The Place, London’s boldest dance theatre, is pleased to announce its spring programme. Some of the most innovative British and international dance artists take to the stage in a season featuring new commissions, talks, family shows and new projects such as the Youth Dance Platform showcasing the next generation of dancers and a film festival curated by students of the inaugural MA Screendance course. A common strand this season is to give other artists, producers and companies – including Corali, Artists 4 Artists, Avant Garde, Woman SRSLY and Sick of The Fringe - the chance to curate their own evenings or events.
Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director of The Place says:
“Each show in this season is a chance for someone else to dance their story. The Place is for everyone and the energy of all these new ideas on our stage really makes our theatre buzz. Nothing is ordinary.”
Highlights of the season include:
At The Place, the New Year starts as every year with Resolution, our annual festival of new choreography. Over 27 nights, more than 80 emerging artists will be featured on our stage, presenting new work across all genres and styles, from hip hop to dance theatre to circus, giving adventurous and curious audiences a hint of what the future of dance and performance may hold (11 Jan - 23 Feb).
On 8 & 9 February, the theatre will be home to Undergraduate and Postgraduate student from London Contemporary Dance School. Performing in a varied evening of dance, students get to showcase their skills in newly created work by Leila McMillan and Sasha Roubicek, along a re-staging of Joe Moran’s highly successful Arrangement. On 26 & 27 March, Jeanne Steele will stage Event to celebrate the Merce Cunningham centennial, alongside new work from Postgraduate Choreography student Saju Hari and an ensemble improvisation under the guidance of Rick Nodine and Seke Chimuntengwende.
Student from our inaugural MA Screendance course will take over the theatre on 15 & 16 March with Frame Rush, a brand new festival of Screendance curated and organised by the students themselves, which will showcase the latest innovations in dance in the digital age.
Double bills will play a big part this spring with exciting artists sharing the stage for varied evenings of dance. Giuseppe Chico and Barbara Matijevič will explore dance and technology, including a laptop screen and YouTube videos in their dance performance called Forecasting, a dizzying hybrid experience, blurring the lines between the banality of everyday situations and new modes of narration, while Lewys Holt will tackle anxiety and social awkwardness in his humorous yet unnerving keynote presentation-cum-dance lecture Phrases (26 Feb).
Queer artist Es Morgan will share the stage with Rachael Young in an evening that promises dynamic movement, visceral live music, glitter and utopian visions of the future (28 Feb). With Mum, I’m in the Fourth Dimension, see!, Morgan combines spoken word, drag and their hallmark hypnotic movement, to offer opulent melodrama and queer cabaret in a secular hymn to the impending capitalist apocalypse. Inspired by the timeless persona of Grace Jones, award-winning artist Rachael Young imagines a different future for women of colour. Named after Grace Jones’ landmark album, NIGHTCLUBBING was sparked by an event in 2015 when a group of young black women were racially discriminated against and refused entry to a London nightclub. Embracing Afrofuturism, the cultural aesthetic behind the blockbuster Black Panther, combining elements of science fiction, magical realism and African history, NIGHTCLUBBING reflects on the current progress and challenges around gender and racial equality.
Yukiko Masui and Léa Tirabasso will explore grief, illness and death in their double bill, juxtaposing Masui’s Falling Family about unspeakable moments of pain in family life with Tirabasso’s The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus, based on the artist’s personal experience of cancer (2 Mar).
The last double bill will be stemmed by the Alleyne sisters presenting Testimonies and A Night’s Game, two raw and emotionally gripping dance pieces tackling the turmoil of human emotion and the struggles of incarceration, both in body or in mind (3 Apr).
Work Place artist James Cousins presents his latest work Epilogues (6 – 8 Mar) weaving together three duets about relationships between lovers, friends, sisters and family. The “visually breath-taking” (The Stage) Within Her Eyes was first seen at Sadler’s Wells as part of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award Showcase where Cousins was the first winner of the award in 2012, confirming him as a choreographic talent to watch. The two new works (as yet untitled) explore the intimate relationship between two men overcoming pressures from their respective cultures and two sisters dealing with the impending loss of a parent, challenging the stereotype of feuding females perpetuated by the male gaze of the media.
Tragedy and emotional trauma are also at the heart of Encounter’s The Kids are Alright, a live performance presented by Fuel and co-commissioned by The Place, bringing together new writing, dance, and sound installation. When a day trip turns to tragedy, the fabric of one family is violently unpicked forever. The Kids are Alright explores the complexities of tragedy through two separate narratives: two adult actors, through a character-driven narrative, wading through the shrapnel of parental grief and an immersive audio experience for actively participating primary aged children who are given a set of sound cancelling headphones, through which a voice leads them running and jumping into a magical adventure. In stark contrast, The Kids Are Alright places children and adults side by side to illuminate how we navigate loss and care for one another in one unique performance.
Adults and children will also be sharing the stage in Men & Girls Dance, the critically acclaimed show by Fevered Sleep that toured nationally and internationally and now returns to The Place, where it was first performed in 2016, due to popular demand. Behind the deliberately unsettling title waits a playful, funny and thought provoking piece, ready to challenge preconception about adults and children and unpicking attitudes of suspicion, fear and even disgust towards normal positive interactions between people of different ages and genders. Five male contemporary dancers and nine primary school-age girls perform in a playful, energetic and emphatic celebration, modelling a way for dancers of totally different ages, sexes and levels of experience to be together in the world and on the stage.
Young audiences are invited to enjoy our family shows over Easter at the Place. Glisten by young people’s theatre company Half Moon is a gentle immersive multi-sensory experience for babies aged 0 - 18 months, transforming the theatre into a magical landscape filled with colour, sounds and surprises. For older children aged 4+, Curiouser, a unique collaboration between UK based duo Flexer & Sandiland and Norwegian company Dybwikdans, invites to view the world from a different perspective, as the performers lead audiences on a journey deep down into subterranean caves, through leafy forests and high up into the starry night sky, incorporating animated hand-drawn projection, dance, sound, text and interactive digital objects to immerse and surround the audience creating an intimate yet spectacular experience.
Youth dance groups from across the city will shine as we welcome the next generation of dancers onto our stage for the brand new The Place Youth Dance Platform launched this year to celebrate the diversity of dance and dancers in London.
Completing the spring season will be performances from Corali, a company of professional artists with a learning disability and their special guest duo Thick & Tight (30 Mar), Artists 4 Artists will present an evening of Krump called 3 Rounds of Amp (13 Apr) and Avant Garde Dance will present a special edition of their dynamic dance battle night Show and Prove (16 Mar). Female performance art collective Woman SRSLY will take over The Place on 14 Mar, while The Sick of the Fringe will curate a weekend of performances looking at health and social justice in a time of great societal change (5 –7 Mar).
Finally, An Evening with Anthony van Laast will bring the world famous Broadway and West End choreographer (Mamma Mia!, Tina the Musical) and LCDS alumnus back to his alma mater to share insights about his star studded career and practical knowledge about his work on film in a unique public lecture in collaboration with the MA Screendance students.