IMPERMANENCE Premieres Politically-Charged New Dance Theatre at Bristol Old Vic and Wilton's Music Hall This May

Learn more about the upcoming engagements here!

By: Feb. 21, 2023
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VENUS is a new richly diverse evening of work from IMPERMANENCE, the contemporary dance company run by choreographers, directors and performers Roseanna Anderson and Joshua Ben-Tovim. VENUS is four politically-charged works, three live and one film, all set to new compositions.

Venus, an explosive live work for seven dancers, is part of IMPERMANENCE's examination of modernism and the growth of radical ideologies in the early 20th century. Directed by Roseanna Anderson and Joshua Ben-Tovim and created in collaboration with writer Peter Clements, the piece takes its name from the actions of Suffragette Mary Richardson who vandalised the Rokeby Venus painting at the National Gallery in protest at women being denied the vote. Richardson would later go on to lead the Women's Section of the British Union of Fascists. It is this political ambiguity that fascinates Anderson and Ben-Tovim. Composer Li Yilei's pulsing electronic composition careers between tranquil minimalism and harsh sound clusters. The dancers are Roseanna Anderson, Joshua Ben-Tovim, Kip Johnson, Alessandro Marzotto-Levy, Kennedy Jr. Muntanga and Oxana Panchenko with one more to be announced. Lighting design is by Mike Gunning and Imogen Senter and costumes by Julian Smith.

Joshua Ben-Tovim's Enemy of the Stars is a dance adaptation of Wyndham Lewis's 1914 play. Written seven months before the outbreak of World War I and published as part of the Vorticist manifesto BLAST, it is considered by some to be the first modernist play with links drawn with Beckett's Waiting for Godot, written some 40 years later. Two characters rage against themselves and each other through suicidal musings and desperation for meaning, echoing the way in which the Modernist movement sought to be reborn from the ashes of Victorian morality. Ben-Tovim created Enemy of the Stars with dancers Kennedy Jr. Muntanga and Evan Schwarz with mentoring from the late Sir Robert Cohan. A score by Ben Oliver features a new recording for chamber ensemble, counterpointing intricate drone soundscapes with contemporary classical rhythms and melodies.

A live work for three dancers choreographed by Roseanna Anderson, Cosmic Yoghurt is a homage to British Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Communing with Leonora's paintings, stories and speeches, Cosmic Yoghurt moves between the wild and the domestic, quivering in the space between human and animal. In this alchemical habitat, the dancers channel the Surrealists' extraordinary energy, imagination and independence. The piece is designed by IMPERMANENCE's long-term collaborator designer Pam Tait and features original music by Bristol-based folk musician Nick Hart.

Short film Feral brings together a number of notable collaborators. Based on the book Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life by George Monbiot, who also appears in the film, Feral is devised and created by director Ben-Tovim and composer Hollie Harding. Her original score features a special recording of a live performance by four musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra. The film uses intense physicality and breathtaking locations including an ancient oak forest on Dartmoor, Tintern Abbey, the Severn estuary mud flats and a matrix of flooded waterways around Oxford to explore themes of rewilding, ecological crisis and human loss of connection with the natural world. The score combines the LSO recording, other composed elements, Foley sound effects and on-location field recordings to explore the complex relationships between sound and sight, humans and ecology. The performers are Roseanna Anderson, Solomon Anderson-Bentovim, Alexandra Brown, Kip Johnson and George Monbiot. Trailer:

Since 2022, IMPERMANENCE has been based in The Mount Without, a Grade ll listed church, where Anderson and Ben-Tovim are creating a brand-new ancient home for dance in Bristol for audiences, dancers, artists, young people and members of the community.

Listings information follow.

20 April at 7.30pm
Lawrence Batley Theatre
Queen's Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield HD1 2SP
Booking: 01484 430528 /

3 & 4 May at 7.30pm
Bristol Old Vic
King St, Bristol BS1 4ED
Booking: 0117 987 7877 /

17 & 18 May at 7.30pm
Wilton's Music Hall, London
1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB
Booking: 020 7702 2789 /


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