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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 7:34 am 
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Enough space to swing
Gala Opening Laban Centre by Jann Parry for The Observer

The spectacular new Laban Centre's gala opening was sweetly subverted by dance students using the building as an adventure playground. While VIPs were shown around Herzog and de Meuron's eye-popping complex of studios, colour-coded in vivid shades, students conducted eccentric routines in corridors, stairwells, library and fitness-training studio.

It's their building and they're confident enough to send it up. Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler, Laban graduates who run Protein Dance company, orchestrated the promenade events, entitled The Factory. Dance trainees are both labourers and product, coming off the conveyor belt as perfect (they hope) performers, teachers and future artistic directors.

click for more

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Architecture: Let there be light
London’s luminous Laban Centre is a glowing example of how culture can kick-start urban regeneration, says Hugh Pearman for The Sunday Times.


Ever since the 1950s, there have been short-lived fads for plastic-clad buildings. The last time round, it was the 1980s, and a new translucent wonder material known as triangular polycarbonate, very handy for greenhouses and garden centres, was quite the thing among architects experimenting with curvy shapes. It should come as a bit of a shock to find this now mundane stuff revived in a landmark cultural building in 2003. But the new Laban Centre, in Deptford, makes plastic seem natural, valuable and somehow inevitable.

For the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron — better known for their rebuilding of the former Bankside power station as Tate Modern — the material is incidental. It helps them play the old architectural game of space, light and mass. Thanks in no small part to their collaboration with the artist Michael Craig-Martin, the Laban Centre glows gently with rich colours: lime, turquoise, magenta.

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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 5:13 pm 
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Dancing down to Deptford
A run-down area of south London is not where you would expect to find an exciting new dance centre, especially one that even finds room for pop art. Jay Merrick reports for The Independent

Sometimes, architecture enters the Twilight Zone, complete with an appropriate tracking-shot opening and Rod Serling's deadpan voiceover to set the scene. The walk from Greenwich Docklands Light Railway station to the just-opened Laban dance centre turns out to be an amble into this unexpected territory.

It goes like this: right into Creek Road, Deptford, past the Up the Creek Comedy Club, the Lord Hood pub, and then over the Deptford Creek bridge. To the right, over a new low-rise office development, towards the buildings of Canary Wharf, two miles away, and the mish-mash of apartment blocks with their clashing palettes of brickwork, fiddly fenestration details and escape stairs concealed so elaborately that they become a major, rather than a disguised, feature of the building.

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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 8:35 am 
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Open Day at Laban, Creekside. Feb.8th.

We went to see the building,a splendid curve of glass in pearly colours and the Creek,muddy at first but later running with the brown tidal water, and the events - a choice of so many.But we were soon absorbed by the people, the thousand people, who filled the light, airy spaces. Such enthusiasm and interest.There are the sloping "moss gardens" (no moss yet, one of the many stewards in their Laban logo told enquirers.) The extensive, comprehensive library, sloping floor again echoing the entrance ramp,is a huge resource for students.This is a space as engaging as the Tate Modern and 21st. century dance can surely be celebrated here. A visit to see it for yourself is essential.

Two such visitors,P. and J. Paine.


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:28 am 
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<img src="http://www.frankfurt-ballett.de/duo.JPG" alt="" />
<small>William Forsythe’s ”Duo” performed by Ballett Frankfurt</small>

Laban – Opening Celebration

The official opening of Laban was an important event in the dance life of the UK and beyond. The new location was a brave step for Dr. Marion North and her team. Not everyone was convinced that a high-tech building in Deptford was the right course to follow and I’m interested to hear comments from the local population about this new addition to the landscape. Laban has certainly put the area on the map with the architecture press and when I go there twice a week for lectures, I am always pleased to see the coloured walls and the gentle curves of the elegant building.

The students have been installed for some four months, while the construction work and finishing went on around them. With the official Opening Week, the life of the centre moves up a notch with the completion of the new 300-seater Bonnie Bird theatre. The three official nights of the Opening Week were a chance to say thank you to those who had helped get the project completed and showcase this key new resource for UK dance.

The evening kicked off at 6.00pm, when darkness had fallen and the zigzag pathway through the still to be landscaped grounds was atmospherically lit with a fire installation. Once inside, for the first time I saw the wide, sloping walkway filled with people and this space came alive, clearly as the architects intended. The format of the evening was a tour of the building, followed by a performance in the Bonnie Bird Theatre.

The tour started in the bright and beautiful library, the largest source of dance books, magazines and journals in the UK. The studios, therapy and seminar rooms are also light and airy. The only space that I find uninviting in Laban is the café, which is long and thin and then wide and high with inconveniently large chairs. Protein Dance had worked with the students to make a site-specific piece to animate the tour. In general this worked well, although the need to keep moving, as a series of tours were following on, meant that we didn’t have time to see much of the various segments. However, when all the tours were finished and we were back on the walkway, all the students performed a Busby Berkeley style number down the spiral staircase and into our space. It was great fun and made everyone smile. In the studios, we saw creative, youth dance and a stunning fragment of Martha Graham’s “Klytemnestra” by advanced students, who were able to project the strength of the choreographic ideas – it took my breath away.

After a quick glass of wine we trooped into the Bonnie Bird Theatre for the four-part show. This is a simple dark coloured space making for good blackouts and the single bank of seats has a steep rake, providing excellent sight lines. Laban’s pre-professional dance company, Transitions, gave us “Brightside”, a piece from their rep by Henri Oguike, one of my favourite UK modern dance makers. However, this work didn’t catch fire for me. The first section to some sub-James Bond music featured a step with the dancers crouched and moving as if Oddjob would leap out from the wings at any moment. The second half moved on to some Latin American rhythms and movement, but this seemed less memorable than some other examples in this style from Oguike. I was near the front and on a level with the stage, so perhaps the work looked better from further up, where the geometry of the ensemble sections would show up more clearly.

The second piece was from CandoCo, the integrated dance company, which has been supported by the Laban Centre through the twelve years of its life. They repaid this debt with “Shadow”, a fine work by Fin Walker. This choreographer works in an uncompromising style and the explosive ebergy of her dances for her own Company can seem unrelenting. However, “Shadow” is one of her most humane pieces and she made excellent use of the various skills of the current CandoCo performers and the sculptural effects that can be achieved with the height differences between the standing and wheel chair dancers. As in the past, the uniped performer Welly O’Brien impressed me with the softness and perfect balance of her moves.

Next we saw Ballett Frankfurt. Yes that’s right - Ballett Frankfurt. William Forsythe is a Laban Honorary Fellow and clearly takes his responsibilities seriously. I continue to be impressed with his commitment to education and, as he indicated in a BBC Radio3 interview, he may spend more time on this aspect of his work in the coming years. “Duo” is from 1996 and the programme notes indicated that it was an exploration of space and time. My main impression of this scintillating abstract work, was of Forsythe making full use of the classical ballet training of the two dancers, especially epaulement, but within a contemporary aesthetic. As you would expect, both dancers were of the highest standard and, in particular, Alison Brown brought a marvellous quality to her interpretation. “Duo”, with its seamless embrace of old and new, is a fine symbol for the new Laban.

Finally we saw “The Featherstonehaugh’s Double Take” by Lea Anderson. We were promised retrospective fragments from various shows by the Fans….with a surprise. When the dancers came out, besuited and neat in their ties, the surprise became clear – it was the girls from the Cholmondeleys. These humorous dances to popular songs were a delight and an antidote to the dictum that modern dance always has to be serious. I enjoyed a dance consisting of ways of saying hello, which eventually were extrapolated to kissing on the knee and the back of the neck and other bizarre acts. But my favourite was a diagonal trio of dancers a la Elvis. The King’s on-stage movement was transmuted into a sparkling work and I still have an image of the controlled and dynamic bopping of Maho Ihara with arms raised and knees swinging.

Then it was back outside onto the sloping walkway and it was a pointer to the success of this space that no one wanted to leave. Congratulations to Laban for this introduction to the many years of learning and enjoyment to come in this brilliant new dance centre.

<small>[ 26 April 2003, 04:01 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 4:36 am 
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Laban on Woman's Hour
For BBC Radio 4, Felicity Finch visits the new centre and is shown round by Marion North, the Director.
&nbsp

In the rundown docks area of Deptford in SE London, a rainbow coloured building has just opened providing the largest purpose-built contemporary dance space in the world.

The Laban Centre was previously housed in a converted church and primary school in nearby New Cross, but with 350 students from 35 different countries, it had outgrown its old home.

Named after Rudolph Laban, often described as the father of modern dance, the new centre is the first building in the UK to be completely designed by award winning architects Herzog and de Meuron, of Tate Modern fame.

click here for the audio transcript, available for 1 week.

<small>[ 17 February 2003, 06:27 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 7:31 am 
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An e-mailed comment from dance fan about the performance of works by Charles Linehan and Akram Khan at Laban on Tuesday, 18th February, 2003:

********************************

I went last night and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I
thought Charles' pieces was great and Akram's piece blew me away. The
fullhouse went mad for it - standing ovation indeed!!

********************************

<small>[ 19 February 2003, 08:32 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:22 am 
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<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/links/laban.gif" alt="" />

Press Release

20 February 2003

7000 people celebrate with Laban

Laban’s opening celebrations of its new Deptford home, and the world’s largest building for contemporary dance, attracted 7000 people from across the UK and further a-field. Visitors to Laban included members of the local community, politicians, as well as representatives from a range of organisations such as architecture, the arts and funding bodies.

Laban is one of Europe’s leading institutions for the training of dance artists. The new building was opened officially by the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on Wednesday 5 February 2003. In her opening address Tessa Jowell stated that "the new Laban building shows how good architecture can take the lead in giving a neighbourhood new life, culturally and socially. Great design isn't an add-on, it is vital to the whole project. We congratulate all the people involved with this exciting new building on a great achievement."

The 900 guests who attended the official opening enjoyed a building tour choreographed by Protein Dance (Artistic Directors Luca Silvestrini and Bettina Strickler are Laban alumni); and live performance from Transitions Dance Company, CandoCo Dance Company, Ballett Frankfurt and The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs – all of whom are Laban students, alumni or honorary fellows.

More than 6100 people visited Laban during the Open House on Saturday 8 February. The free workshops and performances on offer were full before the day began but thousands more came, intrigued by the new building. Although aimed primarily at the local South East London community, the day attracted people from across London and further a-field. Feedback was extremely positive:
“An excellent day, really inspiring architecture and a really buzzy atmosphere!”
“Please do another open day soon – it has been a great opportunity to introduce friends to dance.”

Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham and Deptford declared during an address at the Open House that “the Laban project has been an enormously enriching one. Excellence in leadership, teaching and performance, superb architecture and an extraordinary fundraising effort have all resulted in a landmark building, which will be an inspiration to everyone who enters it. “

Dr Marion North, Laban’s Principal and Chief Executive, was acknowledged throughout the launch as the driving force behind the success of the building project. Dr North said of Laban’s new home “It demonstrates in its physical fabric our enduring belief in quality, invention and accessibility in dance; its impact on the surrounding landscape articulates the transformational power of the dance art form.”

The celebrations continued from 17 February when Laban launched a new programme of contemporary dance, music and physical theatre performances by professional artists and companies, students and the community. Akram Khan, Charles Linehan, Rosemary Butcher, Jonathan Burrows, Russell Maliphant and Wendy Houstoun all performed in the new Bonnie Bird Theatre - Laban’s 300-seat theatre, purpose-built for contemporary dance. Darren Johnston also presented a new audio/visual installation in the Laban Theatre foyer.


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 4:19 am 
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I'm doubling up on a few reviews between the artist topics and the Laban opening. So don't be surprised if you see this elsewhere. Jann Parry loved "Kaash" but found the journey difficult:

Kaash
By Jann Parry for The Observer

Worth the trek, though, for a rare sighting of Akram Khan's company, who spend much of their time touring abroad. Kaash, Khan's collaboration with Anish Kapoor and Nitin Sawhney, was given its premiere at the South Bank in May last year. It then went into orbit and won't be seen in London again until December.

Kaash's brief Laban re-appearance proved how much it has been tightened up, losing the turgid elements that had bogged down its middle section. Now, instead of dancers' voices posing rhetorical questions (the title is Hindi for 'if'), Sawhney's soundtrack fragments and distorts their syllables.

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<small>[ 23 February 2003, 05:22 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 8:00 am 
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Charles Linehan Company and Akram Khan Company at Laban – 17 February 2003

This was the first public performance at the new Bonnie Bird Theatre at Laban. It is a wonderful space for dance, with a good sized stage, simple, but elegant design and, best of all, excellent sightlines from all the seats I have tried so far. Bravo to architects Herzog & De Meuron for the design of the auditorium and achieving what others have been unable to do.

This opening programme featured two of the companies that have made their mark in the UK over the past few years. At 55 minutes, “Kaash” by Akram Khan is his longest composition to date, but there is not an ounce of fat. Arguably, Khan is the best UK male soloist performing in any style and recently he has turned his attention to ensemble work. His first company piece, “Rush”, was interesting and contained passages to admire, but “Kaash” shows both him and his dancers moving onto another level. Whereas in “Rush”, Khan’s dazzling speed and control would grab your attention regardless of what was happening elsewhere onstage, now his performers have developed their own voices in the Modern Kathak vocabulary and there is much greater balance. In particular, diminutive Shanell Winlock stamps her own mark on the piece and brings to it a distinctive elegance and finish to match Khan’s own interpretation. Nevertheless, he remains a dance to stun you with his abilities. I don’t believe I have ever seen anybody move as fast and the quadruple pirouettes transformed into sculptural poses continue to amaze. And then to top it all, his hands and arms weave the most elaborate and eloquent patterns.

I had only time for the sketchiest look at the brief programme notes, so I treated “Kaash” as an abstract work. I knew something about its background of Hindu Gods, black holes etc, but decided on this occasion to defer a consideration of these elements for another time. Like a piece by Merce Cunningham it works as an exercise in geometry and movement. Initially we have a fixed point with Inn Pang Ooi stationary on stage before the other four dancers join him and dance to one side and then around him. Eventually all five are in motion and a series of solos and ensemble sections unfold amidst Anish Kapoor’s vivid designs, which reminded me of Rothko and Nitin Sawhney’s atmospheric music. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole work and a colleague who had seen an earlier performance told me that the second half has been sharpened as it has moved around the world for the 80 performances to date.

In the first half of the programme we saw “Grand Junction” by Charles Linehan. This two-hander for Greig Cooke and Andreja Rauch has more emotional content than many of Linehan’s works and, perhaps because of this, it is one of my favourites from this choreographer. The piece shows a troubled relationship with the two characters clearly depicted through their movement - he more expansive and dominating and she more contained and passive, if not prepared to be overwhelmed. “Grand Junction” opens with a double solo and this form recurs with uncomfortable meetings from time to time. On one occasion he kneels on top of her as an expression of his attempts at control. I was particularly impressed with Andreja Rausch’s economical and distinctive steps, credited to her as well as Linehan.

The two parts of the programme provided a contrasted opening to the Bonnie Bird and I look forward to many future visits to this fine new venue in southeast London.


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 1:10 am 
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Vicky C wrote this review and posted it in another topic on CriticalDance.

******************************

DARREN JOHNSTON / RUSSELL MALIPHANT COMPANY / WENDY HOUSTON
Laban Theatre 21 February 2003

The spacious foyer area in the inspiring new Laban building has been likened to the Tate Gallery’s Turbine Hall, and in a similar fashion to the Turbine Hall Laban has chosen to use the space not only as a corridor and social area, but also as a vibrant programmable space. During the first week of programming for Laban’s new theatre it was encouraging to see support for the work of a relatively new choreographer in the foyer, alongside the highly established artists performing in the theatre. This provided audiences with a no-risk (free) opportunity to see new and experimental work and the artist with exposure to their work.

Darren Johnston’s audio/visual installation took place on a triptych of large screens on the wall of the library, which runs the length of a mezzanine floor above the level of the foyer. Images, including parallel lines, coloured shapes and a dancer (filmed in the studio and manipulated through technology) moved across all three, with the audience left to fill in the gaps between each screen.

In many ways Sector 4 was constructed in a classic computer game format, with each of the four levels (sectors) being clearly introduced and each appearing as a separate virtual realm. Other references included lemming-like multiple images of the performer moving involuntarily through the virtual space, and the use of a character who faces different challenges, explores different environments and takes on different forms in each of the ‘sectors’. It was pleasantly surprising to see this inclusion of character and a real exploration of play between performer, character and virtual images, rather than purely a manipulation of form and image in the work. At times the image or multiple images of the performer appeared to be confronting the audience, at others pleading to be released from the strange world in which she/they had become trapped, and at times the images became distorted or duplicated with the effect of lessening their humanness.

Distortions played an important part in the work - distortions of space, time and form. Movement also played a vital role, arguing the case for the work to be included under the umbrella of dance - movement of the (filmed) human body and movement done to the body by the technology, as well as movement of the pure lines and shapes.

Light and music both played vital roles in creating the space consuming effect of the installation. Strips of infrared and ultra violet light suggested associations with scanning – scanning the real to import to the virtual. Other than being loud the sound, created by Michael McNicholas, didn’t particularly stand out in the work, but this doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful. The sound created an ambiance, enveloped us and drew us into the virtual world.

Russell Maliphant’s duet Sheer explores a relationship filled with passion yet almost void of communication. The male and female dancers’ limbs continually cross paths, coming together only incidentally to suggest what once was or what might have been. The work does not appear to tell a linear story, yet seems fraught with emotion. Beautiful, tender, touching, it conjures feelings of loss and separation.

The lighting for the work is stunning, and provides a visually powerful introduction. A row of bright lights is hung at an unusual mid-level upstage. The piece opens with the light casting huge shadows of the dancers on the backdrop. The distorted effect of the dancers shadows brings them closer together, yet as the light turns to focus our attention on the dancers themselves we see that they are in fact some distance apart. Their distance is enhanced further, and tension introduced in the space between them, by the synchronisation of their movements so that, if brought into contact they would mould into each other’s bodies.

The light extends towards the front of the stage as a steep sided triangle. The couple stand at the point moving closer, almost touching, crossing limbs, just missing each other, as if they are either unaware the other is there or they just can’t communicate. When they eventually make contact, whilst the touch in their beautifully smooth contact work is tender, there is a still sense of distance between them.

The haunting sound track is permanently laced with the text: “She always wondered if he heard her”. Sometimes this is more audible, sometimes less, sometimes there are multiple overlapping voices and at other times one lone voice. This serves as a constant reminder of lost communication and also creates a sense of history for the relationship.

The couple might be inhabiting the same space in body but have lost something in their relationship, or – and this is subtly suggested through fragmented, hazy patches of light, which appear and disappear across the space, as well as the broken sound of a radio transmission – perhaps we should see only one person as present in body and dancing with the memory of a lost loved one?

In Wendy Houston’s solo The 48 Almost Love Lyrics Wendy is introduced as playing a female performer who is forced to confront ‘the mob’. The work depicts ‘a woman picking up movement and speech through the airwaves’ and ‘tracking down the meaning behind the message’. The work is a raw exploration of character, reality and performance codes, which keeps the audience, or ‘the mob’ as she refers to us, guessing. The work presents an interesting dialogue between subtitles, film, voiceover, music and movement.

Films appear in different formats and with seemingly random content on a big screen throughout the piece. Sometimes we’re watching a film directly and sometimes we’re watching an image, which includes the film being playing on a tv apparently abandoned outside somewhere.

One of the most successful sections was arguably the scene in which text appearing on the big screen is matched by a voice over, which in turn is matched by movements executed by Wendy – swing, gather, smooch, clench, skips, stop, soft, twist, hair loose, extends, walk, spin, swing, twist, enjoy etc. This process gets faster and faster until finally the instruction/action comes to end, only to begin again yet this time with Wendy speaking instead of the voiceover, telling and moving a story of a torso seducing legs, of body parts persuading each other, falling out and deciding to work together.

The piece continues with a number of disparate scenes. A concert section uses pop/rock music concert conventions – “good evening Deptford, let me hear you say…” - and Wendy introducing a ‘song’ which is then ‘sung’ by shouting 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 25, 1000 etc whilst also moving and holding a 12” disc like a guitar. A “missing scene” involves Wendy sitting at a desk to describe a distinguished performer in disguise and the mob being confronted with something horrific. This serves as an introduction to Wendy donning a President Bush mask and holding a hammer whilst we hear from The Shining - “Wendy, darling, light of my life. I’m not going to hurt you…..”. This is a clever play on who is the character and who is the performer. Her movements also show the play between the victim role and the dominant character, which are also swapped around in the text. This scene is disturbing yet intriguing, a paradox that infiltrates the work as a whole.

The title for the work is referred to in one of the final scenes in which Wendy asks question after question whilst searching through a pile of 12” records. All of the questions are taken from music, and many, but by no means all, are from conventional loves songs. Does anyone know the way?….I haven’t stopped dancing yet……what becomes of the broken hearted?….aga do do do push pinapple…..is this real life or is it just fantasy……starry starry night….. All are spoken in a bland, conversational tone of voice, which affects their meaning, making what might be sad, amusing, what might be fun, sinister, what might be emotional, bland. This manipulation of meaning through transferring text, music or movement to a different context has often been successful in Wendy’s work in the past, and whilst it was successful to an extent in this work it wasn’t used as effectively.

Wendy gradually leaves the stage space as a moon appears on the film, accompanied by cheesy music. She dances a spinning, sweeping phrase as if just overtaken by the urge to move, as in a musical film, until the credits roll, bringing the piece to an end.

Whilst this strange pastiche of filmic techniques, popular music and exploration of dialogues between viewer, performer/actor, character, voiceover and image was not as strong as Wendy Houston’s previous work it was never the less intriguing. It is good to see this intelligent, witty, challenging artist back on the scene.

<small>[ 09 March 2003, 02:12 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:28 am 
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An article in the NY Times:

Quote:
Where British Dance Can Stretch and Grow

By ALAN RIDING

LONDON — It is perhaps a measure of the relative power of dance and architecture that the recent opening of a $40 million dance center here was covered by the British press as an architectural rather than a dance event. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/17/arts/dance/17LABA.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:56 am 
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Laban News Release

Laban shortlisted for the Stirling prize

The Laban building has been shortlisted for architecture’s most coveted award – the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize in association with ‘The Architects’ Journal’. The Prize of £20,000 is awarded to the architects of the building which has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Saturday 11 October with the results broadcast by Channel 4 on Sunday 12 October at 8pm.

The Laban building opened in February 2003 and was designed by the acclaimed Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Laban is the largest purpose-built facility for contemporary dance in the world; and one of Europe’s leading, and largest, institutions for contemporary dance artist training. Built on Deptford Creekside in South East London, Laban has been upheld not only as a major new cultural landmark for London but also as a key focus for the cultural, physical, and social regeneration of South East London.

Laban has also been shortlisted for two RIBA special award’s which will be announced at the 11 October ceremony: the RIBA Client of the Year Award which honours the key role that a good client plays in the creation of fine architecture; and the ADAPT Trust Access Award which honours excellence in access provision to arts and heritage buildings, demonstrating that good design automatically includes good access facilities for people of all abilities.

Anthony Bowne, Laban’s Director comments: “I am delighted the Laban building has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Herzog & de Meuron have designed for us the biggest and best purpose-built facility for contemporary dance in the world. Because of it we have been able to increase the quality of training for our students and increase the activities available to members of the local community. For too long contemporary dance has been the poor relation in the arts community, now this is changing and the Laban building raises the stakes for the art form. The nomination is excellent news not only for Laban but also for dance and the arts in this country.”

The Laban building received support from, amongst others, Arts Council England through National Lottery Funds, the London Development Agency, and the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich.

ENDS.
Press contact: Laraine Fisher, Press Manager, Laban
T: 020 8469 9523
E: l.fisher@laban.org

Notes to Editors
The RIBA Stirling Prize in association with The Architects’ Journal is the
UK’s most prestigious architectural prize and is awarded annually to the architects of the building which has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year. Winners must be RIBA Members and the building may be anywhere in the European Union. The prize is named after the architect Sir James Stirling 1926 – 1992. The winner will receive £20,000. Further information from www.ajplus.co.uk

Herzog & de Meuron won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001. They were the architects behind the redevelopment of the Bankside power station into Tate Modern. In 2003 Prada opened a new store in Japan designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

Laban is one of Europe’s leading institutions for contemporary dance artist training offering a range of undergraduate and graduate programmes; Laban’s student population represents more than 35 countries. It developed and established Britain’s first BA (Hons) Dance Theatre and MA Dance Studies degrees, and most recently Europe’s first MSc Dance Science. It continues to remain at the forefront of dance research and training, leading in new courses for the development of all dance professionals.

Since opening the new building Laban has expanded its theatre programme with more than 50% of bookers coming from the immediate local areas of Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark. In addition, a new project with Arts & Kids will provide free tickets to two dance performances for up to 600 young people in Lewisham and Greenwich. Laban has added an additional youth dance class and parents/carers and toddlers class, both of which are already full; plus two Pilates matwork courses to its open classes programme. Laban has also introduced Danceability – two weekly inclusive classes for young people with and without disabilities with funding recently secured from Save the Children.

<small>[ 11 September 2003, 04:56 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:57 am 
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Congratulations to all concerned with the wonderful new Laban building.

<small>[ 11 September 2003, 04:58 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:36 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Report from The Guardian.

Quote:
[The shimmering facade of the Laban dance centre, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, the Swiss architects of Tate Modern, was tipped yesterday to win British architecture's most prestigious award, the RIBA Stirling prize.
The multicoloured building, as exotic as a hummingbird in the post-industrial wasteland of Deptford Creek, south-east London, was immediately made 2-1 favourite by William Hill bookmakers to take the £20,000 prize.
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 Post subject: Re: The new Laban building and Opening Events
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:22 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Safe, but not scintillating: Britain's best new buildings
By Jay Merrick Architecture Correspondent for The Independent

The six buildings shortlisted for this year's prestigious Stirling prize architectural competition range from a tiny windswept Hebridean ferry shelter to the sweeping grandeur of the British Museum's Great Court.

The competition, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, examined more than 70 projects before deciding on a carefully varied shortlist. Safe, rather than scintillating, critics will point to a notable absentee - the Millennium Bridge, designed by Norman Foster.

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