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Anniversary set for West Yorkshire

The Playhouse present a boundary-crossing production with a senior company.

Credit: Sara Teresa (2012)

West Yorkshire Playhouse have announced Anniversary, a boundary-crossing production challenging concepts of professional and non-professional art, will be performed in the Courtyard Theatre this September.

Anniversary is a co-production with Performance Ensemble – a professional company of older artists founded by Alan Lyddiard, formerly Artistic Director of Northern Stage. It sees the ensemble working towards making a piece of contemporary dance, and in the process sharing personal moments from their lives. Fusing performance and contemporary dance with installation art and live music, this poignant performance is set to an original score composed by Christopher Benstead and performed by the Citizens Orchestra.

Director Alan Lyddiard said: “When I left Northern Stage I struggled for a long time trying to find my way – as an older person there aren’t many opportunities to be creative on a professional platform and I found many who felt the same – voices who are lost, forgotten and deserve to be heard. I started thinking of making a company for older people, and because of Heydays and its commitment to providing creative opportunities for older people, immediately thought of West Yorkshire Playhouse as a partner.”

Anniversary is performed by Namron (71), a leading member of London Contemporary Dance Company and the first black dancer to join a professional contemporary dance company in Britain; Sally Owen (60s), a principal dancer with Ballet Rambert, performer, and choreographer who has directed work for Scottish Dance Theatre, Le Compagnie Renaud-Barrault and Nederland’s Dans Theater 2; Tamara McLorg (66), former Artistic Director for Dundee Rep Dance Company and a solo artist and choreographer who has created work on the streets of Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Ethiopia and Lithuania; Villmore Jones (50s), a founder member of Phoenix Dance Company and Alex Elliott (50s) a founder member of Northern Stage Ensemble and associate artist of Unfolding Theatre.

West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director, James Brining, adds: “This landmark project not only brings together artists including Namron and Villmore James who transformed Leeds’ and the UK’s contemporary dance landscape with their pioneering work, but members of our Heydays community who use our theatre to socialise and take part in arts activities. It is a realisation of our accessibility strategy, that this route into the building has now provided them with the chance to perform professionally on our main stage.”

Anniversary is to be staged in the Courtyard Theatre of West Yorkshire Playhouse from 14th to 17th September 2016. Tickets cost £12.50. Book online at wyp.org.uk or call the Box Office on 0113 213 7700.

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