Festival of Dance

 

Register interest to find out more about Festival of Dance 2023

Register interest

 

“Dance is one of the most potent art forms today, it is contemporary and temporal and has the ability to bring people together in unique shared moments of beauty and understanding. Our approach to creativity has enabled artists, dancers and choreographers to find new forms of expression in response to the unique environment here at Messums Wiltshire.”  Johnny Messum

 

2023 OPEN CALL

 

4×20 is a choreographic platform supporting emerging choreographers, founded by Messums Wiltshire in 2022.

The organisation provides two emerging choreographers with a commission and support to rehearse an existing piece and develop a second one, all to be presented at Festival of Dance in 2023 at Messums Wiltshire. In addition, the award provides access to support networks, crucial for sustainable future careers.

 

FIND OUT MORE

 

 

Timeline for 2023 4 x 20 application period:

Applications Open 1 November 2022
Application Deadline 1 of December 2022 23:59
Successful applicants will be contacted by 11 of December 2022
Interviews will be held online between 12-21 December 2022

 

Highlights from 2022 4 x 20 by Luke Lentes  VIEW HERE

 

Thanks to our Partners    

Highlights from Festival of Dance 2022

 

Our inaugural Festival of Dance opened in July 2022 and was attended by over 1500 people, who enjoyed live dance performances and joined in free school and community dance workshops, discussion events, film screenings, parties and dinners.

Performances included Contemporary Dance 2.0 by Hofesh Shechter and Anti-Body by Alexander Whitley. Messums Wiltshire created a platform for emerging choreographers, sponsoring performances by Roseanna Anderson and AOmaon Collectif.

 

 

Hofesh Shechter Company

CONTEMPORARY DANCE 2.0

15 & 16 July 2022

Alexander Whitley Dance Company

ANTI-BODY

22 & 23 July 2022

Cosmic Yoghurt by Roseanna Anderson
Photo by James Randall

Utopia Room by AOmaon Collectif
Photo by Jamie Randall

4 by 20.

EMERGING CHOREOGRAPHY PLATFORM

June 2022

As part of the Festival of Dance Messums Wiltshire introduced a newly established emerging choreographer platform ‘4 by 20’. Through this platform, the organisation supported two choreographers at the beginning of their career, providing a commission for the artists to develop new dance pieces as well as present their work at the festival.

The 4 by 20 Emerging Choreographer Platform premiered on Tuesday, presenting the four works of emerging choreographers Roseanna Anderson and AOmaon Dance Collective, Adelie Lavail and Olivia Grassot.

The first half of the evening showcased the existing works of the choreographers.

Two very different duets were presented as existing work: ‘Quote, quotable’ by Roseanna Anderson delved into Gertrude Stein’s work and ‘Utopia Room’ by AOmaon Collective explored the mental and physical connections of our daily lives, exposing the inappropriate behaviours and absurdity of the codes imposed in our personal lives.

The second half of the evening presented the commissioned and newly created works, ‘Cosmic Yoghurt’ inspired by Leonora Carrington’s work, choreographed by Roseanna Anderson and ‘Plague of Doubt’ by AOmaon Collective, activated by the pandemic, combining the comfort, pleasures and regret of the past with the instability, doubts and desires of the future.

As a part of the programme, on their arrival, choreographers held community workshops for our audiences to engage in.

Events at Festival of Dance 2022

 

Dance Workshops

Sunday 17 July 2022

Free 4 by 20 Dance Workshops (for 12+ year olds; all ability levels)
Young dancers explored movement and creativity with the 4 by 20 artists Roseanna Anderson and AOmaon Collectif, Olivia and Adélie.

 

Dance Film Premiere: Error Code 8:46
 

Sunday 17 July 2022

This feature film marks a new level of creativity and story telling by Matsena Productions combining the language of dance, music and poetry.

 

Breaking into Dance

Monday 18 July 2022

Conversations with previously featured choreographer Kennedy Muntanga, the artists chosen for ‘4 by 20’ emerging choreographer platform and James Bamford, the Founder and Artistic Director of south west based organisation Project Dance.

Open Rehearsal with Alexander Whitley Dance Company

Friday 22 July 2022

A very limited and exclusive offer for our audiences to watch rehearsals of the renowned Alexander Whitley Dance Company.

Advanced Dance Class

Saturday 23 July 2022

An advance level contemporary dance class and from Alexander Whitley Dance Company. (age 16+)

Messums Summer Party

Saturday 23 July 2022

The party followed the final performance of Anti-Body by Alexander Whitley.

Free Dance Workshops

Sunday 24 July 2022

Fun Dance Class for Under 12’s. Our teacher Gabi engaged the group in creative tasks and games to experience and enjoy dance.

FILM SCREENING: Pina (PG)

Sunday 24 July 2022

Screening of the famous, award-winning film PINA about the much-loved German choreographer Pina Bausch.

Previous Performances at Messums Wiltshire

 

Kennedy Muntanga

GREATER THAN LION

September 2021

The contemporary dance performance Greater than Lion choreographed by Kennedy Junior Muntanga premieres at Messums Wiltshire in September.

Muntanga is one of the most exciting new names in contemporary dance and follows in the footsteps of talented choreographers whose emergence has been supported by Messums Wiltshire.

Anthony Matsena

GEOMETRY OF FEAR

September 2020

Eight dancers took to the stage at Messums Wiltshire for a new performance ‘Geometry of Fear’ choreographed by our Performance Associate Anthony Matsena.

Anthony became our Performance Associate for 2019/20, the result of that process was a new work, made in response to the repercussions of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and uses – as its start point – the creative energy of Elisabeth Frink’s output and her recreated Woolland Studio, installed in the historic barn at Messums Wiltshire.

Anthony Matsena

WHEN IT ARRIVES

September 2019

Anthony Matsena began dancing from a young age, training in hip-hop and street dance. His work was part of the Sadler’s Wells Young Associates programme ‘Together, not the same’ in 2019. He previously performed at Sadler’s Wells in 2015 as part of Apex Rising with National Youth Dance Wales and has performed professionally for Joseph Toonga as part of Just Us Dance Theatre.

His new work ‘When It Arrives’ looks at the process needed for the transformation of one from body and spirit to a free roaming spirit and is inspired by the words of James L.Hallenbeck, M.D.

“Death may arrive with a bang, but more often it comes quietly, without so much as a sigh. The moment of death is sacred in the deepest sense, and words do it no justice. It is a time to witness silently a passing.”

Read more about Anthony Matsena

Ruby Portas

SHALL WE JUST RETIRE TO THE LAKE?

September 2019

Ruby Portus is an NYDC Alumni and graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2017. Her work was part of the Sadler’s Wells Young Associates programme ‘Together, not the same’ in 2019. She previously performed in Home Turf and Elixir Festival 2017 at Sadler’s Wells and is currently completing her MA in Dance Performance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance as a member of Verve.

Ruby’s piece ‘Shall we just retire to the lake?’ is a satirical, glitzy, feminist, cabaret-style, physical theatre duet that smashes outdated ideas of what it means to ‘be a woman’, and offers new possibilities for us all to try on for size, whoever we are and however we identify.

Originally commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, London, as part of Young Associates Mixed Bill 2018, the piece was reworked specially for the tithe barn at Messums Wiltshire.

Alexander Whitley

NOUMENA | ULYSSES | BETWEEN TWO FIRES

July 2018

Furthering our connection with contemporary dance we presented a triple bill of works by the Alexander Whitley Dance Company, including the world première of Between Two Fires.  A Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate and former Choreographic Affiliate of The Royal Ballet, Alexander Whitley has developed a reputation for his bold interdisciplinary approach to dance making, producing technologically innovative and thought-provoking stage productions as well as exploring the creative possibilities being opened up by new digital platforms.

For this special weekend at Messums Wiltshire, Alexander returned to his roots with a triple bill of beautiful, stripped down contemporary dance works.

Russell Maliphant

CONCEAL | REVEAL

November 2016

Russell Maliphant’s internationally renowned contemporary dance group commenced the series of exhibitions concerned with The Human Form. ‘Conceal | Reveal” was an evening of dazzling physical performance marking the ongoing collaboration between the award-winning Choreographer Russell Maliphant and Lighting Designer Michael Hulls. Together they have developed a unique and unparalleled language between movement and light that is acclaimed the world over. One of the first artists to see the space at Messums Wiltshire, Russell Maliphant’s response was immediate and powerful. The evening included Piece No.43, a quintet commissioned in 2015 for Conceal | Reveal with a score by Mukul and costumed by Stevie Stewart and the iconic work Two x Two.