Dansportalen

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


  • Kites1 GO
    Kites – Allt hänger på en tråd
    Allt hänger på en tråd, tro mig, jag ligger på en slätt, torr i munnen, andfådd, och du är här vid min sida, du skulle kunna gå härifrån, men det finns band som binder, allt är upp och ner och det fin...

  • Sibelius1
    The Ballet Sibelius at the Finnish National Ballet is a story – and a great love story of a composer
    Finnish National Ballet celebrates its centenary this year and the new commission, Sibelius , plays an important role. The significance of the composer and his works inspired Finnish choreographer, Jor...

  • RBS1
    Royal Ballet School Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme
    ‘The unique programme will drive forward the standard and accessibility of recreational dance training, providing an alternative to the current model of training offered by recreational dance organisa...

  • Helsinkigala1
    En efterlängtad öppning av Dansens hus i Helsingfors
    Finlands efterlängtade Dansens hus – Tanssin talo – har öppnat sina dörrar på ett magiskt datum 2.2.2022. Om ett hus för dansen hade dansfolket drömt om i årtionden, och nu var glädjen stor att detta ...

  • PDL22 1
    Årets Prix de Lausanne i Montreux med samtliga deltagare på plats
    Förra årets tävling tvingades hållas online på grund av pandemin. Med genomförda vaccinationer och covidpass gick lyckligtvis årets Prix av stapeln med deltagarna på plats. Covidpass var obligatoriskt...

  • Here not here 1
    Verket har många olika delar, med olika rörelsescheman, improvisationer, men det är vi dansare som sätter materialet.
    Det handlar om att gråta i solskenet och dansa i mörkret Det handlar om att vara Här Inte Här

  • Kungsbacka1
    Dans på högsta nivå
    Sommaren 2019 hölls en stor gala i Kungsbacka med klassisk balett. Det kan numera bara upplevas på Kungliga Operan, såvida inget utländskt danskompani av okänd kvalitet dyker upp. Äntligen är det dags...

  • Nurejevs Svansjön1
    Nurejevs Svansjön på Stockholmsoperan – en version aldrig tidigare spelad i Sverige
    Inför Kungliga Balettens premiär på Svansjön i koreografi av Rudolf Nurejev gästades Operans Balettklubb av iscensättaren Charles Jude och dansaren Calum Lowden.Charles Jude är före detta Etoile på Pa...

  • Lana Maxxa
    Till julen gör de sina första huvudroller i Nötknäpparen
    Att få dansa huvudrollen i en helaftonsbalett är drömmen för de flesta dansare. Men få förunnat. På Svenska Balettskolan i Göteborg har eleverna en helt egen uppsättning av baletten Nötknäpparen där d...

  • Transit1
    Transit av Tero Saarinen – mångfasetterad visuell fest ­
    Tero Saarinen Company presenterade sig i Saarinens nyaste koreografi Transit med en större mängd dansare än vad vanligt är i hans verk. Det hade beställts av Skånes dansteater och sågs nu i Helsingfor...

  • Bella figura
    Kylián, Ek and Forsythe at the Royal Swedish Ballet
    The Royal Opera House in Stockholm is thankfully back to capacity audiences and enjoying a popular programme of modern classics. Under director, Nicolas Le Riche, the company sees changes in the reper...

  • Daria Ivanova
    Ett nytt Mariane Orlando stipendium utdelat
    Operans Balettklubbs pris till årets dansare har genom enhälligt beslut tilldelats premiärdansaren vid Kungliga Baletten Daria Ivanova.

  • SAAGA 1
    Göteborgsoperan öppnar upp med dubbla världspremiärer
    GöteborgsOperan öppnade delvis i augusti och den 30 oktober var det dubbla världspremiärer utan begränsning på antalet besökare. Föreställningen Unfold med de två dansverken Continuim och SAABA skapad...

  • Linnar Looris
    Meet Linnar Looris Artistic Director of The Estonian National Opera
    Dansportalen has got an interview with Linnar Looris – Artistic Director since autumn 2019 for the The Estonian National Ballet.

  • Gala Korsaren
    Kungliga Operan rivstartar säsongen med balettgala.
    Äntligen, är vi många som säger. Den 17:e september slås portarna upp, dansen kan börja och det är inte vilken dans som helst. Ett unikt program med åtta verk, varav flera sällan sedda, utgör höstens ...

  • Nimrud
    Liselott Berg, om sina 42 år som fanbärare för dansen i Göteborg – hittills!
    Att det blev Göteborg var en slump. Men där blev hon kvar. 42 år senare brinner och jobbar hon lika engagerat för dansen på Sveriges framsida. Idag som biträdande och administrativ chef för GöteborgsO...

  • Swingle Stepping, Morgann Runacre-Temple, Year 11 students - 
    Whirling flying bodies with the Royal Ballet School
    Coordinating a performance for a ballet school of several hundred pupils to stringent Covid social distancing is a Herculean task but amazingly the Royal Ballet School pulled it off.

  • Vinnare Prix du Nord 2021
    Prix du Nord – ett viktigt steg för framtidens dansare
    Norra Europas största tävling för klassisk balett och modern dans lever vidare under ett nytt namn – Prix du Nord – och en ny inramning. Denna händelse är en lika viktig kulturinsats som lyckan är sto...

  • Sonatra1
    Joseph Sturdy about Sonatra: I was interested to look at the classical technique, to awaken it and enjoy it
    When Joseph Sturdy was asked to choreograph a work for the Royal Swedish Ballet, he accepted the challenge with alacrity.‘I admired how Nicolas [Le Riche, Artistic Director] was trying to keep his dan...

  • Dansmuseet
    Dansmuseets utställning om Ballets Suédois är förlängd
    Dansmuseets intendent Erik Mattsson har tillbringat många timmar i museets arkiv med att läsa dagböcker, gå igenom alla fotografier och vända på varenda papperslapp som kunde vara av intresse för den ...

  • Pär Isberg
    Pär Isbergs magiska låda, musiken och teatern
    Dansportalen gläntar på ridån för Pär Isberg, premiärdansare och koreograf med gedigen meritlista. Utbildad vid Operans balettelevskola, senare Kungliga Svenska Balettskolan. I dansen såg han en frihe...

  • pure_coincidence_c_admill_kuyler
    Young dancers impress in new choreography: Junior Ballett Zürich in Impulse
    Junior Ballett Zürich , founded in 2001 is now an established adjunct to the main company appearing regularly in major productions and with many of the young dancers joining the company ranks.The lives...

  • tag_tueren_2015©zenna_web_D33B0866
     »I think the Prix de Lausanne gives a great opportunity for young dancers to get into the international dance field«
    In Montreux I met with Jason Beechey director of the Palucca University of Dance Dresden, one of the prestigious schools that are associated with the Prix. Jason has also been a member of the Artistic...

  • Samira Bethke Kitri PDL21
    Prix de Lausanne 2021 blev en annorlunda tävling
    På grund av den pågående pandemin hölls tävlingen i år digitalt. De nio jury medlemmarna som bedömde dansarna var samlade i Lausanne där de såg de tävlandes bidrag på storbildsvideo. Clairemarie Osta ...

  • 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...

Redaktion

dansportalen@gmail.com

Annonsera

dansportalen@gmail.com

Grundad 1995. Est. 1995

Powered by

SiteVision

Uppil