The Olivier award winning Russell Maliphant Dance Company has announced the highly anticipated performance of Vortex at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester on Tuesday 6 June 2023; a ground-breaking dance production from esteemed director and choreographer Russell Maliphant.

The upcoming performance is part of a major UK national tour, which will see the critically acclaimed, award winning Russell Maliphant Dance Company perform in some of the UK’s finest venues, running through to July 2023 featuring dates in London, Canterbury, Newcastle, Lancaster and Huddersfield.

Inspired by masters of the twentieth-century, award winningchoreographer Russell Maliphant brings to audiences a new production influenced by the works of Jackson Pollock and abstract expressionism. With elements of nature, pouring to the floor, and a large steel structure, Maliphant paints his own interpretation with movement, light, and shadow to create a visually rich journey, with the exceptional dancers of RMDC. Collaborators include Ryan Stafford (lighting design), Katya Richardson (composer) and Stevie Stewart (costume design).

Together with partners the Victoria Wood Foundation and The Foyle Foundation, Russell Maliphant Dance Company has established the Dance Encounter Fund (DEF), offering 1,000 free tickets to young people aged 14 – 25 across the UK during the Vortex tour. DEF will enable RMDC to make experiencing and engaging with live performance a reality for diverse young people, where ticket cost may ordinarily act as a barrier. RMDC have also partnered with Tickets For Good across the Vortex tour. Working together with the foundation, RMDC will provide free tickets to NHS workers and local charities, committing fifty free tickets per venue for the entire tour. Tickets For Good strives to deliver positive social impact through live entertainment by lowering the barriers of access to live events for individuals who previously may not have attended due to physical, financial, work-based, or personal obstacles.

Russell Maliphant’s last project Silent Lines toured the UK to critical acclaim in 2019 and received plaudits and national praise from the likes of The Telegraph, The Guardian, and the Evening Standard.

Russell Maliphant Dance Company was established in 1996 as the framework for Maliphant to initiate productions and to work with his own ensemble of dancers. Since that time, the company has received two Olivier awards, three South Bank Show awards and four Critics’ Circle National Dance awards for best modern choreography, amongst many other national and international awards and nominations.

Russell Maliphant’s work is characterised by a unique approach to flow and energy and an ongoing exploration of the relationship between movement, light and music. He has been an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells since 2005 and gained a PhD in 2019.

Commenting on Vortex, Russell Maliphant says:

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“The work of Jackson Pollock had made a lasting impression on me since the first time I encountered it many years ago. I saw certain similarities in the approach to painting and energy that might sometimes be experienced in dance and movement tasks for improvisation and instantaneous composition in performance.

“As a choreographer, I have generally created abstract, non-narrative work since I started RMDC, but I have made a couple of pieces that used another artist and their work as inspiration – namely ‘Afterlight’ (2009) which used the great Russian dancer Nijinsky as inspiration and ‘The Rodin Project ‘(2012) which used the sculptures and watercolours of the genius French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

“The creative process is altered when having a particular aesthetic to draw inspiration from and mingle with one’s own ideas. It offers a new lens through which to interpret the elements and themes around which to gather ideas. The research and development necessarily follows a different trajectory as there are particular concrete elements to dig into.

“The idea for the project began before the pandemic hit in 2020 but was put on hold, other than a couple of weeks of explorations in the studio. These started to reveal elements I wanted to work with and developed as I began working with my collaborators: Ryan Stafford, Katya Richardson, and Stevie Stewart.”

Listings at Mercury Theatre, Colchester