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CALYX by Sandrine Monin

Named ‘Best premiere’ as part of the Critics’ Choice in Dance Europe Magazine, Calyx debuted in 2017 and has made a name for first-time choreographer and ex Phoenix Dance Theatre company dancer, Sandrine Monin.  Described by Dance Europe as ‘the first thrilling manifestation of an interesting new choreographic voice‘ Calyx has been inspired by the infamous Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and sees love as both muse and curse. The work explores the themes of beauty, desire, sin and decadence, set to a sweeping original score by composer Roberto Rusconi.

Calyx is the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. A bud, a husk, a wrapping.

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BLOOM by Caroline Finn

Bloom was choreographed by New Adventures Choreographer Award-winner Caroline Finn whose work often presents darkly comic expressions of life and humanity using her playful, quirky and highly engaging choreographic style.

Caroline Finn said: ” In Bloom I wanted to explore the ideas of Facades; the different ways that we hide behind facades (intentionally or subconsciously) in order to be the people, we think we should be/want to be/or who we think society expects us to be. The title came about from the idea of a tree covered in blossom- a magnificent and beautiful layer, but ultimately an incredibly fragile and temporary one which covers up what is underneath- namely the true essence and strength of the tree.”

Finn continues “I am creating for the audience a surreal little universe with surreal characters who emerge from a setting, telling their individual short stories depicting the facades they are hiding behind or dealing with. There is one central character in the piece- or rather, misfit! – who finds himself somewhere he simply doesn’t belong. For me, this character embodies the facades and shortcomings of the entire group in a more literal sense through his many many layers of eccentric clothing plus a mask. His journey is a separate story to the other character’s and visually he works both as a counter point to the group, but also, for me, the thread which ties the themes of this piece together. ”

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SHADOWS by Christopher Bruce CBE

Christopher Bruce on Shadows: “To me, many of Arvo Part’s compositions evoke images of a European history and tradition steeped in over a thousand years of human experience and, frequently, suffering. These themes, and particularly the turbulence of twentieth century events, have influenced my reaction to his work “Fratres”. In my dance the action can be read literally or metaphorically, within the intimacy of an insular family environment or on a more universal scale. I am happy to leave the audience to interpret the work individually.”

Shadows is part of the GCSE Dance Anthology of professional set works.

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MAPPING by Darshan Singh Bhuller

Inspired by his father’s journey from East to West, Mapping is former Phoenix Dance Theatre Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller’s first work for the company since 2006. One of the leading voices in British dance, this new work sees Bhuller looking down on the world from above, and is packed with his signature thrilling, dynamic and inventive choreography.

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SEE BLUE THROUGH by Didy Veldman

Didy Veldman’s See Blue Through plunges the stage into a fascinating, mysterious undersea world. Featuring sensuous, elastic choreography and costumes, this audience favourite was first performed by the company in 2005.

See Blue Through was premiered by the Ballet Gulbenkian in 2001 and first performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre on the 9 February, 2005.

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UNDIVIDED LOVE by Kate Flat

Undivided Loves is co-commissioned between Watford Palace Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre, in celebration of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 35th Birthday and to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Speaking about Undivided Loves Kate Flatt said:

“The iconic material of Shakespeare’s sonnets is mysterious, conjuring up intimate and private thoughts in poetic form, interpreted and discussed by many across the years. Many questions remain unanswered as to who were they addressed to and were they real people or not. Translating them to choreography with Phoenix dancers has been a joyful and ongoing discovery, shared with Adriano in the development of the score, Yaron on the lighting, and Brigid in the choice of sonnets. Adriano’s music with his Brazilian roots transports the literary form to a more universal territory. The cultural diversity of the remarkable Phoenix dancers has enabled fresh invention of the sonnets danced here in a contemporary, global context. Shakespeare’s sonnets for me ask to be experienced as performance, with the emotional landscapes of love, duplicity and betrayal played out in a dreamlike world. The text chosen for Undivided Loves is quoted from Sonnets 18, 128, 43, 129 and 36. The voice is of the main character, the Reader, who interacts with the imagined lovers who inhabit the dreams evoked by the poems. He senses them as both real and imagined, and ultimately celebrates being able to rediscover these words 400 years after they were written.”

Shakespeare’s timeless themes of desire, duplicity and unrequited love are brought to life in Kate Flatt’s new piece for Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Triple Bill 2016 tour. Fusing sound, words and dance, Shakespeare’s most intimate, mysterious and radical sonnets are reimagined to Adriano Adewale’s vibrant and percussive score.

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TEAR FALL by Sharon Watson

Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson followed up her audience favourites Melt (2011) and Repetition of Change (2013) with TearFall, a piece that built on her exploration of science through dance using her simultaneously mesmerising and athletic choreographic style.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust, Watson created a new piece which was inspired by the exploration of the biochemical make up of tears, and how their appearance and composition is affected by different emotional states. Working in partnership with Professor Sir John Holman from York University and dramaturg Lou Cope, TearFall looks at the differences between how tears function and how they are perceived, asking why we cry, what happens when we laugh until we cry?

An excerpt from TearFall featured in Phoenix at Home 2016 as part of the company’s 35th birthday celebrations.

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DOCUMENT by Ivgi & Greben

Powerful, relentless and hard hitting, Document is the first UK work by exciting European choreographic duo Ivgi & Greben. Set to music by long term collaborator Tom Parkinson, this brooding new piece sees five dancers grappling with the darkest aspects of human emotion, building to fill the stage with blistering, intense movement.

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UNTIL.WITH/OUT.ENOUGH by Itzik Galili

In celebration of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 35th Birthday Dutch/Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili reworked his piece, Until.With/Out.Enough for Phoenix Dance Theatre and it was first performed by The Company at The Linbury Studio Theatre, The Royal Opera House on 11 November 2015, the piece was then toured nationally as part of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Triple Bill 2016. The piece explores the concept of the enclosed space that exists within our minds.

Speaking about the creation of Until.With/Out.Enough Itzik Galili said

“What I have made for Phoenix is an old piece that I have adapted and given a facelift, with new costumes and lighting. I created it fairly early in my career, but I don’t like to leave pieces, because as we change our pieces also change as we develop. We see this revision process in writing all the time. Essentially, I am recreating it based on the abilities of the dancers, who naturally influence the work, because it is important that they own what they do. The company dancers currently look very good. Until. With/Without.Enough will be an emotional journey for the viewer, essentially abstract but with intimacy and tension. A good work should move you emotionally and intellectually and I think it works with this ballet.”

Until.With/Out.Enough is a co-commission between The Royal Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

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SHIFT by Christopher Bruce CBE

Shift choreographed by Christopher Bruce CBE first premiered in 2007 and was set on Phoenix Dance Theatre in 2014 alongside originally commission Shadows. 

“The dance is performed to the last movement of Swing Shift by Kenji Bunch. The music is inspired by life in the big city and there is an almost mechanical drive to this section of the score. In the back of my mind I seem to remember a film of the same title about factory workers in a US armament factory during the Second World War. Images and ideas from these two sources (and perhaps, Chaplin’s Modern Times) became the catalyst for my initial movement ideas.” Christopher Bruce CBE

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