Great to see Leeds’ excellent – venerable, almost – Phoenix Dance Theatre debut their new show Declarations at the Liverpool Playhouse in the coming season. Well, we say new, but we’re especially looking forward to getting the chance to see the mesmerising Haunted Passages again – Philip Taylor’s chillingly unsettling piece: doubtless as powerful today as it was when the company first toured it over 20 years ago. Fresh legs, now, of course, but this two-man one-woman work, danced to a sombre Benjamin Britten score, leaves a lasting impression.
Inspired by those randomly firing synapses your mind plays out as you fall asleep, Haunted Passages is a dizzying tightrope walk between dreams and nightmares – and guarantees a restless night ahead for all. Phoenix nights, it seems, aren’t always a barrel of laughs.
Working alongside seminal choreographers from across the globe, and with a multicultural troupe, Phoenix have amassed a repertoire as ground-breaking as it is thrilling. So we’ve no doubt the new pieces in Declarations (premiered in Liverpool) will be just as exciting.
Based on Barack Obama’s speech, former Phoenix dancer Warren Adams’ presidential piece, The Audacious One mixes musical chairs with ticker-tape parades to create an engaging romp set to a Mozart funeral mass. Think The West Wing, with pas de deux. A balletic, taut, and passionate set piece of political intrigue and power. This will be its UK premiere, after rave reviews over in the US.
With a live microphone at its heart, Aletta Collins’ Maybe Yes Maybe, Maybe No Maybe is a brave stab at lighthearted choreography, so we’re approaching that with trepidation, but renowned choreographer Isira Makuloluwe’s Locked in Vertical, sounds far juicier: with dancers “coiling and turning their way through a breathtakingly fluid new work”.
Trust us, no one does coiling and turning quite like Phoenix. And we can’t wait for them to rise again at the Everyman next month.
Phoenix Dance Theatre: Declarations
September 15, 16
Playhouse, Williamson Square