This spring Phoenix Dance Theatre will embark on a UK tour with a brand-new mixed programme – BELONGING: Loss. Legacy. Love. The powerfully visceral and thought-provoking triple bill explores the nuances of human experience by three exciting international dance makers.

Including two world premieres – Miguel Altunaga’s Cloudburst and Marcus Jarrell Willis’ Terms of Agreement – this will also be the first-time the Leeds-based company has toured Dane Hurst’s acclaimed Requiem (excerpts). BELONGING: Loss. Legacy. Love. will open in Phoenix Dance Theatre’s hometown at Leeds Playhouse on Wed 21 February 2024 before touring to Dundee Rep Theatre, Liverpool Everyman Theatre, The Place in London, Malvern Theatres and Cast in Doncaster, with final performances at York Theatre Royal in May.

Requiem by South African choreographer, and former Phoenix Artistic Director, Dane Hurst is a powerful reimagining of Mozart’s awe-inspiring choral masterpiece and an emotional response to the grief experienced by so many around the world during the pandemic. The critically acclaimed production premiered at Leeds Grand Theatre last year as part of LEEDS 2023: Year of Culture in a co-production with Opera North and South African partners Jazzart Dance Theatre and Cape Town Opera. Phoenix later remounted Requiem in Cape Town with Jazzart Dance Theatre in the company’s first international performances since before the pandemic.

In his first stage commission for Phoenix, Afro-Cuban choreographer Miguel Altunaga premieres his daring new work, Cloudburst. Altunaga first collaborated with Phoenix in 2022 to create the dance film EBÓ as part of the company’s inaugural Digital Programme. A continuation of that work, Cloudburst explores mankind’s relationship to tribe and community, mythology and spirituality, ritual and surrealism, and how choices made by our ancestors shape our culture as well as our very being. Set to a new score by composer David Preston.

Terms of Agreement is Texas-born Marcus Jarrell Willis’ first creation for Phoenix and is the third work of his choreographic series Terms & Conditions. Focusing on the more ethereal, spiritual and kismet perspectives, it unravels the eternal question: what is true love? Further to understanding this, once you have negotiated the terms, will you accept the agreement? Terms of Agreement includes original written compositions by Tomos O’Sullivan and music by various popular artists.

BELONGING: Loss. Legacy. Love. is Phoenix Dance Theatre’s first UK tour since 2022 when it presented 40 Years of Phoenix, a celebratory retrospective which brought together a range of work from across the company’s last four decades.

Marcus Jarrell Willis, Artistic Director, says: “Building upon the resounding success of Phoenix Dance Theatre’s last tour which fittingly reflected on the company’s remarkable 40th anniversary, Phoenix is now poised to direct its focus forwards. Marking this latest chapter for the company we are embarking on a tour of new choreographic works, including two world premieres.”

Marcus Jarrell Willis took up the position of Phoenix Dance Theatre Artistic Director in October last year.

He continues: “I am thrilled to be contributing my own creation to this versatile program and it has been a privilege for me working with our exceptionally gifted dancers to craft my first work for Phoenix. I believe that this mixed bill will speak to every audience member at each theatre we visit. The emotions we feel during the different stages of our life and the questions we ask about our past, present and future shape who we are and inform our sense of belonging. The sentiments expressed through these three works will resonate differently with each individual present in the audience, allowing space for both an impactful and memorable experience.”

Leeds Playhouse
Wed 21 – Fri 23 February
Box Office 0113 213 7700

Doncaster, Cast
Wed 24 April
Box Office 01302 303959

York Theatre Royal
Fri 3 & Sat 4 May
Box Office 01904 623568