Archive

Strange Glitter

2000

Choreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Allyson Clarke, Linda Payne/Gwen Berwick, Caroline Reece and a community cast of seven aged 7-70+years.
Music: various
Costume Design: Liv Lorent
Lighting Design: Richie Orr
Premiered: Gulbenkian Studio, Newcastle Playhouse
Toured: Reading Concert Hall, MAC, Birmingham and Tyne Tower, Newcastle (balletLORENT’s rst English tour supported by Arts Council of England, Grants for the Arts).

This performance was inspired by fantasies of who we could be - a creature as rare as a unicorn; an operatic star; a beautiful woman with fairytale twin girls to love or a man being an adored dancer at a ball. The cast of professional and non-professional dancers sharing the stage along with the ensemble was made up of some performers from La Famille, whose ages ranged from ages 8 - 76. Strange Glitter premiered at Northern Stage as part of British Dance Edition 2000 and this brought in a commission from Singapore Dance Theatre to create a large-scale show in Asia. This was the first time balletLORENT put female dancers on all fours with pointe shoes on hands and feet, which became a recurring image in many future works. 

This masterpiece shows what can be achieved in community dance.

Paul Jackson, Dance Now

This inspiring piece incorporates remarkable performances by both professional and community dancers and was exhilarating in its emotional power. It is without doubt one of the most remarkable and moving pieces of dance I have ever seen.

Linda Winstanley, Darlington Arts

"It is without doubt one of the most remarkable pieces I have seen" Darlington Arts on Strange Glitter

ballet in Shriek

2000

Choreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Gwen Berwick, Raul Calderon, Allyson Clarke, Debbi Purtill, Caroline Reece, Steven Skamarski
Music: collage
Costume Design: Paul Shriek
Lighting Design: Richie Orr
Premiered: Tyne Tower, Newcastle Quayside (Site-specific)
Toured: A double bill with Strange Glitter

This was balletLORENT’s most extreme experience of site-specific performance. The raw interior of the Tyne Tower became a stunning contrasting backdrop to the elegant and colourful clothes created by couture designer Paul Shriek. The show was an artistic adventure giving each dress a romantic dream or heroic fantasy for the wearer. This began balletLORENT’s love affair with working with costume together with choreography. 

 

Lorent’s work seems made for the 21st century, pushing dancers and audiences to explore new possibilities and enriching all in the process.

Paul Jackson, Dance Now

Life Stories

2001

Commission: DanceXchange, Birmingham for the opening of The Patrick Centre
Choreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Gwen Berwick, Simon Birch, Gavin Coward, Caroline Reece and a multi-generational community cast of 21 aged 3-70 years from Birmingham.
Music: collage
Lighting Design: Lizzie Moran 

Premiered: The Patrick Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome

A residency in Birmingham with balletLORENT dancers Caroline Reece, Gwen Berwick, Simon Birch and Gavin Coward. Liv and the company spent a few weeks developing a full length work with adults and children with little or no dance experience, and began to really embed what became the balletLORENT practice of working with multiple generations together. 

Lord Richard Attenborough paid a glowing tribute to the performers as guest of honour during the opening of The Patrick Centre.

"Erotic and touching as it showed the plight of families and generations all linked through fabulous contact work and lighting." Zoe Chamberlain

The Ball

2002

Choreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Gwen Berwick, Gavin Coward, Jane Mason, Iain Payne, Debbi Purtill, Mariusz Raczynski, Davie Rae, Caroline Reece, Ray Roa, Pete Russell, Kelly Wilson
DJ: Ben Ponton
Music Selection: Liv Lorent, Ben Ponton, Ben Crompton and original Waltz by Kit Haigh
Costume Design: Paul Shriek
Lighting Design: Malcolm Rippeth
Ballroom Dance Coach: Gail Chandler
Premiered: Middlesbrough Town Hall
Toured: England and Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf, and was performed in Trafalgar Square for the opening of the pedestrianised area.

The work that the company had done with older generations meant that they were often witness to tea dances and sequence dancing. Rehearsals in the Naval training ground, Calliope, on the Quayside, saw balletLORENT bring together ten dancers to make up five couples. Uniquely, every show was followed by cameo appearances by a dozen or so audience members who joined in with the last Foxtrot. Hours of dancing followed, with the inimitable balletLORENT dancers partnering anybody and everybody in the room – the first of several pieces that saw the audience become a physical part of the experience. 

Teresa Kirby, community participant in The Ball

"I remember paying £60 for a weekend’s workshop with balletLORENT in 2002 for people who were interested in performing in the community section after balletLORENT had performed The Ball, and before the general public was invited onto the dance floor.  As a result, I had a professional dance partner for the first and only time in my life – the wonderful Mariusz. 

Each community/professional couple was asked to start off with standard ballroom steps, and then improvise off each other as we went around the room.  The best moment for me was when Mariusz lifted me and the whole room erupted into applause. I think it was the proudest, most special moment of my life."

The dancing was spectacular, the atmosphere electric and the night still young...

Mark Kindrer, Dance Today

I am particularly pleased that Liv Lorent and her Newcastle-based company have been selected to represent the best of British dance at the 12-day prestigious European Festival, Dance Link event in Düsseldorf.

Mark Mulqueen, Head of Performing Arts, Arts Council of England (2003) for The Journal

La Vie des Fantasmes Erotique & Esthétique

2004

Choreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Gwen Berwick, Gavin Coward, Meritxell Pan Cabo, Debbi Purtill, Davie Rae, Juliet Thompson, Kelly Wilson
Costume Design: Paul Shriek
Lighting Design: Malcolm Rippeth
Premiered: York Theatre Royal
Toured: England

Full of smoke, wind machines, high heels, pointe shoes, pole dancing, nudity and a rocking horse... this production took fantasy and adoration of women to another level for the company. A discovery of props such as a bleeding heart, a sledge and a starlit sky added to the theatrical nature of this first middle-scale full-length work. They expanded their female performers in this production, many of whom then went on to dance in further repertoire for balletLORENT. Malcolm Rippeth designed the lighting and has gone on to light almost every balletLORENT work since.

The featured rocking horse is still with them and most recently appeared in Rumpelstiltskin.

"A kaleidoscope of erotic and beautiful imagery and sublime dancing set in a surreal dream world." Liv Lorent on La Vie

We were promised “a visually stunning sensual experience, full of wonder, humanity and empathy... an imaginative work spun through a kaleidoscope of beautiful and erotic imagey... including smoke, feathers, roller skates and... some nudity”. The promise w

Peter Lewis, Hexham Courant

This was the best, most exciting, the most exhilarating live performance I have ever seen.

Christopher Ketchell (Audience Member)

LUXURIA

2004

Commission: Scottish Dance TheatreChoreographed by Liv Lorent and Dancers
Dancers: Baptiste Bourgougnon, Toby Fitzgibbons, Ruth Janssen, James MacGillivray, Riccardo Meneghini, Anthony Missen,
Gemma Nixon, Victoria Roberts, Holly Warren, Philippa White
Music: Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Max Richter, Valentin Silvestrov, Calexico, Jaque Morelenbaum, Antonio Pinto
Costume Design: Paul Shriek
Lighting Design: Tim Skelly
Premiered: Dundee Rep
Toured: The UK, Europe, China & India

Received a Herald Angel Award 2005 at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Made in Dundee, this work was about physical loneliness, and a desire to disappear completely into the body and soul of another living being. The clean cut, similar sized and young, versatile dancers presented an aesthetic that balletLORENT had never worked with before. The choreography was therefore developed to make those dancers look as raw, needy, passionate, vulnerable and lost in the oblivion of desire as possible. They rose to the challenge, and here began a new story where dancers from this company gravitated to becoming part of balletLORENT over the years. The company welcomed Phillipa White, Baptiste Bourgougnon, Toby Fitzgibbons, Natalie Trewinnard and James MacGillivray into balletLORENT over the next few years. They had all danced countless performances of LUXURIA (from a small theatre in Mull to larger venues across India, China and Europe), over its 10 years of touring.

"Achingly beautiful" The Herald on LUXURIA

A hauntingly lovely and emotionally charged choreography that you could happily take to a desert island and watch over and over again.

Mary Brennan, The Herald

She brings to it all the passion, humour, imagination and magic that other choreographers have taken away for the sake of exploring and displaying the technicalities. She brings sex to ballet and elegance to salsa, she popularises the sublime and ridicule

Duska Radosavljevic, The Stage

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