What a year it’s been at Dance Consortium! Not only have we toured Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba AND Batsheva Ensemble, we’ve also launched this sparkly new website; it’s been chokka block.
It seems to be à la mode to do a round-up of things at the end of the year, and so, herewith, is a bit of a lowdown of the life and times of Dance Consortium, in 2012.
Nederlands Dans Theater graced us with their incredible presence and faultless technique for the month of March. This was their 11th visit to the UK. They brought with them some classic rep from Jirí Kylián, Hans van Manen, Ohad Naharin, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León (….phew!) and of course the wonderful Alexander Ekman.
It was all eyes on his piece ‘Cacti‘ which literally stole the show everywhere it went.
Judith Mackrell in the Guardian said, “The whip-smart timing of this piece (Cacti) as it juggles these incongruous elements is pure pleasure. The central duet, in which the dancers’ taped voices comment ironically on what they’re doing (“Look out for my head,” mutters one as the other swivels him) is a masterclass in pacing and pitch. Running through certain sections is a recorded commentary that muses on the work’s possible meanings. A postmodern joke on postmodernism, it is silly, clever and knowing.”
Here’s the trailer with footage of said piece, in case you missed it:
Hot on the heels of NDT2 were those flamboyant Cubans, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Who proved themselves on their 2nd visit, to be so much more than simply ‘a ray of tropical sunshine‘ (although they certainly did heat up the rainy-grey UK during May-June).Donning their boxing gloves they premiered a new piece by Itzik Galili entitled ‘Sombrisa‘, the men ruled the stage for a most unique male ‘Carmen‘ by Kenneth Kvarnström and we all felt like dancing in the aisles watching the triumphant return of the feverish Mambo 3XX1 choreographed by company dancer George Céspedes.
A truly an original experience it was, and as Alan Geary of the Nottingham Post put it:
“Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, we’re informed, are the top dance company in that country. This two-hour show might well have had you wondering if they’re one of the best in the world.”
We went to Madrid to meet them ahead of their tour and made this video:
Summer 2012 meant all hands on deck, getting our new website live. We spent time consolidating all our features into a new section and archived all the tours we have ever brought you; from Paul Taylor to Deborah Colker to Australian Dance Theatre to Company Kafig, all 30 tours are in there from the 20 different international companies.
We also updated our About Us page, so if you have heard of us, but are not quite sure what we actually do, then you can read all about it here.
All wrapped up in a slick new wordpress look with a healthy dollop of purple across our header, we were looking fresh and ready for one last tour.
Batsheva Ensemble arrived from Israel at the end of October. This was a truly unforgettable tour for many reasons, and emotions ran high. The company performed spectacularly and the critics were pretty unanimous about the show, picking up 4 or 5 stars from nearly every broadsheet:
“….but this show is not about politics, it’s about Naharin’s vision. Deca Dance is a compilation of scenes from a decade’s worth of his work and he reaps meaty movement from the elastic-band bodies of the Ensemble, the younger branch of the company. With Batsheva, you don’t just see the choreography, you feel it; the deep urge to move, whether in rolling waves, deep curves or Champagne-cork leaps. This is choreography that rejoices in the body — and not in the sexual way that seems to be the only way modern culture knows how but in a deep and honest and humorous and human way..” The Evening Standard
They have undoubtedly left a legacy of debate behind them regarding the role of politics in art, but, what we are keeping as Batsheva Ensemble 2012 souvenirs are: the dancers’ beautiful and groovy way of moving (bred from their Gaga training), totally unpretentious performances (did anybody’s mum get up on stage for the Cha Cha Cha?) the potent music throughout which soaked all our senses in something new, and of course their so very open approach to everything.
Of course our 2 current tours are on the site too now! So have a look at The Trocks and Sutra who will be with us in 2013. It will be a fourth visit for the Trocks and a first for Sutra (with the Dance Consortium.) These 2 companies perfectly exemplify the diversity of work we aim to bring you: A troupe of male ballerinas and 20 Shaolin Monks. Go on….. have a look. We look forward to seeing you at a show in 2013.