Biennial showcase British Dance Edition combines industry events and public performances
Event featuring Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter and Scottish Dance Theatre
In most industries, conferences and events come and go without outsiders knowing anything about it. But the dance world likes to do things a little differently. When British Dance Edition (BDE), the biennial showcase of UK dance, comes to Scotland for the first time this January, members of the public can share the joy. During one long weekend, BDE will welcome dance professionals from home and abroad to soak up the work of over 80 dance artists and practitioners. The delegates’ aim will be to find shows for their venues, make contacts and do business. But when they sit down to watch the evening performances, the rest of us can come along. A very special line-up, featuring Akram Khan Company, Hofesh Shechter Company, Scottish Dance Theatre and Avant Garde Dance will occupy the King’s Theatre for three nights.
Artistic director of Dance Base and BDE co-curator, Morag Deyes, explains why those companies in particular were chosen for such a prestigious event. ‘Because they’re gigantic,’ she says, ‘and we know that the public will be desperate to see them, so we won’t have to do much work in terms of explaining why they want to see them. These are all big names, they need a big space, and they need a big audience.’ According to Deyes, Hofesh has ‘broken the mould completely’, and the double-bill from Scottish Dance Theatre and Avant Garde is ‘unexpected – you never know what’s going to come next.’ As for Akram Khan’s company, Deyes doesn’t hold back on her praise. ‘The lighting, the theatricality, the staging of it are all absolutely amazing,’ she says. ‘The company that he has put together is extraordinary and the design element is fantastic.’ All those who have seen Khan’s work before will know there’s not a superlative amongst that statement.