Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

Artiklar från 2008 – till idag

HeadSpaceDance Company in If Play is Play. Photo Urban Jörén

HeadSpaceDance Company in If Play is Play. Photo Urban Jörén

‘We have a wonderful creative and supportive team.’

LONDON: HeadSpaceDance are just into their second year but they have already marked out their own distinctive space. They make dance for people who go to the theatre to be inspired, moved, have a laugh and maybe feel a lump in the throat.

When directors Charlotte Broom and Christopher Akrill left Cullberg Ballet in 2005 to return to London, Charlotte to give more time to her personal life and Christopher to have a stab at musical theatre, they had no plans to start a company, so how did it all happen?

Coming back to London they found themselves working together on projects with Cathy Marston and also Will Tuckett at the Linbury Theatre. They were getting good reviews and making the right contacts when Deborah Bull, Creative Director of the Opera House, asked if they had an idea for a programme.

‘We weren’t even thinking of becoming a company, it was just us getting together a group of great choreographers and sharing our experience. At our first meeting we had nothing written down, not even a company name, we just had this idea.’

The couple left Cullberg Ballet in 2005 to return to London. Photo Urban Jörén

The couple left Cullberg Ballet in 2005 to return to London. Photo Urban Jörén

They chatted to me during a break in rehearsals, both so much of the same mind that a sentence started by Charlotte would be finished by Christopher or the other way around. ‘We have been friends for such a long time. All we had to plan was when we were meeting up for coffee and now, all of a sudden we’re business partners, Charlie is better at this and I do more of that and there are some things we share. It kind of happened automatically. We managed to scramble through the first season and we found out a lot of things. This time round it is easier and we also have 20 something years of theatre experience behind us!’

For their second programme they chose pieces for their theatricality. In Charlotte’s words, ‘work that’s got real humanity to it’. They were delighted when Johan Inger offered his duet Two. Luca Silvestrini had written a piece for their previous programme and the idea of a continuing the link while adding new challenges appealed.

Then theatre director Matthew Dunster who had seen the company said he’d like to work with them, and they grabbed the chance.

They also choose their dancers with care. Clemmie Sveaas has worked with them many times before as had Jonathan Goddard.

When Charlotte decided not to dance in the programme they needed another female and chose Gemma Nixon who had worked a lot with Jonathan. The relationships are important. ‘We have a wonderful creative and supportive team.’

Chris Akrill in Ekman's Triptych - a study of Entertainment. Photo Urban Jörén

Chris Akrill in Ekman's Triptych - a study of Entertainment. Photo Urban Jörén

In the years they were dancing with Cullberg, I vividly remember Charlotte in a work of blackest comedy, Dödsbo, directed by theatre director Linus Tunström. I asked her if it was a similar process working with Matthew Dunster. 

‘Well this piece has more movement and less theatricality. We started off with a technique that actors use and it helped us find the movement. He wrote a script for a duet and we spoke it to each other. Then we did something called ‘actioning’ - with each sentence you find an action that describes that sentence. If I were to say ‘I despise you’ I’d action it with a slap. So at the end of it we had a lot of actions and we started to make movement on all of those actions. We also played some psychological games.’

‘That was quite revealing’ added Christopher, ‘you find emotions deep down rather than just saying the word.  When you view things from another perspective it is amazing how much ‘food’ comes up, we had so much material and the ideas were just flowing.’

Matthew confessed that he has never felt more exhausted during the creative process than doing this piece. Directing a play, the script anchors everything and the director can always refer back to it, but you choreograph to a certain point in a dance piece and the rest is still empty space.

Much of the material came from the dancers and although Charlotte and Chris haven’t choreographed a piece yet, they admitted they were starting to get a feel for it. However there were no doubts when I asked who had been their greatest choreographic influence – ‘Mats Ek. Definitely.’

I asked about their years at Cullberg. ‘The best! You know you will never have that again, we can’t go back, but we will never forget our time in the company. It really made us who we are as artists, as dancers, as people. It really moulded us.’

The years at Cullberg was "The best! You know you will never have that again". Photo Urban Jörén

The years at Cullberg was "The best! You know you will never have that again". Photo Urban Jörén

Christopher auditioned for Cullberg in 1995, ‘And I didn’t get past half the barre!’ After a year in Malmö, two in Hanover, he joined the company in Dusseldorf where Mats Ek was staging his Carmen. ‘To cut a long story short, Mats went back to Sweden, then I got a call to come and audition.

I did the audition and got the job. The dream took a bit of a reroute but in 1998 I joined.’ His favourite role was the Prince in Swan Lake. ‘Getting into that character … then when you have to let go of a role like that after doing it for years it’s like letting go of a part of yourself.’

For Charlotte it was Aurora in Ek’s Törnrosa. ‘I absolutely loved doing it, it felt like a present. Originally Mats was looking for a new Odette. Two of us learnt all the solos. It was quite full on, being in the company, but still having to audition.

Charlotte Broom in "i remember red". Photo Urban Jörén

Charlotte Broom in "i remember red". Photo Urban Jörén

Then at the end they said ‘we don’t think you’re an Odette – but we do think you’re an Aurora.’ And that was the one I wanted to do anyway! I loved doing it. The music and the characters … it was amazing.’

Had they had expected coming back to London to be tough? Christopher had taken leave of absence: ‘I thought if there  wasn’t anything for me here, I’d go back to Sweden, get my pension, buy a little summer house and settle there for the rest of my life but that wasn’t meant to be. We were expecting it to be a ‘no’, so it’s fantastic.’

Charlotta Broom in The Cullberg Ballet "i remember red". Photo Urban Jörén

Charlotta Broom in The Cullberg Ballet "i remember red". Photo Urban Jörén

Christopher also had a stint in West End musicals. He joined the cast of Cabaret where he got the chance to play the MC. ‘Character kind of stuff is my thing. It was a big change after so many years in an institution to come back to being a freelancer when you are 40 something! We’re not 25 with all that energy. And we were so spoilt in Sweden – two months summer holidays and a month at Christmas, and if you didn’t get a month you’d be moaning!’

What is the best thing about having your own company?

‘It just feels so creative, you are surrounded by creativity and it is all happening because of us working together. It feels so complete and it’s so exciting. I love the responsibility. As a dancer with a big company you just come in and do your job and now we’re setting the direction. Here we’re in control of everything.’

And the future? ‘We continue with HeadSpaceDance, make another programme. Eventually we would both step down as dancers and just be director/ producers’.

Charlotte didn’t dance in this second programme. ‘It’s useful that I’m able to take rehearsals and to have an outside eye’. Christopher added ‘I’m also thinking it might be quite nice to move into directing.’ So no more sore muscles? ‘Absolutely’.

Maggie Foyer
2 June, 2014

  • Törnrosa Aurora 
    I pandemins spår – kommer dansare, sångare med flera tvingas byta yrke? Dansportalen undersöker
    I en artikel i DN den 17 november säger Birgitta Svendén, chef för Kungliga Operan i Stockholm: ”fler och fler lämnar sina yrken och söker nytt jobb. Vi ser redan nu ett kompetenstapp och om vi inte k...

  • Auguste Marmus
    Auguste Marmus förverkligar sin dröm i St Petersburg
    Uppvuxen i Majorna i Göteborg och tidigare elev vid Svenska Balettskolan i Göteborg gör Auguste Marmus just nu sitt APL-år vid Vaganova-skolan i St Petersburg. Att han getts denna möjlighet handlar om...

  • God Jul & Gott Nytt År 🎄 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
    A Holiday Greeting from Dansportalen!

  • Jekyll & Hyde
    Världspremiären av baletten Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vid Nationalbaletten med glänsande manlig energi och dans
    Höstens andra balettpremiär i Operahuset i Helsingfors hann ha sin premiär och dansas av alla tre rollbesättningarna före dörrarna åter stängdes på grund av pandemin. Tre föreställningar skulle ha åte...

  • Laura Persson SVB
    Kulturstipendium till ung talang vid Svenska Balettskolan
    Laura Persson, 15 år, har tilldelats ett stipendium ur Västsvenska Kulturfonden. Stipendiet skulle hon få mottaga vid en festlig ceremoni den 28 november.

  • Transit SDT Carl Thorborg
    Nya verket Transit är en ursinnigt utförd ritual, en kamp för överlevnad och förändring
    Jag fick tillfälle att se premiären av Skånes Dansteaters Transit på Malmö Operan den 17 oktober. I en lokal som rymmer ca 1500 åskådare var det tillåtit att endast ha en publik på högst 50 personer.F...

  • Dansmuseet
    Ballets Suédois 1920–1925 på Dansmuseet
    Dansmuseet i Stockholm uppmärksammar hundraårsdagen av Svenska balettens i Paris premiärföreställning den 25 oktober 1920 med en jubileumsutställning under mottot ”OM NI INTE GILLAR DET KAN NI DRA ÅT ...

  • Saluts démos 2015
    Everything is in our bodies, says Madame Elisabeth Platel, director for Paris Opera Ballet School
    Leaving the plane at Charles de Gaulle-airport you are met by large photos of dancers, musicians and other cultural motives along the walls in the airport. A fantastic way to welcome visitors.My goal ...

  • Ekman Operan sep 2020
    Det var som om man blev ännu mer passionerad av att vara dansare bara för att man inte kunde ge föreställningar
    Dansportalen träffade dansarna Hampus Gauffin och Gabriel Barrenengoa vid Kungliga Baletten i ett samtal om pandemins konsekvenser och om det nya programmet på Operan av koreografen Alexander Ekman.De...

  • Agneta S
    Agneta Stjernlöf-Valcu: Du ska förmedla dansnotationen till dansare så att det blir en föreställning.
    Dansnotationens syfte är inte bara att bevara något som passerat utan först och främst att ge möjlighet till återskapande. En videofilmning är alltid en tolkning av ett koreografiskt verk.Oavsett om a...

  • COW1
    Nationaloperans säsongöppning med en mycket fräsch COW av Alexander Ekman.
    Höstens första danspremiär vid Nationaloperan i Helsingfors hälsades mycket välkommen av premiärpubliken på lördag kväll. Alexander Ekmans COW visade sig vara den energiska laddning som behövs just nu...

    Höststart på Kungliga Operan – urpremiär av Alexander Ekman
    Den 26 september slår Kungliga Operan åter upp dörrarna för en ny säsong med två premiärer, först ut är Alexander Ekmans SHIFT | CACTI. Därmed flyttas säsongsstarten fram vilket innebär att premiären ...

  • Oscar Salomonsson
    Oscar Salomonsson, premiärdansare – Det udda och uttrycksfullas mästare
    Oscar är utbildad vid Kungliga Svenska Balettskolan och anställdes vid baletten 1997. Mellan 2004 och 2007 dansade han i Madrid, Spanien.Han återvände till Stockholm och fick utmärkelsen Årets dansare...

  • SigridYAGP
    Om finalen som ställdes in och Sigrids drivkraft, engagemang och hårda arbete
    Sigrid Åberg är 13 år och går Alhanko Academy of Ballet i Stockholm. I höstas var hon i Cattolica, Italien och tävlade i Youth American Grand Prix.I vår skulle hon egentligen åkt till New York för att...

  • LesBalletSuedois
    There is no lack of creativity in the house. We just work in different ways.”
    Nicolas Le Riche – Ballet director of Royal Swedish Ballet – gives Dansportalen an update on the current situation of the company and informs about the plans for the future.Upon arrival of Covid-19 Ro...

  • Paul Marque Le Louvre
    Scènes de la vie confinée de Paul Marque
    A Paris, le confinement règne depuis le mois de mars. Pour les Français il est interdit de passer plus d’une heure dehors ou s'éloigner au-delà d’un kilomètre de sa maison, sinon on écope d’une amende...

  • Paul Marque Louvre
    Meet Paul Marque and a Soloist Dancers Life Today in Paris
    In Paris, social distancing rules have been in place since March. French people are forbidden to spend more than an hour outside or travelling more than one kilometre from their home. If they do eithe...

  • Carmen Helsinki
    En magisk föreställning av Carmen
    En helaftonsbalett i tre akter till musik av Georges Bizet hade premiär på Nationaloperan i Helsingfors i vår. Produktionen var norsk och koreografen var denna gång Liam Scarlett.Alla föreställningar ...

  • GöteborgsOperan
    Vad händer på våra operahus när världen stängs ner på grund av Covid-19? Katrín Hall, GöteborgsOperans Danskompanis konstnärliga chef om situationen i Göteborg
    Dansportalen har talat med Göteborgsoperans Danskompanis konstnärliga chef, Katrín Hall. Hon berättar att man i dessa dagar får använda all sin kreativitet för att hitta och nå publiken och att vara f...

  • Beyond GO mars 2020
    "Allt som man gör i en uppsättning, vare sig det är teater, dans eller något annat rör det sig om en relation med åskådarna"
    GöteborgsOperans Danskompani backar inte för utmaningar. Efter Sidi Larbi Cherkaouis ”Icon”, med 3,5 ton lera på scenen, och Damien Jalets ”Skid”, där golvet hade en lutning på 34˚, tar de sig nu an ä...

  • Balettpedagogtävlingen
    Många talanger i den nationella balettävlingen
    Den nationella balettävlingen hålls vartannat år av Balettpedagogernas förening i Helsingfors . Den alternerar med tävlingen Ung energi som också anordnas av föreningen. Skolornas intresse stort och ko...

  • Kuckel Foto Mats Bäcker
    Alexander Ekman, highly topical choreographer
    Well renowned choreographer Alexander Ekman , 36, has a voluminous luggage of successes in his baggage. When you open the case, they fly out of it. Eskapist which opened in the spring 2019 at the Stock...

  • Mats Eks "överbord", en del av dansprogrammet Kylián/Ek/Naharin med Kungliga Baletten. På bilden: Dmitry Zagrebinoch Daria Ivanova. Foto: Carl Thorborg
    I det vardagliga livet finns inga rörelser som ser ut som de Mats Ek skapar, men i rätt sammanhang, som på scenen ser det helt naturligt ut.
    Tre av världens främsta koreografer Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek och Ohad Naharin – för första gången tillsammans på Kungliga Operan – varav Mats Eks överbord (Woman with water) är en urpremiär.I en danssal h...

  • MarcoMasiariPDL2020
    I think it’s great to show contrasting sides of youth at Prix de Lausanne, to compete with different ways of dancing and the creative process
    Created in 1973 the Prix de Lausanne is an annual international competition for young dancers age 15-18. Its goal is to discover, promote and support the finest talents. More than 70 of the world's mo...

  • aska 2 Oskar
    Jag hade ingen aning om vad dansyrket var – trodde att det var ett ”gig” på Melodifestivalen
    Henrietta Wallberg, Oskar Landström och Philip Berlin är alla utbildade vid Kungliga Svenska Balettskolans gymnasielinje i modern nutida dans.Tre dansare som efter avslutad utbildning varit verksamma ...





Grundad 1995. Est. 1995

Powered by