40 Years of Phoenix

From November 23

Phoenix Dance Theatre are delighted to launch an exciting birthday programme to celebrate their 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, award winning choreographers, including former Artistic Directors and collaborators, this evening of celebration and reflection promises to be a rich, unforgettable experience.

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.

Watch choreographer and former Phoenix Artistic Director Darshan Singh Bhuller, and company dancers Carlos Martinez and Aaron Chaplin discuss the rehearsal process in this video

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


Ordinary passions, dramas and tensions that define family life are transformed into an acrobatic spectacle. Originally debuted in 1992, and choreographed by Shapiro and Smith, this satirical fly on the wall dance, elegantly captures the complexity of human interaction.

Harmonica Breakdown

Jane Dudley’s 1938 masterpieceencapsulates Depression in America and the forced migration of the workers. In this vital and powerful work, a lone female dancer creates a poetic representation of an individual’s struggle to gain self-respect and dignity in a cruel, volatile world.

Tickets for 40 Years of Phoenix have been released for its debut at York Theatre Royal this autumn. Further dates for Spring 2022 will be announced in due course.