Spring into summer at Dance City

Published: 18 January 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Newcastle’s Dance City has announced its 2020 spring / summer programme which includes works from Wales, Switzerland, Sweden, elsewhere in the UK and, of course, from the North East.

The season opens at 6:00 on 11 February with the semi-annual Season Launch Event, a taste of what’s to come, introducing the shows with video projections, live performances and presentations from the Dance City team and some special guests. Tickets are £2.50 free to members) and include complimentary drinks and nibbles as well as an exclusive 10% discount to all shows booked on the night.

This season sees the biggest line up of works created in the North East than ever before. In celebration, Dance City will be offering an exclusive promotion for the season All MINE For £39, offering the chance to purchase tickets to all 6 of the season’s Made In The North East (MINE) shows for just £39, saving £26 on full retail price.

The shows in the MINE season are:

  • Familiar (12 March), a double bill from Gillie Kleiman & Greg Wohead, their first collaboration, a twinset of performances on significant otherness. One is authored by Kleiman and performed by Wohead, the other authored by Wohead and performed by Kleiman, and the two are twisted together with the help of story, song and spit.
  • What Songs May Do by Rendez-vous Dance (7 May), a duet telling the story of a gay couple attending the concert Nina Simone gave at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976. It's an invitation to experience Simone’s concert through the dancers’ emotional and physical journey amongst a cast of 15 local community members.
  • Double Bill (16 May) by The Collective, Dance City’s new postgraduate company, performing two works made especially for them by two of the most exciting and relevant physical theatre companies of today, Lost Dog and Mischief Company.
  • Suitcases (23 May) by Hit The Ground Running Dance Theatre Company. In 1995, The Willard Asylum, New York closed its doors after a century of treating those deemed unfit for civilised society. Discovered in an attic, the suitcases of 427 Willard patients were found. This piece draws inspiration from four of the suitcases and is an exploration of the people behind the suitcases, playing homage to innocent lives lived and lost to mental illness.
  • Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones (6 June) by Surface Area Dance Theatre. As a collective of hearing and Deaf artists, the group begins to physically interpret the proposition of using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours and textures of sound.
  • HEDGE (20 June at 1:30 and 4:30) by The D Project, a family show for children aged 4+. A hedgehog wakes up from hibernation and everything is not as it once was. A story about bravery and adventure, in a world that is ever-changing.

Shows from outside of the region are:

  • KIN (29 February at 7:30 and 1 March at 2:00) by National Dance Company Wales, an eclectic triple bill celebrating dance that connects us and brings people, families, friends, clubs, teams, tribes and communities together.
  • FORWARD / Into Outside (5 March) A double bill from Geneva-based Beaver Dam Company. Into Outside explores the minutiae of group dynamics and what it means to be valuable to society. In FORWARD, the dancer is overwhelmed with the desire to keep moving forwards—an obsession brought to life through the body.
  • Mapdance 2020 (26 March). Mapdance, the University of Chichester's internationally touring postgraduate company, presents a set of three new commissioned works by Gary Clarke, Ceyda Tanc and Noa Shadur, plus a revival of Inside the Animal by Jose Agudo.
  • Tension (2 May) by Swedish company Art Of Spectra delves into the big and difficult questions that characterize our time. Tension challenges and stresses the laws of physics as the dance artists invite spectators to experience moments that vibrate with fragile proximity.

During July, Dance City takes part in Curious Festival 2020 with two performances and one event:

  • OUT by Rachel Young (1 July). Challenging homophobia and transphobia, OUT is a duet—a conversation between two bodies, carving out a new kind of space, reclaiming Dancehall and celebrating Vogue culture. “We’re shape-shifting in a bid to fit in; to be black enough, straight enough, Jamaican enough…”
  • Vogue Ball by Curious Arts (11 July at 8:30) is the ultimate celebration of North East LGBTQ and Vogue Culture, the 4th annual Curious Vogue Ball. Voguing is a highly stylised, modern house dance developed in the 1980s by LGBTQ people of colour to create and own their own space, becoming a celebration of their culture.
  • On 12 July at 1:00 Curious Arts and Chalk present The Family Vogue Ball in which families are invited to craft their own costumes, design their own house crest, adorn themselves in glitter and get ready to show everyone what they’ve got. There’ll be demos and performances from Vogue Houses to give you some ideas before you and your tribe have your chance to take to the stage. An autism friendly event with headphones and quiet spaces available.