It’s rare to find high-quality, international contemporary dance outside of the London circuit, but Dance Consortium are a company that succeeds in bringing fresh contemporary dance to stages across the United Kingdom.
Having been around for eighteen years, Dance Consortium have been touring international dance companies across the country. Ros Robins, executive director of the company said: “The company felt there was a real appetite for touring on a more regular basis and touring to more theatres, as there were these incredible international dance companies that would tour to London but not to anywhere else.” Over the years they’ve presented over 40 tours by 22 critically acclaimed dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater, Mark Morris Dance Group and many more.
This year, they are touring Les Ballets Trockadero Monte Carlo and Ballet British Columbia. Two completely contrasting companies, that is prominent for their own reasons in the contemporary dance circuit.
Les Ballets Trockadero Monte Carlo is a group of male ballerinas that dance classical ballet with flair, bringing humour and comedy to their performance alongside their impeccable technique and extraordinary movement. The eighteen ballet dancers transform into two personas, both male and female, and described as the drag queens of ballet they are known for their innovative and modern work.
Touring the UK for the first time is Canadian company Ballet British Columbia (Ballet BC) who are a contemporary company that is rooted in ballet. All the dancers are ballet trained and it’s the perfect blend of the two styles, bringing the freedom movement to traditional ballet. Emily’s piece 16 + A Room mixes choreography danced on pointe in her piece, showcasing the mixture of styles.
Artistic Director Emily Molnar’s requirement for her dancers is that they are “open-minded and deep thinking artists, each unique for their dynamic movement while sharing an intuitive passion for dance.”
Ballet BC is championing female choreographers as the triple bill of dance presented on this tour are by three female choreographers, Emily Molnar, Crystal Pite and Sharon Eyal. Olivier award-winning Crystal is presenting a piece called Solo Echo which is described as a romantic work that is inspired by two Brahms’ sonatas for cello and piano. Sharon’s piece and the finale of the triple bill titled Bill is a daring piece that showcases the dancer’s extraordinary skill.
Over the next four years, Dance Consortium has an emphasis on making sure the companies they are touring are from across the globe. So they’re looking at companies from China, South Africa, Australia, USA and Europe.
Alongside bringing contemporary dance to the regions, Dance Consortium learning and participation workshops with young dancers so they have a chance to work with the companies. Constantly striving to make dance accessible for all, they do open rehearsals and pre and post-show talks to allow people to really engage with these international companies.
Dance Consortium are a clever and incredibly important company that are bringing high-quality contemporary dance to our doorsteps through a multitude of remarkably innovative companies that are taking the world by storm.