The Place announces autumn season
Medicine, magic and mystery are to be found this autumn at The Place, as the UK’s premiere centre for contemporary dance presents its autumn season. A varied programme brings together international and UK based artists offering dance for all ages including a World Premiere, UK and London premieres, opportunities for emerging artists and the pick of the best touring productions.
- Movement is the medicine as Clod Ensemble, one of eight companies to perform at The Place for the first time this season, present the World Premiere of Placebo
- A festive treat for families: The Place commissions Vicki Igbokwe’s first Christmas show: Hansel & Gretel
- London premieres include bgroup’s Point of Echoes and James Wilton Dance’s The Storm
- Brand new festival Startin’ Point celebrates music and dance from the African diaspora
Among the season highlights is internationally renowned Clod Ensemble’s debut performance at The Place with the World Premiere of Placebo (30 Oct-10 Nov), in which audiences are invited to discover a room full of expectation, suggestion and infectious rhythm. Using the idea of placebo effect’ as a point of departure, seven dancers will celebrate the power we have to make ourselves feel better, even when things are falling apart. Clod Ensemble is led by co-Artistic Directors Suzy Willson, who directs, and composer Paul Clark, who has created original music for the show. Clod Ensemble are renowned for shows that cross the boundaries between performance and visual art, often drawing on scientific and medical research to create productions. Previous shows include An Anatomie in Four Quarters, Under Glass and Red Ladies, which have been presented at venues including Sadler’s Wells, Tate Modern and New York’s Public Theater.
Seven other companies will perform at The Place for the first time this autumn giving audiences a chance to discover some of the most exciting dance work being created in the UK and internationally. The other companies making their debut at The Place are Impermanence with 2017 Edinburgh Fringe hit SEXBOX (18 Sep), a danced response to psychoanalyst Wilheim Reich’s theories on sexual release and liberation; Complicité Associate Shane Shambhu presenting Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer (29 Sep), which combines Indian dance with laugh out loud comedy; Seeta Patel’s Not Today’s Yesterday (2-3 Oct) inspired by the whitewashing of history; Neon Dance’s installation/performance PUZZLECREATURE (12-13 Oct), which considers attitudes to ageing and the body; a double bill of duets comprising Italian choreographer Andrea Constanzo Martini’s Scarabeo Angles and The Void and Greek duo Aris Papadopoulos & Martha Paposkoplou’s touching.just (23 Oct) and Agudo Dance Company’s Silk Road (26-27 Oct), which blends Flamenco with classical Indian dance.
Families are in for a treat this Christmas as Vicki Igbokwe presents a magical new version of Hansel & Gretel (15-24 Dec), in which the two title characters find themselves lost in London, overwhelmed by the sights and smells of the city. Vicki Igbokwe is the founder of Uchenna Dance, known for blending dance styles from vogueing, house and waacking to contemporary and African dance, often along with text, to create shows that are entertaining and informative. Uchenna’s The Head Wrap Diaries proved popular with audiences at The Place and is currently touring the UK. This year is the first year The Place has commissioned artists to create family shows for the festive season and will be the first presented of two shows commissioned jointly by The Place and DanceEast. In addition to Hansel & Gretel, The Place has also co-comissioned Luca Silvestrini’s Protein to create a version of The Little Prince, which will debut at DanceEast this Christmas before playing at The Place in December 2019.
Families (and the young at heart) will also enjoy KoKERS (6 Oct), presented as part of Dance Umbrella 2018, where inventive landscapes are built and broken apart as dancers balance, flip, throw, twirl and jump around the playground they have created.
Presented by Hakeem “Mr Impact”- The Place’s resident Arts Council England Change Maker – a brand new festival, Startin’ Point (19-21 Oct), will celebrate the connection between music and dance from the African diaspora. Featuring a performance from Netherlands-based cultural organization Untold (19 Oct), which will bring together traditions from the African diaspora with western art forms, alongside an evening of short works (20 Oct) in which three companies will compete for a commission to create a full-length show; and a day of workshops and performances presented with youth dance companies working in Hip Hop and dances of the African Diaspora (21 Oct). Also curated by Hakeem, LIVEVIBE (17 Nov) returns for its third and final installment, presenting a mixture of new talent and established acts combining talent from the worlds of dance, music and spoken word.
Highlights from among the many visiting companies in the autumn programme include James Wilton Dance presenting new work The Storm. Following the success of Leviathan which visited The Place in 2016 and 2017, The Storm (23-24 Nov) draws on neurological science to explore the storms that can rage inside us, as well as in the world around us. In this production the company’s trademark athletic style fusing acrobatics, break-dancing and martial arts is accompanied by an original soundtrack of thundering electro-rock by Amarok. Tom Dale Company’s I INFINITE (16-17 Oct) is part dance, part installation and meditates on the digital world’s quest to recreate life and Sarah Blanc’s My Feminist Boner (14 Sep) is a dance-comedy show about how the world helped Sarah get turned on by feminism including props, movement and a haiku from her pop loving younger self.
Point of Echoes (19-22 Sep) is an intimate show about two keepers stationed at a remote lighthouse. A haunting tale of love, death and monsters by renowned international choreographer Ben Wright and musician and writer Stuart Warwick, the production blends tones of Wes Anderson whimsy with the eerie dread of The Twilight Zone to create bgroup’s most intimate and theatrical production to date. Originally developed to be performed in village halls, Point of Echoes will make its London debut at The Place following a tour of rural venues around the UK. Gracefool Collective’s This Is Not A Wedding (12 Sep) takes on themes of marital tradition, conformity and expectation. The institution of marriage is also explored in The Knot (20-21 Nov) as Umanoove and Didi Veldman invite audiences to join a wedding party with a difference. Akademi will explore love and loss in World War One in The Troth, directed by Gary Clarke (13 Nov).
Autumn 2019 will also offer another chance to see two shows that have proved popular with audiences in recent seasons. Avant Garde Dance make a return with Tony Adigun’s Fagin’s Twist on 25-26 September, flipping audience expectations of five familiar characters as they revisit the youth of the Oliver Twist villain in a contemporary hip-hop style. And for one night only on 9 October, Work Place artists Igor and Moreno return with Idiot-Syncrasy, using jumping – both literally and metaphorically – to explore our capacity to persevere, care and hope.
Representing The Place’s dedication to ongoing professional development for dancers as well as its role as the home of the London Contemporary Dance School, from 6-13 Dec Collaborations will see the roles of dancer, musician, designer and film maker challenged in a collaboration between students at LCDS and Wimbledon College of Arts, Guildhall school of Music and Drama and Central St Martins (University of the Arts London). Also staged as part of The Place’s artist development programme is Touch Wood (4-6 Sep), a chance for artists participating in Choreodrome –The Place’s research and development scheme – to show work-in-progress. On Sat 1 December, Fresh offers up an evening of bitesize extracts from companies making work for teens. And for the curious among audiences interested in learning more about dance, Spectator School Social returns for three Wednesday evenings in October (17, 24, 31) offering a chance to share perspectives and explore ways of engaging with performance.
The Place, 17 Duke’s Road, London WC1H 9PY
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