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 Post subject: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Starting afresh
Phoenix Dance is back after 18 months with a programme partly created by artistic director Darshan Singh Buller. Kevin Berry for The Stage finds out what first attracted him to dance and what other personal and professional interests he is currently pursuing

The uncertainty has gone from Phoenix Dance. After an 18-month absence from performing, the company is now thriving under Darshan Singh Bhuller, its new artistic director.

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<small>[ 10 November 2003, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:54 am 
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Location: Leeds
Phoenix Dance Theatre - Planted Seeds

I was in the right place at the right time (and lucky enough) to see a preview of Phoenix's Planted Seeds (now in tour) in Leeds last week.

I consider myself rather a novice and confess that Rambert is the only contemporary company whose work I have seen (2002 and 2003 programmes) but I was blown away with this piece.

My first reaction was 'oh no I don't want to go there' but I was transfixed, drawn in and taken on a roller-coaster ride of exciting, raw dance as I have never seen it before.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,685-855597,00.html (review of their first night - just found it!) :)

I came away emotionally exhausted, but more appreciative of my life and surroundings. This programme IS something you have to see.

<small>[ 16 October 2003, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: cf ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 1:19 am 
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Hi cf and thanks for your account of "Planted Seeds". I agree that it is an exceptionally powerful piece, especially the section with the women held prisoner in a gymnasium. When I saw "Planted Seeds" in the QEH about 5 years ago, at the end of this scene the lights went down and you could hear a pin drop.

I'm delighted that Amnesty International allowed the rare privilige of using their logo for this tour and an earlier one with Darshan's own Company.

I will certainly make a point of seeing the work again when it comes to London's The Place this Autumn.

<small>[ 19 October 2003, 06:54 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2003 2:26 am 
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Amnesty International is featured in their Autumn programme - which we were given at the preview.

I am going to see it again at Halifax and the Lowry. I feel the need to see it a few times, there is so much to take in.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:55 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk/media/crickmay/Planted4.jpg" alt="" />

Phoenix Dance bring Darshan Singh Bhuller's "Planted Seeds" to London's Robin Howard Dance Theatre at The Place from Tuesday 4th to Saturday 8th November at 8pm (Box Office 020 7387 0031).

This searing piece of dance drama packs a powerful punch and is sometimes shocking in its depiction of abuse. Here is my review from 5 years ago, when it was performed by the Darshan Singh Bhuller Dance Company:

Planted Seeds
September 1998, London, QEH

by Stuart Sweeney

Darshan Singh Bhuller has choreographed an immensely powerful work, "Planted Seeds", which had its second outing at the QEH in mid-September, the first having been at The Place earlier this year.

Darshan used to dance for London Contemporary Dance Theatre and choreographed several works for the company. I remember seeing his "Beyond the Law" at Sadlers Wells in the early 80s and being impressed by this accessible, sympathetic piece based on a mixed race relationship in South Africa.

Like this earlier work, "Planted Seeds" takes a political tragedy as its theme. In this case, the gross human rights abuses in the Bosnian conflict. Darshan visited Sarajevo and based the work on the personal accounts of the young people he met there and newspaper reports by Misha Glennie and Julian Borger,which are reproduced in the programme.

"Planted Seeds" works very well and combines fascinating choreography with great emotional force. The young dancers are mainly graduates of the London Contemporary Dance School at the Place and do themselves and their teachers great credit.

After a brief scene-setting, showing the vitality of peace-time Bosnia, we then see a 30 minute representation of the imprisonment and abuse of Muslim women by Serb militia in a school gymnasium. The sombre 1st movement of Gorecki's "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" provides a perfect foil for choreography which forcefully expresses the resignation, outrage and despair of the women and the contempt of their callous captors. At the end of this first part, the silence in the nearly full auditorium highlighted the intensity of the work. "Planted Seeds" continues with the story of a couple from across the racial divide who refuse to be separated and are eventually murdered. This theme gives Darshan the opportunity for a series of touching pdd between the two lovers, which act as a partial relief after the wrenching first section, until it too ends in tragedy. The brief final part, shows a conflict between two men of different generations, where the younger man seems to reject the murderous atmosphere which surrounds him, only to be killed himself. In both these latter sections, the dancing remains excellent and although the choreography retains much interest, the impact and focus of the first section are not fully maintained, perhaps because the narrative drive is less clear.

Planted Seeds should be a must for those who found Christopher Bruce's "Swansong" an amazingly dramatic experience, as it tackles similar themes with a vocabulary of its own. "Planted Seeds"will go on tour in the UK and overseas in 1999, so watch out for it.

Dancers - Lindsay Butcher, Lee Clayden, David Hughes, Celia Hulton, Sarah Nicholls, Bob Smith, Amanda Weaver


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 6:23 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The young dancers of Phoenix give this fine dance theatre work all they've got. In addition, The Robin Howard theatre is one of the best places to see it with a large stage, but intimate contact with the audience.

You have tonight, Friday and Saturday to catch it. It's a dark, thought-provoking work, but I heartily recommend it to you.

<small>[ 06 November 2003, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:39 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Planted Seeds, The Place, London
By Zoe Anderson for The Independent

Darshan Singh Bhuller's dance Planted Seeds has a sense of shock to it. Made in 1998, in response to reports of the war in Yugoslavia, it starts with Sarajevo's Romeo and Juliet, a Muslim girl and her Serb boyfriend murdered as they tried to escape the war. Bhuller went to Sarajevo for research and came back with questions about the wider conflict, about communities changed by war.

This revival is Bhuller's second programme as director of Phoenix Dance Theatre. It is much stronger than his first. Requiem, his piece on the last bill, had the same kind of political engagement. It was an overloaded dance, losing shape through too many ideas. The strength of Planted Seeds is its sharp focus.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:46 am 
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Planted Seeds
By David Dougill in The Sunday Times

The Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre, under its new director, Darshan Singh Bhuller, is touring a revival of his 1998 dance-theatre piece Planted Seeds. Bhuller is a choreographer with a social conscience, and his inspiration came from the harrowing events of the Yugoslavian civil war and his own later visit to Sarajevo to see for himself and meet victims. In this two-part work, he evokes the lives of young people before and during the conflict, with the focus on the tragic true story of a 25-year-old couple, a Serb man and his Muslim girlfriend, who tried to escape together, were double-crossed and shot.

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<small>[ 17 November 2003, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:02 am 
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Phoenix – Planted Seeds, Robin Howard Dance Theatre, 05/11/03

Inspired by a trip to Sarajevo after the Yugoslavian conflict in the early 1990’s, ‘Planted Seeds’ portrays deep and complex issues of the gross misconduct of human rights experienced by the people of Sarajevo, and the conduct and experiences of individuals during the war. Directed by Darshan Singh Buller and supported by Amnesty International, stories unfold pertaining to accounts of the atrocities of war, with a powerful subject mass of rape, human rights violation and personal and political destruction.

The piece begins with soap opera like tableaux of cheesy grins and light hearted music – there is a fast paced and fun atmosphere. However before long we notice something very sinister lurking in the background – a noose hangs from the scaffolding surrounded by Mark Parry’s caged lighting effect. There are some extremely powerful images of the women hanging by their arms, legs and shoulders as one by one they are led off through the back door and raped. They drop and swing from the rope in a haunting portrayal of death, as the others crawl on their knees in the foreground, or run full pelt in to a brick wall.

The second half concentrates in particular, on a love story of cross ethnic and cultural boundaries during a time of conflict based on a true story of a couple dubbed the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ of the Yugoslavian conflict. They are trying to escape the border to be together, but are found and executed. In a gut wrenching scene, the girl drags herself to her lover to die with her arms around him.

Choreographically, there are some beautifully crafted moments in space, using patterns and gymnastic movement - contortion lends itself well to such indescribable emotion. This powerful young company combines their attack of every movement with a sensitive and raw emotive regard. The female dancers convey frustration and a searing psychological drive as they are led back out on to the stage after their ordeal and the duetting lovers secure our compassion. It is a powerfully moving piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Phoenix Dance Theatre
By Sanjoy Roy for The Guardian


The choreographer Darshan Singh Bhuller has a cinematic eye. Planted Seeds opens like the title sequence of a film, each of the nine players emerging from a back door for a brief introductory vignette. Then we pull back for a scene-setting shot: it's the stage door of a rock concert, with punters marshalled by a hefty bouncer, chillingly portrayed by Bob Smith. Bhuller made Planted Seeds in 1998 following a trip to war-ravaged Sarajevo; U2 had just performed there, and Bhuller took up the theme of youngsters whose coming-together at the concert masks a society riven by ethnic violence.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Dance - 'Planted Seeds' (Autumn Tour 2003)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 1:20 am 
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Haunting tale of two tragic lovers
Preview by Alan Hulme for Manchester online


Young Serb Boska Brkic and his Moslem girlfriend Admira Ismac were shot dead on Sarajevo's front line trying to escape from the siege. As they died in each other's arms - and the opposing armies squabbled over who should retrieve the bodies - their tragic image was flashed around the world, one of the most powerful reminders of the gross obscenities of that particularly obscene war.

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