News: Hofesh Shechter launches #HOFEST

Monday 27 April 2015 by Clare Evans

Hofesh Shechter Company - 'deGeneration - Cult'.
Photo: Benedict Johnson

Hofesh Shechter Company today announced #HOFEST, a four-week London Season celebrating the diversity of the company’s work, and their artistic partnerships. During September and October 2015, the company will collaborate with leading art organisations and some strikingly different venues to bring a unique and comprehensive experience of the breadth of the company’s work.

The season kicks off with Shechter’s opera directorial debut, with a new production of Gluck’s Orphee et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House. HSC dancers will work in collaboration with leading operatic singers to combine contemporary dance with classical opera, in an ambitious fusion of the two distinct styles. “Artistic courage is always key when programming for The Royal Opera Season“, said Director of Opera for The ROH Kasper Holten, “So, inviting contemporary artists such as Hofesh Shechter, who will be directing his first opera ever with us, is a very important part of our work“.

At the same time, the company will perform barbarians at Sadler’s Wells, bringing together the trilogy, barbarians, in the UK for the first time. Shechter says that after working on a few ‘bombastic’ all-company big shows, he will relish the chance to work on the intimate dances in barbarians, which will be some of the most experimental presented in #HOFEST.

Then, it’s on to O2 Academy Brixton for the critically-acclaimed Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut. Venue Manager Nigel Downs said, “We’re a rock’n‘roll venue, we do all the big bands. This is something entirely different for us, but it perfectly unites contemporary dance with the soundtrack and atmosphere of a rock show. It’ll look spectacular”. Shechter has always sought ways to engage new audiences in contemporary dance, and #HOFEST may be his most successful conversion yet. As Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells Alistair Spalding said at the press release, “Going to a Hofesh Shechter performance feels more like going to a gig”.

Finally, in partnership with East London Dance, new apprentice company Shechter Junior will bring deGeneration to Stratford Cirus, with the talented young dancers to perform two creations from Shechter’s canon, Cult (2004) and Fragments (2003). Shechter stressed how important it was for him to offer this opportunity for young dancers, and the need to build bridges between dance education and the professional world. “I wouldn’t have made it into the dance world without opportunities like these”, he said at the launch.

The season will be complimented by a number of workshops and interactive events across London, including an immersive podcast produced by Fuel and adapted for a live experience. A full list of additional events will be announced in the coming months.

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