The Hofesh Shechter Company comes to London this September and October with the groundbreaking festival #hofest. This is a showcase of four brand new pieces which are being performed across some of London’s iconic venues.
The Hofesh Shechter company was formed in 2008 by Shechter, Helen Shute and Colette Hansford. The company have toured the world and some of their other works include Uprising, In your rooms and Political Mother. Hofesh is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Hofesh Shechter Company is a Resident Company at the Brighton Dome.
I managed to grab sometime with Anna Moller and Kenny Ho who are currently rehearsing with the Shechter Junior. It was great to find out about their experiences both with the Shechter Junior and with the new project #Hofest, where they are performing in two of the four pieces.
Diving straight in I wanted to find out more about the unique experience that #Hofest will be. Moller starts with saying “The purpose of #Hofest is to showcase the work from the company over the last year and a half. Bringing it to the crowds of London [as the majority of their work lately has been showcased in Europe] and with this it will hopefully attract a variety of crowds and bring a better awareness to the Hofesh company”. Ho goes on to add to this and say “Hofesh as a company, is a great example of high quality polished choreography set on a equally talented company of dancers”.
Ho and Moller are both members of Shechter Junior who appear in both deGenerationand Orphée et Eurydice. deGeneration is performed by just the eight members of Shechter Junior and can be seen at London Stratford Circus. Both the youth and main company are made up of international members. Every dancer has come from a different background with a different skill set, on this Moller mentions ”everyone is different and Shechter hand picked everyone for a reason and this helps to produce versatility both in the dancers and work choreographed.”
The youth company and main company join together for the first time in Orphee et Eurydice which is being performing at the Royal Opera House. I asked Ho what it was like going from working as a small team of eight in the youth company to rehearsing and working with the full company in the opera.
“It has been great to join up with the full company and learn from them. A lot of the members have been with the company for three plus years, so the energy, atmosphere and learning environment is great. They have such an understanding and focus which is great to be around”.
Mellor also added that “the combination of both companies enriches the performance and provides a wider rainbow of different colours within the Hofesh company for people to enjoy.”
Ho and Mellor along with the other six dancers have been in youth company since March. On the rehearsal and creative process Mellor says that “they have five and a half weeks to really get into the style of Hofesh as well as learning the repertoire” – before they started travelling with work – “it was an intense experience where you had to devote everything to it”. On their showcase performance Ho thinks that “deGeneration will bring in a younger crowd. Hopefully bring in those who are studying dance themselves and want to support the dance world and possibly work with Hofesh”
The other pieces within the #Hofest season are Politcial Mother: The Choreographer’s cutwhich is being performed at the O2 Brixton Academy and will have a combination of 40 dancers and musicians on stage in more of a concert style performance. The fourth instalment is Barbarians which will be performed by just the adult company at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Hofesh is trying something new with #Hofest. Hopefully attracting a wide audience whether it’s the die hard contemporary fans that would watch a show at Sadler’s Wells, a younger crowd for deGeneration and Political Mother: The Choreographers Cut or families and patrons at the opera house.
Ticket prices vary across the 4 venues but you can find out more information on the direct websites for each venue or on http://www.hofesh.co.uk/
Image: Shechter Junior in Rehearsal – Chien-Ming Chang