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Choreographer Didy Veldman talks ahead of [Un]leashed show Sense of Time in Birmingham

By Rebecca Stanley | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

This June Birmingham Royal Ballet will be showcasing the work of exceptional women choreographers in both Birmingham and London.

Didy Veldman

Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman has created a brand-new piece for the [Un]leashed triple bill, Sense of Time has been commissioned by BRB as part of their Ballet Now programme and will receive its World Premiere in Birmingham.

“It’s a very physical work. Physical, theatrical, accessible, hopefully touching. A realisation of how we deal with time in our current society," she says.

“It wasn’t a lightbulb moment, but it is something I’ve been interested in for a while. I am curious about how our society perceives time, why it is so difficult for instance to make time available for each other or for certain moments in our lives.

"Are we slaves to time, always running and catching up with the latest technology, or are we in charge of our own time? Are our dealings with time dependent on our surroundings and how does time manifest itself physically?

"These questions and many more are part of the inspiration of Sense of Time.”

Rehearsals for Sense Of Time with Didy Veldman

Sense of Time is the third commission in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ground-breaking Ballet Now initiative. Now the world’s largest commissioning programme for new choreography and new music, Ballet Now was inaugurated in 2017 with Ruth Brill’s Arcadia.

Speaking about the programme Didy said: “It’s fantastic, it’s a unique opportunity to work with very good classically trained dancers. There are sufficient funds for a new score, a set and costume and light designer. It’s wonderful to get the opportunity to work in a such a rich environment so you can realise your ideas with support. That has been amazing.”

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As part of the process Didy has been working alongside composer Gabriel Prokofiev (grandson of Sergei), who has written a specially commissioned score to accompany the piece.

“He’d send me music and I would send him little bits of text, a picture or anything that I thought resonated and from there I had a workshop with BRB and used some of his music to just see how that would feel in the studio and then we started gradually building the score.”

“It’s been wonderful, really nice to get to know him better. It’s been a great collaboration; he’s been very amenable, and we’ve had a lot of time together. It’s been very creative, original, and interesting, and I’d love to work with him again.”

When asked what it’s like to be part of an all-female choreographed triple bill, it’s clear Didy has a ‘why not?’ attitude.

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Didy Veldman

“It doesn’t feel any different than being part of a triple bill where you’re the only female to be honest. I think it’s great that BRB are supporting female choreographers, please keep going since there is still a lot of catching up to do”.

The [Un]leashed triple bill will be performed at Birmingham Hippodrome from June 12 to 15.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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