South Australia’s Leigh Warren & Dancers will share the bill with some of the world’s foremost dance companies when they head overseas this November to perform their critically acclaimed production Impulse at the esteemed Holland Dance Festival.

The Holland Dance Festival (28 Oct-15 Nov) is one of the largest and most respected dance events in the world, taking place every two years at various venues throughout The Hague.

Teaming up with innovative SA string ensemble Zephyr Quartet, Leigh Warren & Dancers will present two performances of Impulse on November 6 & 7. Comprising two dance works (Impulse & Shimmer), the production combines live movement and music with cutting-edge visual technology. The first work, Impulse, features the dynamic strains of Michael Nyman’s Second Quartet. Shimmer is set to South Australian composer Graeme Koehne’s sumptuous score, Shaker Dancers and is a mesmerising exploration of the ecstatic dances of the American Shakers.

Attracting an audience of dance enthusiasts from all over Europe and the UK, the 2009 Holland Dance Festival program boasts more than 60 performances by 40 dance troupes including the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dance Company and Nacho Duato’s Compania Nacional de Danza. This year’s festival also coincides with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Holland’s premier dance company – Netherlands Dance Theatre (NDT) – of which Leigh was a member for five years.

“When we first received the invitation to bring Impulse to the Holland Dance Festival I was ecstatic because of the opportunities it would provide for exposing this work and our dancers to such a diverse new audience,” says Warren. “That it coincided with celebrations for NDT’s golden jubilee was icing on the cake. My time with NDT was formative not only for me as a dancer, but it’s where my ambitions as a choreographer were really forged. So to be taking my own dance company back to Holland this year will be like a circle complete for me.”

Leigh was performing with the UK’s Ballet Rambert when acclaimed Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian approached him in 1979 to join NDT. Leigh was a principal dancer with the company until 1984 and also worked as a contemporary teacher for NDT II.

“With NDT II I was able to explore my own exercise structures & choreographic ideas and that experience was integral in my decision to form Leigh Warren & Dancers in 1993,” says Warren.

‘Impulse’ @ the Holland Dance Festival

When: 9.00pm: November 6 and 7, 2009
Where: Theater aan het Spui (Main Hall)

Dancers: Jo Roads, Deon Hastie, Lizzie Vilmanis, Christopher Hewitt, Natalie Allen, Lachlan Bell and Anthony Trojman
Zephyr Quartet: Hilary Kleinig, Anna Webb, Belinda Gehlert and Emily Tulloch

Choreographer: Leigh Warren
Set & Costume Design: Mary Moore
Lighting Designer: Geoff Cobham
Composers: Impulse: Michael Nyman - String Quartet No. 2
Shimmer: Graeme Koehne - String Quartet No. 2 Shaker Dances
Projection Designers: Jason Lam & Adam Synnott

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