DanceXchange announces new commissions

Fresh partnership with The Place and Northern School of Contemporary Dance launched.

DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance house, and leading dance sector organisations The Place London and Northern School of Contemporary Dance Leeds, have formed a partnership with the aim of nurturing original work from the next generation of outstanding choreographic talent.

The new partnership’s first co-commissions are The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus by Léa Tirabasso and Falling Family by Yukiko Masui (pictured), which will be touring to all three venues as a double bill from 28th February until 9th March. The new partnership has also commissioned bYOB by 70/30 Split, which will premiere at the Transform Festival in Leeds in the Spring of 2019.

Lucie Mirkova, Executive Producer at DanceXchange said: “We are excited to be part of a partnership that is committed to supporting original choreographic talent and creating meaningful performance opportunities. For the 2019 commissions it is very pleasing to work with four female choreographers with strong, unique voices and personal stories to share.”

Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director of The Place added: “We really wanted to join together with DanceXchange and NSCD to support these artists and give them the chance to create and perform their work in each of our cities and share their ideas with different audiences. This collaboration is a simple but important way to give choreographers a chance to develop their work and careers.”

Janet Smith, Principal and Artistic Director of Northern School of Contemporary Dance commented: “It’s great to collaborate in supporting these artists to realise their ideas and reach new audiences. This new partnership linking our venues in Leeds, Birmingham and London also creates a platform for sharing and learning together as people and organisations passionate about dance.”

The double bill will receive its UK premiere at DanceXchange’s Patrick Studio on 28 th February and then tour to The Place on 2nd March and Northern School of Contemporary Dance on 9th March.

The Ephemeral Life of an Octopus (cover picture) is inspired by Tirabasso’s personal experience of cancer and the lived experience of illness. At once absurd and grotesque, playful and liberating, the work questions the strangeness of having a body: healthy and vigorous, suffering and damaged, punctured and probed, wild and animalistic. Simultaneously scientific, philosophical and intuitive, Tirabasso looks at the dysfunction, chaos and vibrant life force of the body from within and without.

Yukiko Masui’s Falling Family is a visceral dance piece which explores in movement those moments in family life where extremes of emotion are felt that aren’t expressible in speech. It taps into that dark, conflicted, emotional space that cracks open when we encounter a loved one’s illness, mental breakdown or even death.

bYOB by 70/30 Split, follows performers caught between different notions of masculinity. Dressed ready for a riot and dancing distorted dances of times gone by, four men grapple with their roles, both in the performance and the world. Staging contrasting versions of bravado and belonging, female choreographers Cottrell and Unwin reflect on the rise of nationalism and mob mentality.