Anjali Dance Company presents Genius, its double bill of new work by award-winning choreographers Gary Clarke and Lea Anderson. Anjali’s exceptional group of talented dancers – Hannah Dempsey, Daisy Garrett, Alex Hyde, Jason Manito, Nick McKerrow and Lauren Payne – perform two dramatic explorations of genius in a gothic performance of dance, music, theatre and design.
Ahead of performances in Mexico and Spain, Genius will tour across England from Saturday 23 September to Thursday 9 November, 2017.
In a series of touching and darkly humorous short sketches, Gary Clarke’s Beethoven takes a look at the extraordinary life of the German composer. Gothic, cinematic and highly theatrical choreography is performed to excerpts of Beethoven’s music. Designs are by Ryan Dawson Laight, recently Gary Clarke Company’s COAL, Boy Blue Entertainment’s Blak Whyte Gray and DeNada Dance Theatre’s Ham and Passion.
Clarke, who recently won UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance and Best Independent Company at this year’s Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for COAL, said: “Working with Anjali was a rewarding, inspiring and exciting experience. They are an amazing team of talented dance artists who fully invested in the work and its creation. Each company member brought their personality, skill, and above all their hearts and generosity to the process, which resulted in a strong, poignant and beautiful work.”
Choreographer Lea Anderson MBE is a hugely influential figure in the development of UK dance and has won many awards, including a number of Time Out & Dance Umbrella Awards and the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award. Her new work for Anjali, Bloodsucker, is based on the legend of the vampire Nosferatu and his depiction in film. The 1922 silent movie Nosferatu is regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema.
Five distinct scenes become their own tales of horror, in performance styles ranging from expressionist, nuanced silent-screen acting to Hammer House of Horror action. Performing in a three-sided box, the dancers move on and off stage to create the impression of film edits. A specially commissioned soundtrack by composer Steve Blake, a long-term collaborator with Anderson, distinguishes the transitions between scenes and performance styles. Designer Simon Vincenzi brings a fairground and carnival theatre setting to life.
Lea Anderson, said: “I worked with the Anjali dancers to create a new piece of work that would take risks with no possibility of predicting the outcome. I look forward to working with these thoughtful and passionate artists again.”
Nicole Thomson, founder and Artistic Director of Anjali Dance Company, said “We are thrilled to be back on tour with new work by these two established and respected choreographers. Genius celebrates the exceptional creative talent of Anjali’s dancers and demonstrates exciting new possibilities in dance.”
Anjali’s Associate Dance Artist, Aya Kobayashi, supported the guest choreographers during the creative process and provided additional choreography for Beethoven.
The Genius tour is accompanied by a bespoke programme of educational residencies and workshops, some of which are taught by company dancers.
Genius is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and commissioned by Lancaster Arts. Anjali Dance Company is supported by Oxfordshire County Council.
Please click here to view tour venues, dates and performance times.