Dance double bill offers two sides to the work of exciting choreographer
Hofesh Shechter – recognised as one of the UK's most exciting contemporary choreographers – is known for energetic and very physical work.
In Uprising, seven men emerge from the shadows to bombard the stage with furious energy, bonding and sparring, making up and falling out.
In a double bill at the Theatre Royal next week, Hofesh offers us two sides to his work, both revivals. There is the all-male Uprising (which premiered in 2006) and the all-female The Art of Not Looking Back (2009).
"Uprising was really a breakthrough piece for me," says Hofesh. "After that my work got more attention. It's quite a full-on piece, with a thumping soundtrack. It deals with a confrontation and may seem angry at times."
Hofesh refers to the two dance works as "the boys' piece" and "the girls' piece". But don't expect the female dancers to deliver something soft and fluffy, he says.
"The girls' piece, interestingly, is quite in your face. It's much more personal, much more painful and ugly.
"The two pieces do sit together in a really good way, and people do make connections between them.
"With Uprising, people were saying all these things about me being a 'masculine' choreographer. Of course I am, I'm a man! But it made me curious about creating work for the girls.
"The feminine qualities are cultural things and behavioural codes. I wanted to investigate the feminine side and energies and qualities and what I think is feminine.
"It is about looking at my relationships and with my relationship with one woman in particular – my mum.
"It's about women seen through my eyes – about them struggling and fighting and working. In the end the audience is the judge."
Hofesh graduated from the Jerusalem Academy for Dance and Music and joined the world-renowned Batsheva Dance Company – the Batsheva Ensemble performed at the Theatre Royal last year under the Dance Consortium umbrella.
Hofesh moved to the UK in 2002 and since then has earned a string of nominations and awards.
A former drummer in a rock band, he is renowned for creating the raw, atmospheric scores for each of his dance creations.
"The Art of Not Looking Back took me on quite a journey," he says. "It started with me using my voice and ended with a combination of electronic sounds and some Bach. I call it desert rock and roll, but there are a lot of quiet moments too.
"The boys' piece and the girls' piece are good examples of the process I go through. They were made four years apart and are totally different. I've been choreographing for seven years now and I've changed. I say it's like looking at the ocean. It's always the ocean, but it's always different."
Hofesh Shechter Company are at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, on Tuesday and Wednesday.