WHAT’S ON? | An evening of bold contemporary dance by four renowned choreographers

The Courtyard welcomes a new generation of dancers to the stage this spring

Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s acclaimed postgraduate dance company VERVE will perform at The Courtyard in Hereford on Tues 21 May as part of their 18-date spring tour across the UK and Europe.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Matthew Robinson, the company of 13 emerging dancers has worked to create refreshing and original dance works with four celebrated choreographers. These are: Maxine Doyle (Associate Director & Choreographer for PUNCHDRUNK); Ben Wright (Co-artistic Director of Candoco Dance Company); Joan Clevillé (Artistic Director of Joan Clevillé Dance) and Noa Zuk (former Batsheva Dance Company artist and Independent Israeli Choreographer).

Exploring the physical connections between breath, speech and the body, Team V by Joan Clevillé is a playful and humorous look at the poetics and politics of the human voice.

In 4:18 by internationally renowned choreographer Maxine Doyle we meet a group of lost souls desperate for connection in a city that never sleeps. Emotionally visceral, this work draws inspiration from the words of performance poet Kate Tempest.

Ben Wright’s the sea tells a story is a physically sumptuous work set to music by Douglas Dare and with lighting design by Kieron Johnson.

Completing this year’s diverse repertoire is a restaging of Shutdown by Noa Zuk and Ohad Fishof. Full of pulsating rhythms and movement, it veers wildly between delicacy and fierce physical precision, imagining the sequence of moves required to shut down a power plant.

Artistic Director of the company Matthew Robinson said: “Each year VERVE tours the work of exceptional choreographic artists, performed by a vibrant, international company of dancers. Expect adventurous and bold work that reveals the virtuosic athleticism these artists are capable of.

“Dance is an international art form. Embedded in cultures across the world, it is a means of communication beyond words. Dance and art more broadly have the ability to provoke thought, to spark dialogue and imagination. I invite audiences to sample a selection of the breadth of what is happening in dance right now at one of our performances this year, as well as witness a new generation of dancers about to make their mark on the UK and international dance scene.”

This year’s company comprises 13 dancers trained at some of the world’s leading conservatoires. As well as dancers from the UK, VERVE includes dancers from Chile, Italy, Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay; creating a truly international dance company.

VERVE is at The Courtyard on Tues 21 May at 7.30pm

Tickets for the performance are £15/£12

Book online at courtyard.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01432 340555