Yorkshire’s own internationally-acclaimed contemporary dance company Phoenix Dance Theatre is to turn 35 in a special anniversary tour that comes to Doncaster next week.
From small beginnings in inner-city Leeds, Phoenix Dance Theatre has grown to be one of the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies. In celebration of their 35th year Phoenix Dance Theatre present a triple bill of dances including two new commissions to celebrate the diversity and collaboration for which the company has become internationally known.
To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his words are brought to life in a new way in Kate Flatt’s 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 will rework his piece, Until.With/Out.Enough, which explores the concept of the enclosed space that exists within our minds, as part of a co-commission with The Royal Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Melt and Bloom is two pieces side by side.
In Melt, created by Phoenix artistic director Sharon Watson, dancers swoop and glide across the stage in a graceful, beautiful piece which explores the vertical as much as the horizontal.
It is set to the distinctive, evocative music of Mercury Music Prize nominees Wild Beasts.
Bloom by Caroline Finn explores the dark and comic moments of life through her playful, quirky and highly engaging choreographic style.
Phoenix Dance Company was formed in 1981 by David Hamilton, Donald Edwards and Vilmore James – three young black men who had their enthusiasm for dance sparked by the tuition they received at Harehills Middle School from teachers like Nadine Senior, who went on to found Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Sharon was appointed as the company’s artistic director in May 2009.
She said: “We’re celebrating 35 years this year and more to come! We’re definitely in a good place in terms of growth and vision.
“It’s exciting that we’ve lasted 35 years in this climate. It’s not easy to survive and hold your integrity. I’m very proud that we’ve managed to do that.
“I was there at the beginning and saw them go from strength to strength.”
The Phoenix Triple Bill is at Cast next Tuesday.
Box office: at the theatre, call 01302 303 959 or online at Cast in Doncaster