"The excellent Antonia Grove... is a voice in the dance theatre world that is worth listening to." - Time Out London (on Running on Empty)
Future Now guest artist Antonia Grove is a choreographer, teacher, performer and artistic director of the dance theatre company Probe.
Antonia trained at the Rambert School and joined Rambert Dance Company between 1998 and 2003.
She has danced for companies including The National Theatre, Random Dance, Bonachela Dance Company, Fabulous Beast, Matthias Sperling, and Vincent Dance Theatre. As a performer, Antonia has three times been nominated for the Critics Circle National Dance Awards and was a Time Out Live Award nominee.
She has worked with acclaimed choreographers such as Christopher Bruce, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Merce Cunningham, Ohad Naharin, Richard Alston, Wayne McGregor, Didy Veldman, Rafael Bonachela, Mark Bruce, Lea Anderson, and Wendy Houstoun.
Antonia founded Probe dance theatre company in 2004 and has produced and performed in six touring productions to date.
She is also a contemporary teacher at The Royal Ballet Upper School, Associate Lecturer at Chichester University, and a guest teacher across a number of professional companies, vocational schools, universities, and youth and community groups.
Ahead of graduation performances from Wednesday 3rd - Saturday 6th July, we asked Antonia to reveal a little about her creative process with our third-year students.
Q. How would you describe your practice as a whole?
A. My work uses dance, movement improvisation, voice, text, sound and whatever is most needed to communicate our idea. The work I’m making with the students will be a true collaboration, where materials will be given, tasks set, and improvisation used as a creation tool to find interesting material for our new work. We will work hard but hopefully have a lot of fun too!
Q. What has the process of working with the students been like so far?
A. I always begin a creative process by getting to know the skills and characters of the artists I have in the room in relation to any ideas I bring as a starting point. I often come with some starting ideas mapped out, but inevitably they all explode and get constantly re-evaluated once I get my dancers in the room!
My desire is often to utilise the less recognised skills in the dancers by inviting them out of their comfort zones. I will also want to showcase the elements that already shine brightly in them, because these often show the essence of a person’s character, and enable the audience to feel close to the performer.
Q. Are there any ideas of themes in particular you are dealing with in this new work?
A. With the dancers I have been researching and developing ideas around how strength and power manifest physically, looking at manipulation, control, order, destruction and chaos. We are looking at both quiet and demonstrative approaches, working through the creation of movement material, written texts and improvised tasks. We are using our imagination to conjure up superpowers and a heightened sense of what might be possible.
Q. Do you have any collaborators working with you on the creation of the work?
No! Whilst I’m a huge fan of collaborations with different artists, designers, composers etc, I’m also very happy to be taking the lead on all the design elements and editing the music myself for this creation. I will be utilising all the skills of the people in the building – Phil, my rehearsal director, Melissa on costuming and the brilliant technical staff on lighting design.
Q. What can audiences expect to see?
I hope that audiences will feel something, think something and experience something unique and honest. There will be elements of high energy, physicality and power as well as sensitivity and, hopefully, beauty.
Join us for an annual celebration of the future’s top dance artists at Future Now, Weds 3 – Sat 6 July.Find out more