narrative experiments

narrative experiments

narrative experiments

"For Kim Brandstrup the role of the storyteller and the role of the artist have long been inseparable: ‘telling stories’ he believes ‘is what connects us to our shared humanity’. Holding this belief has led him to become one of the leading narrative choreographers of his generation." - Judith Mackrel

To make movement yield a sense of narrative has always been an obsession in Kim Brandstrup's work. He finds inspiration in the most canonical of sources, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Greek mythology; but his narrative experiments are a long way from classic dance narration. He has challenged and transformed these epic narratives into compelling, contemporary, human tales. Often with a raw and intimate quality as if wrestled from his dancers themselves.

"The choice of story is inseparable from the dancer I have in mind casting, Without Irek Mukahmedov, no Othello; without Jeremy James, no Hamlet; without Joanna Fong, no Natasha Fillipova (in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot ). It is the creative surge that you get from imagining a particular dancer in a certain (sometimes unlikely) role, that drives these pieces into existence. It was Irek's regal and proud outsider in a group of contemporary dancers that made him such a stranger and his fall so much greater. I think the ultimate power and justification of a piece like Antic(1993), was us seeing Hamlet as a very young boy suddenly thrown into a tough world of adult power - his devastation, doubts and indecisiveness take on a new meaning if he looked like an abandoned child as Jeremy always did." Kim Brandstrup

KB’s ability, to get under the skin of the characters, (and his dancers), to evoke both subtle and ambiguous feelings, to render the subtext of a story visible, has produced a series of works that he likes to refer to as commentaries or 'takes’ on existing narratives, with his dancers as the crucial creative centre. His two pieces prompted by Dostoyevsky's The Idiot Elegy (2001), and Rushes (2008), serve as clear examples. The first, inspired and evolving around Natasha Phillipova in the powerful incarnation of Joanna Fong, the other around Carlos Acosta's distraught and violent portrayal of Rogozin. Two completely different works in both language , mood and content prompted by the same source .

narrative experiments Projects

Shaken Mirror "Rystet Spejl"

The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Theatre, København, 28th May 2016

''It is an enchanting, beautiful and evocative intersection between dance, text and music choreographer Kim Brandstrup has created in his new and very original staged work''

Vibele Wern, Berlingske Tidende

*****

Shaken Mirror "Rystet Spejl"

Invitus Invitam

The three giants of 20th-century dance overshadow most, but not Kim Brandstrup, the Danish choreographer whose new piece for The Royal Ballet held its own in a mixed bill that featured canonical work by all three of the mighty trio." ****

Evening Standard

Invitus Invitam

Rushes - fragments of a lost story

The Royal Ballet
The Royal Opera House, 23 April 2008

“One of the richest and most dramatic new ballets seen on the stage of the Royal Opera House for a good long time. A sensual, fluid creation.”

Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph

Rushes - fragments of a lost story

The Fall of the House of Usher

Bregenz Festival
Bregenz Festspielhaus , August 7 2006

“A unique and bewitching experiment…Lloyd and Brandstrup work seamlessly with a superb cast of singers and dancers”

Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

The Fall of the House of Usher

THE ANATOMY OF A STORYTELLER

Arc Dance Company
Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, 8 November 2004

"a mastery act...Brandstrup is a gifted storyteller and he sketches the tale with rapid wit... and the nine dancers could hardly be bettered"

The Guardian

 THE ANATOMY OF A STORYTELLER

Hamlet

Arc Dance Company
The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, March 2003

“. Brandstrup’s vision, and his power to realise it, make a memorable work of art. Kim Brandstrup’s new Hamlet is his most powerful creation to date.” 


Clement Crisp, Financial Times

Hamlet

Brothers

Arc Dance Company
The Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, March 2002

“[Brandstrup] has spent his career exploring ways of infusing his choreography with drama without resorting to straight-forward, linear-narrative storytelling. This is one of his finest, most fulfilling creations” 


Allan Robertson ,Time Out London

Brothers

Queen of Spades

Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes
Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts, Montreal, October 2001

“A royal flush!" 
"The Queen of Spades: The choreographer has played his cards very well by artfully blending modernity and classicism." 
"... the clarity of action, the delicacy of movement, the lovely music, and, most of all, the understated aestheticism leave you breathless throughout the ballet."

- 
Linda Boutin, Voir,

Queen of Spades

Elegy

Arc Dance Company/ Dance Umbrella
New Victoria Theatre, Woking , April 2001

"Its choreography actually combines a very Dostoyevskian intensity with the vividly specific physical personalities of its three superb dancers. The result, though spare, is engrossingly dramatic." “[Kim Brandstrup’s] best work to date for the British stage”

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian

Elegy

The Return Of Don Juan

Arc Dance Company
Sadler's Wells, March 1999

“Brandstrup’s movement language is fluently lyrical, whirling arabesques cutting across the diagonals. He writes the mime straight into the dance, so the story is always on the move, while characters who lurk on the sidelines are given richly expressive cameos”

Debra Craine, 
The Times

The Return Of Don Juan

Amor og Psyche

Royal Danish Ballet
Det Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen, May 1997

"The format is indisputable , with his first great full-length ballet, Kim Brandstrup demonstrated his ability to handle the big dramatic structure . With a cinematic drive in the editing and a swell of emotion in the form"

- Monna Dithmer, Politiken

Amor og Psyche

Crime Fictions

Arc Dance Company
Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, February 1996


Crime Fictions is Brandstrup at his most agile, a master storyteller and inventive dance maker whose own story is unfolding in new and triumphant chapters.




Evening Standard

Crime Fictions

Othello

Arc Dance Company/Irek Mukhamedov
Sadler's Wells, Feburary 1994

"Given Brandstrup’s confident and impassioned choreographic style with its strongly dramatic basis and cinematic fluency, Mukhamedov had no need to adapt his classical training. His part was brilliantly tailored to suit the vigorous and virtuoso Bolshoi technique "

Katherine Sorley Walker, Daily Telegraph

Othello

Antic

Arc Dance Company
Derby Playhouse, January 1993

"

Kim Brandstrup’s latest work for his excellent Arc Dance Company is Antic, which he claims is only based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But no other wordless evocation of the play I have ever seen has encapsulated so powerfully, so clearly, the heart of the matter.
"

The Gaurdian

Antic

White Nights

English National Ballet
London Coliseum, July 1992

“I find the resultant work allusive, haunting. Brandstrup’s ability to fix emotion with gesture is wonderfully exact; his choreographic language is fluent, clear and true.” 


Clement Crisp, Financial Times

White Nights

Peer Gynt

Arc Dance Company
The Place Theatre, London, March 1990

“Every stage of Ibsen’s stark morality play emerges with imaginative clarity and, as always, Brandstrup has assembled the right artistic collaborators as well as a responsive group of dancers…Peer Gynt shows his skill in narrative development and evocative stagecraft” 


Daily Telegraph

Peer Gynt

Orfeo

London Contemporary Dance Theatre
The Mayflower, Southampton, September 1989

Orfeo

The Dybbuk

Arc Dance Company
The Place Theatre, London, November 1988

The Dybbuk