INTERVIEW: balletLORENT | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Luke Waddington

Newcastle-based dance theatre company balletLORENT are celebrating their 25th anniversary in style this month with After Dark, an intimate evening of dance and drinks, cabaret-style at Northern Stage.

Artistic Director Liv Lorent MBE explains why she chose this particular celebration. “After Dark is such a special work, and it’s an exclusive opportunity to see balletLORENT up close and personal in a programme that revisits the adult/freeform side of the company which has played a significant role in the balletLORENT story.”

Liv’s excited to be exploring the edgier, no holds barred, uninhibited side of balletLORENT again, after six years of touring her three epic fairy tales for large audiences in large venues. For her, these two contrasting aspects are what make balletLORENT so unique, as she explains: “It’s completely contrasting and unusual, I think, for a company to have that range. Some will have seen balletLORENT’s dance theatre on a massive scale in theatres like Sadler’s Wells, others will have experienced the company in a nightclub in Lincoln. That’s what keeps the company exciting and fresh.

Some will have seen balletLORENT’s dance theatre on a massive scale in theatres like Sadler’s Wells, others will have experienced the company in a nightclub in Lincoln. That’s what keeps the company exciting and fresh

After Dark, which is at Northern Stage from Wednesday 7th-Saturday 10th November, sits alongside an exhibition of unseen photographs from the archive, a touching celebration of the company’s heritage. Formed in 1993, balletLORENT relocated from London to Newcastle in 1996, creating thirteen high quality productions which have toured both nationally and internationally to much acclaim. The After Dark production features 11 dancers, some of whom have been with the company since 1996 and others who are younger than the company itself.

When Liv founded her dance company back in the early 90s, she observed the very physical, self-destructive Eurocrash movement and knew she never wanted to present women in that way. More interested in enhancing the beauty of women (as well as men), and presenting them as strong, iconic and glorious through extraordinary sets, lighting, music, costume and choreography, Liv explains that she values the natural beauty of the human form in all its diversity. “I am very much in awe that this eclectic group of highly experienced dancers continues to tour with me and offer themselves body and soul to the work we make together.”

Liv has never been constrained by convention; she’s been able to do things in ballet that classical ballet companies could never do. She’s pushed the boundaries and broken the rules, and it’s been a delightful and beautiful 25 years. So what advice would she give to her young self, setting up this dance company 25 years ago? “I’d say ‘It’s going to be OK. Not all of the time, but it’s going to be OK’. I’d want to reassure her that she can do this.”

Audiences are currently embracing the epic tale of Rumpelstiltskin, as it tours the UK with its enchanting story and emotion, captivating characters and stunning choreography. Continuing her work with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy (who retells the Rumpelstiltskin story), Liv is also developing new work, The Lost Happy Endings, which plunders well-known fairy tales to offer alternative, empowering endings to children, particularly young girls, who need positive role models and narratives for their lives.

Continuing to break boundaries, and going from strength to strength, who knows what delights the next 25 years of balletLORENT may bring.

 


 

Like this story? Share it!