News: Scottish Dance Theatre brings Velvet Petal to London

Friday 20 July 2018

Scottish Dance Theatre: Velvet Petal

Scotland’s national contemporary dance company brings its latest show, Velvet Petal, to London this summer following rave reviews from performances in Glasgow, Mexico City and the Edinburgh Festival.

Velvet Petal is inspired by the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, and the transformative power of creating beauty out of whatever you find on the bedroom floor. Choreographed by Scottish Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Fleur Darkin and created in collaboration with the company, Velvet Petal sees dancers philosophise, seduce and experiment with their bodies, clothing and ideas.

Set to a dance-punk score arranged by Torben Lars Sylvest including music by LCD Soundsystem, Spoek Mathambo and Abul Mogard, Velvet Petal evokes the heady atmosphere of early 80s New York as audiences witness tough girls and pretty boys living life in the margins, dreaming about being at the centre. The work morphs in content and length for each performance.

Fleur Darkin says:

“Velvet Petal is about change – how humans change by themselves or through relationships with others. It’s about those times in your life when you must transform yourself. I spent a lot of time researching the photographic process and the polaroids of Robert Mapplethorpe inspired me to see things in a new way.

Ever since reading Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids I was compelled to make a piece that captures the energy of constant change and transformation. I hope Velvet Petal will inspire audiences to reflect on their own metamorphoses as they are moved by the marvel of human growth. We are living in tough times and a lot of our depression comes from hearing the news. Velvet Petal is about listening to those private desires and connecting with our dreams. I want the audience to leave the theatre thinking: Anything is possible.”

Velvet Petal is presented at the Southbank Centre on 31 August and 1 September. Before each performance, audiences can experience a 30-minute set of composer Abul Mogard’s emotive and transcendent music, accompanied with visuals by Marja de Sanctis, in the recently-renovated Purcell Room.

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