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Janis Claxton Dance POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) to premiere in Liverpool

Janis Claxton Dance POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) to premiere in Liverpool as part of Bluecoat’s 2018 LightNight programme

  • ***** The Herald | **** The Observer | **** The Times |  **** The Scotsman
  • New tour announced for 2018 across Scotland, England, USA, Singapore and Sweden
  • IMAGES AND FILMS AVAILABLE HERE                                                                                 

“Let’s not mess about: everything about POP-UP Duets is inspired. This is, at every level, a richly inventive, wonderfully perceptive work, danced with a persuasive humanity to a score you want to own”

 ***** The Herald

"Janis Claxton is a dance-maker at the top of her technical game, with a rare emotional intelligence" **** THE OBSERVER

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) is a series of 5-minute, contemporary dance duets designed for a public spaces such as museums, galleries, cafes, libraries. This May Janis Claxton Dance will bring the performances to Liverpool’s Bluecoat as part of LightNight 2018, a festival which for one night only, takes over the city with free arts and heritage events showcasing the cities vibrant cultural offer.

Bringing together the talents of award winners Janis Claxton (choreographer) and Pippa Murphy (composer) with four world-class dancers, POP-UP Duets is designed to emerge from public situations to be enjoyed by invited as well as accidental audiences who find themselves passing by.

This LightNight, Bluecoat will be embracing the 2018 theme of Transformation, by turning into a truly immersive, engaging and interactive realm. Between 6pm-7:30pm POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) will perform a series of contemporary dance duets that will transform Bluecoat’s building and exterior spaces. Each duet is accompanied by an original soundtrack specifically composed for Bluecoat.

The four dancers lined-up for POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) at Bluecoat are Joanne Pirrie, Albert Garcia, Amy Hollinshead and Valerio Di Giovanni.

POP-UP Duets is funded by Creative Scotland to tour extensively across Scotland. The company is excited to announce that the tour will be extended to the UK, Asia, Europe and the USA.

Janis Claxton said “POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) has been an exciting success with both audiences and critics. We are delighted to be touring it in 2018 and especially thrilled to be invited to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. It’s a huge honour.”

Laura Cameron-Lewis, Head of Dance, Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is pleased to support the creation, development and tour of ‘POP-UP Duets’ by Janis Claxton Dance. This highly artistic and creative piece of dance presents beautifully crafted duets in public places, where audiences can stumble upon them. Janis Claxton has achieved great success with this work, with 5 star reviews during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, securing a comprehensive tour throughout Scotland in 2018 and the prestigious invitation to bring this work to ‘Jacob’s Pillow Dance’ in America.”

POP-UP Duets premiered in August 2016 in the Grand Gallery of National Museum of Scotland as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase for Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In March 2017 POP-UP Duets had an International premierat the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival where the work was re-created with two UK and two Taiwanese dancers for a variety of public spaces.

POP-UP Duets Trailer:

The work is made up of 8 stand-alone duets drawing on the theme of love through elegant and dynamic contemporary dance that evolves from simple everyday interactions. Each duet is accompanied by a track of original music specifically composed for the choreography by Pippa Murphy with vocals by Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, Kathryn Joseph.

As well as the contemporary dance performances, Bluecoat will open its doors for an evening of music, fun and the chance to get involved in hands on family activities. Spend the evening in the garden with choirs, DJs, live musicians and then refuel with at the outdoor bar and barbecue. Plus the gallery will be open til late, with visitors invited to Spring exhibition, Euphonia by Emma Smith which transforms Bluecoat’s gallery into a sonic chamber, turning the viewer into a participant who is invited to contribute to the sound installation by adding their own voice.

To date POP-UP Duets has been viewed by more than 10,000 people in Scotland and Taiwan and a further 76,000+ on-line at BBC Loop:

POP-UP Duets featured on BBC LOOP

POP-UP Duets trailer (5mins)

POP-UP Duets short trailer 1

POP-UP Duets short trailer 2

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) Tour 2018

Singapore International Festival of Arts – Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 April

Horsecross Theatre, Perth – Sunday 6 May

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries – Tuesday 15 May

LightNight at Bluecoat, Liverpool – Friday 18 May

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Scotland - Saturday 26 May

Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh – Friday 25 May & Sunday 3 June

Jacobs Pillow Dance, USA -  Saturday 16 to Friday June 22 June

Malmo Summerfest, Sweden – Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 July

Lund’s Sommarlund, Sweden – Friday 27 July

Merchant City Festival, Glasgow – Thursday 9 & Friday 10 August

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh - Wednesday 15 – Sunday 19 & Wednesday 22 – Sunday 26 August 

Further international dates to be announced.

POP-UP Duets is supported by Creative Scotland.

Photo at National Museum of Scotland: Lucas Kao

Other photos (in Taiwan): James Lin & Phil Chu


About Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, supporting and presenting visual art, music, dance, live art and literature, as well as practices that fall in between these categories.

In the past few years our gallery programme has shown some of the best UK and international artists, with significant solo exhibitions by William Kentridge, Sonia Boyce and John Akomfrah, as well as new commissions by emerging artists Adham Faramawy, Mary Hurrell and Louisa Martin.

Bluecoat also engages with audiences from the most vulnerable communities, from those with dementia to families facing disadvantage, through its participation programme. With artists central to these collaborations, outcomes are presented in occasional exhibitions as part of our wider gallery programme.

Bluecoat celebrated the 300th anniversary of its historic building in 2017, with 300 days of events, exhibitions and residencies and a heritage participation project My Bluecoat, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About Janis Claxton Dance

Based in Edinburgh and touring internationally, Janis Claxton Dance is a multi-award winning company with a reputation for bringing high quality works to new and diverse audiences including large-scale performances in Scotland’s National Museums and Galleries, Edinburgh Zoo and Edinburgh International Science Festival. Janis Claxton is a leading voice on the Scottish and UK scene and has garnered international attention and invitations for her diverse and unique works and her abilities to craft exquisite material with world-class dancers.


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