This autumn sees top French contemporary dance come to the UK as the Institut français in London presents FranceDance UK. Featuring 50 performances, including several UK premieres, at 16 festivals and theatres in nine cities, the four-month festival aims to strengthen Franco-British relationships and encourage cultural collaboration. The programme will also include masterclasses and outreach projects.
Opening FranceDance UK is Kalakuta Republik, which channels the spirit of afrobeat pioneer and activist Fela Kuti from Burkina Faso-born choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, in a hypnotic dance work that draws parallels between the African revolution of the 1970s and today. The piece forms part of Edinburgh International Festival’s You Are Here series.
Big name visitors include Ballet Preljocaj, who will present La Fresque (The painting on the wall) at Sadler’s Wells. The work takes inspiration in the famous eponymous Chinese story in which a traveller takes shelter from the rain in a temple and soon finds himself enchanted by one of the women depicted in a painting on the wall. Preserving the symbolism of the tale, the piece seeks to explore the mysterious relations between representation and reality, places at which the dance creates the bonds that link the fixed image and movement, instantaneity and duration, the live and the inert.
Other highlights include a new work by Emanuel Gat, The Circle, for Scottish Dance Theatre, which will be performed in Tramway, Glasgow as part of Dance International Glasgow, 2019. Emanuel Gat Dance is also performing WORKS at The Lowry, Salford and Sadler’s Wells and YOOO!!! – a hip-hop inspired work for all ages at the Birmingham Hippodrome, in partnership with Theatre National de Chaillot.
Franco-Austrian artist and choreographer Gisèle Vienne’s Crowd, a piece for 15 dancers accompanied by a techno-trance soundtrack, brings club-land to theatre-land and will tour to Sadler’s Wells as part of Dance Umbrella, followed by performances at Dance International Glasgow, her first performances in the UK
The first UK performances by dance collective (La) Horde, best known for their collaboration with electro-pop sensation Chris (formerly known as Christine and the Queens). They will bring their production To Da Bone to Sadler’s Wells and the Belfast International Arts Festival
British-Rwandan choreographer Dorothée Munyaneza performs Unwanted at Bristol’s In Between Time festival – her company’s first UK performances. Her piece gives a voice to the women victims of rape during the Rwandan genocide and the generation born from this atrocity. She left Rwanda when she was 12, after the genocide against the Tutsi.
Also bringing work to the UK for the first time is Chloé Moglia, whose circus-inspired choreographic piece La Spire, will be performed at Belfast International Arts Festival in October
French dance artist Ousmane Sy performs his first UK dates at Sadler’s Wells as part of Dance Élargie, exploring themes of femininity and gender identity
Acclaimed French choreographer and Director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours, Thomas Lebrun comes to The Coronet Theatre, London for three performances with the UK premiere of Another Look at Memory, a retrospective on ten years of Lebrun’s work set to choral music by Philip Glass
Claudine Ripert-Landler, Cultural Counsellor at the French Embassy & Director of Institut français, says, “FranceDance UK has been two years in the making as the Institut français in London has worked with British dance institutions to jointly create a programme that places women artists and female voices at its heart, alongside a diverse spectrum of emerging and established talent.
“The festival is a brilliant springboard for French artists to build relationships with UK institutions and reach new audiences. I hope this is just a stepping-stone to closer cultural dialogue between our great nations, and that it will inspire many more performances and collaborations to come.”
Visit www.institut-francais.org.uk for more details.
Serge Aimé Coulibaly – Kalakuta Republik
The Lyceum, Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Festival); 8-11 August 2019
Brighton Dome; 4-5 November 2019
The Lowry, Salford; 8-9 November 2019
François Chaignaud – Dumy Moyi
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London; 22 August 2019
Ballet Preljocaj – La Fresque (The painting on the wall)
Sadler’s Wells, London; 30 September-2 October 2019
Gisèle Vienne – Crowd
Sadler’s Wells, London (Dance Umbrella); 8-9 October 2019
Tramway, Glasgow (Dance International Glasgow); 16 October 2019
Jennifer Lacey – Extended Hermeneutics
Nottdance Festival, Nottingham; 9-12 October 2019
Danse Élargie featuring (La) Horde in To Da Bone, Ousmane Sy in Queen blood, and Clémentine Vanlerberghe & Fabritia D’Intino in Plubel
Sadler’s Wells, London; 11-12 October 2019
Dorothée Munyaneza – Unwanted
Circomedia, Bristol; 11-12 October 2019
Chloé Moglia – La Spire
Belfast International Arts Festival; 19-20 October 2019
Emanuel Gat Dance – YOOO!!!
Birmingham Hippodrome; 22-24 October 2019
Josette Baïz / Groupe and Compagnie Grenade – Hommage à Trisha Brown
Birmingham Hippodrome; 23-24 October 2019
Amala Dianor – Somewhere in the middle of infinity
Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London (Dance Umbrella); 24-26 October 2019
Thomas Lebrun – Another Look at Memory
The Coronet Theatre, London; 24-26 October 2019
(La) Horde – To Da Bone
Belfast International Arts Festival; 25-26 October 2019
Emanuel Gat Dance – The Circle
Tramway Glasgow (Dance International Glasgow); 25-26 October 2019
Emanuel Gat Dance – WORKS
The Lowry, Salford; 9 November 2019
Sadler’s Wells, London; 11-12 November 2019