Tanztheater Adrian Look company is the leading Tanztheater company in the UK, having made 12 pieces since their formation in 2016 including ACE-funded works The Art of Failure, Fix what is not broken, and A Thousand Eyes, and 4 commissions for Movement for Hope, Maria Vega Dance, and the University of Bedfordshire. Their work has been performed at Sadler’s Wells (NPO), The Place (NPO), The Cockpit Theatre, Stratford Circus (NPO), & Bloomsbury Theatre (University College London). As a company, they have a social mission to actively practice and promote equality, acceptance, and ethical working.
Alongside the creation of new work, Tanztheater Adrian Look also has a strong commitment to education, delivering workshops, talkshops, and lectures with their performances. The company has taught at a number of institutions including Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (NPO), Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Chisenhale Dance, and Greenwich Dance. Adrian himself is a regular tutor at London School of Contemporary Dance and Morley College and is a guest lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire.
Who are we?
In order to get to know us, we thought about three questions which we feel are important:
Let’s start with the most important one:
Why do we do what we do? Or in other words: What do we believe in?
We believe in people. And we believe in potential. We believe in making right choices and by that we mean morally right choices. And we believe in the pursuit of true compromise as the strongest bond and vehicle for sustainable peace.
But we also believe in the reality of struggle, insecurity and pain just as strongly as we embrace compassion and forgiveness.
And this is the friction that fuels us to create.
We phrase it (somewhat heavily) as such:
We are challenging the moral integrity of mankind while remaining sympathetic for its failure!
We believe that morals and compassion should be the most important reasons for the actions we take, as individuals, nations and our human race as a whole but we also know that it is near impossible (or at least very difficult) to be a truly good person. Let us be honest here for a second. How often do you ask yourself: What is the right thing to do? And even more importantly: Do you do then also do it?
We believe in the importance of a conversation and an honest exchange of thoughts and opinions and we believe that we can play our part in advocating humanity by inducing a process of reflection and consideration but without inflicting sententious judgement. We are not telling you that we are better, in fact we all are part of the problem. We just don’t want the question to disappear.
We believe that through our work you might question, contemplate and challenge yourself and we certainly believe that this is a good thing.
Onto the next question:
How do we do it?
We do it by telling stories. – About people – Fragments of stories to be precise.
And we do it through movement, dance, action and voice.
We include the absurd, the beautiful and the hidden through vivifying dance and snaring dialogue.
We also do it with subtleness and softness. We do not impose but thoughtfully suggest a matured version of our answers to the questions we raise. We tempt the audience to participate in the experience and observe, feel, question and indulge.
Our main area of interest is the correlation between a natural movement quality as a physical reaction to an emotional state and the bigger context it relates to. We tell small stories of big contexts.
Imagine a man or woman sitting in the shadows, in front of a desk, hunched over with his or her head between the hands.
Which emotional state caused the physical reaction and how did the person end up there in the first place? This is what we are interested in: State | reaction | context.
What do we do?
This seems to be the logical first question but we put it last for one simple reason. What we do is a mere result of what we believe.
We choose to make Tanztheater pieces because of our love for the beauty and aesthetic of expressive dance and the power and directness of theatre. The cause however is based on our belief of encouraging the conversation of regaining human decency and righteousness into our lives.
So, what DO we do:
We aim to create dance pieces of psychological/ philosophical depth and socio-scientific observations using emotional storytelling through movement and voice.
We work to create rich, relatable and engaging pieces using a subtle balance of humour and drama. We educate through workshops, we engage through conversations and dialogue and we entertain with performances and stories.
We observe, we play, we question and we doubt. We fail and throw away, we regain and connect. We create and we strive. We strive to give. And we believe – in the subtle power of our work as an artistic, poignant and hopeful metaphor for our potential as people.
And this is the why, how and what of our company.