KVN Dance Company presents
The Cockpit, London
Thursday 2 – Saturday 11 September 2021

PRESS RELEASE: “For Coppelia Kevan will expand and develop the existing story, delving deeper into the background of the characters and immersing the audience into the sometimes-unsettling mind of Dr Coppelius.
While the traditional ballet focuses on Dr Coppelius, Swanhilder and the life-size doll that comes between them, this retelling will address his intent on creating the doll and how that impacts on his relationship with the wider community of villagers.
Working with a collective of leading artists, Coppelia will be set to an adapted, remixed version of the original Delibes score by Rickard Berg, who has previously collaborated with Mick Jagger, Mica Paris and Gavin Rossdale. The production will also feature costumes and styling by Wendy Olver whose credits include Sir Elton John, Mulberry and Harvey Nichols.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

COPPELIA is one of those pieces that’s often done in performance colleges and usually “re-imagined”. Here’s a modern version which has “re-imagined” all over it – in the dance and the musical score. Delibes music is well known and here the tracks are laid down with an intermash of synth and electro-pop. Unfortunately the sound system is quite muffled so it’s hard to fully enjoy the mix. The costumes are an assortment of steam-punk but with some distracting messiness around the feet for some of the dancers.

One of the largest lighting rigs I’ve seen in the Cockpit along with many LED Candles in suspended glass pots. The lighting design is very dark with little or no facial front light which creates a rather spooky and macabre feel throughout.

Swanhilda notices that Franz is distracted by the doll Coppelia but there’s little to indicate why this would be the case. The two female dancers come across as very similar. Perhaps Coppelia could have presented some point work, which for me was sadly lacking,  into the piece here? Something to indicate why Swanhilda had competition?

The Set Design was simple yet marvellous! Two main set pieces full of detail on moveable trucks that have a different front and back allowing the main stage to be inside or outside the workshop.

The Choreography is where it’s all happening. Loved the spectrum of dance genres mixing ballet with street, hip hop, contemporary and commercial. The large troupe of 13 dancers were all brilliant, each bringing to life their individual characterisations. All skilled in the demands of Kevan who’s choreography really came to life in the full ensemble numbers – individual groups that come together to flow into unison choreography and then back out again. Dance numbers that require many different but simultaneous choreographic elements that then become cohesive. Some very clever and wonderful stuff.

It’s difficult not to compare this to Mathew Bourne’s work and in particular The Red Shoes. As a first production from the Kevan Allen Dance Company this could be a welcome new player in the UK dance scene but does require a little more assistance in the technical theatre departments.

The Cockpit, London
Thursday 2 – Saturday 11 September 2021
Performances at 19.30, matinee at 15.00
Tickets: £22

’It is difficult to appreciate the depth of Kevan’s talent… his credits certainly show a huge breadth of work in many and varied styles…’’ Sir Trevor Nunn

KVN Dance Company 2021 Coppelia

RICKARD BERG – Composer/Musical arrangement

WENDY OLVER – Wardrobe & styling

Rosie Southall
Zach Parkin
Diante Lodge
Jeanie Ryan
Micheal Downing
Tamsin January
Evonnee Bentley – Holder
Ediz Ibrahim
Danny Fogarty
Marina Fraser
Ellis Rother
Laura Braid
Thomas Charles

KVN Dance Company was founded in 2017 by world-renowned director and choreographer Kevan Allen. Having created work on stages around the world for a range of creatives including Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Trevor Nunn and Kylie Minogue, KVN Dance Company marks the next stage in Kevan’s illustriouscareer.
The Company aims to bring a diverse mix of choreographic styles and dance forms together to create original and inspiring works that cross all genres of dance, breaking down barriers and introducing Kevan’s eclectic and innovative style to new audiences.
Artistic Director and Choreographer, Kevan Allen said: “It is my wish for KVN Dance Company to use a dynamic fusion of dance styles that bring energy and life into the stories we tell. I adore the movement and physicality of the body and want to develop immersive dance experiences so people can witness the vitality and power of a performer up close. By reinventing the classics, such as this version of Coppelia, and introducing new experimental works, I want to bring new audiences to experience the joy of dance.”