It’s all steam ahead for Dance Touring Partnership as we not only put the wheels in motion for spring 2014’s UK tour of Fabulous Beast, but we also start looking ahead to spring 2015 when we bring Ultima Vez over from Belgium.
It was with spring 2015 in mind when we headed to Brussels last week to see ‘What The Body Does Not Remember’, the first piece created by Ultima Vez over 25 years ago which is now making a world tour comeback. Accompanied by 9 venues that Ultima Vez will perform at on its UK regional tour we piled onto the euro star and headed slightly south – my preconception that heading south would mean into warmer temperatures was sadly extremely misconstrued..!
We arrived in Brussels two hours later and after a short journey on the metro we had time for a quick change, piling on hats and gloves and of course a pair of heels, and a quick bite to eat and then headed on to the theatre.
The theatre had a beautiful traditional façade, however the inside was a mixture between the traditional and the modern; sweeping staircases ran alongside chic white walls. A traditional bar area was a large feature of the first floor yet the auditorium itself was inside a drum which appeared to have dropped from the skies above into the centre of the theatre.
What The Body Does Not Remember is fierce, fast paced, humorous, edgy and felt so fresh and relevant that it could have been choreographed in 2014, not over 25 years ago. It made me laugh, hold on to the edge of my seat and on one occasion quite uncomfortable and I’m excited to see how UK audiences react. One of my favourite sections was where the dancers threw white breeze blocks across the stage to one another, with every catch seeming so spontaneous and un-choreographed that it was amazing to see each one caught, and not go flying off into the audience or hitting another dancer (It made me feel very fortunate that I was up in the first circle!) Another was a section using various brightly coloured towels that the dancers used with excellent comic timing to change behind, protect their modesty and try and remove the towels from one another. It was definitely a highlight!
Buzzing from the previous evening’s performance the DTP gang headed off on the metro to find the offices where Ultima Vez lives and discover their fantastic studios! We were blown away by the size (and ceiling height) of their main studio which had more than enough room to rehearse a complete production, and their ‘small studio’ was actually what we know to be a decent sized dance studio! The company were lovely and welcoming, and we were able to discuss logistics of the tour and how our Everybody Dance Now education project could work with the company. Artistic Director Wim Vandekeybus was very generous with his time and answered many questions about the piece, how it came about and the choreographic intent and also gave us an insight into his dance background which we filmed and will be sharing with you in the future!
We even had a chance afterwards to throw around the breeze blocks seen in the performance but concluded it was probably best left to the dancers!
It was then time to head back to the, can you believe it, slightly warmer UK and let the countdown begin until Ultima Vez join us this time next year. Don’t forget that in the mean time we have two other DTP tours, you can catch Fabulous Beast with The Rite of Spring and Petrushka from April this year and we take Boy Blue on tour with The Five & the Prophecy of Prana around the UK in the autumn. For more information, including tour dates, education packs and video trailers check out the Dance Touring Partnership website and our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Until next time,