National Dance Company Wales announces spring tour

Wednesday 11 January 2012, 10:24

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Three choreographers of world renown are topping the bill for the National Dance Company Wales this season.

Josef Perou performing Black Milk by Ohad Naharin. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore

Josef Perou performing Black Milk by Ohad Naharin. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore

The varied programme will see 12 dancers from across the globe bringing their work to life.

Kicking off with a performance at the Wales Millennium Centre's Donald Gordon Theatre on 26 January, the line-up includes two pieces created by the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.

His first, B/olero, set to the music of the same name by Ravel, features two female dancers and is sharply cut so their motions appear to be in competition with one another at times.

His second, Black Milk, involves five male dancers, displaying typical traits of tribal behaviour and almost ritualistic warrior actions.

Naharin, artistic director of dance company Batsheva, is famous for pioneering his own language of movement called Gaga, which predates the international pop phenomenon of the same name. Gaga emphasises exploring sensation and availability for movement to create "organic flows of energy" and has attracted a wide following in the international dance community.

Also on the bill is a piece entitled The Grammar Of Silence by the award winning Netherlands-based Itzik Galili.

Galili has directed two pieces previously for the National Dance Company Wales. This powerful new work builds on the themes of his last contribution, Exile Within, and aims to push dancers to their limits while "exploring the intimate poetry of words left unsaid".

The Olivier Award nominee has produced a catalogue of work for Rambert Dance Company, the English National Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theatre.

Dancers Neus Gil Cortés and Eleesha Drennan run through The Grammar of Silence, watched by Itzik Galili's assistant Helena Volkov. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore

Dancers Neus Gil Cortés and Eleesha Drennan run through The Grammar of Silence, watched by Itzik Galili's assistant Helena Volkov. Photo: Roy Campbell-Moore

National Dance Company Wales' own choreographer Eleesha Drennan has created a new piece called Phantoms Of Us. The work is for eight dancers and is the first Drennan has made for the full company repertoire. She has collaborated with Wales-based visual artist Sue Williams to create the costumes and visual elements for the piece.

The idea behind it draws on Drennan's own dreams and the idea of a human struggle while trying to move forward in life and achieve individuality. Some of the themes that emerged were the power of the group and consensus versus the individual.

Williams created costumes that resemble a second layer of skin and the tight, body-coloured costumes aim to "give bodily form to androgynous beings who reach out beyond superficial identity to strip away layers of human vulnerability and search for individuality".

The tour opens on 26 January, before taking to the road with dates across Wales, England, Jersey and Ireland.

In Wales it moves to the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 9 and 10 February, Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre on 23 and 24 February, Milford Haven's Torch Theatre on 14 March and Mold's Clwyd Theatr Cymru on 28 and 29 March.

A special event during the tour will be at British Dance Edition 2012 when the company performs By Singing Light by Stephen Petronio accompanied by BBC National Chorus of Wales at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.

Artistic Director Ann Sholem said: "Whether you're a seasoned National Dance Company Wales fan or have never seen a contemporary dance show before, we look forward to welcoming you and demonstrating just why we have become a leading name on the international dance stage."

After the spring tour the company will take part in a new commission from world-renowned choreographer Christopher Bruce for Dance GB.

National Dance Company Wales will join Scottish Ballet and English National Ballet in a celebration of dance inspired by the 2012 London Olympics, performing in Glasgow, Cardiff and London in the summer.

For tickets and dates visit www.ndcwales.co.uk.

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