Maliphant Vortex on BBC Four

Published: 29 July 2023
Reporter: Vera Liber

RMDC Vortex Credit: Roswitha Chesher

Following Russell Maliphant Dance Company’s UK national tour of Vortex, the show, filmed live at Sadler's Wells Theatre, will be broadcast on BBC4.

Scheduled to air in 2024, the production was commissioned by BBC Arts and filmed by Martin Collins from Arts Trust Productions. The production is inspired by abstract expressionism, and in particular, the works and processes of Jackson Pollock, and was created with collaborators Ryan Stafford (lighting design), Katja Richardson (music), Stevie Stewart (costume design) and the dancers of RMDC, Maliphant paints a journey integrating the elements of movement, music, light, and shadow to create the piece.

Maliphant said, “the works and processes of Jackson Pollock had made a lasting impression on me since the first time I encountered them many years ago. I saw similarities in the approach to painting and energy that might be experienced in dance and movement tasks for composition.

“Since founding RMDC, as a choreographer, I have generally created abstract, non-narrative work. Two previous pieces have focused around the theme of an artist and their work as inspiration. Afterlight (2009) used the Russian dancer Nijinsky as inspiration and The Rodin Project (2012) focused on the sculptures and water-colours of French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

“The idea for Vortex began before the pandemic hit in 2020, but was put on hold, with the exception of some days of experimentation with individual dancers. Those early explorations revealed elements I wanted to work with and develop as I began collaborating with the creative team.”

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