1986. In addition to choreographing for his own company, which he founded in 1984, Petronio has created dances for Ricochet Dance Company, Ballett Frankfurt, Rotterdam Dance Company, Lyon Opera Ballet and Deutsche Oper. Stephen Petronio first appeared in Dance Umbrella 83 with the Trisha Brown Company and this will be the ninth visit from his own company, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This season is commissioned by Danceworks UK Ltd, Sheffield. SILVER CELEBRATION
Wed 23 & Thurs 23 October at 7.30pm
The Queen Elizabeth Hall plays host to Silver Celebration, a unique line-up of distinguished British and international Dance Umbrella artists who have a long association with the festival. It features a dance film from Akram Khan, Sara Rudner, David Gordon and Valda Setterfield, a solo for Henry Montes by Siobhan Davies, and a company work from Richard Alston Dance Company.
Silver Celebration opens with the UK premiere film screening by Akram Khan with live accompaniment by cellist Philip Sheppard. If Not, Why Not is based on material from his company’s solo and group works including Kaash. Akram Khan is an associate artist at the South Bank Centre.
American dancer and choreographer Sara Rudner, formerly a leading dancer with Twyla Tharp’s Company, appeared in the first festival in 1978. HeartBeat, conceived and scored by sound artist Christopher Janney in 1983, was choreographed by Sara and danced as a solo. HeartBeat explores the heart as both a sophisticated machine for pumping blood and the “seat of the soul”. Using wireless telemetry and custom audio filters, the system amplifies the electrical impulses to Rudner’s heart and surrounding muscles to create an extraordinary percussion soundtrack. New York choreographer/director David Gordon and his long time partner dancer/actress Valda Setterfield appeared together in Dance Umbrella 80. Gordon's Pick Up Performance Company was last seen at Dance Umbrella 2001. For the Silver Celebration, Setterfield and Gordon will perform a talking/walking excerpt from Private Lives of Dancers (2002).
Siobhan Davies, who herself appeared in a Richard Alston solo also in Dance Umbrella 80 will bring a solo for Henry Montes from a new work Bird Song. Inspired by hearing and the affecting nature of sounds, it uses birdsong as a reservoir to collect images, ideas, stories and forms. Made for her acclaimed company, this year celebrating its 15th anniversary, Bird Song is to be premiered in its entirety in 2004. Richard Alston himself appeared in the very first Dance Umbrella and has become one of the most inspiring and influential figures in British Dance, much acclaimed for the musicality of his work. The Richard Alston Dance Company has regularly performed in the festival and will provide the grand finale to Silver Celebration with an extract of the 1990 piece Roughcut which was originally dedicated to Val Bourne. RUSSELL MALIPHANT COMPANY
Saturday 25 October 7.45pm
An expanded Russell Maliphant Company makes its Queen Elizabeth Hall debut with a new commission, a solo by Maliphant himself and a reworking of what many consider to be his signature work. Collaborating with lighting designer Michael Hulls, whose work plays a pivotal role in Maliphant’s award winning style, the new work for five dancers, specially commissioned by Dance Umbrella as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations.
The award winning choreographer also revisits a piece commissioned by Dance Umbrella in 1998 titled One, in which he performs to a soundscore by Andy Cowton. That piece is now developed further as One Part II. Also on the bill is Two Times Three, an expanded version of the much acclaimed solo, Two. Instead of one dancer seemingly trapped in a box of light, the piece is now redeveloped for the three female performers, whose movements are an abstraction of the original in different perspectives. The specially commissioned sound score by Andy Cowton is also re-worked and extended.
Russell Maliphant was a member of The Royal Ballet for seven years before dancing with DV8 and Laurie Booth. He has choreographed for Lyon Opera Ballet, George Piper Dances, Ricochet Dance Company and Nurnberg Ballet. In 2002 Russell Maliphant Company received the Time Out Live Award for ‘Outstanding Collaboration’ for the work Sheer, and also the 'Peoples Choice Award' from the Festival De La Nouvelle Danse, in Montreal.
Dance Umbrella on the Southbank
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Tickets for the Dance Umbrella season at the QEH: £11 - £17.50 Box Office: 020 7960 4242
In additional to these three dance seasons, Dance Umbrella also presents: Matthews Hawkins Stories that Run Parrellel, as it turns out.
(Sat 25 Oct at 6.30pm. Royal Festival Hall: Voicebox)
In a new initiative, Jerwood Choreography Award winning choreographer/dancer Matthew Hawkins reads fragments from his dance diary as part of Dance Umbrella's 25th Anniversary Festival. In 2001 Hawkins was awarded the Chris de Marigny Dance Writers Award. Umbrella Unfurled.
To celebrate Dance Umbrella’s 25th anniversary, famous, infamous and never seen before historical and documentary footage of the Dance Umbrella festival will slowly reveal itself through the month of October in a growing video installation throughout the Royal Festival Hall foyers. Umbrella Unfurled is free of charge.
For more information visit www.danceumbrella.co.uk
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