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 Post subject: Phoenix Dance - Spring Tour 2006
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:46 am 
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PHOENIX DANCE THEATRE 2006

25 years inspiring and entertaining

In 2006, Phoenix Dance Theatre celebrates its 25th anniversary with the premieres of two co-commissioned works, spring and autumn UK tours and the first tour of the USA in over ten years.

Spring UK Tour 2006 – March 2 to June 28

The 7-venue tour kicks-off at Sadler’s Wells, London on March 2 with a new, diverse triple bill featuring the premiere of the latest work by award-winning choreographer Javier de Frutos and the premiere of a new creation by Arthur Pita. Pave up Paradise from rising stars Lost Dog (Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer) completes Phoenix’s diverse UK touring programme.

The new works by Javier de Frutos and Arthur Pita are specially co-commissioned by Sadler’s Wells.

Thu 2 – Sat 4 March Sadler’s Wells, London

Tue 7 & Wed 8 March Nottingham Playhouse

Wed 17 – Sat 20 May West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Tue 6 June The Lowry, Salford Quays

Tue 13 June Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

Tue 20 & Wed 21 June Sheffield Lyceum

Tue 27 & Wed 28 June Theatre Royal, York

USA Tour 2006 – March 28 to April 30

The first ever Phoenix tour of the USA commences at Montclair University, New Jersey on March 28 and concludes at California State University, Los Angeles on April 30. En route to Los Angeles, the company will perform in Washington DC, Nashville and Cincinnati.

The tour repertoire includes both Darshan Singh Bhuller’s searing and poignant Planted Seeds and a triple bill featuring Signal by Henri Oguike, Forest by Robert Cohan and Eng-er-land by Darshan Singh Bhuller.

Following the conclusion of the US tour, Darshan Singh Bhuller will stand down as Artistic Director of the company. Appointed in February 2002, he has, over 4 outstanding years, completely re-vitalised Phoenix and helped to restore the company’s international reputation as one of the UK’s leading repertory touring companies.

Nadine Senior, Chair of Phoenix’s Board of Trustees said:
“When the Board appointed Darshan as Artistic Director in 2002, we felt he was the ideal candidate – he understood Phoenix’s history and had the vision to secure its future. We charged him with rebuilding the company, its repertoire and its reputation. With all that’s planned for 2006, he’s exceeded our expectations and will leave the company in its strongest position for many years. The Board are immensely grateful and wish Darshan the very best with his future endeavours.”

Darshan Singh Bhuller, Artistic Director, said of the difficult decision to stand down:

“In 2002, I was excited by the challenge of becoming Phoenix’s Artistic Director and took on the job with clear tasks in mind. I wanted to develop a company of dancers with strong technique and expressive capabilities, to build a high quality, diverse repertoire and to re-establish the company on the national and international touring circuits. With the Sadler’s Wells co-commissions and the forthcoming US tour I feel I have achieved these goals and can step down knowing the Phoenix has a great team and is in great shape. I will be sad to leave but look forward to new challenges and to spending more time with my family in London.”


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:26 am 
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It came as a surprise to me that Darshan Singh Bhuller is going to leave Phoenix. It is no exaggeration for the press release to say that he leaves "the company in its strongest position for many years." Indeed, ween he was appointed, Phoenix had not been seen on-stage for a couple of years. Darshan recruited a fine team of young dancers, exemplified by their "Planted Seeds" tour. The original production, by Darshan's own company, featured some of the finest dancers working in the UK. But the Phoenix revival matched the intensity of the original and their ensemble playing was superb.

Phoenix is now well-placed to go forward under a new Artistic Director, which is a great tribute to Darshan's stewardship. Before Phoenix, Darshan had carved out a niche with his own projects, putting together groups of dancers for each endeavour. In addition, film making is also a great love. Thus, I'm confident that Darshan will continue to be a key player on the UK dance scene for many years to come.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:37 pm 
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Quote:
Phoenix Dance Theatre
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

Inside a pavilion decorated with a lovers' portrait and a pair of capering skeletons De Frutos unveils a hallucinatory magic lantern show. The dancers' bodies are alive with clashing, colourful dance references, their gestures signal a world of mysterious ritual, and the plangent accompaniment of singer Lila Downs turns this piece into a fantasy, both weird and unpredictably wild.

published: March 4, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:54 pm 
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Got your wrestling mask? Let's dance
by LUKE JENNINGS for the Observer

In Snow White in Black, Arthur Pita takes the Brothers Grimm's fairy story, folds in a childhood memory of seeing his dead godmother in a glass-topped coffin and decorates the whole gothic blancmange with snatches of Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. Snow White herself is danced by Tiia Ourila on towering prosthetic stilts - there's a pas de deux I won't even begin to describe - and the Faye/Joan role by a tightly corseted, closely shaven Yann Seabra.

published: March 5, 2006
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 Post subject: STORIES IN RED: MIXED BILL AT SADLER'S WELLS
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:25 am 
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Phoenix Dance Theatre presented its new programme, Stories in Red at Sadler’s Wells on Thursday 2nd March. The programme had new commissions for the company from choreographers Arthur Pita, Darsahn Singh Bhuller and Javier de Frutos. The company also presented a work by Lost-Dog (Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer).

The bill opened with Pita’s “Snow White in Black”. The piece was a personal retelling of the tale in which the witch/step-mother or mother is killed by Snow White’s children and the happy ending sees Snow White walking away with her progeny. Twenty years ago, the work could have looked better, but in this day and age, it just seemed a bit pointless. It was theatrical, but the whole point of the story and even the comic twists were not enough to sustain the piece from beginning to end. The choreographic language was almost non existent and fairly repetitive in its movement sequences. Personally, I did not find any of its elements capable of sustaining interest. It was simplistic in its tone and development and the theatricality of the piece, which is where Pita seemed to concentrate, did not match some of the work that Carolyn Carlson, Maguy Marin or even Lindsay Kemp did twenty years ago.

Darshan Singh Buller’s solo “Laal” started with a film of the company’s history. Then it moved into an incredible solo for a male dancer, Kimball Wong. The solo defied expectations in its intricacy and virtuosity and credit must be given to the dancer who managed to carry it through. It incorporated movement vocabulary that flowed effortlessly and inventively and it created a breathtaking display of technical ability from the part of the dancer.

“Pave up Paradise” by Lost-Dog was a duet with life guitar music. It was a lyrical piece, though it contained some jokes that provided variety of mood. The movement was flowing and it was a total contrast to the physicality and virtuosity of the previous work. The dancers Tanya Richam-Odoi and Kevin Turner performed their choreographic material with conviction.

The last piece of the programme was the premiere of “Nopalitos” by Javier de Frutos. Inspired by Mexican culture and iconography, the work was, in my opinion, the best of the evening. It showed choreography that was inventive without trying to be pretentious, it was lyrical and yet could be harsh depending on the moods of the songs. Most importantly, it was very musical and the selection of songs was simply wonderful. De Frutos is a mature choreographer and this shows in his choices of choreographic material. He dares to put together something old and something new and he presents these things with total conviction through his dancers. Though I did not like the masks that the dances wore, as I found them too distracting, they certainly provided with an intended ugliness that is part of the Mexican tradition that de Frutos wanted to portray. Some of the songs were beautifully choreographed and the way de Frutos connected all of them through very simple theatrical means was a lesson of how to make the most of simple, but effective elements.

Overall, it was an uneven programme. Though it is wonderful to see a British company actually producing new work with such consistency, it also highlighted the fact that like in all fairy tales, in the search for choreogrpahic talent, one has to kiss many frogs in order to find a Prince.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:02 am 
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PHOENIX DANCE THEATRE Press Release



Javier De Frutos announced as new Artistic Director


Nadine Senior, Chair of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of multi award-winning choreographer Javier De Frutos as the new Artistic Director of Phoenix. She said:

“We were extremely impressed by the skills, experience and vision that Javier De Frutos brings to the role of Artistic Director. This is an outstanding appointment which will build on the standards already achieved by Darshan Singh Bhuller and will take Phoenix forward into an exciting future.”

Javier becomes the sixth Artistic Director of Phoenix, which in 2006 is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Speaking about his appointment Javier today said:

“I feel not only very honoured but very fortunate by this appointment, one that invites me to be a proud part of the history of this great dance institution. Darshan’s leaving the company in such extraordinary shape, more than getting the job, I feel I’ve been given a gift and I can’t wait to unwrap it.”

Javier will commence his new post in August 2006




USA Tour 2006 – March 28 to April 30


With the support of British Council, USA, the first Phoenix tour of the USA in 10 years commences at Montclair University, New Jersey on March 28 and concludes at California State University, Los Angeles on April 29. En route to Los Angeles, the company will perform in Washington DC, Nashville and Cincinnati.

The tour repertoire includes both Darshan Singh Bhuller’s searing and poignant Planted Seeds and a triple bill featuring Signal by Henri Oguike, Forest by Robert Cohan and Eng-er-land by Darshan Singh Bhuller.

Following the conclusion of the US tour, Darshan Singh Bhuller stands down as Artistic Director of the company. Appointed in February 2002, he has, over four outstanding years, completely revitalised Phoenix and helped to restore the company’s international reputation as one of the UK’s leading repertory touring companies. Speaking about his successor Javier De Frutos, Darshan said

“For many years, I have had the greatest respect for Javier as an artist; having seen him work with Phoenix on the creation of Nopalitos, I feel the company will respond well to his leadership. This is a prestigious appointment which shows how far Phoenix has developed and will help the company move onto the next stage of its development; I am delighted to be leaving Phoenix in such safe hands.”



Spring UK Tour 2006 – until June 28


In Spring 2006, Phoenix’s diverse mixed bill, Stories in Red, continues to tour the UK. Stories in Red features Nopalitos, the latest work by Javier De Frutos, Snow White in Black by Arthur Pita, Darshan Singh Bhuller’s solo Laal and Pave up Paradise from rising stars Lost-Dog (Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer).


Wed 17 – Sat 20 May West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds 0113 213 7700

Tue 6 June The Lowry, Salford Quays 0870 787 5793

Thu 8 June Hull New Theatre 01482 226655

Tue 13 June Wyvern Theatre, Swindon 01793 524 481

Tue 20 & Wed 21 June Sheffield Lyceum 0114 249 6000

Tue 27 & Wed 28 June Theatre Royal, York 01904 623 568

The works by Javier De Frutos and Arthur Pita were co-commissioned by Phoenix Dance Theatre and Sadler’s Wells.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:02 pm 
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Quote:
Phoenix Dance Theater Performs at Montclair State
by JENNIFER DUNNING for the New York Times

Mr. Bhuller has a gift for intimacy. He is at his humane and haunting best when he zeroes in on individuals like the four first-act women, each an individual with her own response to fear, and in a stand-alone duet for the lovers late in the second act.

published: March 31, 2006
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