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Phoenix Dance Theatre

Phoenix Dance Theatre is a leading contemporary dance company based in Leeds, touring regionally, nationally and internationally. It is committed to widening access to dance through education and audience development initiatives. Our support covers its core activities, paving the way for the move into its new, purpose built, shared building.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £425,222
  • 2013-2014: £435,428
  • 2014-2015: £447,172

Video feed

Rehearsals: Revealed - TearFall Long Version

For her 2015 show TearFall, supported by the Wellcome Trust, Sharon Watson Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre has embarked upon another fascinating science journey, to follow up on the success of her DNA-inspired show ‘Repetition of Change’. This time Sharon has turned her attention to the world of tears and has discovered that these seemingly simple drops of salt water contain a world of scientific complexity – finely balanced to serve the body both physically and emotionally. With input from Professor John Holman, advisor to the Wellcome Trust, Sharon has been exploring the complex structures of which tears are composed. John says: ‘Tears protect our vulnerable eyes, but they also help us show our emotions. Working with Sharon on TearFall has stimulated me to think again about why we make tears and about their composition, including complex structures such as the protein lysozyme, which attacks and breaks down bacteria in our eyes. Most profoundly, why has evolution given humans the ability to produce tears in response to their emotional state?’ Always determined to create a work that embraced both the science and emotion of tears, Sharon and her creative team have also been exploring reasons for and ways of crying in a journey that has been intense, personal and revealing. The resulting TearFall blends her trademark high-octane intricate choreographies with small moments of humanity and intimacy to create a beautiful performance that captures the extraordinary complexity of nature’s simple act of crying.

Rehearsals: Revealed - Shift

The double bill by one of the world’s leading figures in dance, Christopher Bruce CBE features Shift, a restaging of Bruce’s energetic study of life in the 1940’s. This double bill was previously performed at the Linbury Studio Theatre, London in November 2014, the first time that Phoenix has performed any of this renowned choreographer’s work. One of Britain's leading choreographers, with an international reputation, Christopher Bruce trained at the Ballet Rambert School. He joined Ballet Rambert in 1963 where he was acclaimed as one of the most gifted performers of his generation, and remembered particularly for his performances in Glen Tetley's Pierrot Lunaire and his own Cruel Garden. He is recognized as the last major choreographer to have been nurtured by Marie Rambert. Awards include Evening Standard Award, 1974 and 1997; Prix Italia (for Television Production of Cruel Garden), 1982; International Theatre Institute Award for Excellence in International Dance, 1993; De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance at Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, 2003; Rheinische Post Theater Oscar for ‘A Evening of Work by Christopher Bruce’ at Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach 2004; Best Choreography, Critics’ Circle Awards, 2009. Christopher Bruce was awarded a C.B E in 1998; Honorary Doctor of Art from De Montfort University, 2000; Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Exeter, 2001; Honorary Life Membership of Amnesty International, 2002. Honorary Visiting Professor, Exeter University 2009.

Rehearsals: Revealed - Bloom

Bloom is by one of the three Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Choreographer Award winners for 2014, Caroline Finn. Finn’s work often presents darkly comic expressions of life and humanity using her playful, quirky and highly engaging choreographic style. Her new piece for Phoenix Dance Theatre, Bloom is an examination of the complexities of relationships between the public/private self. “In 'Bloom' I wanted to explore the ideas of Facades; the different ways that we hide behind facades (intentionally or subconsciously) in order to be the people we think we should be/want to be/or who we think society expects us to be.” Bloom's world première is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds 11th – 14th February 2015.

Rehearsals: Revealed - TearFall

For her 2015 show TearFall, supported by the Wellcome Trust, Sharon Watson Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre has embarked upon another fascinating science journey, to follow up on the success of her DNA-inspired show ‘Repetition of Change’. This time Sharon has turned her attention to the world of tears and has discovered that these seemingly simple drops of salt water contain a world of scientific complexity – finely balanced to serve the body both physically and emotionally. With input from Professor John Holman, advisor to the Wellcome Trust, Sharon has been exploring the complex structures of which tears are composed. John says: ‘Tears protect our vulnerable eyes, but they also help us show our emotions. Working with Sharon on TearFall has stimulated me to think again about why we make tears and about their composition, including complex structures such as the protein lysozyme, which attacks and breaks down bacteria in our eyes. Most profoundly, why has evolution given humans the ability to produce tears in response to their emotional state?’ Always determined to create a work that embraced both the science and emotion of tears, Sharon and her creative team have also been exploring reasons for and ways of crying in a journey that has been intense, personal and revealing. The resulting TearFall blends her trademark high-octane intricate choreographies with small moments of humanity and intimacy to create a beautiful performance that captures the extraordinary complexity of nature’s simple act of crying.

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REHEARSALS Revealed: SHADOWS

The double bill by one of the world’s leading figures in dance, Christopher Bruce CBE features Shadows, a brand new work created especially for Phoenix Dance Theatre and a restaging of Bruce’s energetic study of life in the 1940’s, Shift. This double bill was previously performed at the Linbury Studio Theatre, London in November 2014, the first time that Phoenix has performed any of this renowned choreographer’s work. One of Britain's leading choreographers, with an international reputation, Christopher Bruce trained at the Ballet Rambert School. He joined Ballet Rambert in 1963 where he was acclaimed as one of the most gifted performers of his generation, and remembered particularly for his performances in Glen Tetley's Pierrot Lunaire and his own Cruel Garden. He is recognized as the last major choreographer to have been nurtured by Marie Rambert. Awards include Evening Standard Award, 1974 and 1997; Prix Italia (for Television Production of Cruel Garden), 1982; International Theatre Institute Award for Excellence in International Dance, 1993; De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance at Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, 2003; Rheinische Post Theater Oscar for ‘A Evening of Work by Christopher Bruce’ at Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach 2004; Best Choreography, Critics’ Circle Awards, 2009. Christopher Bruce was awarded a C.B E in 1998; Honorary Doctor of Art from De Montfort University, 2000; Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Exeter, 2001; Honorary Life Membership of Amnesty International, 2002. Honorary Visiting Professor, Exeter University 2009.

Rehearsals: revealed - Ivgi & Greben

Phoenix's 2014 Mixed Programme will feature the first work for the company by exciting European choreographic duo Ivgi&Greben. Here they talk about creating their new piece.

See Blue Through - Archive Trailer

First performed by Phoenix in 2005 as part of the inter vivos programme, Didy Veldman's See Blue Through makes a welcome return to the Company's repertoire for 2014. Keep checking http://www.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk for news of tour dates!

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Autumn 2013 Tour Trailer

Coming to the following venues this autumn: Cast, Doncaster - Tuesday 8th October http://www.castindoncaster.com Northern Stage - Thursday 10th & Friday 11th October http://www.northernstage.co.uk Hull New Theatre - Tuesday 15th October http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/hullnewtheatre The Atkinson, Southport - Thursday 17th October http://www.theatkinson.co.uk York Theatre Royal - Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th November http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk Clwyd Theatr Cymru -- Saturday 9th November http://www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House - Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd November http://www.roh.org.uk Leicester Curve - Thursday 28th November http://www.curveonline.co.uk

Uber presents Phoenix Dance Theatre in 'Fire Flight'

Design agency Uber wanted to get to the heart of Phoenix Dance Theatre visualising the focus, elegance and burning passion of the company - this is the incredible end result. Featuring the technical expertise of the production team and collaborators Uber, Ink Films and VTR North.

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Why Dance? Why Phoenix?

Behind the scenes at the Fire Flight video shoot design agency Uber caught up with some of our dancers to ask two important questions - why dance and why Phoenix? Filmed by Uber, Ink Films and VTR North.

DONATE to Phoenix

Dancer Antonio Borriello talks about how you can support Phoenix and what that backing means to him. Find out more and donate at: http://www.nationalfundingscheme.org/the-phoenix-dance-theatre

Particle Velocity Trailer

Following the World Premiere run at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Phoenix Dance Theatre's latest mixed bill Particle Velocity will be touring the UK throughout 2013. The bill features four critically acclaimed pieces of dance, created by two of the country's leading choreographers and two of the UK's most exciting emerging talents. Spring 2013 tour: Liverpool Playhouse Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th March, 7.30pm http://www.everymanplayhouse.com The Civic, Barnsley Friday 22nd March, 7.30pm http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk Nottingham Playhouse Wednesday 17th April, 8.00pm http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk Worthing Theatres Tuesday 30th April, 7.30pm http://www.worthingtheatres.co.uk Malvern Theatres Tuesday 14th May, 7.30pm http://www.malvern-theatres.co.uk The Grand Theatre Blackpool Sunday 19th May, 8.00pm http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk The Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield Thursday 23rd May, 7.30pm http://www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk

Rehearsals: revealed - Repetition of Change

Repetition of Change is the latest work for Phoenix by Artistic Director Sharon Watson. Set to Forms Entangled, Shapes Collided, a specially commissioned score by renowned composer Kenneth Hesketh, performed by Psappha, this new work places the complex, intricate world of DNA under the microscope. Here she's joined by some of the dancers to explain how they've brought the complexities of our genetics to the stage! Tickets for the West Yorkshire Playhouse world premiere run of Particle Velocity, which also features new works by Jose Agudo, Richard Alston and Douglas Thorpe, are on sale now at http://www.wyp.org.uk The score for Repetition of Change, Forms Entangled, Shapes Collided by Kenneth Hesketh, was commissioned with funding from the RPS Drummond Fund.

Rehearsals: revealed - Ki

Jose Agudo's first work for Phoenix is a tale of one boy's journey to become legend. Inspired by Genghis Khan's extraordinary life story, Ki is a ferocious, ritualistic solo which uses powerful, physical dance to show a man seizing control of his own destiny. Here Jose talks about creating the piece and the significance of the piece's title. Tickets for the West Yorkshire Playhouse world premiere run of Particle Velocity, which also features new works by Richard Alston, Douglas Thorpe and Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, are on sale now at http://www.wyp.org.uk

Rehearsals: revealed - Tender Crazy Love

Tender Crazy Love is the latest work for Phoenix by one of the most exciting emerging choreographers in the UK - Douglas Thorpe. Famed for his explosive, powerful movement, this blistering duet features his trademark raw, visceral choreography set to a Tarantino-like soundtrack of classic songs and hidden gems. Tickets for the West Yorkshire Playhouse world premiere run of Particle Velocity, which also features new works by Richard Alston, Jose Agudo and Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, are on sale now at http://www.wyp.org.uk

Phoenix Dance Theatre: Crossing Points - Autumn 2012 Tour

Phoenix Dance Theatre's Crossing Points returns this autumn at venues across the UK: The Lowry Tuesday 18th September, 8.00pm Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ Tickets £12 (concessions £2 off) -- TBC Box Office 0843 208 6000 Book Online www.thelowry.com --- Clwyd Theatr Cymru Friday 21th & Saturday 22nd September, TIME?? Raikes Lane, Mold, Clwyd CH7 1YA Tickets TBC Box Office 0845 330 3565 Book Online www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk --- Hull Truck Theatre Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd October, 7.45pm - TBC 50 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LB Tickets £15 (£10 concessions) -- TBC Box Office 01482 323638 Book Online www.hulltruck.co.uk --- Wyvern Theatre Tuesday 9th October, 7.30pm Theatre Square, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1QN Tickets £11 - £16, concessions £2 off, students £10 Box Office 01793 524 481 Book Online www.wyverntheatre.org.uk --- Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House* Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th October, 7.45pm Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD Tickets £20 | £17 | £14 | £8.50 standing | £11.50 students Box Office 020 7304 4000 Book Online www.roh.org.uk --- Aberystwyth Arts Centre Wednesday 14th & Thursday 15th November, TBCpm -- TBC Aberystwyth University, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion , SY23 3DE Tickets TBC Box Office 01904 623568 Book Online www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk --- York Theatre Royal Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st November, 7.30pm -- TBC St. Leonard's Place, York, YO1 7HD Tickets £10 - £17 (plus concessions) -- TBC Box Office 01904 623568 Book Online www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk ¬ --- Lawrence Batley Theatre Tuesday 4th December, 7.30pm Queen's Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP Tickets £14, £12, £10 (concessions £2 off) -- TBC Box Office 01484 430528 Book Online www.thelbt.org

Rehearsals: revealed - Richard Alston

One of the highlights of Phoenix's new programme for 2013 - Particle Velocity - is celebrated choreographer Richard Alston's first work for the company. We caught up with him during rehearsals to see how this brand new piece was coming together. Tickets for the West yorkshire Playhouse world premiere run of Particle Velocity, which also features new works by Jose Agudo, Douglas Thorpe and Phoenix Artistic Director Sharon Watson, are on sale now at http://www.wyp.org.uk

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Pave Up Paradise

Internationally renowned British contemporary dance company Phoenix Dance Theatre will present Pave Up Paradise at the 2012 internationale tanzmesse nrw. PAVE UP PARADISE DURATION 15 mins CHOREOGRAPHY AND DESIGN Lost Dog MUSIC CREDITS The Strokes, Jeff Buckley, Gomez MUSIC PERFORMED BY Alessandro Lima LIGHTING RESTAGED BY Michael Mannion For more information on Phoenix Dance Theatre visit http://www.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk For more information on Tanzmesse, including performance dates, visit http://www.tanzmesse-nrw.com

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Crossing Points

Crossing Points is Phoenix Dance Theatre's new mixed programme for 2012. Inspired by Magritte's iconic painting The Son of Man, Ana Luján Sánchez's Catch immerses the audience in an abstract, surreal world filled with intricate, dynamic and thought provoking choreography. SoundClash by Kwesi Johnson sees the dancers mimic the complex and beautiful patterns created by sound waves when made visible. The bill also features the return of Henri Oguike's thrilling Signal, and Aletta Collins' sassy, hilarious modern Phoenix classic Maybe Yes Maybe, Maybe No Maybe. Coming this Spring to: The Civic, Barnsley: http://www.barnlseycivic.co.uk Liverpool Playhouse: http://www.everymanplayhouse.com Circomedia, Bristol: http://www.circomedia.com Northern Stage: http://www.northernstage.co.uk

Rehearsals: revealed - SoundClash

Former Phoenix Dance Theatre dancer and current Artistic Director of Kompany Malakhi Kwesi Johnson talks about SoundClash, his new work for the company. SoundClash can be seen as part of Phoenix's Crossing Points mixed programme, which tours to Leeds, Barnsley, Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle this spring. Music by Luke Harney http://www.soundcloud.com/type

Rehearsals: revealed - Catch

Former dancer and Rehearsal Director Ana Luján Sánchez returns to Phoenix in 2012 with the world premiere of her newest work Catch as part of Crossing Points. We caught up with her during rehearsals to find out more about the piece.

Three decades of Phoenix

On 11th November 2011 former dancers and members of staff came together to celebrate Phoenix Dance Theatre's 30th anniversary with a very special one off performance.

Overworlds & Underworlds Launch Video Blog

Last Month Leeds Canvas launched Overworlds & Underworlds - Yorkshire's offering for the Artists Taking The Lead strand of next year's Cultural Olympiad. Led by renowned artists The Brothers Quay, Overworlds & Underworlds will take place in Leeds 18th-20th May 2012. Phoenix Dance Theatre is one of 12 cultural organisations based in Leeds behind the project, so Phoenix's Marketing Manager Alex Croft went along to the launch to get a hint of what was planned... http://www.overworldsandunderworlds.com/

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Declarations

Phoenix Dance Theatre's Declarations Mixed Programme comes to the following venues this autumn: The Riverfront, Newport - Thursday 29 September http://www.newport.gov.uk/theriverfront Curve, Leicester - Wednesday 26 October http://www.curveonline.co.uk Wyvern Theatre, Swindon - Tuesday 1 November http://www.wyverntheatre.org.uk The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn - Tuesday 8 November http://www.thebrindley.org.uk Rotherham Open Arts Festival at Magna - Saturday 19 November http://www.rotherhamculture.org Travese Theatre, Edinburgh - Friday 25 November http://www.traverse.co.uk Filmed by Kaptur in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre at Phoenix Dance Theatre, September 2011.

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Contact details

www.phoenixdancetheatre.co.uk

2
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