15 September 2009, decibel Performing Arts Showcase, Manchester Dancehouse Theatre
Oasis, Aes Dana, Tamtam, Jader Ministry, Eran Sachs, Matt Davignon
Former Phoenix dancer Douglas Thorpe’s Beast immerses the audience into the darkest reaches of the mind, using six dancers in a performance that is as powerful and brutal as it is beautiful. Exploring the darker side of the human psyche, Beast’s broken choreography requires extreme strength and articulation, giving the piece an often disjointed and fragmented look. Intimidating and uncompromising, this challenging piece is an unforgettable, captivating piece of theatre.
Beast was originally commissioned by Yorkshire Dance and first performed at the Riley Theatre, Northern School of Contemporary Dance by RODA in January 2009.
Halifax Evening Courier, 2009
Douglas Thorpe trained at London Contemporary Dance School and then joined Phoenix where over a twenty year period he worked with a range of choreographers including the likes of Michael Clarke, Philip Taylor, Tom Jobe, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Henri Oguike, and Javier de Frutos.
Douglas soon began choreographing his own work and choreographed Left-a-lone for RJC’s 2003 tour Soma. 2008 saw the break-through of Douglas’s choreography under the banner of Mad Dogs Dance Theatre. Since its foundation, the company has developed its identity as an extremely explosive, powerful and physical dance and theatre company with its base in Leeds, UK.
The company has focused on the production of new work by Douglas Thorpe including the works Dry Toast, A mind as beautiful and Beast which was performed by Phoenix as part of the Ignite programme.
Douglas' work was part of Dance3, a tour across the UK showcasing the next generation of makers. Off the back of this tour Douglas was made Associate Artist as part of LIFT at Yorkshire Dance, where he spent 18 months developing and refining his artistic practice throughout 2009-2011.
In 2011 Douglas was commissioned to create a new work for Staatstheater Tanz, Braunschweig, Germany and in 2012 he created a duet for OverWorlds & UnderWorlds, a Cultural Olympiad event in Leeds curated by The Quay Brothers.
Currently Douglas is in a midst of development period for his first full evening work, Dogs Land, which was previewed to a sold out audience in Leeds, February 2012. Dogs Land will be touring in Spring 2013.
Beast is set to a contemporary score by a number of artists. Many audiences mistake the Oasis song What's The Story Morning Glory?, which features as the piece begins, for interval music but it is actually the start of the performance.
Mark worked as a theatre lighting technician touring nationally and internationally with dance companies such as Bi Ma and David Massingham before becoming a freelance lighting designer specialising in dance. He has over 10 years experience of teaching lighting and sound for stage, stage management and video production at all levels. Mark has an MA in Film Studies from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.