SMOTHER Opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East 4/13

Following the sellout success last year at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 201 Dance Company and Patrick Collier Production Company are embarking on the premiere UK tour of SMOTHER from April - June 2017. Challenging the the taboo that persists in urban dance around presenting stories of homosexuality, choreographer Andrea Walker directs a cast of seven in a fast-paced, intimate performance about relationships.

Can you stay true to yourself, when everything suggests you change? 201's raw, contemporary hip-hop movement comes to the UK in Smother: a story of two people's broken encounter, touching on themes of addiction, obsession, and the true meaning of commitment. The show uses fast-paced, hard-hitting choreography and follows a number of relationships to raise questions about companionship and identity. Having repeatedly found that hip-hop lacks powerful gay voices, 201 present a bold, provocative show that brings a new voice to the urban dance scene. After acclaimed performances in New York and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 201 Dance Company have gone from strength to strength.

UK TOUR LISTINGS INFORMATION

Thursday 13 April & Saturday 15 April, 8pm, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London, E15 1BN Box Office 020 8534 0310 Tickets £12www.stratfordeast.com

Wednesday 10 May, Lincoln Drill Hall Freeschool Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1EY. Box Office: 01522 873894 www.lincolndrillhall.com

Tuesday 23 May, South Hill Park Arts, Ringmead, Bracknell, RG12 7PA, Phone: 01344 484 123, www.southhillpark.org.uk

Friday 26 May, Dance City Temple Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4BR Box office 0191 261 0505 www.dancecity.co.uk

Thursday 1& Friday 2 June Birmingham Hippodrome (Patrick Centre) Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4TB, Box Office: 0844 338 5000. www.dancexchange.org.uk

Tuesday 20 June, Theatre Royal Bath (the Egg) Sawclose, Bath BA1 1ET. Box office: 01225 823409 www.theatreroyal.org.uk

Thursday 22 June, Courtyard Theatre, Edgar St, Hereford, HR4 9JR. Box office 01432 340555 www.courtyard.org.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

ABOUT 201 Dance Company

201 Dance Company is a new company bringing together experienced artists and producers to create daring new work that is socially responsive and accessible. The artists share a drive to tell stories that matter and give a voice to underrepresented groups, while bringing striking and original dance to diverse audiences. 201 was founded in 2014 by choreographer and director Andrea Walker, associate producer Patrick Collier, and a team of 6 experienced and emerging urban and contemporary dancers. The company's ethos centres around creating challenging dance-theatre that crosses urban and contemporary genres. The ensemble are driven to confront controversial issues and challenge social prejudices. Through 'Smother' the company partners with advocacy and outreach charities to use exceptional dance theatre as a vehicle for engaging audiences in topical social issues.

ANDREA WALKER - DIRECTOR / CHOREOGRAPHER

Andrea Walker is the founder and artistic director of 201 Dance Company. London based, he began dancing aged 14 in Rome, Italy, and continued his study and exploration of dance at The Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), and at The Broadway Dance Center in New York City, from which he graduated with a Certificate of Excellence and winning the Outstanding Award for Concept Choreography. Most recently, he choreographed and danced Ebony Bones' tour, and opened Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation Show in Miami with the band. Other credits include Coldplay, Aggro Santos, Kimberly Walsh (Girls Aloud), Impact Dance (Peackock Theatre), Xbox, T-Mobile, Martini and D&G.

PATRICK COLLIER - PRODUCER

Patrick is a London based theatre and dance producer. Other recent work includes Theatre Temoin's 'The Marked' (Pleasance King Dome 2016), Access All Areas' 'The Misfit Analysis' (VAULT Festival 2016, Pleasance and touring 2015), Sparkle and Dark's 'I Am Beast' (Pleasance 2015), Fourth Monkey Ensemble's 'Elephant Man' (touring 2014-15), Sparkle and Dark's 'Killing Roger' (touring 2014), Theatre Témoin's 'The Fantasist' (London, Edinburgh and touring 2011-2013), Access All Areas' 'Eye Queue Hear' (touring 2013-15), Theatre Témoin's 'Nineveh' (Riverside Studios London 2013), Theatre Re's 'The Little Soldiers' (Pleasance Queen Dome 2013), Metta Theatre's 'Monkey & Crocodile' (Touring 2013), 'The Rub' for the New York's Tremor Theatre Collective (New Orleans 2012), and Iris Theatre's 'As You Like It' (Covent Garden Open Air Theatre 2012). Patrick trained at Trinity College Dublin and is a recipient of the Natwest Young Producer's bursary.

CAST & CREATIVES:

Andrea Walker (choreographer and dancer); Patrick Collier (creative producer / associate director); Lighting Design: Louisa Smurthwaite. DANCERS: Michaela Cisarikova, Luca Fracasso, Ashley Lloyd, Amy Lucas, Dineshi Nirgunananthan, Saran Kohli, Andrea Walker.



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