At the Riley Theatre
Austrian-based dance company Bodhi Project returns to Leeds with a double bill of works by internationally acclaimed choreographers Hillel Kogan and Stephanie Thiersch.
BODHI PROJECT is a postgraduate Artist-in-Practice dance program run by the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD), enabling exceptional students to tour internationally as part of a professional company year.
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Hillel Kogan is interested in the stories that bodies tell. He believes that no matter what culture we belong to, the body is always a reflection of the social ideologies we have been brainwashed with and internalised. Dancer is the Answer examines whether dance is ever truly “free”.
In Stephanie Thiersch’s Kritter six dancers move in gender-neutralising bodysuits like hybrids between human, animal and robot. Exploring bodies in processes of transformation, Kritter is a sharp, witty portrayal of the ambivalent relationship between humans and the natural world.
Hillel Kogan is an award-winning choreographer, dancer, dramaturg and teacher. After studying at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York, Kogan performed for The Batsheva Ensemble, Nomades Dance Company (Switzerland) and Ballet Gulbenkian (Portugal). He was commissioned to create short works for the National Ballet of Portugal, Muza Dance Company, the Suzanne Dellal Center and others.
He has participated in Curtain Up Festival multiple times, presenting Taki Take One (2006), After the Bolero (2007), Everything (2009) and Obscene Gesture (2011), and in 2015 was appointed as co-artistic director of the festival. In 2005, Kogan received an invitation to work as Assistant Choreographer to Ohad Naharin for the Batsheva Ensemble.
Kogan’s repertoire includes The Rite of Spring (2011) and We Love Arabs (2013), both commissions for Tmuna Theater’s Intimadance Festival. We Love Arabs received critical acclaim and numerous prizes in Israel and abroad, and continues to be performed in New York, Portland, Paris, Munich, Budapest, Prague and more.
He is the recipient of the Israel National Lottery’s 2015 Landau Prize and The Israel Critics’ Circle’s 2013 Outstanding Choreographer. For his choreographies, Kogan received the Yair Shapira Prize in 2010 and the Teva Prize in 2009.
Stephanie Thiersch studied dance, the humanities and media art alongside the performance artist Valie Export at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. With her company MOUVOIR, which she founded in 2000, she has developed over 50 stage plays, films and installations which have received numerous accolades and toured nationally and internationally to major festivals and theatres.
Thiersch was a visiting professor at the Institute for Applied Theater Studies in Gießen and at the College of Music and Dance in Cologne. With the Freihandelszone ensemble network she has been artistic director of the GLOBALIZE:COLOGNE festival since 2006 and of URBÄNG! since 2017.
Thiersch sees her choreographic work as part of a broader understanding of interdisciplinary movement research, which initially involved media, then increasingly visual arts, pop culture and, above all, music in the choreographic mindset. Since 2011, her focus has also been on collective works on the subject of post-colonialism with artists from Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016 she organised City Dance Köln, a politically-motivated outdoor dance event with over 600 actors and 10,000 participating citizens.