Dance to the fore at north-west Essex’s cultural hotbed
Award-winning Saffron Walden venue Saffron Hall has unveiled a glittering programme of dance events for its spring season, including several striking new commissions and family events. The Hall, which celebrates its fifth birthday this season, is establishing itself as a home for dance in the region, attracting world-class performers and revolutionary productions.
On 8 March Boy Blue – whose performances have been described by the New York Times as “the force of an uprising” – take to the stage with the brand-new Project R.E.B.E.L. This energetic and moving work explores social tensions and cultural identity in 21st century Britain and also features an appearance from Saffron Walden County High School students.
Scotland’s national contemporary dance company, Scottish Dance Theatre, stops by on 1 June to perform RITUALIA, a visual feast which reimagines Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Les Noces. It’s paired with a brand-new commission by world-renowned choreographer Emanuel Gat, which has been specially created for the dance company based on his intense work with individual dancers within the troupe.
The next day, Scottish Dance Theatre presents Innocence: a magical theatrical journey designed to engage young children with the medium of dance through movement, live music and animal noises.
Then, on 13 July, the National Youth Dance Company presents MADHEAD, which fuses contemporary dance, physical theatre and hip-hop.
“Establishing a home for dance at Saffron Hall is incredibly important to us, as it’s a hugely integral part of UK culture, which is something we constantly aim to offer our community to the highest standard, and I’m incredibly proud of the calibre of performers that the Hall attracts,” comments Angela Dixon, chief executive.
“The inclusion of dance in our varied programme ensures that Saffron Hall continues to act as the artistic hub of East England, creating an exceptional space to enrich the community and inspire the next generation of artists.”