Phoenix Dance Theatre returns with new triple-bill

Phoenix Dance Theatre returns with new triple-bill

credit: Brian Slater

Leeds-based contemporary dance company celebrates 35th anniversary

You don’t become the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside London for nothing. During its 35 year history, Phoenix Dance Theatre has undergone many changes, but its ability to attract exciting choreographers has remained consistent – and its 2016 tour is no exception.

Better known for her work in musical theatre, and Les Miserables in particular, Kate Flatt can entertain an audience. Her new work for Phoenix, Undivided Loves, is inspired by six Shakespeare sonnets, set to a percussive score by Brazilian composer Adriano Adewale.

‘Kate has wanted to set some of the sonnets to dance for a long time,’ explains Phoenix’s associate artistic director, Tracy Tinker, ‘and we thought the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death was the perfect time. So what she’s tried to do is keep the traditional and historical context of them but bring them into the modern age.’

Also creating a brand new work for Phoenix, is Caroline Finn, winner of Matthew Bourne’s 2014 New Adventures Choreographer Award. Finn’s prize was a commission from Phoenix, the result of which is Bloom. Caroline has been well known in Europe for a while,’ explains Tinker, ‘and she’s just been made artistic director of the National Dance Company of Wales. She has such a unique choreographic voice, and Bloom is a wonderful, quirky and eccentric piece.’

Completing the triple-bill, is Itzik Galili, who has re-worked his 1997 piece, Until.With / Out.Enough especially for Phoenix. Renowned for creating emotionally intense works, the Israeli choreographer used the piece to explore the closed spaces within our minds.

‘Itzik made this piece fairly early on in his career, so he’s given it a bit of a face lift with new costumes, lighting design and slight choreographic tweaks,’ says Tinker. ‘The dancers look amazing because it’s so athletic and powerful, full of tension, sensitive duets and high energy group sections – it’s a real marathon for them.’

Phoenix Dance Theatre

  • Directed by: Sharon Watson

Leeds-based dance company.