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Umanoove announces ‘The Knot’ by choreographer Didy Veldman for 2018

22 Nov 2017

Dane Hurst and Madeleine Jonsson in ‘The Knot’. Image: Tom Rowland

Umanoove, under the artistic direction of Dutch-born choreographer and One Dance UK member Didy Veldman, announces The Knot, a brand new dance production for 2018.

The Knot receives its world premiere performances at Jerwood DanceHouse, DanceEast in Ipswich on 9 February and G Live, Guildford on 14 February, ahead of a UK tour in autumn 2018.

Veldman, a former Rambert dancer, left the company in 2000 to pursue a choreographic career.  In 17 years she has become a highly sought after choreographer both nationally and internationally and has created work for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Cedarlake (New York), Cullberg Ballet (Sweden), Introdans (Netherlands), Gothenburg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

In the UK, Veldman has been commissioned by Rambert, Northern Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre and in 2019 she will create a new work for Birmingham Royal Ballet with composer Gabriel Prokofiev.

The Knot follows Veldman’s critically acclaimed The Happiness Project that launched her own company Umanoove in 2016.  The highly anticipated work examines the social and personal significance of marriage in contemporary Western society.

The audience is invited to a wedding party in The Knot. Performers take on the roles of the bride, groom, best man and bridesmaids as the work unfolds and explores familiar scenes of ‘tying the knot’ – the authenticity of the vows, the formidable wedding speeches and the photography.

The Knot examines what a wedding means and how it feels. The role of ritual, doubt, religion and gender will be scrutinised and the romanticised ideas of Walt Disney will challenge our perceptions of matrimony.

Veldman shapes her Umanoove company of dancers to suit each work.  For The Knot, seven exceptional performers will interpret the theme of marriage through the choreographer’s extremely physical and theatrical movement style.

Dancers Dane Hurst (Rambert, National Dance Company of Wales, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Company Wayne McGregor) and Mathieu Geffré (Dansgroep Amsterdam, Noord Nederlandse Dans, National Dance Company Wales, Theo Clinkard) return to Umanoove having both performed in The Happiness Project.  For The Knot they will be joined by Oihana Vesga Bujan (Richard Alston Dance Company), Oliver Chapman (Henri Oguike Dance, National Dance Company of Wales, Icon Dance), Sara Harton (erSa Danse, Les 7 doigts de la main, PPS Danse, ezdanza), Angela Venturini (a post-graduate student at The Place) and Jacob Lang (Rambert School).

Stravinsky’s masterpiece Les Noces (The Wedding) is intertwined with new music by London and Paris-based British composer Ben Foskett (work has included commissions for CBSO Youth Orchestra and London Children’s Ballet).

Lighting design is by Ben Ormerod, a regular collaborator of Veldman’s, and set and costume design is by Joana Dias.

Commissioned by DanceEast, with support from Studio Wayne McGregor through the FreeSpace programme and funds from Arts Council England, Linbury Trust, The Master Charitable Trust – The Marina Kleinwort Trust, Beth Krasna and an anonymous donor.