DanceHouse Performs World Premiere of Kidd Pivot's Dance/Theatre Hybrid ASSEMBLY HALL

Performances run October 26-28, 2023 at 8pm.

By: Sep. 20, 2023
DanceHouse Performs World Premiere of Kidd Pivot's Dance/Theatre Hybrid ASSEMBLY HALL

DanceHouse presents the world premiere of Kidd Pivot’s Assembly Hall, October 26-28, 2023 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Award-winning collaborators, Kidd Pivot Artistic Director Crystal Pite and Electric Company Theatre Co-Founder Jonathon Young, once again join electrifying forces in their latest dance/theatre hybrid that promises the creative pair’s signature eviscerating wit and razor-sharp physicality. In a genre-defying classical farce, reality is subverted by ancient forces suddenly awakened in a high stakes journey of mind-bending mysticism.

“DanceHouse is thrilled to have the privilege of presenting another world premiere from the supremely talented and inventive co-creators that brought us some of the most exhilarating works of the past decade, including the award-winning Revisor and Betroffenheit,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “Both masterful storytellers, Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young convey a singular movement vocabulary and biting narrative into groundbreaking works of art that never cease to thrill and move audiences. In Assembly Hall, the co-creators layer their cast of larger-than-life characters and satirical tropes with a fantastical adventure that exposes humanity’s compulsion toward vanity, power, and greed.”

Assembly Hall follows a group of medieval re-enactors who have come together for an Annual General Meeting in their local community hall. They’ve come to discuss a solution for their premier event “Quest Fest,” which has fallen on hard times: membership is dwindling, debt is mounting, and even their hall is falling apart. As debate continues and tempers flare, the trajectory of the meeting suddenly takes a mysterious turn when ancient forces are magically awakened. As the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, it soon becomes clear that there is something much more at stake than a mock-medieval tournament.

Fuelled by the role of language as an animating force, the movement of the work’s eight dancers interplays with Young’s trademark amplified dialogue, which loops and repeats to alienating effect, further obscuring fact from fiction. A suspenseful score, mercurial lighting, and video installation heighten tension, leading audiences on a heart-racing adventure through time and space. Following its world premiere in Vancouver, Assembly Hall will embark on a national tour to Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City.

Prior to Assembly Hall, Pite and Young collaborated on the satirical farce Revisor, which premiered at DanceHouse in February 2019, before embarking on a world tour, and was the recipient of the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, coupled with the international sensation Betroffenheit, which premiered in 2015 and was also the recipient of the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, and named the number one dance production of the 21st century by The Guardian.

In a choreographic career spanning three decades, Crystal Pite has created more than 50 works for companies including The Royal Ballet, The Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt, The National Ballet of Canada, and Ballets Jazz Montréal (resident choreographer 2001–04), and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Pite is a Member of the Order of Canada, and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Benois de la Danse, Canada Council Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal, two UK Critics’ Circle Dance Awards, four Laurence Olivier Awards, and, most recently, she was named a 2022 Governor General Performing Arts award recipient, recognizing her outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada. She began her dance career as a company member of Ballet BC, then William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt, and is currently Associate Choreographer of Nederlands Dans Theater I, Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells in London. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University. In 2002, she formed Kidd Pivot in Vancouver.

Canadian theatre artist Jonathon Young is playwright-in-residence at Kidd Pivot and a core artist of Electric Company Theatre, where he has created and performed in more than 20 original productions: Tear the Curtain! (Arts Club Theatre, Canadian Stage), No Exit (American Conservatory Theatre), Betroffenheit (international tour). He has worked as an actor on stages across Canada: Knives in Hens (Coalmine Theatre), The Full Light of Day (Electric Company/Luminato Festival), All But Gone (Necessary Angel, Toronto), The Great Gatsby (Theatre Calgary), Hamlet (Bard on the Beach). In addition to Betroffenheit and Revisor, Jonathon collaborated with Crystal Pite on two productions for Nederlands Dans Theater (Parade and The Statement). Jonathon is the recipient of two Olivier Awards and a UK National Dance Award.

Kidd Pivot’s phenomenal dancers – Brandon Alley, Livona Ellis, Rakeem Hardy, Gregory Lau, Doug Letheren, Rena Narumi, Ella Rothschild and Renée Sigouin – will breathe life into the world premiere of Assembly Hall, along with the production team behind many of the company’s works: composition and sound design by Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani, and Meg Roe; scenic design by Jay Gower Taylor; visual/video Design by Cybèle Young, lighting design by Tom Visser; and costume design by Nancy Bryant.

Assembly Hall is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells (London, UK), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France), Centro       Servizi Culturali Santa Chiara (Trento, Italy), National Arts Centre (Ottawa, Canada), Seattle Theatre Group (Seattle, US), Canadian Stage (Toronto, Canada), DanceHouse (Vancouver, Canada), Danse Danse (Montreal, Canada), Le Diamant (Quebec, Canada), Electric Company Theatre (Vancouver, Canada). Additionally, the production has been developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund


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