Dance - Henri Oguike
Henri Oguike has been described as ‘one of the most musical choreographers of his generation’. Since founding his own company in 1999 Oguike has attracted considerable acclaim for his passionate blend of music and movement, winning the Time Out Live Award for most outstanding New Company in 2001 and recently being nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award. Tonight’s show is comprised of four pieces from a new repertoire. I speak to Oguike over the phone and ask him to take me through the programme. “It opens with ‘Little Red’”, he explains, “which is based on two short Vivaldi concertos back-to-back. I use the music as a sort of springboard to find a unique movement language.” It also draws on the associations of red with Vivaldi (who was known as the Red Priest) and the stories of Little Red Riding Hood.
This piece is followed by ‘Expression Lines’ - “a solo dance by myself”, says Oguike, set to the music of Ali Farka Toure. “I always used it to warm up to without thinking about it and then I realised that I’d already forged this introspective meditative relationship with the piece”. ‘Tiger Dancing’ follows, which was influenced by the poem by William Blake. “I became really interested in exploring ideas of symmetry and pattern-making”, I am told. The show finishes with ‘Green in Blue’ Oguike’s first foray into jazz. “It’s a real partnership with the musicians”, he says, “developed out of improvisation like the music itself. It’s something I’d like to do a lot more in the future.”