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 Post subject: Union Dance
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 3:32 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Guardian.

Quote:
Union have always tapped into a range of cultures - hip hop, martial arts, the stage and the street - but their latest show, Permanent Revolution V2R, is by far the most self-consciously global. Three choreographers, from Zimbabwe, South Africa and New York, have created works that individually tell stories of migrating dancers and styles, and collectively add up to a world image of dance.
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<small>[ 16 September 2003, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Union Dance
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 7:36 am 
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Cultural leaps and boundaries
by Debra Craine for The Times


EVER since it was formed in 1985, Union Dance Company’s brief has been to celebrate cultural diversity. The company is remarkable for its stylistic versatility and its eagerness to travel the distance from European ballet to African tribal dancing, New York hip hop and Brazilian martial arts. For its new production, Permanent Revolution Virtual to Reality, Union delivers its most ambitious project to date, three pieces by three international choreographers on a single theme. As movement of a thousand impulses it’s an impressive show.
South Africa’s Vincent Mantsoe, Zimbabwe’s Bawren Tavaziva (a dancer with Union) and America’s Doug Elkins, working with the multimedia artists Thomas Gray and Derek Richards, set out to “explore how migration and transition can effect cultural change”.

The result is a showcase for world dance, which starts like a prayer and ends like a party. The designs, using computer graphics and video drawing, are handsome and unobtrusive, glowing washes of colour inviting you into the landscape, while geometric signatures toy with the imagination.

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 Post subject: Re: Union Dance
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
PRESS RELEASE

Union Dance internationally tours two compelling and

distinctly contrasting productions for the autumn of 2003.


Urban Classics II and Permanent Revolution V2R

September 19 to December 3

With its eclectic mix of hip-hop, martial arts and streetwise wit Union Dance internationally tours two compelling and distinctly contrasting productions this autumn, Urban Classics II and Permanent Revolution V2R, featuring choreography from South Africa's Vincent Mantsoe and New Yorker Doug Elkins. Union Dance will make its Austrian debut at the Black Dance Festival, Museums Quartier, Vienna performing Urban Classics II.

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 Corrine 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 Tavazia (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. These artists clearly articulate transition and evoke this mapping in live dance performance, through movement, visuals, music, sound, computer graphics and video.

NOTES:

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. He has been 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 Tavazia 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 for its 2001 & 2002 seasons. Bawren choreographed for The Mission in 2001 and Permanent Revolution V2R marks his first choreographic work for Union Dance.

Union Dance Tour dates 2003


19 Sept Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare 01934 645544 Rep A


20 Sept Bristol Dance Centre 0117 9292118 Rep A


23 Sept Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield 01484 430528 Rep A


27 Sept The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton 01823 283 344 Rep A



30 Sept Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells 01892 678673 Rep A


1 Oct Millfield Theatre, Edmonton, London 020 8807 6680 Rep B


10 Oct Stanwix Arts Centre, Carlisle 01228 534781 Rep A


14 Oct Civic Hall, Stratford 01789 414513 Rep A


17 Oct Linbury Studio, ROH, London 020 7304 4000 Rep A


18 Oct Linbury Studio, ROH, London 020 7304 4000 Rep B


23 Oct The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe 01271 865655 Rep A


24 Oct South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell 01344 484123 Rep B


1 Nov Hampton Court CC, Richmond 020 8883 1600 Rep A


4 Nov King Edward VI Community College 01803 866021 Rep A


6-9 Nov Black Dance Festival, Vienna www.blackdancefestival.com


11 Nov Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton 01273 685861 Rep B


13 Nov Portsmouth Studio Theatre 02392 667521 Rep A


25 Nov Theatre by the Lake, Keswick 01768 774411 Rep B


28 Nov Forum 28, Barrow-in-Furness 01229 820000 Rep A




Rep A Urban Classics II Rep B Permanent Revolution V2R


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 10:31 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thea Nerissa Barnes Posted: 16 May 2005 07:44 pm

UNION DANCE: SENSING CHANGE

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Union Dance has always had a predilection with mixing multimedia with contemporary dance, hip-hop, martial arts and streetwise movement expressions in a quest to challenge perceptions of identity. Union dance professes to explore through movement the perceptions of what it is to live in a culturally diverse society. This current production’s exploration of identity with internationally diverse choreographers, designers and multi-media artists though reveals uneasiness in a context that is becoming so syncretic in its dance expressions that the distinctions that use to mark specific cultural affiliations have all but disappeared.

Mavin Khoo: Pure C
This work begins with a dancer, Jedda Donnelly, positioned on a centre platform; one of four with varied heights off the deck with one white square downstage centre. There are two projector screens upstage. Donnelly moves precariously on the centre platform. There is an uncertainty, unsteadiness within her occasional leg flicks and drops to the surface. Dressed in white against the black cyc and legs, her discomfort ness is intensified. Donnelly doesn’t seem sure of her place on this platform turning from side to side and eventually flicking the arms of the costume that contain lights designed by Jessica Bugg. As the dance progresses the fragmentation of the space is also how the work unfolds; a procession of solos, duets, trios and ensemble with the dancers walking in, taking their place, doing some moves then exiting by walking. The vignettes are arranged on the platforms with intermittent projections by Derek Richards of faces, bodies, and dancers moving through wind sweep fabric. Even the movement vocabulary is a fragmentation of hyper mobile lines, inverted work and arm and leg gestural isolations. Exits and entrances seem only to facilitate change of platform. A movement phrase is begun on a platform then progresses to another platform. The music by Digital 77 is dense, driven and decisive in its meter and intensity. The music’s assertiveness though was not challenged by the movement or costumes even with their decorative lights.

Rafael Bonachela: Silence Disrupted
Two projector screens on the black cyc show the after shadow of movements performed on stage. The images progress slowly becoming distorted with some residue of the colour and shape of the movement left on the screen. The movement vocabulary is atypical Bonachela performed with same sex entanglements and counter gestural moves. The sequences are somewhere between static tableau and progressions of multiple gestures. Eventually lyrical sequencing begins. Within the duets, trios and solos more staccato dynamics with the odd projectile element being either a leg or the body being tossed in the air. There is not much of the inverted work present in this work which Union is known for. Some body popping inferences but not enough to distinguish this work from any other Bonachela work or contemporary dance company. The work a visual feast of well executed movement aptly performed by Union dancers.

Twenty five years on Union is multimedia slick, costuming chic, music urban and very current but is not distinguishably poly culturally expressive with these particular choreographic expressions. The movement vocabularies are clean, conventional, and almost rhetorically contemporary. Not cutting edge, innovative nor visionary; just resilient and steadfast.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 5:24 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Pure C/Silence Disrupted
By Gavin Roebuck for The Stage


Sensing Change is a double bill building on Corrine Bougaard’s company’s expertise in contemporary dance movements. With a fluid grace and wit the seven-strong, culturally diverse company explores change. With rapidly changing ideals through dance and eye-catching costume design by Jessica Bugg, they celebrate transformation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 6:59 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Union Dance Company
By Donald Hutera for The Times


PEGGED to a vague, all-embracing concept of 21st-century cultural transformation, the new double bill from the British company Union Dance yields spectacularly mixed results. Judging by its current crop of seven dancers, the company that Corrine Bougaard founded two decades ago is in good shape, but the choreographer Mavin Khoo doesn’t seem to know how to bring out the best in them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Union Dance, The Place, London
by ZOE ANDERSON fot the Independent
published: November 27, 2006

Union Dance has athletic, fluent dancers, but Sense of Rapport, the current programme, doesn't quite know what to do with them. This double bill includes film imagery, candles and costumes with electric lights, but it lacks theatrical bite.
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