Professionals & Artist Development

Ben Duke is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Lost Dog. Ben trained at Guildford School of Acting, the London Contemporary Dance School and has a first class degree in English Literature from Newcastle University. His work explores the overlap and transition between Dance and Theatre.

In 2016 Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) was nominated for the Sky Academy Arts Award for dance. Ben won the 2016 National Dance Critics Award for Outstanding Male Performance for Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) and the 2017 Rural Touring Award for the most innovative and inspirational show.

As well as his work for Lost Dog, Ben has directed and choreographed works for other companies including Goat for Rambert which was nominated for an Olivier award in the Best New Dance Production category 2018.

Other commissions include Barely Methodical Troupe (Kin), Scottish Dance Theatre (The Life and Times of Girl A), Dance Umbrella (The Difference Engine) and Phoenix Dance Theatre (Pave up Paradise). Ben was an Associate Artist at South East Dance (2012-2014) and a recipient of the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award 2011. Ben is a Work Place Artist at The Place.

He has performed with Probe, Hofesh Shechter Company, The Gate Theatre, The National Theatre of Scotland, Glyndebourne Opera and Punchdrunk.

“Ben Duke is a true original….. a conduit for raw emotions that can shift from the incendiary to the heart-breaking in the shuffle of a footstep”  – The Stage


CURRENT TOURING PRODUCTIONS

Juliet and Romeo 2018

Lost Dog’s new show reveals the real story of Romeo and Juliet. It turns out they didn’t die in a tragic misunderstanding, they grew up and lived happily ever after.

Well they lived at least.

Now they’re 40ish, at least one of them is in the grips of a mid-life crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves and haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love. They have decided to confront their current struggles by putting on a performance – about themselves. Their therapist told them it was a terrible idea.

With Lost Dog’s blend of dance, theatre and comedy this duet takes on our cultural obsession with youth and our inevitable issues with longevity.

Juliet and Romeo opened with a three week London run split between Battersea Arts Centre and The Place which coincided with Valentine’s Day 2018. The work will tour in Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

Age recommendation: 13+

Duration: 75 minutes

Juliet and Romeo Live is co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, The Place, and Warwick Arts Centre; the work is supported by Arts Council England via Grants for the Arts. Ben Duke is a Work Place Artist. 


★★★★ "Insightful, funny and rich. Smoulders with equal parts lust and loathingTime Out

★★★★★ "Superb. Devastating realism and dark humourThe Stage

★★★★★ "Pure pleasure. Smart, subversive and sexyThe Guardian

★★★★ "A glorious mix of speech, dance and comedyThe Independent

★★★★★ Staying with me is Duke's consummate ability to convey human ambiguities with a pinpoint accuracy bachtrack

 

Paradise Lost (2015)

★★★★  "A heavenly new take on Milton" The Evening Standard

★★★★★ "The comedy is divine, but the images of love and loss are achingly human" The Independent

★★★★★ "Like all the best fringe productions, Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) achieves great things with brilliant economy of means" The Observer

★★★★ "A triumphant gallop through the story of creation" The Guardian

★★★★ "Comic yet touching" The Times

There is a possibility that God made everything because he was terrified of doing nothing. Here is a re-telling of the story of the beginning of everything inspired by Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, only with less words, more dance and never before seen levels of divine incompetence.  A show for anyone who has ever created anything (a child, a garden, a paper aeroplane) and then had to watch that wonderful thing spiral out of control.

Duration approx. 75 minutes

People on road 3 (1 Performer, 1 Technician, 1 Producer)

Freight Please discuss details with the Company

Wraparound Masterclasses for dance students, graduates and professional dancers; School workshops for 14 yrs+; School talks for English Literature Students studying Paradise Lost; Pre- and post-show talks.

Co-commissioned by The Place and Battersea Arts Centre with further commissioning support from ICIA Bath University. Developed with support from The Point, Eastleigh and South East Dance. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Ben Duke is a Work Place artist.

Awards Ben Duke winner of Dance Critics Awards 2015: Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) for Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) and Ben Duke was also nominated for Best Modern Choreography for Paradise Lost.


PAST PRODUCTIONS

Like Rabbits (2013-2014)

Home for Broken Turns (2013-2014)

It Needs Horses (2011-2014)

The Difference Engine (2011)

Discombobulator (2010)

Salvage (2010)

The Rain Paradise (2009)

Hungry Ghosts (2007-2008)

The Drowner (2005-2006)

The Overhead Project (2005)