Ignite - press

 

IGNITE

Finalist at the Fedora Van Cleef & Arpels Awards 2018.

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‘In Ignite, the Spanish choreographer creates an abstract work that captures the elusive energy and dramatic colours of Turner’s 1835 painting The Burning of the House of Lords and Commons... He explores the idea of movement within Turner’s frozen images - the roaring flames, the gently shimmering water, the slow-moving clouds- and gives physical life to the painting’s vivid colours.’ 
— Debra Craine for The Times 
‘Arqués and Whitley achieve more than description and impression here. Ignite is imbued with a profound sense of catastrophe, and of reckless human vainglory. It seems to sound a warning note to those who would rush in and destroy that which can never be recovered.’
— Luke Jennings for The Observer 
‘In Ignite by Juanjo Arqués, fire ripples through the dancers’ bodies. It’s the more vital, pleasurable piece of the evening. Inspired by Turner’s The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, limbs flicker and lick, arms scribble the air as if drawing with a sparkler, all in one long brushstroke of constant motion’. 
— Lyndsey Winship for The Guardian
‘Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ignite shows a promising legacy for dance. It is not necessary to know that it’s a ‘choreographic unfolding’ of Turner’s painting The Burning of The Houses of Lords and Commons to find it an impressive piece of dance. He understands the power of stillness. Delia Mathews stands at the front of the stage with her back to the audience. As River, she passively watches the conflagration.’
— John O’Dwyer for Seen and Heard International
‘The dance largely flows naturally, moments of stillness exploding in action. Steps appear organically, groups and formations largely come and go with ease, the only exceptions being two lines that are formed at different times. Within it all are any number of unusual lifts and fabulous extensions, even interesting ensemble floorwork.
— David Meade for SeeingDance
‘After the stage has filled with silken flourishes to blaring brass and crashing percussion, the cast remove their shirts and turn around to face us. The reflective panels descend, the orchestra is replaced by crackling sounds and the garments are dropped as charred embers. It’s an effective ending to a tumultuous ballet: what it implies politically is anyone’s interpretation – probably different in Brexit Britain from European Netherlands.’
— Jann Parry for DanceTabs
‘The movement was all long extensions and masses of people sinuously wrapping themselves around each other, and I particularly enjoyed watching Delia Matthews as River eat up the space of the stage.’
— Rym Kechacha for Bachtrack
‘Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arques’s Ignite is an exhilarating and incendiary 35-minute piece of modern dance. Members of the ensemble rush on and off stage, clad in yellow and reds for fire, blues and greys for smoke, water and sky, combining, entangling, in a turbulent, flickering inferno.’
— Leon Burakowski for Express & Star
‘Ignite translates the fiery drama, the heated colours and even the grey of the ashes and gives a dynamic to Turner’s static oil painting. The work ends with the dancers slowly moving ghostlike towards the audience, the music stopping with only the ominous crackling of a building on fire rumbling below. It’s an evocative and beautifully-done piece’.
— Richard Lutz for The Birmingham Press
‘In the first of three sections, choreographer Juanjo Arqués excellently captures not only the chaotic entire body of a fire, but also how individual flames undulate in response to increased oxygen before being pulled back into the mass.
The production cleverly uses slanted mirrors to create the reflections apparent in Turner’s painting.  At times, we’re almost tricked into thinking there’s more dancers onstage, reflecting the drama and turbulence in Turner’s work.’
— Daljinder Johal for The Reviews Hub

SEINGDANCE: Juanjo Arqués takes the audience on a journey through colour in his new ballet, Ignite Read Article

THE GUARDIAN: Luke Jennings’s best dance list of 2018 Read Article

 

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