02 November 2009 - Laban Studio Theatre

video link:
"From 1953 to here and there... and then? And never again!"
1 female dancer, 3 solos, 3 chairs, 3 costumes

With a focus on the ideas of preparation and transformation versus translation, Vanessa presents us with three characters, scenarios and atmospheres! An element of chance, spoken text, live music and an intricate physicality all come together in this sharing of work in progress.

1/ I feel you…

Music Bach-Busoni # Chaconne in D minor + Mumford and Sons # little lion man

2/ Flee? Why don’t we?

Music Ejnar Askberger (live performance)
Text Miranda July # No One Belongs Here More Then You: The Shared Patio
Voice Amy Knauff

3/ Never again!
Noura Sanatian (live performance)
Text Miranda July # No One Belongs Here More Then You: The Shared Patio

Choreography & Concept
Vanessa Abreu
Rehearsal Director Jane McLean
Technical Support
Rebecca Bohle (at Laban)
Vanessa Abreu
Photography Hannah Brierley
Voice and Flute Ejnar Askberger
Violin Noura Sanatian
vanessa abreu
dance works

Cloud Dance Festival - Trouble & Desire
The Pleasance Theatre, Islington
Friday 26th March 2010
Reviewed by Debbie Shine

Cloud Dance Festival runs three times a year, moving from venue to venue to try to reach as many different communities as possible with the provision of a platform for professional and innovative contemporary dance. The next instalment from them will be Hush at Cochrane Theatre, in Holborn, 16th-18th July, so don’t miss out! Led by director Chantal Guevara, they never fail to present a varied selection of work that ensures there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

The evening started off in a very informal manner - the members of the first company were onstage warming up while the audience came in and settled into their chairs, wondering if they were meant to be seeing this usually private preparation for performance. Vanessa Abreu’s solo From 1953 to here and there… And then? And never again! is a piece for 1 female dancer, performing 3 solos with 3 chairs and 3 costumes - but due to time restrictions for Cloud Dance Festival we saw only the last section. She signalled that she felt ready to start by holding up three fingers to the lighting box, showing that it was the third and final section of the completed work. She then stripped off her warm up clothes down to her underwear and performed a really quite beautiful yet rather disturbing solo which expressed fears and tension, complemented wonderfully by the tense and discordant music score and long periods of intermittent silence. She advised us at the end to avoid such things as cars which crash, boats which sink and animals which are just scary, then both she and her musician simply left the stage with no formal ending or curtain call to ruin the casual nature of the performance. This piece showed daring physicality coupled with strong emotive skills and was altogether a powerful start to a varied programme of contemporary dance.

02 November 2009 - Laban Studio Theatre
28 November 2009 - Soft Cuts
5 March 2010 - Siobhan Davies Studio
26 March 2010 - Cloud Dance Festival
“A Letter from Gaza - The Corridor”
a site-specific work

Inspired on:
Letter from Gaza by Ghassan Kanafani

Dear Mustafa,

I have now received your letter, in which you tell me that you've done everything necessary to enable me to stay with you in Sacramento. I've also received news that I have been accepted in the department of Civil Engineering in the University of California. I must thank you for everything, my friend. But it'll strike you as rather odd when I proclaim this news to you -- and make no doubt about it, I feel no hesitation at all, in fact I am pretty well positive that I have never seen things so clearly as I do now. No, my friend, I have changed my mind. I won't follow you to "the land where there is greenery, water and lovely faces" as you wrote. No, I'll stay here, and I won't ever leave.

I am really upset that our lives won't continue to follow the same course, Mustafa. For I can almost hear you reminding me of our vow to go on together, and of the way we used to shout: "We'll get rich!" But there's nothing I can do, my friend. Yes, I still remember the day when I stood in the hall of Cairo airport, pressing your hand and staring at the frenzied motor. At that moment everything was rotating in time with the ear-splitting motor, and you stood in front of me, your round face silent.

Your face hadn't changed from the way it used to be when you were growing up in the Shajiya quarter of Gaza, apart from those slight wrinkes. We grew up together, understanding each other completely and we promised to go on together till the end. But...


A collaboration
Vanessa Abreu - Director/Performer
Jonathan Chadwick - Director
Andrej Gubanov - Lighting/Performer
Tim Sampson - Percussion/Performer
Noura Sanatian - Violin/Performer
Ana Sophia Ribeiro - Performer
Naomi Deira - Performer
dance works
Photo: Mike Conway

February 2009 - Trinity College of Music

Part of the In the Moment - festival of improvised music and dance.