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Kenneth Tharp Is Outraged

Monday, 23 April, 2012 | Comment | Make A Comment

Yes, you read that correctly dear reader the CEO of The Place, in London mind, is outraged. Is he outraged about dancer's jobs? No! Is he outraged about dancers pay? No! Is he outraged about arts funding policy or the lack thereof? No! Is he outraged then about the complete lack of free bacon sandwiches in a world gone mad? No!

Mr Tharp's feathers have been thoroughly ruffled by taxi drivers....... wait, what?

It would appear that ThePlace has an account with a taxi firm called Addison Lee. Said firm is causing a ruckus by threatening to use bus lanes or something and the owner of that company has said some unpleasant things about cyclists. Taxi drivers saying mean things about cyclists, who knew?

In response to this Mr Tharp has taken to his blog to state that in response to the fact that taxi drivers and the companies they work for are complete tools ThePlace will be cancelling their account with Addison Lee. ThePlace's put upon employees won't suffer too much though since a new taxi firm, presumably a mythical one staffed by taxi drivers that don't hate cyclists, will be found.

Mr Tharp offers no insights as to why ThePlace, in these "harsh times" even has an account with a taxi company since everybody could either walk or, somewhat ironically, use bikes.

Clicking on the "view all postings" link on Mr Tharp's blog reveals this is the one and only thing he has ever written about. This is why we can't have nice things in the arts. Coming next, Kenneth Tharp threatens to have a new underground built because TFL staff are a "bit rude".

[ Kenneth Tharp is Angry ]

Share Me

Monday, 16 April, 2012 | Comments | Make A Comment


One of the most popular videos recently was the suite of features we put together on Verve12. Since we started Article19 video material has always been popular but some more than others.

If you take a look at the image above this shows the "like" button for the Verve12 video page. The number next to it is the number of people who have clicked that button and sent the link information to their Facebook wall.

Now, we have no idea how many friends or not the people who clinked on that button have but if we take an average of 200 per person (a conservative estimate at best) then the link for Verve12 was put in front of, potentially, 23,000 people.

The pay off is a very high in terms of people following the link and watching the video and thus learning a little about what Verve is upto. Traction from links on Facebook is far higher than Twitter, according to our statistics. So get your friends, your family, your company and anybody else who cares to "like" things. Sharing and promoting dance is everybody's job, so get on with it already.

Mission Accomplished

Wednesday, 15 February, 2012 | Comments | Make A Comment

Arts Council England releases list of accomplishments for the 2012 State of the Arts Conference.


No Follow

Thursday, 9 February, 2012 | Comments | Make A Comment

Lest you be unfamiliar with link lists they are exactly what they sound like, big lists of links to websites that are somehow related to the website the link list is on.

As tools for driving traffic to websites they are completely useless but they do reveal the sometimes lazy/irrational thinking behind the people who create them.

With that in mind we give you the link list for ACE's 'Building Digital Capacity' for the arts, from their website of the same name.

They link to a lot of websites that feature digital content and hints and tips on digital content creation. One of the sites they don't link to of course is this one. At the time of writing we only have 150+ video features about dance of course. We are also, partially, funded by ACE to bring you, our dear readers, video features on dance companies, most of which are funded by ACE.

You have to wonder just exactly what kind of "digital capacity" the funding monolith is attempting to build.

[ BDFA ]

Twirler Interrupted

Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 | Comments | Make A Comment


In a shock move a Ukrainian ballet dancer, best known for jumping around in front of a spooky castle, who's name we cannot remember or even pronounce, has decided he doesn't want to work for the Royal Ballet anymore.

An apoplectic Ismene Brown from the Arts Desk (really! Ed!) wrote of her shock and dismay in a breathless piece announcing the resignation. Ms Brown went even further on the "popular micro-blogging site"™ Twitter proclaiming that the 21 year old twirler "better have a ******* good excuse, the little ****".

In a statement TheLab™'s EvilImp™ denied adding expletives to Ms Brown's "tweet" because it was both "funny" and "evil".

The now ex Royal Ballet dancer told Article19's Ukrainian bureau, which has no desks but does have a small goat called Colin, that "working at the Royal Ballet was like working in Tesco. The money is crap and it smells of old people".

Google Translate™ may have let us down on that one mind you!

In a separate incident four or five dancers in the contemporary world decided to move on to other things. The AD's of the respective companies remained calm however and announced their intention to hold an "audition".

Some all or none of the above might be completely made up!

Cheap (shot)

Friday, 13 January, 2012 | Comments | Make A Comment

A way to open the Olympics in London without spending £80Million and having lots of "planning" meetings.

This is poster Fridays.


The White Elephant

Tuesday, 13 December, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

News reaches us that the new building for Rambert Dance Company is now officially under construction and will be completed three weeks and four years after everybody could care less.

Dancers are not being paid enough, jobs are not being created but what the hell let's spend £7Million of arts funding, supplied by ACE of course, on a nice white elephant in the middle of London.

Word on the street says Mark Baldwin's golden throne of power will be located in the trunk, the admin office in the ears and the studios in the belly of the beast. The people who green-lit this project will have their heads shoved up the elephant's a..(snip! Ed!)

[ Rambert's Folly ]

Horse Race

Tuesday, 22 November, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

Janet Smith has announced that she will be moving on from Scottish Dance Theatre to become the new commander in chief of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. But who will replace her at SDT?

We, here in TheLab™, spoke with a completely fictitious bookmaker to get some odds.

Hofesh Shechter: 4/1 against

Richard Alston: 145,000/1 against

Siobhan Davies: 16/1 outside favourite

Maresa Von Stockert: 3/1 unlikely, but come on!

The EvilImp™: 32/1 if only for the comedy value

The Botox Bloke from Strictly Come Dancing: Only because it would be hilarious to find how how utterly clueless he is/1 against

Javier Du Frutos: Are you f****** kidding me/1 against

Rafael Bonachela: it's too cold in Dundee/1 against

Weird European you've never heard of: 2/1 odds on favourite

No, It's Because It's Sh*t

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

The artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company has denied that audience members are walking out of the current production of 'Marat/Sade', which most people have never heard of, because of the shows controversial content.

Michael Boyd claimed that audience members are walking out because, as he put it;

"the show is completely sh*t, I mean if I didn't work here I would walk out because who wants to sit through 90 minutes of complete sh*t? Even if it's 90 minutes of complete, sexually explicit, sh*t with lots of sexually explicit material in it?"

The AD's candor when talking about the company's new show surprised even the most hard core veterans of the RSC press corps. When asked if the RSC releasing details of the walk outs and repeatedly using the phrase "sexually explicit" in press materials was nothing more than a publicity excercise Mr Boyd responded;

"Look, there's loads of sexually explicit stuff in there sure. But the sexually explicit stuff is not what it is about, I mean sexually explicit stuff has been in theatre for years and we would never use sexually explicit content to try and shift tickets because sexually explicit material is artistic, not sexually explicit for the sake of being sexually explicit, do you understand what I am saying to you? sexually explicit."

He continued;

"Don't come and see this sexually explicit show because it's sh*t, it's sexually explicit sh*t."

With that he walked off muttering something about "Shakespeare's lost sexually explicit works".

The Plot is Thick

Wednesday, 31 August, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

New Adventures, the company that perpetually tours 'Swan Lake' helmed by Matthew Bourne, has announced the winner of their 'Choreographer Award' that aims to financially support a dance maker in the wacky world of .......... dance.

The winner was one James Cousins. So far, so what you might think. Digging deeper you realise that Mr Cousins used to work for New Adventures on their production of Swan Lake and the recently filmed for television "3D" version.

If this was the world of politics somebody would be resigning, the Guardian would be apoplectic and somewhere, with dramatic lighting, a unicorn would be dying alone.

The other applicants for this award are probably, as we write this, sitting in a white room upon a large leather chair with a look of eerie calm on their face, silently plotting!

Update: for more on this "controversy", go here >> Here!

Debt Ceiling

Wednesday, 3 August, 2011 | Comment | Make A Comment

If the dance world was the US political system we, here in TheLab™, think that ACE and the administrators would be the Republicans, the dance companies would be the Democrats and the dancers would be the liberals in the middle getting completely frustrated that nothing was getting done.

Tony Hall from ROH would be Newt Gingrinch, Antonio Poppano would be John Boehner, Alistair Spalding would be Mitt Romney and Article19 would be MSNBC with Charlotte Vincent playing the role of Rachel Maddow. Londondance.com would be Fox News with the rest of the dance press playing the role of supermarket tabloids.

Caroline Miller from DUK would be Sarah Palin, Rosie Kay would be Elizabeth Warren, Kevin Finnan would be Bernie Sanders and Nigel Charnock would be Anthony Weiner before the meltdown. Alas, at present, we don't appear to have a Barack Obama.

If you don't know who any of those people are then read the New York Times occasionally.

The Pejorative

Monday, 4 July, 2011 | Comment | Make A Comment

A row is festering between writer Lee Hall, Opera North and the school and local authority involved in the creation of a large scale community music work.

As Mr Hall writes in today's Guardian the school has pulled 300 children from the production because of two phrases of dialogue uttered by a gay character. The first "I'm queer" and the second "I prefer a lad to a lass".

The school had demanded that both phrases be removed or their children, aged between 4 and 10, would be removed from the production. Mr Hall refused, the school carried out its threat and Opera North, being the large-scale subsidised organisation that it is, is trying very hard no to upset anybody and failing miserably.

Here's the rub; Children use the words "gay" and "queer" as pejoratives on a regular basis. They see the words as insults and use them as such, mainly because they don't know any better and nobody, least of all their parents, ever bothers to either correct them or educate them properly.

The kids are going to use the words, incorrectly, anyway so perhaps Opera North, the "teachers" and local authority stiffs can see this work as an opportunity, if they can get their hysteria and ass covering (no pun intended) issues dealt with first that is.

Pesky Women

Sunday, 26 June, 2011 | Comment | Make A Comment

Following on from our piece 'Confused Corporation' concerning the up and coming season of dance programmes on BBC4 that are all about (cough) "contemporary dance" here's a little snippet of further analysis.

None of the featured works are by women. The two Sadler's Wells pieces featured are all choreographed by men; Javier Du Frutos, Wayne McGregor, Russell Maliphant and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

'Tales of Beatrix Potter' (wtf? Ed!) is by Frederick Ashton, 'Opus Jazz' is Jerome Robbins, the Ballet Russes stuff is by Mikhail Fokine, and David Dawson (who? Ed!) who has reworked 'L'après-midi d'un faune', originally done Vaslav Nijinsky.

'Margot' the unspeakably dull film about Margot Fonteyn is directed by Otto Bathurst who apart from having a completely made up name is also a man.

Not a good season for women then.

In a statement the BBC and Jan Younghusband, the BBC's commissioning whatsit denied being completely useless. At least they would if we asked them because who would admit to such a thing?

Noble Gas

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment


Poster art for a new documentary on Kevin O'Hare, the recently appointed new director of The Royal Ballet in London. Click the image for full size version.

Reality check No34: It doesn't matter who runs The Royal Ballet.

[ O'Hare A Who? ]


Sunday, 5 June, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

Why do people like Dave St-Pierre's make shows like 'Tendresse', the work that involves men scrambling over the audience in the nude and apparently spitting on the personal property of dance critics?

It's all very very simple.

The choreographer makes the work because he knows it's ridiculous and outrageous and this makes for easy ticket sales so theatres will book it. Why spend weeks crafting movement when you can just whip out your tackle and shove it in someones face?

Theatres love it because they know the show is media bait and will attract coverage of sufficient quantity to sell tickets. Said theatre will also bee seen as "risky" and "edgy" in their programming decisions.

Folks in the media love it because it gives them something else to do away from all the review writing and they get to use the word "arse" more than once. Their editors love it because pieces about shows that have nudity in them are good link and comment bait, this is god for ad revenues.

Audiences love it because they can say "I was there" and those inside the industry can profess their love or hatred of it and thereby seal their cool/morale standing in the wacky world of dance. Those that describe such works as "touching" are usually hiding a deeper mania.

So, everybody's a winner, except the actual dance profession of course which ends up looking ridiculous.

As if it wasn't already ridiculous enough.


Tuesday, 17 May, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

Acronym nightmares aside the BBC Performing Arts Fund will, for the first time, be opening up its application process to dance. They say this like we should pleased to hear it and not yelling at them for not allowing dance to be a part of it all along.

Should you wish to entangle yourself in this particular bear trap then hit the link and have at it. We have no idea what you can apply for or how much money you can get because the website is a nightmare but more wind to your sails we say.

Bad Ass Ballet

Wednesday, 11 May, 2011 | Comment | Make A Comment

Sources have revealed the new poster art for Wayne McGregor's new work at The Royal Ballet 'Live Fire Exercise' (say what? Ed!).


Click on the image for the full size version.


Wednesday, 11 May, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

Dance orientated Twitter feeds are buzzing today with the news that Google has placed an animation of the former dance maker Martha Graham on the top of their search page. Ms Graham passed away twenty years ago.

Two days ago Article19 published three videos of National Dance Company Wales performing two works, one by Stephen Petronio and the other by Itzik Galili performed by actual dancers in an actual venue. Both Mr Petronio and Mr Galili are, some would say at least, accomplished dance makers in their own right.

The dancers are also rather accomplished, some would say.

NDCW are currently touring these works across the UK but no such interest or sharing frenzy comes from the dance world at large.

It's more than a little puzzling/infuriating/depressing that some folks are willing to bolster an ad campaign by a multi-billion dollar corporation but not so willing to promote their own marginalised art form.

Go figure.

Say What?

Friday, 6 May, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

How do people who write things like this get jobs writing for national newspapers? Was there a "let's hire the stupidest person we can find day"?

"There's something very insular about ballet dancers. You tend not to see them much at parties. What with classes and rehearsals all day, performances in the evening and dieting in between......."

Written by some hack called David Lister from an alleged interview with dancer Sarah Lamb. Mr Lister apparently knows nothing about dancers and nothing about normal human beings.

I've never been to a party with a jockey in attendance, does that means jockeys don't go to parties?


Troll Hunter

Thursday, 28 April, 2011 | Comments | Make A Comment

Possibly the funniest Norwegian film you will ever see!