Three very different contemporary dance pieces will form National Dance Company Wales’ Autumn tour this year, alongside a host of free events presented at DanceEast’s Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, from 22 – 23 September.
Profundis, by Israeli-born Roy Assaf, is a provocative and sensual ensemble piece, featuring whimsical wordplay, vintage bathing costumes and an exotic soundtrack by Umm Kultum, Leonard Bernstein and Alva Noto.
Lee Johnston’s They Seek to Find the Happiness They Seem is a heart-wrenching duet, set to music by Max Richter. A jigsaw puzzle of reconfigured snippets from classic love stories and famous dance partnerships like Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, this piece focuses on the theme of dislocation and separation within a relationship. Its title is inspired by a lyric in Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek.
Folk features NDCWales’ Artistic Director Caroline Finn’s darkly comic expressions of life and people using her quirky and highly engaging choreographic style. Exploring themes of social dynamics, surreal scenes and characters come alive to an eclectic and enchanting musical landscape.
All three pieces will be performed by NDCWales’ core dancers, who are among the very best contemporary dancers from all four corners of the globe; Àngela Boix Duran, Ed Myhill, Elena Thomas, Robert Bridger, Camille Giraudeau, Cyril Durand-Gasselin, Evan Schwarz, and two apprentice dancers, Marine Tournet and Mathew Prichard.
Caroline Finn said: “We’re thrilled to be presenting three such contrasting works as Folk, They Seeks to Find the Happiness They Seem and Profundis. All three have themes which are rooted in humanity, relationships, and the things that we put into question on a daily basis. Each one creates its own unique universe for audiences to dive into, and I believe the combination of all three works in an evening not only shows the versatility of the company but also how diverse and engaging contemporary dance can be.”
Alongside the triple bill of work, the company will host a series of free events and activities, to give curious audiences of all ages an opportunity to give dance a try, and offer newcomers an introduction by some of the best dance artists in their field:
Watch Dance Class is an open house session in which anyone and everyone is invited to watch, sketch, film and photograph a ballet or contemporary class on stage, giving a unique glimpse into how NDCWales dancers prepare hours before a show. Perfect for dance students, artists, bloggers, photographers and anyone interested in peeking behind the scenes. Watch Dance Class is free to attend, but booking is required.
The Post-Show Talk is for those of us who sometimes leave the theatre with burning questions, brimming ideas or inspiring thoughts on what we’ve just seen; a free opportunity for an informal chat and Q&A with artistic staff and dancers.
Dance fans will also have the chance to connect with award-winning NDCWales’ Artistic Director, Caroline Finn, in a special workshop for those aged over 55. The workshop will focus on a warm-up and contemporary technique work, followed by the chance to learn an excerpt from dance piece Folk.