Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dancing to PJ Harvey

More about Mathilde Monnier here

Monday, July 27, 2009

RIP Merce Cunningham

Another very sad news today.

A good article and interesting video on the NY Times Arts Beat blog. Do take time to watch it.

'Mr. Cunningham ranks with Isadora Duncan, Serge Diaghilev, Martha Graham and George Balanchine in making people rethink the essence of dance and choreography, posing a series of “But” and “What if?” questions over a career of nearly seven decades.' NY Times

From the Guardian archive, a step-by-step guide to Merce Cunningham.

Article 19 reminds us that he had already made arrangements for his company after his death: the company will go on tour for two years before disbanding.

I was not the biggest fan (I like musicality) but he was a true legend.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Taste The Place

Now that I have booked my places, I can talk about the special weekend Taste The Place at the Place ('The UK's premier centre for contemporary dance')

On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September, they are offering over 50 free dance sessions, in a massive range of styles and for people of all ages and dance experience.

Sessions include street, Kathak, Egyptian, Contemporary African, samba, Cha Cha Cha, jazz, contemporary, ballet, plus sessions for families ('dads and lads' sounds like one I'd love to watch!), pilates, tai chi and more...

On Friday, there also are some DJs and on Saturday a barn dance, some Q&As, film screenings and plenty more.

You can only book for 3 free sessions, so making a choice was hard, but I can't wait!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Erika Janunger - Weightless

A friend sent me this great video, really clever, well-made and almost hypnotising.

Click here to see the credits.
More on Erika Janunger here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

La La La Human Steps - Amelia

Dance filmed beautifully - it can happen!

Full performance in 7 videos here.
More about La La La Human Steps here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bonachela Dance Company - The land of yes and the land of no @ St Paul's cathedral's steps

I went along to the steps of St Paul's cathedral last weekend to check out Bonachela Dance Company's new work, The land of yes and the land of no. Dressed in white, six dancers moved up and down the steps, performing solos or in partnership with others, before a big finale all together.

In a way this was typical abstract contemporary dance, with quite a lot of floor work and some phrases that looked bloody exhausting to perform - particularly the last section, that must be relentless for the dancers.

As well as a cast of very good dancers, the piece benefits from a great score written by the Italian composer Ezio Bosso. All strings and minor keys, it conveys particular emotions (somethign bitter sweet, some sadness, the wish to soar) that I could see in the movement and the dancers.

My only small criticism is that I found it difficult to see how Bonachela explored how everyday signs and directions affect us, which is apparently the idea behind this piece. I noticed how, when they performed in three, two dancers often seemed to block the other or redirect his movement, but beyond that... A solo by Paul Zivkovich also reminded me of someone trapped, unable to achieve what he wants because of society's obligations and expectations.

But this is only minor, for anyone can read what they want into an abstract dance piece, and it does not matter anyway. What matters is that it makes you feel something, touches you. And I was quite touched by The land of yes and the land of no. I am now curious as to how these extracts will transform into a full-length piece at the Queen Elizabeth Hall this September, without the powerful backdrop of St Paul's columns behind them.

Some nice black and white images of the performances here and here.
More info on Bonachela Dance Company here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

RIP Pina Bausch

'I am not interested in how people move, but in what moves them'
Pina Bausch

The Guardian - 'a dangerous magician of modern dance'
The Times - 'Europe's most influential modern dance choreographer'
The New York Times - 'the scene is smaller without her'
and more