Crossing Borders 4 October 2011
Ben Duke's work stems from an interest in combining words and movement and finding frames or contexts in which movement exists. We will be discussing collaboration; the tricky journey to finding collaborators and sometimes having them thrust upon one and how one learns from difficult collaborations. Also the on-going and evolving collaboration that forms the centre of the company Lost Dog.
Ben is the co-founder of Lost Dog, whose most recent work It Needs Horses was the 2011 Place Prize winner.
Ben trained at the Guildford School of Acting and London Contemporary Dance School, before which he gained a first class degree in English Literature from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. His work explores the overlap and transition between Dance and Theatre and his pieces attempt to create theatrical worlds in which people choose dance as a mode of expression.
For Lost Dog Ben has created Salvage which was premiered at British Dance Edition 2010 and was performed at the Brighton Festival; The Rain Parade which was commissioned by Dance Digital and toured to five venues in Spring 2009; Hungry Ghosts which was commissioned by the Place through the Robin Howard fund, was performed at BDE 2008 where it was one of the most oversubscribed shows and toured nationally and internationally in the autumn of 2008; The Drowner, which won critical acclaim and was nominated for a Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2005; Pave up Paradise which won first prize at the Burgos International Choreography competition, second prize at the prestigious Hanover choreography competition, and is currently being toured by Phoenix Dance Theatre.
He is currently collaborating with Metis Arts, Will Duke and Dario Palermo on The Difference Engine which will be premiered at the Gate Theatre London as part of the Dance Umbrella Festival 2011. This collaboration began at the Enparts Campus as part of the Venice Contemporary Music Biennale 2009.
Ben has also created The Life and Times of Girl A for Scottish Dance Theatre, choreographed Dolls for The National Theatre of Scotland and The Sexual Neuroses of our Parents for the Gate Theatre London. As a performer he has worked with The Hofesh Shechter Company, The Gate Theatre, The National Theatre of Scotland, and Punchdrunk.