Day 5: A Successful End to Research and Development Week

On the final day of research and development of ACE’s brand new production TEN we received an abundance of positive reactions during our industry sharing session, where the dancers performed for Arts professionals from across the country. The feedback was incredible, with viewers commenting that the piece was grounded and intimate with masses of tension built up as dancers fiercely interacted, even during silences.

The movement pieces overseen by Choreographer Jose Agudo and Artistic Director Gail Parmel, featured a combination of Toyi Toyi dance moves and powerful vocals. This resulted in an incredible intensity which left behind a feeling of uncontrollable torment thus emulating the core principle of the piece and exposing the audience to the fragility of humanity.

The dancers, likewise, expressed a similar experience and commented that there was a real level of humanity within the piece which blurred the lines between narrative and reality; making it feel like they were living the moment. Ultimately, the premise behind the piece was realised as the creative team had envisioned it, with the performance provoking philosophical insights from the audience.

‘Emotions become a natural reflex to the movement. There’s a real level of humanity. I got lost in the power trip. The process over this week has taken me in a direction where everything feels really real to me.’

Travis Robinson, Dancer

The industry sharing wrapped up the final part of Research and Development week here at ACE space. All week we hosted a diverse group of talented dancers from across the globe who were excited to be taking part in the first phase of the TEN Research and Development process.

Also preparing for the upcoming production were virtuosic guitarist and composer Giuliano Modarelli and Vincenzo Lamagna (Beautiful Noise), providing the dancers with a taste of the soundtrack to come. The musical piece was constructed earlier in the week using west African influences combined with a range of Ethiopian melodic scales to create a sound scape to capture the energy of the performance and embody the style of movement, which is so unique to Jose Agudo’s choreography.

The creative team have worked tirelessly throughout the week, with input from Gail Parmel, blending their unique styles of dance and music with ACE’s inimitable African style. The result of such a collaboration has produced a piece of art which is animalistic and raw in it’s nature. Guiliano Modarelli pointed out that the aim of the piece was to create tension which would ultimately give birth to intense energy.

TEN will be ACE dance and music’s tenth full-length dance production, for which we are continuing to work with the extraordinary creative team who were behind last year’s UK tour of MANA and A THOUSAND SHEPHERDS, which enjoyed sell-out performances.

Artistic Director: Gail Parmel
Choreographer: Jose Agudo
Rehearsal Director: Andile Sotiya
Composer: Giuliano Modarelli
Additional Sound and Music: Vincenzo Lamagna (Beautiful Noise)
Design: Kimie Nakano
Lighting Design: Andrew Ellis
Dramaturg: Lou Cope

TEN will continue the legacy of MANA by building on the themes of spirituality and striving but ultimately it is a piece filled with emotion, about humanity and the urge to reach for the power of ten; the universal symbol of completion.

TEN will premiere at mac Birmingham on the 4th November 2016. Watch this space for more news and tour dates.