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Profile: The Curve Foundation Dance Company

The Company

The Curve Foundation Dance Company was formed in Edinburgh in May 1998 for performances at the Assembly Alive Festival.

The company has developed over the years, working with various diverse artists, and since 2004 has been the resident dance company for The Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh, East Lothian. The Curve Foundation Dance Company in Duo; Photo: Scott Mitchell

The company's repertory has included Merce Cunningham, Rui Lopes Graca, Ross Cooper, Ana Lujan Sanches, Henry Oguike and presently William Forsythe.

The Curve Foundation was the first Scottish company to be given permission by the legendary choreographer, Merce Cunningham, to present his work. The production team has scored several public and critical successes with work with Rui Lopes Graca, Ana Lujan Sanches, Henry Oguike and Ross Cooper.

Over the last few years the company has commissioned 19 new works and currently performs its repertory throughout theatres in the UK including the King’s and Traverse Theatres in Edinburgh, the Tron in Glasgow, City Moves in Aberdeen, Laban Theatre in London and macrobert in Stirling.

The company has a massive education programme including over 60 workshops each year for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and community groups. This has paid dividends with several pupils going on to vocational training for dance. 

At present, the Curve Foundation is working on the UK Premiere of DUO by William Forsythe. The company has been developing this work with Cora Bos-Kroese and Allison Brown from the Forsythe Company at Dance Base, the National Centre for Dance in Scotland. 

The company is also currently working on material by Henry Oguike/Ana Lujan Sanches and Rui Lopes Graca for the performances in May at The King’s Theatre.  This will also be the first time that the company will be working with an orchestra - they will be joined by The Edinburgh Quartet and friends.

Programming and Touring 2006/07

The Curve Foundation Dance Company in Duo; Photo: Scott Mitchell With the help of a project grant from the Scottish Arts Council and support from Calouste Gulbenkian and East Lothian Council, The Curve Foundation has produced three new works for its Autumn 2006 and Spring 2007 tours.

This grant allowed the company to work on new material by Ross Cooper, Rui Lopes Graca and William Forsythe. Once the tour is completed, the company will have presented 11 performances of this work in eight venues throughout Scotland.  A programme of work by these artists will challenge, push and excite audiences across the board.  The company also felt that these collaborations would be a necessary part of their evolution and growth.

The choreographers and their works

Ross Cooper (right) and Rui Lopes Graca; Photo: Scott Mitchell Ross Cooper: Theme and Variations with music by Bach was premiered at The Brunton Theatre in October 2006. This work explored Bach's violin music and was set for dancers Soraya Ham, Michelle Denholm, Alistair Postlewaite and Ross Cooper with music by Joss Pollock.

Ross Cooper, director of the company, was trained at Ecole de Etoile Rudra Bejart Ballet in Lausanne, Switzerland.  He danced with various companies including Rudra Bejart Ballet, London City Ballet, PACT Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, AMP and David Massingham Dance. 

On his return to Scotland, he brought some dancers together and the company was formed. Nearly ten years later the company is continuing to flourish, and many of the founder members are still involved, including Soraya Ham (Dancer), Raymond Kay (Dancer/Teacher), Olivier Joly (Marketing/Admin) and David Comrie (Technical Manager).

Ross has created several works for the company and has curated several programmes by various international choreographers.

Rui Lopes Graca: Under the Skin with music by Marin Marais was premiered at The Brunton Theatre in October 2006.  This material was rehearsed by Mario Sanches. The work is a collection of six solos for female dancers, connecting at the finale of the work to become a sextet. This work is an exploration of humanity within the female dancers. Each has an individual way of moving that has been drawn from them and pushes them at the same time.  Under the Skin has a lighting design that has been a collaboration between David Comrie and Jorge Riberia.

William Forsythe: DUO will be premiered at The King’s Theatre in Edinburgh on 18 May 2007.  This material has been rehearsed by Cora Bos-Kroese and Allison Brown.  DUO is a duet performed by Soraya Ham and Maud Liardon. The dancers in many ways represent the hands of time ticking away.   The music for the work is by Thom Williems and is for a synthetic sound and piano. 

Forsythe's works are normally considered to be major artistic events throughout the world and this will be the first time there has been the premiere of a new Forsythe work in Scotland by a Scottish company. Forsythe has been given the Chevalier of the Arts in France, Order of the Rising Sun in Japan, four Bessie’s in New York and several other awards throughout his career.

The Curve Foundation presented this programme at:

The King's Theatre, Edinburgh - 18 and 19 May
City Moves, Aberdeen - 26 May 
Volunteer Hall, Galashiels - 27 May 
and Laban Theatre, London - 30 May

Funded by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council




See also
* Brunton Theatre
* The King's Theatre
* Dance homepage
* The Curve Foundation Dance Company
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