Yorkshire’s own internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company Phoenix Dance Theatre turns 35 in a special anniversary tour in 2016 which will opens at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 17-20 February.
Wed 17 Feb – Sat 20 Feb: Quarry Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse
From small beginnings in inner-city Leeds, Phoenix Dance Theatre is now the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside of London. In celebration of their 35 year anniversary, Phoenix Dance Theatre present a Triple Bill of intense, funny and beautiful dances including two new commissions to celebrate the diversity and collaboration for which the company has become internationally known.
In a fitting commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his timeless themes of desire, duplicity and unrequited love are brought to life in Kate Flatt’s new work Undivided Loves. Fusing sound, words and dance, Shakespeare’s most intimate, mysterious and radical sonnets are reimagined to Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale’s vibrant and percussive score.
In contrast, world-famous Dutch/Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili reworks his piece Until.With/Out.Enough which explores the concept of the enclosed space that exists within our minds.
Completing the Triple Bill is audience favourite Melt by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson, which sees the elements collide as dancers swoop and glide across the stage in a graceful mix of aerial dance, creating a breathtaking, visually spectacular work.
Since 1981 the Company has grown to be a key Northern forerunner in contemporary dance and for over three and a half decades has performed, educated and inspired people across the globe. Sharon Watson was appointed as the seventh Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre in May 2009 and has since reaffirmed the Company’s core values through all of its activities whilst enriching and embodying the spirit of a multi-cultural Britain. Earlier this year Sharon was also appointed as independent chair of the steering committee bidding for European Capital of Culture Leeds 2023, championing the pride of Leeds on the world stage.
Sharon Watson said: “We are enjoying our most successful times yet here in Leeds and like most 35-year-olds now is the opportunity to be at our most creative, ambitious and experimental. Phoenix Dance Theatre is becoming a household name here in Yorkshire and the ambition going forward is to take that local legacy and build on it further afield. This birthday celebration is a real milestone and celebrates the great times that we have had, whilst looking ahead to the future.”
Until.With/Out.Enough is a co-commission between The Royal Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre. Undivided Love is co-commissioned with Watford Palace Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre gratefully acknowledges support from PRS for Music Foundation, The Idlewild Trust and The Goldsmiths’ Company.
Phoenix Dance Theatre Triple Bill 2016
17 – 20 Feb, 7.30pm
Post show discussion, Fri 19 Feb
Box office 0113 213 7700
‘The performers never let up in terms of energy, strength and passion’ – The Daily Telegraph
Photo copyright by Tristram Kenton