After world premiere performances of Didy Veldman’s The Knot in Ipswich and Guildford in February, and Meghan marrying Harry in May, wedding fever continues this autumn with an 11-venue tour of Veldman’s dance theatre take on matrimony. In The Knot, by Dutch-born choreographer and director Veldman, a cast of seven exceptional dancers play the roles of the bride, groom, best man and bridesmaids, and audience members become the wedding guests as the evening and celebrations unfold.
The Knot explores familiar scenes of marriage as theatre spaces become wedding venues in Nottingham, Cambridge, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Bracknell, Worthing, London, Jersey, Plymouth, Bournemouth and Malvern between Tuesday 6 November and Saturday 1 December 2018. Guests arrive and excitement builds as scenes of love and togetherness overcome anticipation and nerves amongst the wedding party.
Known for a sharp-eyed approach and some humorous touches, The Knot is Veldman’s second work for her company Umanoove since it launched with her critically acclaimed The Happiness Project in 2016. Veldman scrutinises what a wedding means and how it feels in The Knot, the role of ritual, doubt, religion and gender is examined and the romanticised ideas of Walt Disney challenges our perceptions of marriage.
Veldman is a former dancer with Rambert, one of the UK’s leading dance companies, and left the company in 2000 to pursue a choreographic career. In 18 years she has become a highly sought-after choreographer both nationally and internationally and has created works for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Cedarlake (New York), Cullberg Ballet (Sweden), Introdans (Netherlands), Gothenburg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
In the UK, Veldman has been commissioned by Rambert, Northern Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre and in 2019 she will create a new work, collaborating with composer Gabriel Prokofiev, the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev, for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s inaugural ‘Ballet Now’ programme.
For Umanoove, Veldman tailors each company of dancers to suit each work. The international cast of performers interpret the themes of Veldman’s work through her extremely physical and theatrical movement style.
Dancers returning to The Knot this autumn are: Dane Hurst (Rambert, National Dance Company of Wales, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Company Wayne McGregor); Mathieu Geffré (Dansgroep Amsterdam, Noord Nederlandse Dans, National Dance Company Wales, Theo Clinkard); Oliver Chapman (Henri Oguike Dance, National Dance Company of Wales, Icon Dance); Sara Harton (erSa Danse, Les 7 doigts de la main, PPS Danse, ezdanza); and Angela Venturini (recently a post-graduate student at The Place). Joining them is Mai Lisa Guinoo (Rambert, GoteborgOperans) and apprentice dancer Sam Costello (London Contemporary Dance School).
Stravinsky’s masterpiece Les Noces (The Wedding) is intertwined with specially commissioned music by London and Paris-based British composer Ben Foskett. His work has included commissions for CBSO Youth Orchestra and London Children’s Ballet.
Lighting design is by Ben Ormerod, a regular collaborator of Veldman’s, and set and costume design is by Joana Dias.
The Knot is commissioned by DanceEast, with support from Studio Wayne McGregor through the FreeSpace programme and funds from Arts Council England, Linbury Trust, The Master Charitable Trust – The Marina Kleinwort Trust, Beth Krasna and an anonymous donor.
Following the 6 November to 1 December tour dates, The Knot will head to Copenhagen, Denmark for performances on 5 and 6 December, further reinforcing Veldman’s international standing as a choreographer.
Tuesday 6 November at 7.30pm
Lakeside Arts, Nottingham
Tickets: 0115 846 7777 // www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Wednesday 7 November at 7.30pm
Mumford Theatre, CAMBRIDGE (Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus)
Tickets: 01223 352932 // www.anglia.ac.uk/mumfordtheatre
Thursday 8 November at 8pm
DanceXchange, The Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome, BIRMINGHAM
Tickets: 0844 338 5000 / www.dancexchange.org.uk
Wednesday 14 November at 7.30pm
New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
Tickets: 023 9264 9000 // www.newtheatreroyal.com
Thursday 15 November at 7.45pm
Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Bracknell
Tickets: 01344 484 123 // www.southhillpark.org.uk
Friday 16 November at 8pm
Connaught Theatre, WORTHING
Tickets: 01903 206 206 // www.worthingtheatres.co.uk/show/the-knot/
Tuesday 20 & Wednesday 21 November at 7.30pm
The Place, LONDON
Tickets: 020 7121 1100 // www.theplace.org.uk
Friday 23 November at 8pm
Jersey Opera House, JERSEY
Tickets: 01534 511 115 // www.jerseyoperahouse.co.uk
Wednesday 28 November at 7.30pm
The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth, PLYMOUTH
Tickets: 01752 585 050 // www.peninsula-arts.co.uk
Thursday 29 November at 7.30pm
Pavilion Dance South West, BOURNEMOUTH
Tickets: 01202 203630 / www.pdsw.org.uk
Saturday 1 December at 7.45pm
Malvern Theatre, MALVERN
Tickets: 01684 892277 // www.malvern-theatres.co.uk
Age Guidance: Recommended 12+
Running Time: 70 minutes (no interval)