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HeadSpace Dance - Three and four quarters


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The three represent the dancers, Chris Akrill, Charlotte Broom and Clemmie Sveaas and the four are the choreographers Javier de Frutos, Didy Veldman, Luca Silvestri and Matz Ek with a programme of 6 pieces at the Linbury. Has anyone seen it? Here are a couple of pictures to remind you.

 

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Charlote Broom, Clemmie Sveeas and Christopher Akrill in Studies in M - Choreographer: Javier de Frutos

 

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Clemmie Sveaas in In the Skin I'm in 3 - Choreographer: Didy Veldman

 

More pictures in www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk

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Dance lovers in the North have an opportunity to see this group, which has won highly favourable reviews, tomorrow, Wednesday 19, in Leeds, 7.30, at the new Northern Ballet/Phoenix building's theatre.

There are lots of seats left. (telephone 0113 220 8000)

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Wish I could be in Leeds tomorrow night but unfortunately I can't clone myself. I am hoping more dates will be added.

 

Charlotte Broom and Chris Akrill both had a lot of fans when they danced with Northern Ballet and I hope their fans will be supporting them in this fantastic venture.

 

If anyone is able to go, could they please let us know their thoughts. Thanks

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Go!

 

Their London performances were sadly neglected by the critics apart from Luke Jennings on Sunday. He was as enthusiastic as me. It was one of the rare dance performances that I could sit through with pleasure and interest throughout. Entertaining rather than profoundly moving, well chosen pieces, well presented and performed. I hope they can keep it up.

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The Leeds show of Headspace, in the intimate performance space at the Northern Ballet/Phoenix building, was varied and entertaining, covering six pieces in 60 minutes of dance. Five works were new, created on the group (Christopher Akrill, Charlotte Broom, both dancers in the past with Northern Ballet, and Clemmie Sveaas) by choreographers they had worked with before.

The opener was a new piece by Javier de Frutos, thankfully not in his gratuitously offensive mode. Danced to Bach all three dancers were dressed in unflattering costumes (John's photo does not convey this, because it doesn't show them upright) and it was a little mystifying as each following section seemed to repeat as a variation of the first one; the tassles on the clothing made me wonder if it was meant to be a ritual. What was clear though was the quality of the dancing and of the interaction between the dancers.

Three solos, one for each dancer, were choreographed by Didy Veldman with dancers' active participation. Each was distinctive, not least the Charlotte Broom piece in which a large duvet started as a stage prop but ended as a partner in a pas de deux! They included emotional turmoil and humour, the Akrill piece ending delightfully with him blowing a small blown up plastic bag across the stage. The final piece was an early Mats Ek duet for Broom and Akrill, fast and joyful, bringing out the lyricism and energy of these wonderful dancers.

"After the interval', a piece of performance art, did indeed appear at that stage of the show. It was a spoof in-joke on the ballet world, with the dancers making fun of the different ways dancers take bows and react to questions by the audience. Not having seen the Linbury show I don't know if the content of the Q and A section was in Leeds specifically geared to a Northern Ballet audience (who unfortunately were not well represented) but any NBT fan of old would have been amused by the repeated answers about a performance of Giselle in Blackpool. The piece ended ferociously, with Akrill dancing at great speed and with huge energy being cruelly rubbished by Broom as repetiteur. The dancers in the audience laughed especially loud at this humour.

It's impressive that in these difficult times for the arts world this small group has the courage to create new works like these. Northern Ballet's new choreographer find, dancer Kenneth Tindall, was present; and this show was the first of a series of performances by dance companies, including Ballet Black, to be presented this autumn in Leeds so the future of dance in Yorkshire looks promising.

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John, the photo I was referring to was the one at the top of this page, but the photo you've added gives a clearer view of the costumes- and makes my rather obscure reference to tassels clearer, too! The lighting for the photo brings out the mixture of colours well, but from where I was sat, at the back of the small auditorium, the costumes looked drab and sombre. They also made the dancers look overweight- very different from how they looked in the other pieces. (I'm sure you realise that I wasn't being critical of your photo, which captures an interesting moment in the piece so well).

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Their London performances were sadly neglected by the critics apart from Luke Jennings on Sunday.

 

And now, also, Donald Hutera in The Times, I think it was on Monday, who gave them 3 stars.

 

Sheila, thank you so much for reporting on the performance - it's the sort of thing we could do with having more of!

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