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Hofesh Shechter's Sun Photos & Reviews

We’re more than a little excited about the arrival of Hofesh Shechter’s Sun here next May. The show has garnered a lot of press since making its international debut in Melbourne and subsequently making its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells, London. We’ve been keeping up with the reviews to see what we can expect when it concludes its first world tour at the opening weekend of Brighton Festival 2014.

Recognised as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists, Shechter is renowned for creating raw, physical live contemporary dance pieces set to his own, highly-charged, atmospheric musical scores and from what we’ve seen and read, you won’t be disappointed.

‘It's like ballet gone feral’ The Guardian

'Hofesh Shechter's latest work points fingers at the world's ugly injustice in a skewed, sometimes nightmarish, way. His movement has a primal, hypnotic power' London Evening Standard


Hofesh on Sun in the Metro:

‘Some people come and hope it’s Political Mother 2, I know that. However, other people will hope for something new. That’s what I’m interested in. The experience of Sun will be very different but you can sense that it’s my work – I want the work to reach out to people. I want it to connect.’


'Although just 75 minutes straight through, it would take a week to list every one of Sun’s vignettes in detail – there are dozens, each one, thanks to razor-sharp sound- and lighting-cues, cutting with Hitchcockian speed and brio to the next.' The Telegraph

Hofesh's eponymous company is a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and the brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open our three week arts extravaganza on Sat 3 May 2014 when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour. In an interview with the Metro Hofesh spoke about his Guest Directorship of Brighton Festival 2014

‘The opportunity to bring works from dance to music to theatre, to be able to create an event, that’s really exciting. The work that inspires me is the work that asks you to commit yourself to it – and when you do that, you get something back. There has to be an honesty about it.’



Brighton Festival announces choreographer Hofesh Shechter as Guest Director 2014

Critically-acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer will shape Brighton Festival 2014’s programme of events

Renowned for creating raw, physical live contemporary dance pieces set to his own, highly-charged, atmospheric musical scores, Hofesh Shechter is seen as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists. His eponymous Company are a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and their brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open the three week arts extravaganza on Sat 3 May when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour. 

Hofesh Shechter said, ’Brighton has a magic to it that no one can explain. Finding a place where one can develop and grow artistically is a delicate thing, an important thing. Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival have been an inspiring, energising and encouraging place for my company and me in the last 5 years. We’ve enjoyed the buzz, the lightness, energy, and the unexplainable essence of Brighton. We have resided in its cultural heart - Brighton Dome, and the pulsating artistic heart of the Dome is the annual Festival. I'm so excited and honoured to have been invited to lead on this inspiring event and I feel a rush of excitement about the ideas I can contribute. To be asked to lead this amazing event in 2014, to be asked to inspire, energise, encourage... well, delighted, is just a boring word.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Festival said, ‘We’re very pleased that Hofesh Shechter is our Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2014. As the artistic director of our resident company Hofesh Shechter Company, it has been exciting for us and our audiences to experience first-hand his ascent to becoming a major force on the international contemporary dance scene. Hofesh’s instinctive understanding of Brighton and our Festival has been a great starting point for our planning, and I feel it’s particularly pertinent that he steps into the role in 2014 following a highly successful five years of working together. Hofesh’s appointment as Guest Director continues a trend set by his predecessors – his work and creative vision contains that rare quality and sense of adventure that sparks the imaginations of a much wider audience beyond his own discipline. With such an eclectic artist at the helm, Brighton Festival 2014 is set to be a very exciting one indeed.

Hofesh Shechter’s appointment as Guest Director is the culmination of a five year relationship between the choreographer and the organisation. Fresh from being named the first resident company at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival in 2008, Hofesh Shechter Company’s dramatic Brighton Dome Concert Hall debut In your rooms / Uprising was followed by back-to-back world premières of two specially-commissioned works; The Art of Not Looking Back (Brighton Festival 2009) and Political Mother (Brighton Festival 2010). In 2009, Brighton Festival also commissioned Hofesh’s Bangers and Mash; a youth community project featuring over 100 young dancers and musicians, and in 2013 Brighton Festival commissioned Nomad Land; a collaborative dance and film project that explored the energy and complexity of male relationships. Brighton Dome has also played host to evenings of brand-new work choreographed and presented by Hofesh Shechter Company dancers called In Good Company and, following its international success, the return of Political Mother to the venue in 2012.

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events - will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014. 

Learn more about our new Guest Director Hofesh Shechter. Watch the trailer for Sun, which has been  described as 'utterly disarming… delightfully eclectic' DanceTabs. Read the full review here.


Brighton Festival gets wordy on BBC Radio 4

Listen again to Guest Director Michael Rosen as he explores the German language on ‘Word of Mouth’ with some of our Brighton Festival guests.

This week our Guest Director Michael Rosen delved into the world of words in a unique Festival themed programme, chatting to Festival guests including Rachel Mars, star of ‘It’s the way you tell them’ and Valentijn Dhaenens who looks at speech making in SkAgen’s ‘Big Mouth’. You can also hear Michael in conversation with Judith Kerr.

Michael adds, "As a child, I was surrounded by people talking about words and language, my parents and brother spoke several languages. What's more the house always seemed to be full of people telling stories and jokes, many of which turned on some word-play or other.

I've been writing poems and stories since I was sixteen and if that doesn't sensitise you to how language is used then nothing will. So with all that, to present Word of Mouth feels like being at home. I love it."

Listen again here.

There are still plenty of wordy events to explore during the rest of Brighton Festival for all ages.

Happy Birthday Michael Rosen

The author and poet celebrates with Brighton Festival 

Today was another fun filled morning at Brighton Festival full of a great range of events across our sun filled city but there was one very special occasion to celebrate in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange– that was the 67th birthday of our Guest Director Michael Rosen which takes place on Tuesday.

After a sold out performance of ‘Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake’ and another ever popular performance of ‘Big Book of Bad Things’ some of the best cake bakers in Brighton – Jan Hansen and Martha Sheppard of Catwalk Cakes, Bond Street– presented a Michael with a ‘bear hunt’ cake complete with chocolate teddy bears, sugar figures and lashings of chocolate icing.

The audience of children and mums and dads then sang a loud and cheerful round of ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday guest as the bakers took to the stage to surprise Michael with the delicious treat.

Michael joked, “Thank you! Twenty eight again?!”

Michael’s actual birthday is on Tuesday. Why don’t you send him a birthday tweet on his special day @michaelroseyes

You can get your own special cake by emaling info@catwalkcakes.co.uk for more details or visiting them in Bond Street, Brighton. 

One City, One Book

Today is World Book Day!

What better way to celebrate than with the launch of the first ever Young City Reads project as part of Brighton Festival 2013.

Brought to us by Collected Works CIC, the organisation behind Brighton & Hove’s annual citywide reading festival City Reads, Young City Reads offers children across Brighton & Hove the experience of reading and exploring a book as a part of a community.

The book in question is the classic children’s adventure story, Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner’s which has been specially chosen by Brighton Festival 2013 Guest Director, Michael Rosen.

‘Emil and the Detectives flowers with inventiveness, excitement, humour, originality and tension. I think it’s wonderful that a whole city is going to read the book at the same time. I think this will build up a great sense of everyone exploring the book together.’ Michael Rosen

Young City Reads will be engaging the young people of Brighton until the 24th May through a host of special events, workshops and performances that will allow children to discuss, debate and creatively engage with one of Michael Rosens’s favourite books with the hope of inspiring a new generation of story lovers.

For more information about the project and how to get involved, visit cityreads.co.uk

The making of ‘Bear Hunt’

This year we decided to do something different to raise awareness of Brighton Festival, and with a Guest Director like Michael Rosen what better way to kick things off by making a film based on one of his most iconic poems? 

Brave Brighton-based filmmakers Fat Sand Productions took on the challenge of helping us in our mission and tracked down Michael Rosen himself, friends of the Festival, members of the public and even some of our own team to each read a line of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt each in an iconic setting in across the city.

One of the filmmakers, Sarita Tam, commented, "I remember being in primary school, sitting on the floor watching my Year 3 teacher read this poem aloud to us, actions and all. But what I didn’t remember was quite how long the poem is: 99 lines to be precise! From the onset, we knew it was a rather large mountain to climb for a sleepy January, but we wanted to burn off the Christmas calories!"

Over a 16 day period and working through some very snowy conditions and late into the nights, the Fat Sand team managed to film a varied bunch of people including Michael Rosen, the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, our local BBC news crew, lawyers, engineers, journalists, artists, surfers, students, builders, councilors, ice-cream men, artists, choirs, chefs and even a dog named Archie; who all valiantly read a line of ‘Bear Hunt’ to camera.

Fat Sand ventured into the depths of Brighton Dome and then onto the roof, into the sea, onto the pier, up to Preston Manor and even over to visit some school children in the Book Nook in Hove during the filming.

Each of our brave participants read one or two lines from the poem, which Fat Sand cleverly edited together for a full, and rather interesting, recital of the poem. We were proud to show the film at our launch events on Wed 27 Feb, but you can watch it online here.

See more of what Fat Sand Productions get up to by visiting fatsandproductions.com or follow them @fatsand