A season of Dance at The Lowry

From January through to March The Lowry will host a plethora of dance, from Ballet to Hip Hop. The Lowry is known for its wide programme of dance, bringing artists from all over the world, and their Winter/ Spring season will be no different. Featuring artists such as, Botis Seva with BLKDOG, Alexandar Whitley’s Overflow, Hip Hop artist Joseph Toonga: Born To Manifest and Acosta Danza return to preform new and existing works with Evolution.

Joseph Toonga: Born to Manifest

Born in Cameroon and raised in East London, Joseph Toonga is a choreographer existing in different territories, creating nationally and internationally, touring his own work and being commissioned to create on others.

Joseph’s signature style is imbedded in the hip-hop form, combining the rawness, compactness and precision of hip-hop with shapes and structures from contemporary choreography. His craftsman ship pushes the boundaries and broadens the hip-hop form, utilising real life stories to explore and physicalise emotive themes relevant to today’s society, challenging proposals commonly used in hip hop dance.

Joseph said: ‘I feel a responsibility as a black male to empower the younger generation as a role model and example of how dance can provide a positive, successful route. Mental health and black men’s experiences of it, is little discussed, which is why I am passionate about creating awareness to shift stigmas’

Born to Manifest, draws from real life accounts to a create a poignant, responsive piece that simultaneously champions cultural identity and challenges racial stigmas. Set to an original score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, this dynamic new dance work explores the power and privilege that still oppress and dictate. Joseph delivers stark home truths through the complexity and beauty of an individual’s journey.

Alexander Whitley Dance Company – Overflow

Featuring an exhilarating new score by composer Ryan Lee West (Rival Consoles), stunning kinetic light sculpture by Children of the Light (with creative technologists Fenyce and lighting designer Guy Hoare) and striking costumes by award-winning designer, Ana Rajcevic. Overflow is a powerful, personal and visually captivating investigation into the presence and impact of technology and data on modern life.

Alexander Whitley’s recent production 8 Minutes took audiences on a breathtaking journey to the sun. Overflow, his company’s new work, is a compelling and timely exploration of the human condition in the era of big data, when our emotions and behaviour have become the raw materials of the digital economy.

Commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, and supported by Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, the London Community Foundation, MA Scène Nationale-Pays de Montbéliard, PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, Bonnie Bird New Choreography Fund and DanceEast.   Alexander is New Wave Associate at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Acosta Danza – Evolution

Presented by Dance Consortium, critically acclaimed Cuban dance company Acosta Danza returns to The Lowry with Evolution. Acosta Danza’s Evolution bill includes Faun by twice Olivier award-winning Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, a celebration of the 1960s and ‘70s in which Carlos Acosta will make a guest appearance. Completing the programme is Paysage, Soudain, la nuit by visionary Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg.

Christopher Bruce is one of Britain’s leading choreographers and was appointed a CBE in 1998 for a lifetime’s service to dance. Bruce’s humorous and energetic Rooster is set to songs recorded by The Rolling Stones: Little Red RoosterLady JaneNot Fade AwayPaint it BlackRuby TuesdayPlay With Fire; and Sympathy for the Devil. It was originally created for Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve in 1991 and received its British premiere performed by London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1992.

Flemish-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is one of the most sought after contemporary choreographers in the world and is known for his dance collaborations with other cultures and styles including award-winning Sutra (with monks from the Shaolin Temple), m¡longa (with tango dancers from Argentina), Dunas (with a flamenco dancer) and zero degrees (with kathak dancer Akram Khan). He has been the artistic director at the Royal Ballet of Flanders since 2015 and choreographed Beyonce’s Grammys performance in 2017.

Cherkaoui’s Faun was created in 2009 and first premiered at Sadler’s Wells. Inspired by Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’après midi dun faune it was originally commissioned by Sadler’s Wells for its production In the Spirit of Diaghilev celebrating the centenary of the founding of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Faun is set to Debussy’s original score with additional music by Nitin Sawhney and costumes from Hussein Chalayan.

Pontus Lidberg has created more than 40 works for New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Semperoper Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, BalletBoyz, Beijing Dance Theatre and Morphoses, amongst others. His film Labyrinth Within won best picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2012.

Botis Seva – BLKDOG

BLKDOG is the Olivier Award-winning work from Botis Seva, exploring coping mechanisms in youth culture. Co-produced by Far From The Norm and Sadler’s Wells, at The Lowry in March.

A genre-defying blend of hip hop dance and free form antics, the latest edition of BLKDOG explores the inner battlefield of an ageing artist trying to retain his youth. Performed by Seva’s powerhouse company Far From The Norm, BLKDOG searches for coping mechanisms in the ultimate hunt for acceptance.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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