40 Years of Phoenix

Premiered November 2021

In 2021/2022, we launched an eclectic birthday programme to celebrate our milestone 40th birthday, bringing together a range of work from across the company’s illustrious history.

Featuring an eclectic selection of work by internationally acclaimed and award winning choreographers, including former Artistic Directors and collaborators, this was an unforgettable evening of celebration and reflection.

Pave Up Paradise
Lost Dog’s (Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer) dynamic, sensual and confrontational duet Pave up Paradise revisits Adam and Eve after their fall from grace. Complemented by acoustic arrangements of Jeff Buckley and The Strokes, this piece tracks the pair as they squabble over who was to blame for their loss of Paradise. Pave up Paradise is a witty and irreverent examination of guilt, innocence, and lust for forbidden fruit.

Heart of Chaos
Heart of Chaos is inspired by the real life story Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. Nicknamed the ‘Galveston Giant’, Johnson was an indomitable, renowned figure whose personal life and volatile relationships rivalled the drama in the boxing ring. Choreographed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s former Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller, this work captures the spirit of this colossal figure who challenged the segregated sport and white America in the era of Jim Crow and the Jazz Age.

Henri Oguike’s unflinching and thrilling Signal first stunned audiences in 2004. Danced to the stirring, imposing rhythms of Japanese Taiko drums, this powerful piece embraces both the frenzy of the battlefield and the calm at the centre of the storm.

Choreographed by Shapiro and Smith, this satirical fly on the wall dance elegantly captures the complexity of human interaction and ordinary passions that define family life.

Harmonica Breakdown
Jane Dudley’s 1938 masterpiece, Harmonica Breakdown was created as a direct response to the Depression in America and the forced migration of the workers. In Harmonica Breakdown a lone female dancer creates a poetic representation of an individual’s steadfast struggle to gain self-respect and dignity.