Announcing The Place Summer Season of dance performances

9 Apr 2018

The Place, the UK’s boldest dance theatre, announces its summer programme. Some of the most innovative British and international dance artists take to the stage in a season which features new commissions, festivals, artist talks, family events and projects with pioneering organisations including the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Rosetta Life, LIFT 2018, Wellcome Collection, Aerowaves, and Korean Cultural Centre UK.

Highlights include:

  • A festival of Korean Dance (Wed 9-Sat 16 May) celebrates the diversity of the Korean dance scene from contemporary to hip hop and featuring the first-ever appearance of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company.
  • Splayed Festival: An Eruption of Disruptive Femininities (Wed 6-Sat 16 Jun) Curated by Amy Bell, the festival draws together a cluster of subversive, unruly and experimental artists who are disrupting notions of gender, desire, identity, violence, performance and power. Includes London premiere of Violence (Sat 9 Jun) by performance artist FK Alexander.
  • Part of LIFT 2018, In Search of Dinozord (Fri 15-Sat 16 Jun) by Faustin Linyekula | Studios Kabako is a powerful and highly political piece that delves into the wrenching history of the Congo.
  • Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley’s Black Holes (Thu 21 Jun) retells the history of the universe, from the big bang through to its death, from an afrofuturist perspective.

The Place opens its dance theatre’s summer season with Manchester based Company Chameleon (1 May) and show that celebrates their 10th Anniversary with a triple-bill of new and old work exploring masculinity and manhood, love and romance, self-deception and the line between true and false identity. National Dance Company Wales present Terra Firma (3-4 May), a triple bill of stories drawn from different communities by three different choreographers, Artistic Director Caroline Finn, Marcos Morau and Mario Bermudez Gil. 

A major highlight of the season is the Festival of Korean Dance (9, 12 & 16 May) where audiences can experience the first-ever UK performance by the Korea National Dance Company with <Immixture> (9 May) a piece that exhibits the beauty of Korea, combining the music and movement of East and West, a double-bill of hip hop influenced dance in Ordinary Stranger by Kyoung-Shin Kim and Swan Lake by Ahn Sooyoung Company (12 May). Another double bill features Riverrun: Interface Of The Unstable Body (16 May) is an eye popping multi-dimensional show by one of Korea’s most popular female choreographers Jinyeob Cha and visual artist Vakki alongside a witty and surprising political statement in Lyon-Eun Kwon’s Glory about a dance competition that grants exemption from South Korea’s military service to the male winners. 

Stroke Odysseys (18-19 May) by Work Place artist Ben Duke and composer Orlando Gough is movement and song project performed by an ensemble of stroke survivors,that has grown from a three year creative intervention in the London Stroke Community led by Rosetta Life. The Place supported through early stage research and a pilot programme at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurological Surgery (NHNN). The work explores intertwined odysseys of recovery from stroke and asks how we ever recover from brain injury or how we remember who we are.

The Place is the home for generations of pioneering dance makers who push the boundaries and in An Evening Namron: From Asphalt to Maple Wood (29 May), trailblazer Namron tells his inspiring story from being a child in Jamaica to becoming a founding member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre. As part of its commitment to supporting new choreographic voices The Place’s Resolution Replay (31 May) is a chance to see four emerging artists, Tilly Lee-Kronick, Elinor Lewis with Nuria Legarda Andueza and Pierre & Baby, return to The Place’s stage with the work they presented earlier this year at the Resolution Festival.

In June Now You See It (2 Jun) by Antonia Grove is a new solo about identity and survival strategies, marrying straight talking dance with story-telling, anecdotes and a little bit of magic. Work Place artist Amy Bell curates the riotous Splayed Festival: An Eruption of Disruptive Femininities (6-9 Jun) where notions of gender, defiant femininity and queerness rub up against each other in performance, discussions and a free zine. The festival opens with a double bill featuring Sheena McGrandlesFigured (6 Jun) where two people re-edit themselves across a wall in a constant disruption and Aerowaves Top Twenty artist Hilde I Sandvold Dans, For Satan (Dance, Dammit) a humorous reflection on the issues of sex and sexuality. Florence Peake & Eve Stainton present an ongoing collaborative project Slug Horizons (7 Jun) which explores the expressive potentialities of women’s bodies through intimacy, touch and collective reclaiming and nearby on Euston Road at the Wellcome Collection Banishing Dances (7 Jun) by Charlie Ashwell is a cross between a ritual, a participatory performance and a dance speculating on gender, power and magic. Bringing the festival to an explosive close is Violence (9 Jun) by Glasgow based performance artist FK Alexander is an investigation into the cruelty of love, the weight of loneliness, the chrysalis of hopelessness and the power of dreams.

Part of LIFT 2018, In Search of Dinozord, by Faustin Linyekula | Studios Kabako is a powerful and highly political piece that delves into the wrenching history of the Congo, scored with fragments of Mozart’s requiem, Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs, metronomic taps on a typewriter and live vocals by South African Hlengiwe Lushaba, Linyekula’s piece is a poetic, political fairy tale.

In Black Holes (21 Jun) Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley combine elements of Science Fiction and personal narrative to propel the personal and the mythic onto a cosmic scale, as they recount an origin story of the Big Bang from an afrofutorist perspective.  

Duets take centre stage in LiveVibe’s Two’s A Company (23 Jun) which features work by up and coming artists Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Kamara Gray, Nuria Legarda Andueza and Elinor Lewis, Viki Cercek, Jessica Walker and Saskia Horton. 

The Place is pleased to be supporting three shows at Greenwich+Docklands International Festival. The programme includes Icarus, which is the first Stomping Ground co-commission by The Place and GDIF for outdoor dance. In Icarus (23-24 Jun) hip-hop dance theatre company Southpaw Dance are collaborating with master puppeteer Finn Caldwell to interrogate the mythical fall of humankind, dance and ping pong collide in Joe Garbett Dance’s Doubles (30 Jun) and Bolero (30 Jun) by Aerowaves  Top Twenty Artist Jesús Rubio Gamo is a dance duet exploring the fine line separating pleasure and exhaustion.

A hugely popular event for families with young children is the annual Family Dance Day (21 Jul) which features Anna Williams and Tom Roden’s riotous Buildy Uppy Dance Show and various workshops which will be announced closer to time.

Alongside the professional companies in the summer programme are performances of equally technically adept and emotionally moving quality from the undergraduate and postgraduate students at London Contemporary Dance School in May and July. Students will perform specially commissioned work by Philippe Blanchard, Theo Clinkard, Julie Cunningham, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Athina Vahla, Simon Vincenzi, Ben Wright and Rachel Young alongside the best student choreography, and there is also the chance to see dance from three conservatoires in London, Austria, and Leeds with EDGE and BOHDI Project (25 May) and VERVE (26 May).

Running alongside all of the performances is programme of linked contextual events for the curious called Spectator School. The events offer audiences the chance to delve deeper into the ideas behind the work through post shows Q&As with the creative teams, practical workshops and talks. Highlights include an invite by National Dance Company Wales to watch, sketch and photograph their Company Class (Thu 3 May) and Collaborating on a World Stage Seminar takes the perspectives of artists and producers to look at how artistic collaborations between UK and Korea can be nurtured.  (Wed 16 May).

Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place said, ‘This season’s line-up promises to captivate you with both ideas and movement. So shows like Black Holes by Seke Chimutengwende and Alexandrina Hemsley and Work Place artist Amy Bell’s Splayed Festival, will throw us challenging ideas and spark lively conversations. Our partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre, including the first ever UK appearance of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, will bring phenomenal virtuosity to our stage and Icarus, our commission with Greenwich and Dockland’s Festival for Southpaw Dance, brings spectacular choreography outdoors. It’s a great range of dance and performances for people to come along and be moved by.’