Leeds’s own Phoenix Dance Theatre to revive work

Choreographer Edward Lynch (second from left) and dancers in Nightlife at the Flamingo 1983. PIC: Terry Cryer

Choreographer Edward Lynch (second from left) and dancers in Nightlife at the Flamingo 1983. PIC: Terry Cryer

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A Leeds dance company will stage a major revival of one of its earliest works from 1983 as part of its 35th anniversary celebration.

Phoenix Dance Theatre, which is the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside London, will breathe new life into Nightlife at the Flamingo.

The work will be performed as part of the company’s 35th anniversary celebration, Phoenix @ Home, at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre this autumn.

Choreographed by Edward Lynch, who also danced in the original production, Nightlife at the Flamingo premiered in Leeds in 1983 under the company’s first artistic director David Hamilton.

Mr Lynch said: “Phoenix has a long standing history in promoting the development of young northern dancers, I’m excited to welcome the next generation of talent to perform alongside the professional company.

“It is important to recognise that in the 80s Phoenix Dance Company changed the cultural context of British dance and it’s an honour to be reviving this piece for the same transformative company 35 years on.”

Originally set in an American nightclub, the piece integrated popular culture and modern dance performed by five dancers with scenes depicting 1940s’ dance hall alongside typical 1980s’ club dance.

For this revived anniversary performance the work will be updated by Mr Lynch and will feature up to 35 dancers.

Influenced by their dance teachers from school, notably the late Nadine Senior, the then called Phoenix Dance Company was formed in 1981 by David Hamilton, Donald Edwards and Vilmore James. From its genesis in Harehills Phoenix quickly achieved national acclaim.