Igor Urzelai (San Sebastian, 1983) is a London based artist with a focus on dance, interested in the body as a means to empower the individual. Igor trained in dance at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Danza in Madrid, before graduating from London Contemporary Dance School (The Place) in 2009. Igor had previously trained as an actor but his interest in the moving body and the immediacy of action as a vehicle for meaning, ideas and desires draw to him in to dance.
Igor creates in partnership with Moreno Solinas since 2007; they are known as Igor and Moreno. Their work wants to reclaim the role of the theatre as a place for assembly by acknowledging the present moment both in their choreography and in the performers’ presence, whilst exploring the cathartic properties of live performance.
Igor and Moreno’s work has toured extensively in Europe, but also overseas such as in the USA and Chile. Their work, acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, has been nominated for the National Dance Awards and the Total Theatre Awards, and has been presented as part of Aerowaves-Spring Forward festival, British Council Edinburgh Showcase and BDE biannual showcase among others.
Igor and Moreno are also amongst the founding members of BLOOM! dance collective and have been curating and disseminating dance as part of Hiru Dance Org. BLOOM!’s work received a number of awards and recognitions, including the Rudolf Laban Award 2010, top-20 Aerowaves 2011 and an special mention at the Prix Jardin D’Europe.
Since 2011 Igor is a Work Place artist, the associate artist program of The Place.
Igor’s work has been supported by organisations including The Place (London), Arts Council England, CSC-Bassano del Grappa(Italy), Jardin d’Europe, Cambridge Junction, Workshop Foundation (Budapest), SÍN Cultural Centre (Budapest), Yorkshire Dance (Leeds), BAD Festival (Bilbao), l’animal a l’esquena (Girona), El Graner (Barcelona), Roehampton University (London), British Council, Teatro Massimo (Cagliari) and TIR danza amongst others. He is very thankful to all.
Read an interview with Igor Urzelai, by Maddy Costa. Excerpt below.
Outside of dance, what inspires you?
I: Although we don’t use music in the most straightforward sense a lot in our work, I realise more and more how much I get inspired by music and its directness. What it is to listen to music by yourself at home, or on the streets, or going to a concert – I get very inspired by concerts and how people relate to what they’re seeing and listening to.
M: There’s something about the convention in a concert that is so understood by people: there are no questions about what is my place in this, what am I meant to look at, and that’s so nice.
I: Moreno mentioned cinema, I also get a lot of inspiration from cinema, in a different way: it’s a lot more voyeur, you get very intimate to what you’re seeing.
There are two people in this dance performance but it is not just about them. It is about all of us. It is about the secret lives we all possess when we are close to others. It is about those moments when harmony abandons us and all we have left is the desire to scream. It is a performance and place to imagine how things might be other than the way they are.
It is a simple room for all our tomorrows.
‘The depth and range of emotions that this singular piece provokes within me is astounding.’ Jake Orr
‘Sent everyone home infused with a greater degree of humorous compassion for their own relationships. It was a pure, unadulterated delight’ Joy Martin, EXEUNT MAGAZINE
‘...it was BRILLIANT. And VISCERAL. […] You know the best thing about ‘visceral’? IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN ANYTHING. You just feel it.’ Megan Vaughan
‘The tension between the two dancers was extraordinary and overwhelmingly human. […] Every aspect of this performance was executed to perfection. I can’t wait to see what these two produce next.’ Dulcie Fraser
Duration 60 minutes
People on road 3-5 people
Wraparound Technique Classes (GCSE+); Dance workshops; Creative workshops (available for all above 14 years including those from different art form or from non-arts based professions); Masterclasses for professional dancers; Schools workshops; Daily Dances (day long workshop for all above 14 years looking at how our everyday lives can be transformed by turning ordinary moment into little dances); post- and pre-show talks with the artists and/or guest speakers
Produced by Igor and Moreno and The Place. Commissioned by The Place (London) and Cambridge Junction, created using funding from Arts Council England with support from Centro Per La Scena Contemporanea (Bassano del Grappa), Dance Base (Edinburgh), Chelsea Theatre, Roehampton University and Nuovo Teatro Verdi (Sassari).
Igor and Moreno’s Idiot-Syncrasy wants to reclaim the power of dance as an agent for change. Is a dance show for theatres and is accompanied by a series of workshops.
Idiot-Syncrasy is an energetic and ingenious performance that encourages perseverance as a means to assert our individualities. Relentlessly, yet without losing their sense of humour, Igor and Moreno invite the audience to look at what we have and celebrate the bond between people and the individual’s ability to move forward. The work is also a tender exploration of male identity and relationships.
Calling on traditional folk singing - eighteenth century Sardinian song – the song gradually turns into a jump that becomes part of them. Igor and Moreno keep jumping for 45 minutes while they move through the space, disappearing on one side and reappearing on the other side, or holding shot glasses to toast with the audience. The jump lingers to remind us that they are here to stay. The tension grows and the audience is drawn into the scene, and when the climax is reached, it breaks to give way to a section when both performers spin on their own axis. As two satellites orbiting in space and never colliding, they generate a feeling of ecstasy, ending up into a sweaty and exhausting hug. It is an emotional hug in slow motion that generates a new force. The performers look back at the audience as if it was their turn to start jumping while the energy continues to grow more and more. And suddenly everything stops and we feel like floating in the air.
✭✭✭✭✭ ‘One of the most stunning, innovative, bold, daring, clever, funny and sexy shows I have seen in years’ The Quotidian Times
✭✭✭✭✭ ‘Unmissable! A simple but immersive performance that defies all initial expectations and explanations.’ Everything Theatre
✭✭✭✭ ‘Idiot-Syncrasy is a warm, fabulous and funny show, but it also makes us vividly and unsettlingly aware of the altered states that we and the dancers can undergo during the course of a performance.’ The Guardian
✭✭✭✭½ ‘Urzelai and Solinas deliver totally focused performance that welcomes an audience into their world but leaves just enough ambiguity to tantalise the brain. Performed with splitsecond accuracy and with exhausting agility this is a piece that surpasses the sum of its parts. It’s deceptively simple structure belying a piece of intense integrity and emotion. It may be hard to capture on paper, but this hour with Igor and Moreno will live long in the memory. Groundbreaking’ Glen Pierce, The Public Reviews
Duration 60 minutes (approx)
People on road 3 (2 Performers, 1 Technician)
Freight All set and costumes fit in a 25kg luggage; an additional luggage is required for each performer
Wraparound Technique Classes (GCSE+); Dance and Singing workshop; Creative workshops (available for all above 14 years including those from different art form or from non-arts based professions); Masterclasses for professional dancers; Schools workshops; Daily Dances (day long workshop for all above 14 years looking at how our everyday lives can be transformed by turning ordinary moment into little dances); post- and pre-show talks with the artists and/or guest speakers; Jumpometre (a device for foyers and halls that activates a playlist whenever there is someone jumping on it)
Supported through public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Made at The Place. Supported by Yorkshire Dance, Cambridge Junction, Birdhouse Creative Ltd, Centro per la Scena Contemporanea, Bassano (Italy) and BAD Festival in Bilbao. Igor and Moreno are Work Place Artists.
Life Is A Carnival (2012)
TAME GAME (2011)
The End Is Near (2012)
Folie à Huit (2014)
Seize the Day (2013)
Richard’s Got Talent (2011)
Back to Back (2011)