Dance in Manchester: Dance in the New Year

Deb Ashby

Dance Manchester round up the city’s best dance events in the early part of 2015 – including Hofesh Shechter, Richard Alston at The Lowry and DV8’s new masterpiece, John.

Iconic voices open 2015’s dance programme, with Richard Alston, Wim Vandekeybus and Lloyd Newson all showing they still have more to say. Their unique and contrasting approaches provide the landmarks that have guided and inspired the steps of many of the next generation of choreographers – and now, they’re returning to Manchester with new work, and well-loved classic pieces.

First up, Richard Alston – the choreographer who established the first independent contemporary dance company in the UK. Coming to The Lowry on 10 February is Rejoice the Lamb, a triple bill that celebrates the relationship between dance and music. Two of the works – the title-piece and Illuminations – are choreographed by Alston, and both are set to the music of Benjamin Britten. Alston dedicates his new work to Walter Hussey, who commissioned Britten but also introduced his young neighbour Alston to a world of contemporary classics. The third piece is a work by Martin Lawrence called Burning and set to Franz Liszt’s Dante Sonata, which will complete this stunning line-up.

The city’s very best dance events in the early part of 2015

From new to old work: What the Body Does Not Remember was the debut work of dance company Ultima Vez in 1987, led by choreographer Wim Vandekeybus. It still remains a vital work 28 years later, and is soon to be revived at the Lowry (13-14 March). Vanderkeybus describes the aims of this work as being raw emotion, physical power and guts – all of which the dancers combine to achieve, with split second timing and moves on the edge of danger.

DV8 Physical Theatre’s John, meanwhile, looks at a life of crime, drug abuse and a struggle to survive. Drawn from interviews with more than 50 men, Artistic Director Lloyd Newson fashions an intimate and explicit portrayal of one individual; John is laid bare through movement and spoken word. Established in 1986, the award-winning DV8 Physical Theatre have been an incubator for many outstanding UK artists, including Nigel Charnock, Wendy Houston, Jeremy James and not least Lloyd Newson himself. John is a co-production with the National Theatre; catch this candid piece from a highly-influential company on 26-27 February at The Lowry.

Joining the list of influential names coming to Manchester this season are Jasmin Varimon Company – who bring Park to The Lowry on 3 March – and Hofesh Shechter Company, whose new work The Bad is part of the trailblazer in the run up to the opening of HOME (30 April – 2 May). But who is following in the footsteps of these dance giants?

Rising star Aakash Odera returns to Manchester with a full evening of his own work for Murmur and Inked at Contact theatre on 25 February. Smallpetitklein, meanwhile, present Within This Dust, a moving visual work inspired by photos from 9/11 at The Lowry (5-6 March). This is followed by Falling in Love with Frida, in which Caroline Bowditch explores the live and loves of painter Frida Kahlo (20 March, The Lowry). Finally, Rosie Kay brings an adaptation of her 2010 stage work 5 Soldiers to Rusholme Army Reserve Centre on 29-30 May, presented by HOME.

Last but not least – a festival. Turn is an annual micro festival of dance, presenting up to 15 new works from choreographers from across the North West and brought together by the partners hAb, Contact and Dance Manchester. Over two nights at Contact (27-28 March), you can pick out the artist who you think will inspire the future – and whose landmark work you can say you saw here first.

Culture Guides

Kimsooja, To Breathe. Photo © Jaeho Chong

Exhibitions

Inspired by the meditative qualities of space and eastern notions of the Void, Kimsooja’s mesmerising installation at YSP’s historic chapel heads our top pick of exhibitions this month.

Big Up! Courtesy Theatre Rites / Helen Murray

Families

See Mer-folk in a Human Aquarium, experience Trouble at t’Mill and the world of nocturnal animals after dark. Then break all the rules in new show Big Up!

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Literature

Those darling buds are coming back to life in live literature land as 2019 gets properly underway, and we’ve plenty to look forward to – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

We have some hotly anticipated gigs coming up in Manchester and the north over the next few months! Read about them here!

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

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Cinema

Valentine’s ideas, hard-to-see queer cinema and the best in new releases — we’ve got it covered.

Tours and Activities

In this month’s roundup of best Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North, we highlight the pottery and craft workshops giving you some cathartic and creative opportunities to get making.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Families 18–22 February 2019, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Trouble at t’Mill at Quarry Bank

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

SparkPlug at HOME
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry