Taking her cue from the stunning neo-classical courtyard and the dynamically designed fountains at Somerset House, award-winning choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh weaves a compelling and contrasting story for London in the 21st century.
Come and watch a powerful all women cast, made up of five extraordinary professional dancers and fifteen of the UKs exciting emerging talents brought together especially for this unmissable event.
Jeyasinghs dramatic choreography, together with the unique talents of designer Ursula Bombshell and sound artist Cassiel, promise an intense and water-inspired dance performance for visitors.
The courtyard of Somerset House, in common with all grand historical buildings, has many stories to tell. Its symmetry and formal lines that have stood unchanged for centuries, the patterns of its fountains, and the vast and intense whiteness of the space that hits you as you walk in on a hot summers day these are some of its stories. The dance in Counterpoint plays with these elements and is shaped by them. It also offers contrasting moments of intimacy and rapidly changing speeds, textures and dynamics.
In the month leading up to these performances, the dancers participated in an artist-led mentoring and training programme. They questioned their own practice, guided by other more experienced artists, and acquired new skills. The project also drew in community groups around West London to extend the reach of the work and bring new audiences to dance.
Jeyasingh’s dramatic choreography creates compelling dance for 21st century London
Counterpoint is a piece of lovely, intelligent design and within its 10-minute span it spins a bewitching choreography around the possibilities of the space
Even if it arrived two years ahead of the Olympic Flame, Shobana Jeyasingh’s Counterpoint could well have been a blueprint for the 2012 Olympic Ceremony
Jeyasingh’s movement patterns strike a purposefully exacting balance between spontaneity and regimentation. There’s nothing small or tentative here
I went back to see it again and liked it even more
Watch scratch tapes and rehearsal videos during the making of Counterpoint.
“A bewitching choreography around the possibilities of the space” Read Judith Mackrell’s full review for The Guardian.
London Dance Review
“… compelling dance for 21st century London” Read Libby Costello’s full review for London Dance.
Embedded within the project was a three-tiered artist-led mentoring and professional development process.
During the making process of Counterpoint, the 20 dancers engaged with five West London community groups.
- Emily Absalom
Alejandra Lucrecia Baño Pelegrin
Mafalda Lobao Tello Lopes da Silva
Effie McGuire Ward
Counterpoint was commissioned by Somerset House and English National Ballet as part of Big Dance 2010 and produced by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. The project was supported by Arts Council England, London, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Idlewild Trust and Westminster Council.