Phoenix at Home

25 - 28 September 2019

Join Yorkshire’s critically acclaimed contemporary dance company for their ninth instalment of Phoenix at Home.

Phoenix Dance Theatre present an exciting line-up of world-class dance featuring our celebrated reworking of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

You will also experience performances from the next generation of contemporary dancers, Phoenix Youth Academy, a new work by company dancer Michael Marquez titled Lux will be performed by the professional company and you’ll see an exclusive excerpt of the Company’s next full-length piece, Black Waters, co-choreographed by Sharon Watson, Shambik Ghose and Dr Mitul Sengupta.

To find out more about the initial ideas behind Black Waters click below.

Find out more


The Rite of Spring

First premiered in February 2019

About The Rite of Spring:

Saintus’ reworking of The Rite of Spring subverts the original narrative of Stravinsky’s iconic work challenging the notion of a female sacrifice – instead we see characters from Haitian folklore come to life telling their story of ritual, ceremony and celebration.

Performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s eight Company Dancers, The Rite of Spring is set in two movements and follows three central figures from Haitian folklore; Ogou a spirit that rules over fire, iron, war and blacksmiths, the Marasa, the divine twins and Damballa the serpent spirit and creator of life. By presenting these narratives Saintus’ work challenges the western stereotypes and dark themes often associated with vodou and instead presents these rituals in a new celebratory light.

Saintus reconsiders the concept of sacrifice originally explored by Stravinsky and instead explores concepts of offerings that are regularly seen in Caribbean culture. The promise in Haitian tradition is the offering one makes during the initiation into the vodou religion and acts as the first section to Saintus’ reworking. From this initial promise the dancers collectively demonstrate the rituals practiced in Haitian philosophy and embody the characteristics of each spirit, not one dancer plays a character throughout, instead each performer articulates different movements informed by the characteristics of the three spirits. A focal point in The Rite of Spring is the central potomitan, a pillar or altar found in front of vodou temples. The dancers make their offerings to the potomitan in hope of evoking the Loa, spirits of Haitian vodou.

The work builds towards the final celebratory ceremony where the performers wait to be overcome by the female spirit Erzuli. Who will be chosen?

The Rite of Spring is being performed to a recording of Le Sacre Du Printemps performed by The Cleveland Orchestra.

The Rite of Spring is in association with Opera North.