17th April – 23rd June 2012
Spring Loaded brings together the freshest talents in contemporary dance, featuring works by emerging and mid-careers dance artists that are currently working in the UK and internationally.
The annual season returns in 2012 with a programme including 19 companies, 14 premieres, and 24 nights of contemporary dance in all its most diverse incarnations. The season encompasses works that are pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance, giving an overview of the most interesting works at the fringes of the genre, where the changes are happening.
17th April Darren Ellis /Robert Clark
Spring Loaded opens with a double bill, investigating two aspects of human relationships.
In Robert Clark’s Badlands, we follow a young couple as they try, and fail, to mend their relationship; reminiscent of 1950’s America, accompanied by bitter-sweet love songs, Badlands references the films of Terrence Malick, David Lynch and Guillermo del Toro.
Darren Ellis’s piece Long Walk Home depicts a series of individual portraits of four women, each at a different stage of their life. Analysing their hopes and dreams, the piece takes us on a performative life-journey through the four incredible performers: Jo Wenger (ex Richard Alston Dance Company); Lauren Potter (London Contemporary Dance Theatre; Siobhan Davies; DV8); Linda Lewcock (company of Elders) and Mari Hullet (student at DanceEast Academy). The piece is accompanied live by the renowned folk group The Askew Sisters.
The popular Reel Lives (Wed 18 Apr), a series where the UK’s leading choreographers share their favourite moments on films, and disclose some of their sources of inspiration, returns with Jonzi D, in conversation with Aerowaves Director John Ashford.
A Gesture That Is Nothing But A Treat , (Fri 20 Apr), winner of the Prix Jardin d’Europe 2011, is a remarkable investigation of words, voice and sound and the relation with the body, created and performed by Sofia Dias and Vitor Roriz. They share the bill with James Wilton, winner of Sadler’s Wells Global Contest 2010, presenting his third dynamic choreographic work, Cave, a piece inspired by Plato and Sartre’s writings on the perception of reality and desire to uncover the truth.
Jonathan Goddard, the first contemporary dancer to win the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Male Dancer in 2008, and fellow Rambert dancer Gemma Nixon perform Fitcher’s Bird (Tue 24 Apr), a duet inspired by the rhythmic patterns of neurons firing inside the brain to create musical signposts for the composition. The night is shared with Spanish dancer and choreographer Jose Agudo, presenting Time/Dropper, a piece featuring a subtle interplay between movement and light, highly physical choreography and moments of intimacy.
Agnes and Walter: A Little Love Story (Thu 26 Apr) is a delightful piece, narrated through dance, physical theatre, clowning, and music by Smith dancetheatre. Inspired by The New Yorker’s writer James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Smith dancetheatre’s exceptional inter-generational performers bring the story to life with poignant and compelling comic story-telling.
Next is a double bill, featuring dance artists Gabriele Reuter, taking to the stage her slapstick, loud and humorous trio Tourist (nominated for the Prix Jardin d’Europe in 2010), and Giuliana Majo, (Sat 28 Apr), premiering Red, a deconstruction of the classic fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. A Place production, Red develops through a fiery and complicit game with musician Michael Picknett, using unexpected movement and raw sounds.
Leading UK physical theatre company Gecko premieres Missing, (Wed 2 – Fri 4 May), a journey into the world of a young woman’s psyche, where a forgotten past is brought back to life, and the protagonist’s pristine every-day routine explodes in a series of floating scenes, before Made by Katie Green (Wed 9 May) take the stage with Matters of Life and Death, a compelling performance where the key scene from Graham Swifts’ novel Waterland, the discovery of a body floating in a Fenland sluice, is reinterpreted by the company’s four dancers.
Eclectic performer Francois Testory, directed by Simon Vincenzi, (Tue 15 May) presents Empire, an accomplished and sultry show, combining subtle physicality with a wide use of vocals, from Edit Piaf to Iggy Pop, including a live accordion’s accompaniment, before Swiss/British dance artist Rahel Vonmoos (Sat 19 May), is on stage with two pieces , contrasting in styles, but sharing thematic elements: Shall I Sit Here, a solo piece informed by Vonmoos’s experiences as a woman and a mother; And Again, performed by a large group of dancers.
German choreographer and Work Place artist Vera Tussing returns at The Place with You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet (Edit), (Tue 22 and Wed 23 May), a detailed and playful new piece that focuses on the inner movement of sound, analysing how music and dance convey intertwined narration and emotions. To follow, Company Chameleon Dance Theatre presents Gameshow, a story of desire, seduction, and manipulation, performed by Anthony Missen and Kevin Edward Turner.
Dancer and choreographer Colin Poole and Work Place artist Simon Ellis (Colin, Simon and I) perform Because We Care, a story of two men testing the bonds and limits of their relationship and challenging the perception of commitment, loss and friendship (Fri 8 & Sat 9 June), before Zoi Dimitriou Company present You May!, a new dance-theatre work investigating the untold pressure for over-achievement in contemporary society.
Bloom! collective premieres their Place commission Superheroes (Fri 15 & Sat 16 June), a piece casting a closer eye into the concept of super heroes, their role in society and their relationship with humanity, before Hofesh Shechter Company rounds off Spring Loaded season with In Good Company, a night of exploration and experimental choreography by five dancers from Hofesh Shechter Company: Sam Coren, James Finnemore, Philip Hulford, Ye-Ji Kim and Sita
More Details: www.theplace.org.uk