Women lead way at Leeds’s own Phoenix Dance Theatre

EXTRACT: A scene from Calyx.
EXTRACT: A scene from Calyx.
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Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre returns to its home stage next week with a production celebrating female talent within the company.

Led by its Artistic Director and Yorkshire Woman of the Year, Sharon Watson, it is a showcase of dance including a never-before-seen piece that is set to have its world premiere in Leeds in February.

Windrush: Movement of the People will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the ship SS Empire Windrush which brought the first generation of Caribbean immigrants to England in large numbers. It was 1948 and the start of the post-war immigration boom. Windrush, is the first ever piece of contemporary dance to mark this historical event.

Watson said: “I am excited about Windrush. It highlights the struggles and the good times the Jamaican community experienced in those early years. It’s an uplifting production and has a great soundtrack with everything from Calypso to R&B.”

And, Calyx, by company dancer Sandrine Monin, was commissioned by Watson last year. Based on the book of poems The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire, Calyx explores beauty, desire and decadence.