RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund commissions

We are proud to have helped bring the following works to the stage, thanks to the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance.

2023 - Echo Collective // AΦE
Inspired by Jean Cocteau’s film Orphée, this new live stage production will explore the relationship between humans and machines and the transformation from one state to the other. The work tells the story of Lilith, frozen after her death and reincarnated a billion years later in digital form, and her father, Orpheus, as he seek ways to communicate with her as his grief takes over his life. This piece is part of AΦE’s longterm research project REBOOT which explores the future of humanity.

Composer - Echo Collective
- Esteban Lecoq and Aoi Nakamura

2023 - Alex Ho // Julia Cheng // Tangram
UNTOLD This latest work supported by the RPS Drummond Fund examines the racialised experiences of transnational Chinese communities. Responding to the urgent need to shed critical light on what it means to be Chinese today, Untold explores a theme of ‘not fitting in’ by adapting the Chinese folkstory of Ye Xian, one of the early precursors to the Cinderella fairytale. Performances are due to take place in Antwerp, Rotterdam and the UK in 2023. Choreographer Julia Cheng was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for choreographing the acclaimed West End production of Cabaret.

Composer - Alex Ho
- Julia Cheng

2022 - Anna Appleby // Joss Arnott Dance // Psappha
A new family dance show, which resonates with children and adult audiences alike, casting a new slant on a much-loved character from The Wizard of Oz.

Composer - Anna Appleby
- Joss Arnott

First staged performance: 26 March 2022, The Lowry, Salford.
On tour from 2 April - 8 July.

2022 - Kareem Roustom // Shobana Jeyasingh Dance
In this production, Claudio Monteverdi's celebrated work Il Combattimento is fused with a new retelling of its heroine's story - with music by Syrian American composer Kareem Roustom. Performed live by a string quartet including Middle Eastern dabke rhythms and the haunting voice of Syrian contralto Dima Orsho, the cast also included dancers Adam Cooper and Jemima Brown, and tenor Ed Lyon.

Composer - Kareem Roustom
Choreographer - Shobana Jeyasingh
Conductor - Robert Hollingworth

First staged performance: 13 July 2022, The Grange Festival.
First London performances: 8 and 9 Sep 2022, Sadler's Wells.

2021 - Ayanna Witter-Johnson // Alesandra Seutin // Vocab Dance
Through blending traditional African dances with contemporary language, this live dance theatre piece - created by Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Alesandra Seutin - asks, 'How does one survive in a system that does not always embrace you?' A poem of the same name was written by Gwendolyn Brooks, the first black female poet in the United States to receive a Pulitzer Prize. Ayanna and Alesandra hope it speaks to and inspires audiences of all colours, especially those who do not often see themselves represented on stage. The work was first performed in Belgium in 2020 before receiving it's UK premiere in October 2021.

Composer - Ayanna Witter-Johnson
Choreographer - Alesandra Seutin
Producer -Grace Okereke

First staged performance (with recorded music): 24 April 2020, KVS Belgium
First UK performances: 2 October 2021, Riley Theatre, Leeds; 5 October 2021, The Place, London

2020 - Daniel Elms // Alexander Whitley // Manchester Collective

Daniel Elms and Alexander Whitley are each making a name for their orthodoxy-challenging and genre-stretching practices. In this Drummond Fund commission they addressed issues of geographical and cultural inaccessibility to contemporary art through a nimble and intimate work, free from the restrictions of tradition. The Age of Spiritual Machines was first performed by Alexander Whitley Dance Company and Manchester Collective, in May 2022 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Composer - Daniel Elms
Choreographer - Alexander Whitley

First staged performance: 14 May 2022, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

2019 - Gabriel Prokofiev // Didy Veldman // Birmingham Royal Ballet
[UN]LEASHED is the latest Drummond Fund commission, for performance at Birmingham Hippodrome and Sadlers Wells in London in June 2019. The Fund not only supported the commission but also helped the creative team embark on a residency to share ideas and shape the work.

Composer - Gabriel Prokofiev
- Didy Veldman

First staged performance: 12 June 2019, Birmingham Hippodrome

2016 - David Sawer // Aletta Collins // Royal Ballet // London Sinfonietta
APRIL \ MARCH co-commissioned by the RPS Drummond Fund and BBC Radio 3, with support from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. First musically performed before a thrilling digital installation at the Roundhouse as part of the BBC Proms in 2019, the long-intended first ballet performance was finally fulfilled by the Royal Ballet on the re-opening of its sumptuously-renovated Linbury Theatre in 2019.

Composer - David Sawer
Choreographer - Aletta Collins

World premiere: 20 August 2016, BBC Proms, Roundhouse, London (concert performance)

First staged performance: 6 February 2019, Royal Ballet, Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden, London.

2015 - Elena Kats-Chernin // Shobana Jeyasingh // Smith Quartet
MATERIAL MEN is a virtuoso piece for two dazzling performers, Sooraj Subramaniam and Shailesh Bahoran of the Indian diaspora, who contrast in style between classical and hip hop in a dynamic exploration of rhythm, location and shared history.

Composer - Elena Kats-Chernin
Choreographer - Shobana Jeyasingh

World premiere: 16 September 2015, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London

2011 - Kenneth Hesketh // Sharon Watson // Phoenix Dance // Psappha
FORMS ENTANGLED, SHAPES COLLIDED is the title of the score written for Repetition of Change. The collaboration takes its inspiration from Greek philosophy and the theory of atomism – the idea that the world consists of two fundamental principles; atoms and void.

Composer - Kenneth Hesketh
Choreographer - Sharon Watson

2011 - Dario Palermo // Ben Duke // Dance Umbrella
THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE was inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 film La Jetée, this piece explores time travel, the power of the imagination and the relationship between the physical body and virtual reality.

Composer - Dario Palermo
Choreographer - Ben Duke

2011 - Julian Philips // Mickael Marso Riviere // Company Declage // Aurora Orchestra
MAXAMORPHOSIS juxtaposes ‘breaking’ (breakdance) and orchestral music. The piece was created especially for Aurora's Principal Viola Max Baillie - a trained dancer as well as an instrumentalist.

Composer - Julian Philips
Choreographer - Mickael Marso Riviere

2008 - Terry Mann // Rosemary Lee Projects // Greenwich Dance
COMMON DANCE is a 30-minute large-scale folk dance and music performance for a mixed–age cast of fifty professional and non-professional dancers, co-produced by Greenwich Dance.

Composer - Terry Mann
Choreographer - Rosemary Lee

2008 - Julian Anderson // Mark Baldwin // Rambert Dance
COMEDY OF CHANGE is a 30-minute concert work to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, commissioned by the RPS Drummond Fund and Asko Ensemble.

Composer - Julian Anderson
Choreographer - Mark Baldwin

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