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Yorkshire's Phoenix Dance Theatre Celebrates 35 Years

Yorkshire’s own internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company Phoenix Dance Theatre is to turn 35 in a special anniversary tour in 2016 which will open at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds on 17 February.

From small beginnings in inner-city Leeds, Phoenix Dance Theatre is now the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside of London. In celebration of their 35 year Phoenix Dance Theatre present a Triple Bill of intense, funny and beautiful dances including two brand new commissions to celebrate the diversity and collaboration for which the Company has become internationally known.

In a fitting commemoration of the 400 anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his timeless themes of desire, duplicity and unrequited love are brought to life in Kate Flatt’s brand new work Undivided Loves. Fusing sound, words and dance, Shakespeare’s most intimate, mysterious and radical sonnets are reimagined to Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale’s vibrant and percussive score.

In contrast, world-famous Dutch/Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili reworks his piece, Until.With/Out.Enough, which explores the concept of the enclosed space that exists within our minds, as part of a co-commission with The Royal Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Since 1981 the Company has grown to be a key Northern forerunner in contemporary dance and for over three and a half decades Phoenix Dance Theatre has performed, educated and inspired people across the globe.

Sharon Watson was appointed as the 7th Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre in May 2009 and has since reaffirmed the Company’s core values through all of its activities whilst enriching and embodying the spirit of a multi-cultural Britain. Earlier this year Sharon was also appointed as independent chair of the steering committee, bidding for European Capital of Culture Leeds 2023 championing the pride of Leeds on the world stage.

Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson said:
‘We are enjoying our most successful times yet here in Leeds and like most 35-year-olds, now is the opportunity to be at our most creative, ambitious and experimental. Phoenix Dance Theatre is becoming a household name here in Yorkshire and the ambition going forward is to take that local legacy and build on it further afield. This birthday celebration is a real milestone and celebrates the great times that we have had, whilst looking ahead to the future.’

Alongside Until.With/Out.Enough and Undivided Loves will feature Sharon Watson‘s acclaimed Melt or Bloom by New Adventures Choreographer Award-winner Caroline Finn, which explores the dark and comic moments of life through her playful, quirky and highly engaging choreographic style.

Phoenix Dance Theatre will continue its birthday celebrations throughout 2016, its 35 year. Following the Leeds premiere Triple Bill 2016 will tour around the country including Doncaster, Darlington and York.

Tickets are now on sale, for more information and to book please visit


Phoenix Dance - Triple Bill