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Newcastle's Dance City announces new season

National Dance Company Wales leads the charge as the wraps come off the autumn programme at Dance City

National Dance Theatre of Wales
National Dance Theatre of Wales

Have you ever fancied sketching or photographing professional dancers as they warm up for rehearsals?

If you would leap at this opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Edgar Degas or Lois Greenfield – famous for their depictions of dance on canvas and film respectively – then best make a date with National Dance Company Wales.

The celebrated contemporary dance company is to make its fifth visit to Dance City, Newcastle, with performances on September 27 (8pm) and September 28 (2.30pm).

They offer a triple bill comprising Tuplet by Alexander Ekman, Mythology by Stephen Shropshire and a Lee Johnston piece called They Seek To Find The Happiness They Seem.

The first is described as “a pulsating work that’s all about rhythm”, the second as “thought-provoking and mesmerising” (and complemented by an avant-garde composition for piano, jazz ensemble and spoken word by Frederic Rzewski) and the third as “a work that uses existing forms of choreography, lighting and costume design to explore dislocation and separation within a relationship”.

All human life is there but – we can expect – beautifully and sinuously expressed.

The offer to ticket-holding artists and photographers is to gain access to a rehearsal on September 27 (12.45-2pm) as the dancers warm up and prepare their bodies for a rehearsal ahead of the evening performance.

The Sense of an Ending - Red Road Dance Theatre
The Sense of an Ending - Red Road Dance Theatre

It’s a rare chance to glimpse behind the scenes of a professional dance performance and to immortalise some lithe and toned representatives of the human race.

For further information or to buy tickets for this or any of the season’s performances, phone the ticket office on 0191 261 0505.

Following the high profile season opener comes R.I.O.T. by choreographer Joseph Mercier and his company, Panic Lab.

This performance, on October 18, has four performers playing at being superheroes and being caught in a series of conflicts, personal and political. It is billed as an epic adventure spiced with comic book references.

On October 20 comes Public Announcement, a preview of developing new dance works by North East choreographers with tickets a snip at a fiver.

These include Nadia Iftkhar’s Dance City commission, The Sense of an Ending, with Red Road Dance Theatre and a collaboration between Kelly Abbott and artist Alexander Millar aimed at bringing his celebrated ‘gadgies’ to life.

Also part of the programme will be a new work by Anthony Lo Giudice and a new piece by Dance City’s choreographic associate artist, Robby Graham, and his Southpaw Dance Company.

A clutch of performances are scheduled at the end of October as part of Juice, the annual festival for children and young people, some of them led by the region’s own Bad Taste Cru.

Look out for the Just Jam International breakdancing battle on November 2, a hectic afternoon and evening of competition feature contenders from around the world.

Then, on November 15, there’s a full-blown performance of The Sense of an Ending, telling the story of 100 women through the voices and bodies of three female performers. It will be Nadia Iftkhar’s first full-blown work.

Finally, on November 22, the action moves to The Boiler Shop at the Stephenson Works where London-based Moving Dust will perform Sometimes There’s Light (Sometimes There’s Dark).

Moving Dust describe themselves as “a new company set up to create cross-art-form performance work”.

This piece, described as stories of love and loss, will feature five performers, text, explosive dance and a movable light installation.

For details of all this and more, visit www.dancecity.co.uk


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