The 3 Dancers

by Didy Veldman

The 3 Dancers

Love, desire and betrayal are the ingredients of the shocking true story which inspired Picasso’s masterpiece, The Three Dancers. Rambert springs Picasso’s painting from the canvas to the stage, bringing to life his Cubist vivid imagery and the themes of ecstasy and doom which haunt the work. Didy Veldman’s The 3 Dancers, with orchestral music by leading Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, reveals the passion within one of the 20th century’s greatest artworks.

Didy Veldman is a former Rambert dancer who has an international choreographic career. She co-founded Compagnie Alias with Guilherme Botelho in Switzerland, and has worked extensively with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and with Cedar Lake in New York.

Elena Kats-Chernin’s original score is jointly commissioned by Wimbledon International Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Dancenorth in Australia, and Sitka Summer Music Festival, El Paso Pro Musica and West Bach Festival in the USA.

Read The Guardian’s interview with Didy Veldman

Read Aesthetica’s Magazine interview with Didy Veldman

Dancers: Miguel Altunaga, Simone Damberg Würtz, Daniel Davidson, Liam Francis, Dane Hurst, Brenda Lee Grech.

Didy Veldman
Elena Kats-Chernin
Set and costume design:
Kimie Nakano
Lighting design:
Ben Ormerod

Premiere: 23 September 2015, Theatre Royal Plymouth

'Dynamic choreography, deft set design and a bewitching original score ... the dancers pull off Veldman's vision with aplomb, executing her choreography with fluidity and control'

**** The Daily Telegraph


Didy VeldmanDidy Veldman

Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman was trained in Amsterdam. She danced with Scapino Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Rambert Dance Company and in 1987 began choreographing and creating work for the repertoires of all three companies, as well as independently.

In 1992, Didy started her own small dance company called Alias with Guilherme Botelho. Their first work En Manqué was performed to great acclaim in London, Glasgow, Zurich and Lausanne. Didy left Alias after Christopher Bruce invited her to join Rambert Dance Company in 1994. Whilst being a dancer with Rambert, she created three works for the repertory and received a grant from the Choo-San Goh & Robert Magee Foundation for her third production called 7 DS, which also won the Lindbury Prize for Stage Design.

Her first full-length work Carmen was created for Northern Ballet Theatre and has been re-staged for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, The Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Lithuanian National Ballet.

Didy left Rambert in 2000 to concentrate on her choreographic career. She has created a variety of works with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Ballet Gulbenkian, Portugal, Cedarlake US, Cullberg Ballet from Sweden, Iceland Dance Company, Geneva Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Scottish Dance Theatre amongst others.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Elena Kats-Chernin studied music in Moscow, Sydney and Hanover. She has created works across nearly every genre, from rags to operas and works for robotic instruments to a full scale choral symphony. Her music featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. She has received several awards including the Sounds Australian,  Helpmann, Limelight, Sydney Theatre Award as well as the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award 2013.

Her Russian Rag was used as Max’s theme in the 2009 claymation Mary and Max by Oscar winning director Adam Elliot.

Kats-Chernin’s Eliza Aria from her score for Meryl Tankard’s ballet Wild Swans attracted much attention due to its use in the Lloyds TSB TV commercials.  Her most recent compositions have been Prelude and Cube for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Five Chapters, concerto for Rascher Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra.

Kimie Nakano

Kimie Nakano studied literature at Musashino University in Tokyo, theatre costume at ENSATT in Paris and theatre design MA at Wimbledon College of Art in London.

Designs for dance include: set and costumes for Vertical Road (Akram Khan Company), costumes for Dust (English National Ballet’s Lest We Forget), iTMOi Torobaka, Gnosis, Kaash, The Rashomon Effect and  Sylvie Guillem’s Techne  (Life in Progress),

Previous works with Didy Veldman include: Carmen (The Lithuanian National Ballet) and The Little Prince (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal). Costume design for the following Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company productions: Now Is, Timeless and Within and Premieres Plus for Carlos Acosta. Kimie has worked collaboratively with Eda Megumi, Miguel Altunaga , Megumi Nakamura , Dam Van Huynh and Jose Agudo. Set and costume designs for opera include: Tristan und Isolde (Longborough Festival) and Dream Hunter with Carmen Jakobi.

Ben Ormerod

Ben has worked extensively with The RSC, The National Theatre, ETT and Abbey Theatre, Dublin. He lit all but two of the Propeller Company’s productions.

Previous work with Didy includes See Blue Through and Tender Hooks (Ballet Gulbenkian) Karmen (Lithuania National Ballet) and Les Noces (Grand Théâtre Genève). Ben has also lit for Rambert, Candoco and Walker Dance Park Music.

Recent theatre includes: The Herbal Bed (Clwyd Theatr Cymru); The Death of A Comedian (Soho/Dublin/Belfast); She Stoops to Conquer (Abbey, Dublin); Hamlet, King Lear (Glasgow Citizens); Fings Aint Wot They Used T’be (Stratford East/Tour); Things We Do For Love, Intimate Apparel, The Spanish Golden Age Season (Bath) and The Colleen Bawn (Druid). Other work includes Onassis and Macbeth (West End); Zorro! (West End, US, Japan, Netherlands); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Druid/Royal Court, Broadway, Toronto, Sydney) The Spanish Golden Age (RSC) and In Remembrance of Things Past (RNT).

Opera includes: Tristan und Isolde, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Longborough Opera); La Traviata (Danish National Opera) and productions for Scottish Opera, ENO, Academia Santa Cecilia Rome .

Ben also designed the lighting for the Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad, directed Athol Fugard’s Dimetos (Gate, London) and adapted four films from Kieslowski’s Dekalog for E15.

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