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Press Release: Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 2014 London season: 25 – 29 November - Linbury Studio Theatre, ROH, London WC2

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Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 2014 London season: 25 – 29 November - Linbury Studio Theatre, ROH, London WC2       



A trademark mixed bill from Phoenix dance including a Christopher Bruce world premiere.


Under Artistic Director Sharon Watson, Phoenix Dance Theatre proudly presents its week-long, London 2014 season, featuring a double bill by Christopher Bruce CBE including Shadows, a brand new work created especially for Phoenix Dance Theatre and  a restaging of Christopher’s energetic study of life in the 1940’s, Shift.  Alongside the Christopher Bruce double-bill, Phoenix presents the London premieres of new work from Darshan Singh Bhuller and choreographic duo Ivgi & Greben. 


Having choreographed works for leading dance companies across the globe, this is the first time that Phoenix will perform any of this renowned choreographer’s Christopher Bruce’s work. Set in the mid-twentieth century Shadows is a moving and thoughtful piece of dance theatre, taking the family dynamic as its central theme, exploring some of the deepest fears and daily struggles faced by people all over the world. Bruce’s Shift, is an energetic study of factory workers in the 1940’s. Performed to the last movement of Swing Shift by Kenji Bunch, the dance builds its choreography out of a vocabulary of production-line tasks.


Speaking about ShadowsChristopher Bruce said “To me, many of Arvo Part’s compositions evoke images of a European history and tradition steeped in over a thousand years of human experience and, frequently, suffering. These themes, and particularly the turbulence of twentieth century events, have influenced my reaction to his work “Fratres”. In my dance the action can be read literally or metaphorically, within the intimacy of an insular family environment or on a more universal scale. I am happy to leave the audience to interpret the work individually.”



Powerful, relentless and hard hitting, Document is the first UK work by exciting Amsterdam-based choreographic duo Ivgi & Greben. Set to music by long term collaborator Tom Parkinson this brooding new piece sees five dancers grappling with the darkest aspects of human emotion, building to fill the stage with blistering, intense movement.


Inspired by his father’s journey from East to West, Mapping is former Phoenix Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller’s first work for the company since 2006. One of the leading voices in British dance, this new work sees Bhuller looking down on the world from above, and is packed with his signature thrilling, dynamic and inventive choreography. Mapping 1, 2 & 3 were originally developed with Ballet Central and the full re-working of Mapping represents the final choreographic journey of this piece.


Tues 25 – Sat 29 Nov at 7.45pm -  Linbury Studio Theatre, ROH, London WC2       






Sharon Watson – Phoenix Dance Theatre Artistic Director


Sharon Watson was appointed as the 7th Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre in May 2009. Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, Sharon danced with Spiral and Extemporary Dance Theatre before joining Phoenix as a dancer from 1989 to 1997. During this time Sharon choreographed Never Still and Shaded Limits for Phoenix as well as creating new works for the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, National Youth Dance Company, Union Dance and a specially commissioned piece for the opening ceremony of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. She formed ABCD in 1998 and returned to Phoenix in 2000 as the company’s Rehearsal and Tour Director. In 2006 she embarked upon a fellowship with the Clore Leadership Programme and in 2008 she was one of 26 aspiring leaders from around the globe selected to attend Dance East’s fourth Rural Retreat. Sharon was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch, a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK selected by a distinguished panel made up of figures from the cultural and creative industries.


Phoenix Dance Theatre


Formed in 1981 in inner-city Leeds, Phoenix Dance Theatre has grown to be one of Britain's leading international dance companies. As a repertory company, Phoenix aims to bring together the best choreographers from the international contemporary dance world. A diverse company of dancers works with these choreographers and the Artistic Director to create innovative work, which is communicative, highly accessible and represents the cultural diversity and experience of life in multi-cultural society.Phoenix is inclusive and open to people from all backgrounds. The company has a commitment to widening access to dance through its education, audience development and creative programmes. Phoenix Dance Education’s highly acclaimed programme of education work promotes participation in the arts as a stimulating and creative pursuit within schools and community settings. The company takes on dance apprentices and dancers are encouraged to develop their skills as teachers and choreographers. Sharon Watson was appointed as Artistic Director in 2009. A more detailed history of Phoenix is available atwww.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk

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