Dance Shimmers

By Steph Jones

Bend, stretch, leap, spin, the world of contemporary dance is one malleable to the limits of one’s imagination, like a fluid art piece bodies create narratives connecting space, mind and movement. Jewellery, like dance, is a strongly emotive and personal art form being treasured by the performer (wearer) and the surveyor (audience). The two come together in the Dance Reflections festival by Van Cleef & Arpels, a celebration of performance showing 17 choreographed pieces in London during March. Read more about the festival Here in Dance Simmers.

The French luxury jewellery brand’s plan is to forge links between the company and the dance world, supporting the arts and boosting both major repertory works and new productions into big venues for a new audience. Dance has always been important to the Maison with creative inspiration being drawn from the art form, thus making it important to the brand to help to preserve these creative spheres.  Here jewellery comes together with movement for dance shimmers.

‘An art form of movement and harmony, dance has a universal dimension. It exists in myriad shapes, with or without music, alone or coupled with other disciplines, and its vocabulary transcends linguistic, historical and cultural differences.’

– Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels

The first edition of the Dance Reflections festival will run from 9th –23rd March across three locations in London. The festival is designed to be enjoyed by a wide audience and aims to push contemporary choreographed works into the future, where the intimacy of live performances can be enjoyed again and passed down.

The Sadler’s Wells Theatre is dedicated to the institution of dance and supporting contemporary creators who are leading the art form today, during the festival it will host performances by familiar choreographers as well as names new to the space. The royal opera house, one of the worlds top lyrical and choreographic institutions, has a rich heritage and commitment to creativity of all forms. Home to the royal ballet, the royal opera house will host world-renowned dance companies in a celebration of live performance and artists exchange. Finally, the Tate will present a selection of works during the festival in their famous “Tanks”, repurposed concrete cylinders, which will include multiple versions of Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset.

Set and reset choreographed by Trisha Brown, first shown in 1983, is a postmodern display of controlled and rehearsed multilayered movement presented as improvisation. Her choreography in the original piece was repeated and perfected whilst still seeming to be as fluid and emotive as an improvised piece. With a classically trained shadow dancer performing beside her the same movements are shown in a polished and elegant tone, the contrast in the finish of each motion highlights that the piece is in fact set.

My concept was to force the esprit of improvisation – a mercurial element – into a memorized choreography.”

Trisha Brown

The postmodern masterpiece helped to shape contemporary dance in the coming years and will be shown by two dance troupes, Rambert and Candoco, during the dance reflections festival. In the Tate’s underground “Tanks” spaces will hold an installation, archive and score along with its evolutions. The live performances of the piece will push the boundaries of the original choreography, with Candoco being at the forefront of the conversation around disability within dance, they explore a negotiation between freedom and limit within their interpretation.

Rauf Yasit (Rubberlegz) and Brigel Gjoka duet in their piece titled Neighbours’ showing at Sadler’s Wells, which explores each of their personal forms of movement and expression along with their cultural heritage. Their powerful collaboration showcases their cutting edge dance styles and sees them share and react to each others space and motion.

Previous work by SERAFINE1369

When I speak I feel myself, Open is an exploration of senses and impulse by SERAFINE1369 (Jamila Johnson-Small) performed with Fernanda Muñoz. The piece studies weight distribution and how things are connected, ‘when one thing shifts, so do everything else’ thinking about the way we move and what we carry. Showing in Sadler’s Wells the London based, multiphased artist focuses on micro-movements creating a meditative atmosphere for this piece.

The Royal Opera House hosts two performances by Ola Maciejewska both taking inspiration from Loïe Fuller’s serpentine dance using swatches of silk attached to bamboo poles to simulate an illusion of moving natural elements. Loïe Fuller pioneered modern dance and theatrical lighting, using movement to create special effects and embodying the essence of Art Nouveau. Ola Maciejewska will perform solo in Loïe Fuller: Research, a study of dance history, along with two other dancers in Bombyx Mori. Both dances explore movement outside the human body and material factors in dance aiming to archive Loïe Fuller’s contribution to the art form.

In the depths of a forest, discover an ominous reflection of society and culture presented as an immersive dance performance by Gisèle Vienne. This is how you will disappear is a giant installation and dance piece where three characters, a young athlete, her coach and a rock star battle through the sinister land. A metaphor of today’s cultural beauty standards, the eery setting stages an inner conflict between the distinct characters and their society. Showing at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the performance showcases exquisite production linking dance seamlessly with other aspects of stage performance.

Discover more about Dance Reflections Festival by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival here

If you enjoyed reading Dance Shimmers why not read The Art of Cropping next.

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