Contemporary dance festival New Territories 2011

Artistic director Nikki Milican talks us through the highlights

New Territories

As the New Territories festival continues apace, we asked artistic director Nikki Milican to take us on a whistle-stop tour of the main stage dance productions.

First up is a double-bill from Louise Lecavalier, a former dancer with Canadian outfit La La La Human Steps. ‘I’ve been keeping an eye on what Louise has been doing,’ says Milican, ‘and felt that now was the time to bring her over. There will be people who have no idea who La La La Human Steps are, and they’ll be able to get a little taster of what that work used to be like.’

Like Lecavalier, Liquid Loft is making its New Territories debut with Posing Project B, an award-winner at the 2007 Venice Biennale. ‘I think it lends itself very well to the architecture of Tramway 1, because it’s not a traditional end-on piece,’ says Milican. ‘It’s also very engaging and quite immediate for the audience.’

Making a welcome return to the festival is Canadian company O Vertigo with Onde de Choc (Shock Wave). ‘They had huge success at New Territories in 2002 with Luna, and it’s been hard to find a piece that would at least equal that,’ explains Milican. ‘As with all Quebeçois companies, they’re technically brilliant, and for people who aren’t looking for the leftfield quirky things we do, this is much more mainstream, choreographic dance.’

Also returning to the fold is France’s Compagnie Didier Théron, with its powerful work, Hara-kiri, performed underneath 40 fluorescent lights. ‘I’m a believer in creating long-term relationships with some artists, and Didier is one of them,’ says Milican. ‘This is quite a slow, meditative piece, extraordinarily lit and quite complex in its staging, but at the same time very simple in its performance.’

To close the festival, Milican has programmed renowned Spanish choreographer, Sol Pico, who at the age of 43 has created a 1980s rock concert to explore the ageing process. ‘Sol wanted to go back on stage herself,’ says Milican, ‘and question what it’s like for a dancer to have a maturing body, looking at the whole age issue. It’s a fantastic piece to end the festival with.’

Tramway, Glasgow, Tuesday 8–Saturday 26 March.

New Territories Festival

The long-standing international festival of live art takes root at the CCA, Tramway, the Arches and even the Apple Store and, for the first time, it is extending its range to Aberdeen. The line-up includes performance collective Black Market International, dance companies O Vertigo, Sol Pico and Didier Théron, and…

Compagnie Didier Thèron: Hara-Kiri

French choreographer Didier Thèron draws on Japanese ritual suicide, pagan rites and contemporary economic conditions in Europe to create an angry, breathless, neurotic and political ritual for six dancers. Part of New Territories.

Liquid Loft

Liquid Loft presents Posing Project B – The Art of Seduction, an erotic and ironic exploration of the game of seduction, winner of the Golden Lion for Best Performance at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Part of New Territories.

Louise Lecavalier

Louise Lecavalier is an icon of contemporary dance, gaining fame during the 80s and 90s for her scarily athletic work with Québécois dance group La La La Human Steps and honoured earlier this year with the Order of Canada. In her first visit to the International Festival of Live Art, she performs a double bill of new…

O Vertigo

Canadian company O Vertigo was founded in 1984 by dancer and choreographer Ginette Laurin, and its new work Onde de Choc (Shock Wave) features the amplified sounds of the dancers' movements as well as a soundscape by Martin Messier and a bespoke score by Michael Nyman, creating a propulsive energy to match the momentum of…

Sol Pico

Sol Picó is Spain's reigning queen of contemporary dance and no stranger to Glasgow audiences. Her new show El Llac de les Mosques confronts the question of growing older with wit and defiance: Picó has structured it like an 80s rock concert in which she is the 'singer'. She is joined onstage by a exceptional live band.

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