Magazine

Opportunity for emerging dance photographers

Are you starting out in dance photography? Are you seeking more experience, or the opportunity to develop your portfolio?


Photography is an essential part of Cloud Dance Festival, as it brings together dance photographers at different stages in their careers, and so for our next festival, we are offering a limited number of spaces each day for emerging dance photographers to join us and our other photographers for our tech rehearsals.  

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Cloud Dance Sundays

Finally we can announce the first of our offshoot projects.... Cloud Dance Sundays!

Treat yourself to something special, and celebrate the end of the week with an evening of great dance, at a wonderful pub theatre in Kentish Town.

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Dance Bloggers & Reviewers Sought

As some of our reviewers have moved on, and others are less available than before, we're looking for some more reviewers based in or near London to join our busy team, covering contemporary dance and modern ballet.

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Freelancing & Changes Ahead

The first piece of news is that I've gone freelance. After five and a half years of working on Cloud Dance Festival, and working closely with a number of our choreographers in that time, I'm now available on a freelance basis for anything from admin to producing, especially marketing, publicity and management. And especially producing. Please.

If you're interested, or simply curious, please visit my new website www.chipilapa.com and my dance photography website www.chantalguevara.com

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Daniel Linehan: Gaze is a Gap is a Ghost

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Cardboard boxes are clustered together and stacked on top of one another across the space. Some stand alone, including one cheekily located on a ledge halfway up the back wall of the Lilian Baylis Studio. An odd assortment of objects nestle among the boxes: a kettle, a hotplate, a bell, a mirror, a silver skull of the kind you might find in those annoyingly colourful shops full of unnecessary, cutesy accessories. In the centre of the space three upright white panels form a large screen for, I assume, video projections.

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Amy Bell & Valentina Golfieri, Aoife McAtamney, Gary Clarke

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This triple bill of Spring Loaded offered three diverse works, all of which delivered. It was an evening dominated by women, a topical occurrence considering the recent and ongoing discussions about the relative lack of high-profile female choreographers, and reflections on the experience of being a woman in the profession. The first two pieces - Amy Bell and Valentina Golfieri’s I Just Close My Eyes: Here Are The Devils and Aoife McAtamney’s softer swells - were choreographed and performed by women, while the third, Cameo Cookie, was choreographed by Gary Clarke but performed (almost) single-handedly by the impressive Eleanor Perry.

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Laïla Diallo: Hold Everything Dear

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Hold Everything Dear, Laïla Diallo's outstanding new work, starts at the end and opens with all of the eight performers sweeping polystyerene peanuts into suitcases, unravelling and stretching out a tangled yellow length of light bulbs, piano-wheeling, bench-moving and paper-picking-up until the stage is clear and everyone is set, focussing on the restricted body of Gabi Froden, on the floor, wrapped in packing tape, labelled FRAGILE. In presenting the end of their journey, the company invited the audience to see how they got there, to rewalk their journey with them.

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Hofesh Shechter: Uprising & The Art of Not Looking Back

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I last saw Hofesh Shechter Company in 2009 in The Choreographer's Cut at The Roundhouse, and the defiant yet gentle opening image of 'Uprising' has stayed with me since then. What I'd forgotten was how the volume of percussion and intensity of movement engulfs your whole being, and compels you to want to move with the seven animalistic creatures sweeping across the stage.

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Two Shows One Night – interview with choreographer Gary Clarke

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Two of London’s biggest dance houses, Greenwich Dance Agency and The Place Theatre will be presenting work by choreographer Gary Clarke this friday. This will have the choreographer heroically hurtling back and forth, in a whirlwind of madness from one end of the city to the other. Which had me intrigued… Two Shows. One Night. Madness, surely? So I caught up with Gary earlier this week and asked him about it. Here’s what he had to say…

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C-12 Dance Theatre: Shhh!

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Described as a story of love, flying overdue library books, and a dancing librarian, Shhh! celebrates the humble local library. A narrative work with twelve scenes and five performers, C-12 Dance Theatre’s production also employs original music, immersive projection work and movable bookcases to tell a story set in a closing-down library. Telling stories seems a particularly apt choice for a work about libraries, and it soon becomes clear that the library is a space for more than just books. Personal and fictional stories play out as the library is revealed as a space for encounters of both the social and imaginative kind.

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Rubberbandance: Gravity of Center

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The rhythmic, musical, unison movement performed by Rubberbandance's five dancers in the opening of 'Gravity of Center' very much sets up what is to come. They creep and shift throughout the stage as a tight unit, gazing intensly out beyond the audience, and in one moment, Daniel Mayo plunges off the edge of the stage, to be hauled back by the others.

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Mad Dogs Dance Theatre: Dogs Land

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Contemporary dance work can often unsuccessfully dangle somewhere between pure dance and theatre: vague characters and hard-to- follow plots which leave some audience members confused and bored. This is not the case with Dogs Land by Mad Dogs Dance Theatre. This piece of contemporary dance theatre combines hard-hitting and convincing storytelling, with choreography that pushes the boundaries of physicality in astounding and surprising ways. It is multi-layered and engaging for both dance and non-dance audiences, and gives the audience a real insight into the intense and passionate idiosyncrasies that occur inside conflicted relationships.

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Eastman-Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: Puz/Zle

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Large architectural structures on stage, a rich blend of cultural influences, ambitious universal themes — this is definitely a Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui work. The architectural structures in this instance are large blocks of various shapes and dimensions, puzzle pieces to be put together and taken apart. The performers do just this, manipulating their landscape, arranging and rearranging them to form stairs, walls, columns, corridors, platforms. They run through them, into them, climb up, tumble down, constantly returning to these monoliths for support and purpose. Order and disorder. The term monolith has literal roots, as the work was originally inspired by and performed at an old stone quarry (now used as a performance venue) near Avignon, France. The sense of scale, labour, and a timeworn landscape are still present in this very different setting, and the blocks anchor the work, demarcating and framing the spaces that the performers inhabit.

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Bowie Got Me Thinking

So recent months have seen the return of the likes of The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Music royalty, if you will. Or perhaps, simply: legends.

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English National Ballet: Etudes

A contemporary of Roland Petit's Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, Harald Lander's Études takes the audience through the daily routine of a ballet company, with the start of their warmup class through to technique exercises and company rehearsals. While the start of the work seems to play with the effects of lighting on imagery, more than on the choreography itself, the rest of the work is a feast for classical ballet fans.

 

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English National Ballet: Petite Mort

Jiri Kylián is one of modern ballet's best-loved choreographers, but his work is all too rarely performed in England, in part due to mixed critical response.

And Petite Mort is one of his best-loved works. Created in 1991 for the Salzburg Festival, Kylián draws on the dual meanings of "petite mort", exploring fencing and orgasmic ecstasy in visually striking duets.

The photos below are of both English National Ballet casts in dress rehearsal.

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English National Ballet: Le Jeune Homme et la Mort

If I could pick two works for my dream triple-bill of ballet works, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort by Roland Petit would be way up there at the top. And fortuitously, Tamara Rojo, the new Artistic Director of English National Ballet, seemed to feel the same way.

Here are photos of Nicolas Le Riche and Tamara Rojo in the lead roles; there are still two performances left at the London Coliseum, if you want to see it: www.eno.org/see-whats-on/productions/production-page.php?&itemid=2283


English National Ballet's website: www.ballet.org.uk


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Taciturn

Taciturn are a very warm and endearing company based in Liverpool: their personality and relationships with each other bubble forth in each of their works, many of which have been created in collaboration with leading choreographers, including Tom Roden (New Art Club), Gary Clarke, Frauke Requart, Company Chameleon and Lisi Perry.

Worst Case Scenario is their latest work, which had its London premiere in February at The Place's annual platform Resolution!, followed by a performance back in Liverpool as part of Merseyside Dance Initiative's LEAP Festival. These photos were taken during their tech rehearsal at Capstone Theatre, with Jennifer Hale, Jenna Jungbluth and Lizzie Ryder, wonderfully standing in for Jenny Rees, who was injured at the time.

Worst Case Scenario helpfully advises the audience as to what to do in case of an earthquake, how to find a bomb, and most usefully... how to take a punch.

Taciturn's website is: www.taciturn.co.uk

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English National Ballet: Ecstasy & Death

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If you asked me to devise my ideal triple bill, Jiri Kylian and Roland Petit would be way at the top of the list - and I'm certainly not alone in that. So English National Ballet's first triple bill under Tamara Rojo's leadership is a dream come true, with Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort and Roland Petit's Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. And as English National Ballet is fundamentally a classical ballet company, it was only fitting that the Ecstasy & Death programme concluded with Harald Lander's Études, a quirky insight into the workings of a ballet company.

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Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre

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Ten of the twelve performers are lined up across the back of the stage clutching large cardboard boxes marked ‘FRAGILE’. This label could describe the performers as much as the content of the boxes: dressed in odd assortments of clothes which appear cobbled together, they seem desperate and forlorn as snow falls around them. The vulnerability sensed in the opening of The Rite of Spring gives way to urgency and desperation as Stravinsky’s score takes off. The group pulses and pounds to the visceral thrumming of the music, played live by sister pianists Lidija and Sanja Bizjak, who also arranged the work for four hands. The performers’ commitment to the simple physicality and the intensity of the rhythm is compelling, and this opening sets up an intriguing group psychology. Add a comment

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