LOOKING BACK AT 2018
+ NEW WORK FOR 2019

2018 has been a tremendous year for the company!

We premiered two new works, Strange Stranger and Between Two Fires, successfully embarked on a third tour of the critically-acclaimed solar science inspired production, 8 Minutes (which included some cracking Meet the Artist & Scientist talks), delivered our creative learning programme to hundreds of children and families, provided training for the next generation of dancers and launched our first virtual reality experience, Celestial Motion, created with The Guardian’s VR studio.

We collaborated with new artists, partners and venues across art, education, science, technology and new media to create exciting new works and continued to use technology to present dance in new contexts.

Strange Stranger at York Mediale, photo by Sodium

Strange Stranger at York Mediale, photo by Sodium

The company’s stage productions, performance-installations, virtual reality experience and educational offerings took us from Blackpool to Eastleigh, and Bath to Ipswich, plus many London venues with international presentations in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Korea. Our educational website awdc.online and 360 film of Celestial Motion reached thousands around the world and the VR was a smash hit at North American film festivals, HotDocs Toronto and San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

The 8 Minutes dance-science collaboration continued to break down barriers between science and art at the Oxford Festival of Science & Ideas and was presented with Tal Rosner’s stunning visuals on the enormous IMAX screen as part of the Science Museum London’s major 2018 exhibition “The Sun: Living with Our Star”.

Alexander had the pleasure of making work with our brilliant and hard-working company of dancers as well as light installation artists Children of the Light, composer Beatrice Dillon, creative technologists Luca Biada and Michele Panegrossi of Studio FENYCE and costume designers Jane Janey.

Some of our exciting partners this year included Sadler’s Wells Theatre, The Guardian Newspaper, HTC Vive Arts, York Mediale, STFC RAL Space, Queen Mary University London, The Bartlett School of Architecture, Rambert, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, DanceEast, Dance4 and Surf the Wave.

We are extremely grateful to have received continued support from Arts Council England, MA Scène Nationale Pays de Montbéliard, Rambert and Commissioning Circle supporters ERMAK Group and Charles Glanville; and new funding from the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Fund, the London Community Foundation-Cockayne Grants for the Arts, Coln Trust, Dance From England, British Council and the British Korean Society.

We would like to thank each and every one of our audience members, commissioners, funders and collaborators for making all of this possible, and we look forward to sharing more with you in 2019, the year of our fifth anniversary.

STRANGE STRANGER + NEW WORK FOR 2019

Questioning the idea of presence in the information age, this new performance installation using interactive technology was commissioned by York Mediale and Sadler’s Wells Theatre. We were thrilled to have the world premiere at the brilliant inaugural York Mediale in September, and to present it again at Watermans Arts Centre’s Digital Weekender with over 2035 people seeing the live performance and/or exploring the installation. 2019 performance dates to be announced.

Next Spring, Alexander and his collaborators will build on the concepts, choreography, design ideas and soundscape of Strange Stranger to create a new full-length stage production, which will premiere in next autumn. Look out for further details about this exciting new commission.

CELESTIAL MOTION + NEW VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE FOR 2019

Celestial Motion

Celestial Motion

Our first virtual reality film offers a new way of experiencing dance. Created with The Guardian Newspaper’s award-winning VR studio with support from Sadler’s Wells Theatre, this VR experience for Daydream is freely available online (The Guardian VR app/Google Play/YouTube) and has been watched by more than 100K people. A further 1500 users donned VR headsets at UK and international dance and arts festivals in 2018. Watch it here.

We will launch the groundbreaking new, Celestial Motion multiplayer experience for HTC’s Vive platform in 2019. Two users will be able to move (and dance!) alongside AWDC’s motion-captured dancers within a virtual world of stunning visuals from 8 Minutes. See a preview at Watermans Arts Centre, London, in March 2019 and watch it on HTC’s worldwide VivePort platform. Dates announced soon.

8 MINUTES

“Absolutely amazing! Blew my mind - the most fantastic experience I will never forget. Thank you!” Audience member

8 Minutes, photo by Johan Persson

8 Minutes, photo by Johan Persson

This year, 8 Minutes has inspired and challenged audiences, both in the UK and overseas, and has been seen by nearly 3000 people with more performances planned for 2019.

The 8 Minutes creative learning activities for primary school children and families got 345 people dancing and learning about the common ground between choreography and solar physics.

"So cool to learn about the planets while dancing, my body became a planet orbiting around my friends who were a solar system, was awesome!" Year 5 pupil, Gillespie Primary School

Highly praised by educators, the creative learning programme has helped to maintain the arts within the school curriculum. "Knocked my socks off! The opportunity to learn about science through moving and doing is invaluable, cross curricular approaches are what we are striving for, and this is it! " Head Teacher, Jubilee Primary School.

In 2018, Alexander and company dancers have introduced his movement vocabulary, choreographic technique and excerpts from 8 Minutes to 186 students and professionals at AWDC workshops and masterclasses throughout the UK and abroad.

BETWEEN TWO FIRES

Between Two Fires, photo by Alice Pennefather

Between Two Fires, photo by Alice Pennefather

Elegant and emotionally probing” (The Financial Times ****) this new duet with music by Ryan West is richly lyrical and explores risk, play and tenderness. The world premiere took place at Messums Wiltshire’s stunning 13th century barn gallery in a triple bill with Alexander's 2017 works, Ulysses Awakes (12 Ensemble commission) and Noumena (Royal Ballet commission). Between Two Fires was also performed to full houses at the Royal Opera House’s Clore Studio Upstairs during the popular Month of Sundays Festival.

We’ve recently launched a Friends scheme, for more information, and to find out about supporting AWDC contact Donna Meierdiercks, our Producer at donna@alexanderwhitley.com