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Via Helen for DanceXchange
DanceXchange (dx), the Birmingham-based dance house, announces its latest performance season which runs from 31st January until 29th March, presented in both studio and gallery settings as well as their home venue, The Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome.
The programme features two World Premieres by some of the best UK and international choreographic talent from three critically acclaimed companies, plus the opportunity to see some of the best youth talent in the West Midlands.
Lucie Mirkova, DanceXchange said:
We are delighted to present a range of performances, including world premieres from established choreographers, to all styles of dance from the region’s best young talent.
We are also excited to present opportunities for people to experience dance both in our home Patrick Studio and in other venues across the city, especially with our new collaboration with Eastside Projects in Digbeth.
Dance is at the centre of the cultural life of our city and beyond, and we look forward to audiences enjoying our Spring Season before we bring the next edition of our acclaimed Birmingham International Dance Festival in summer 2020.”
Everything [but the girl] (6th and 7th February)
The performance season launches on 6th and 7th February with the World Premiere of Everything [but the girl] by 2Faced Dance Company which opens its UK tour at DanceXchange in celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary. In this formidable triple bill from choreographers Tamsin Fitzgerald (Artistic Director of the company) and Fleur Darkin, each choreographer has carved her own unique style, pushing at the possibilities of movement with innovative and acclaimed pieces.
Everything [but the girl] includes live music by the world-renowned Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and features 7.0, a bold, striking and emotionally charged work, inspired by Fitzgerald’s humanitarian aid visit to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Darkin, former Artistic Director of Scottish Dance Theatre and Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic, presents The Qualies, a theatrical collaboration with the seminal US writer David Foster-Wallace, bringing his ground-breaking study of the American tennis player Michael Joyce to life as a dance for a male quartet. A new solo Hollow in a World Too Full completes the programme. Sinewy and energetic this will be Fitzgerald’s first solo creation.
Tamsin Fitzgerald, Choreographer and Artistic Director of 2Faced Dance Company said:
20 years is a big achievement and to be returning to DanceXchange in Birmingham for the premiere of Everything [but the girl] is a very special moment for the company. Having had a long relationship with DanceXchange and previously been Associate Artists with DanceXchange for several years, working on Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF), and opening many of our shows in their home venue, it’s great to return in February 2020 with this triple bill. Also featuring some highly artistic, talented musicians from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, this is going to be one very special premiere.”
Wasteland (27th and 28th February)
On 27th and 28th February, Wasteland, Gary Clarke Company’s sequel to the critically acclaimed COAL, looks at how two generations coped in an era of radical upheaval: In 1994 hundreds of coal miners hung up their pit boots as Grimethorpe Colliery was destroyed, along with the tight-knit working-class community that surrounded it. As one generation grinds to a halt, we follow the next into the 90s illegal rave scene, where derelict warehouses and abandoned workspaces became home for a new-found community of music and dance.
Bringing together Clarke’s vivid physical dance language performed by a company of exceptional dancers, a community cast of male singers, brass musicians, archive film footage, a powerful rave sound score and unique artwork by Jimmy Cauty (co-founder of The KLF), Wasteland dives head first into a gritty story of loss, hope, escapism and survival.
Gary Clarke, Choreographer said:
Wasteland is the sequel to my recent work COAL (which also came to The Patrick Studio) and I have continued my interest in local communities in professional work. I am looking forward to welcoming the community of Birmingham into the piece. The show is a complicated tapestry of many artistic elements to tell the story. It is ambitious on many levels. It was important to get it right. You have a responsibility when dealing with political and social history.”
Mariposa: a Transgender Tragedy (27th and 28th March)
DanceXchange Artist in Residence, Carlos Pons Guerra presents the World Premiere of his Caribbean and queer reimagining of Puccini’s seminal opera, Madame Butterfly. Mariposa: a Transgender Tragedy by DeNada Dance Theatre, opens on 27th and 28th March, and is an operatic dance-drama that transports Puccini’s Orientalist libretto to post-revolution Cuba, where a hopeful rent boy is asked to sacrifice his gender in exchange for the love of a foreign sailor.
Faded showgirls, troubled marines and highly camp santeria spirits inhabit the dockland world of this brand new production set to an original score by Spanish composer Luis Miguel Cobo, which is inspired by Caribbean sounds, Puccini and Cobo’s own distinctive, theatrical style. With libretto by French-Indian writer Karthika Nair and designs by Birmingham-born Ryan Laight, Mariposa will be performed by the international and diverse cast of DeNada Dance Theatre (2016 UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards nominees in the category of Best Independent Company), promising to be a ravishing and deeply moving exploration of what we are ready to sacrifice in order to be loved and accepted.
Carlos Pons Guerra, Choreographer, said:
I am very excited about Mariposa having its world premiere in Birmingham. The work has been cocooning for the past four years and is now finally able to spread its wings thanks to the invaluable support of two fantastic institutions – DanceXchange and Dance Hub Birmingham, both of which have been invaluable partners in my development as an artist.
Mariposa is a very important work to me because it gives the narratives of queer ethnic minorities a voice – and I am very glad that the city of Birmingham is offering us this platform, which only attests to the city’s diversity and tolerance.”
U.Dance WM (29th March)
The season concludes with U.Dance WM, a vibrant and exciting mix of dance genres and themes performed by some of the best young talent from across the West Midlands. Presented on 29th March in association with One Dance UK, the winning group will be shortlisted by the national panel to progress to U.Dance 2020 in Glasgow.
Alongside the main season at The Patrick Studio, DanceXchange presents two exciting free opportunities to reflect more closely on the dance experience. Dance Insights on 31th January, is a fascinating showcase of the work of the 2019 dx Choreography Award recipients, Dan Daw, Jamaal Burkmar, Victor Fung and Genevieve Say. Expect excerpts from dance in development and provoking presentations.
In partnership with Eastside Projects DanceXchange is also presenting Harold Offeh in Selfie Choreography, a playful exploration of the potential of the body, actions and gestures as recorded through phone cameras. There are two free workshops and performances at Eastside Projects as part of Digbeth First Friday on 7th February and 6th March. Visit the DanceXchange website to find out how you can take part in both the workshop and performance.
Throughout the spring season, dx will be running its hugely popular dance class programme. Drop in and try out something new in the latest programme, which offers classes to suit all ages and skill levels with styles including street dance, ballet, contemporary, salsa, commercial and jazz dance.
To find out more about the spring season including sneak previews of the shows or to check out the full range of dance classes visit dancexchange.org.uk