Scottish Dance Theatre’s spring season includes two bold new works by internationally acclaimed choreographers – Second Coming by Victor Quijada; and Winter, Again by Jo Strømgren. Break dancing battles and cold winters provide perfect performance contrasts… and there is even something for the kids, in the shape of Fleur Darkin’s Innocence.
Montreal-based, Victor Quijada, uses the Los Angeles street-dance culture of his youth in his new piece Second Coming. Setting his break movement style to a potent soundtrack by hip hop star, Jasper Gahunia aka DJ Lil’ Jaz. In complex group work and intimate duets, the dancers play out Quijada’s coming of age amongst the break dancing battles of Los Angeles.
Victor Quijada talks of his return to SDT: ‘I first worked with Scottish Dance Theater in 2003 as a recipient of the Peter Darrell Award. The piece did well and won the National Dance Awards for best repertory. Since then, I have stayed in touch and over the years, I kept up to date on the accomplishments of the company. I had a great time working with them and was happy to have a substantial five-week period with the dancers to create the piece. I will have a final week in the theatre for the technical production of it. Being there for a large chunk of time allowed me to prepare the dancers for the specific movement demands of my work, which at times borrows from urban dance vocabularies. It was wonderful to see the dancers dive into an unfamiliar style and embrace it so enthusiastically.’
In bracing contrast, Norwegian choreographer, Jo Strømgren, takes the dancers on a wild journey through the darkest, coldest season in Winter, Again, is set to songs from Schubert’s Eine Winterreise. Choreographer, director and playwright, Strømgren creates a radical dance theatre that is both enigmatic and mysterious, referencing the emblematic Norwegian symbols of savage nature, social democracy and violent fairytales. Scottish Dance Theatre is the first UK company to commission his work.
Jo Stromgren tells us why winter and Dundee go hand-in-hand: ‘ I still haven’t seen any postcards at sale with winter motifs from Dundee, so I thought it would be a good idea to make such a “postcard” for the dance company. They represent Dundee wherever they go, also abroad. My piece “Winter, Again” portrays a grey and dull season where individuals endure as good as they can, asking themselves simple but existential questions. Like how you get the strength to become a better person when you know that spring is faaaaar away. It’s not actually a portrayal from an outsiders point of view. It’s about myself too. I come from a similar city in Norway, where winters are even harder to endure. I always become a worse human being at this time of year. At the same time, it’s a dance piece which nice movements, nice music by Schubert, and even a nice female voice that actually explains what is happening on stage. User friendly existentialism so to speak, where the audience can choose whether to associate and think or simply enjoy movements to music.’
The spring tour also includes the inaugural performance of new Artistic Director Fleur Darkin’s highly acclaimed dance piece for children – Innocence. An exciting opportunity for 0-7 year olds (and their grown ups), Innocence explores the world of William Blake’s childhood. Innocence invites the children to dance, play and sing on a magical theatrical journey shared with Scottish Dance Theatre’s band of accomplished dancers. This captivating dance experience is performed to a breathtaking musical score.
SDT’s dancers include: Joan Clevillé, Eve Ganneau, Nicole Guarino, Maria Hayday, Julian Juárez, Jori Kerremans, Giulia Montalbano, Matthew Robinson, Natalie Trewinnard and Lewis Wilkins.
Second Coming and Winter, Again
Wed 20 – Sat 23 February
£16/conc. £13/ Students £9/Child £6/Dundee students £5
Post-show talk: Thu 21 Feb
Signed performance: Fri 22 Feb
Wed 10 & Thu 11 April
Wed: 2pm and 4pm
Thu: 11am and 2pm
£7, Concs. £6, Children £4, Family ticket £20 (must include 1 adult)
Tickets available: www.scottishdancetheatre.com