Critically acclaimed choreographer Alexander Whitley premieres ground-breaking new work
“Whitley has a fecundity of ideas, the skills to make them theatrical and he floods the stage with feelings and vivid, stimulating dance” – Financial Times
Alexander Whitley, renowned choreographer working at the cutting edge of British contemporary dance and with the new creative possibilities opened up by digital technologies, announces new work Overflow, a compelling and timely exploration of what it means to be human in the era of big data. Overflow will premiere at DanceEast on 8 November 2019 before touring internationally including the London premiere at Sadler’s Wells Theatre on 17 April 2020.
Overflow sees Whitley build on his reputation for creating thought-provoking and visually arresting stage productions in collaboration with a diverse range of world-class collaborators, including digital artists, filmmakers, academics, designers and composers. This new work features an exhilarating new score by composer and long-time collaborator Rival Consoles who has created music for the TV series Black Mirror, stunning kinetic light sculpture by Children of the Light with creative technologists Fenyce & lighting designer Guy Hoare and striking costumes by award-winning designer, Ana Rajcevic.
Alexander Whitley says, “Behavioural data, mined from human experience, is now the primary commodity in a communication system designed to know everything about us while remaining unknowable to us. Recording our every click and ‘like’ in order to predict and modify our behaviour, our ability to act freely and our relationship to the future are fundamentally changed. In making Overflow, I’ve drawn inspiration from a wealth of fascinating writing exposing the social, political and psychological transformations we are experiencing in the era of big data and considered the impact this is having on personal autonomy and collective action.”
As Artistic Director of Alexander Whitley Dance Company (AWDC), New Wave Associate at Sadler's Wells, a former associate at Rambert and former choreographic affiliate of the Royal Ballet, Whitley has received significant attention for his past works exploring the impact of technology on contemporary human experience and his ground-breaking use of interactive tech to redefine the parameters of choreography.
His innovative stage productions, installations, and virtual reality experiences have established a reputation for ambitious and intellectually engaging work such as 8 Minutes and accompanying VR piece Celestial Motion which takes audiences on a breathtaking journey to the sun, Pattern Recognition sees dancers ‘teaching’ motion-sensitive lights to respond to human activity and Strange Stranger draws on the notion of the 'data shadow’ we leave behind through routine interaction with technology. Recent collaborators include experimental musician and producer Beatrice Dillon, world-renowned juggler Sean Gardini, BAFTA Award-winning visual artist Tal Rosner, Thomas Adès one of England's most distinguished concert composers, artist/creative technologist Memo Atken and leading immersive art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast.
Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sadler's Wells Theatre says “Alexander’s work is of particular interest and significance for the way in which it engages with contemporary thinking and current issues. He creates not only beautiful and interesting forms of movement but conceives of choreography as the embodiment of an intellectual pursuit.”