5–21 August 2022
Dance Base — Venue 22
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
End without Days
“A beguiling mystery, elegantly performed. A David Lynch-style puzzle [that] is poetry on its own terms.”
“Cool with underlying passion. Beautifully structured [and] performed. An unshowy gem.”
“Absolute Beauty. An exceptional piece of dance theatre that leaves you in awe. [Performed with] such grace it leaves you grasping for superlatives.”
Edd Mitton © Pierre Tappon
An empty arena.
A blindfolded man.
A mysterious woman.
A bouquet of flowers poised to be delivered…
Set to a century-spanning score, from 17th century Henry Purcell to 21st century San Francisco composer Marc Kate, End without Days is a haunting meditation on time, sudden endings and unbridgeable distances.
“Stephen Pelton’s full-bodied and thoughtfully structured choreography fits his dancers like second skins. He is a storyteller in the manner of poets who suggest, evoke and analogize. He creates work of tremulous acuity with a nod toward the melancholic, though without a whiff of sentimentality. His work acknowledges the fragility of life, love, and relationships. The results are dances that resonate like a Zen bell.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Cast and Creative
Photo © Darryl Vides Kennedy
Artistic Director and Choreographer
Stephen joined Yorke Dance Project as associate director in 2013. He is also associate director for the Cohan Collective. He is artistic director of his own company, Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre.
Stephen began his dance training at SUNY Purchase, began choreographing at Connecticut College then danced in Boston for four years with Gerri Houlihan’s Boston Dance Project and Susan Rose’s Danceworks. In 1989 he moved to San Francisco where he danced with Della Davidson and in 1993 formed SPDT. Pelton’s work has been performed throughout the US as well as in London, Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Berlin. In San Francisco, the company won a Cable Car Award for Waltzes for the Dayroom and was nominated three times for the Isadora Duncan Awards, including a nomination for best choreography for and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me in 2010. The company has created several works in collaboration with playwright Brian Thorstenson including Sugarfoot Stomp and Tuesday—a play for dancers. Stephen’s solo works The Hurdy-gurdy Man and A Hundred Miles have each been presented at Dance Base in Edinburgh during the Fringe. In June 2015, Pelton’s Lauda Adrianna received its world premiere in Glasgow performed in collaboration with the world-famous Gavin Bryars Ensemble. Stephen’s if you want to see me once more was commissioned by DanceLive in Aberdeen in 2016. His next work End without Days will premiere in 2022. Stephen is one of Europe’s most sought-after teachers of Limon-inspired dance technique. In London, he’s taught at Laban, Central School of Ballet and The Place and teaches company class for DV8, Random and New Adventures.
Photo © Darryl Vides Kennedy
Freya trained at Elmhurst and Central School of Ballet where she created a role in Christopher Bruce’s Shift before joining Scottish Ballet to dance works by Ashley Page and Krzysztof Pastor. She then moved into working with an eclectic mix of companies; dance, theatrical, large-scale events, aerial and installation.
Professional experience includes Yorke Dance Project, Marc Brew Company, Errol White Company and articulateanimal, alongside projects with visual artists including Beverley Hood Eidolon, Simon Biggs BlowUp and Duncan Campbell It for Others, which won the Turner Prize in 2014 with choreography by Michael Clark. She worked closely with Sir Robert Cohan during the creation of his final series of solos, which premiered on film as Lockdown Portraits and on stage as Afternoon Conversations with Dancers in 2021. Freya had the honour of performing Martha Graham’s Lamentation at the Barbican Gallery as part of the Noguchi Exhibition last year.
Freya is also an aerialist, specialising in Vertical Dance (harness), and has performed for Commonwealth Celebration ‘Sound to Sea’, Edinburgh Hogmanay, Enchanted Forest, and VIVDS (Vancouver). She has worked in a variety of flying settings including buildings, cranes, cliffs, forests, and indoor theatre for companies All or Nothing, Gravity and Levity, VDKL, and Fidget Feet.
She has performed with various ensembles who specialise in music and dance collaboration and teaches at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland across their range of artistic courses.
Freya has performed in several previous projects with Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre including and a white light in the back of mind to guide me, Lauda Adrianna (in Glasgow, London, San Francisco and at Winchester Cathedral) and if you want to see me once more at DanceLive in Aberdeen.
Photo © Darryl Vides Kennedy
Edd trained at London Studio Centre. His performing experience includes Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (UK and International Tour), Cabaret (Savoy Theatre), and The Pet Shop Boys/Javier de Frutos’ The Most Incredible Thing (Sadlers Wells), for which he is also associate choreographer.
Edd has a long association with Yorke Dance Project — as a company dancer performing works by Robert Cohan, Kenneth MacMillan and Yolande Yorke-Edgell among others, and more recently as rehearsal director. Other performing work includes projects with Darren Ellis Dance, Lynne Page, The Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and Opera de Lille. Edd also works as a choreographer and teacher, specializing in Graham-based contemporary technique.
For Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre, Chris has designed A Hundred Miles. Other dance designs include 1984 and Jekyll and Hyde for Northern Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man (Royal Albert Hall, Sadler’s Wells National and International Tours) and Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies (Glasgow Theatre Royal, Sadler’s Wells and National Tour), 21 Rambert Dance, Eventual Progress, Salieri Variations (Ekaterinburgh Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia), Vamos Cuba!(Sadler’s Wells) Shoes (Sadler’s Wells / Peacock Theatre), Carlos Acosta’s Cubania (Royal Opera House), Carlos Acosta Classical Selection (Coliseum London, MIF Lowry Theatre Manchester, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Albert Hall), The Bird (Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company).
He has designed extensively for The National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shared Experience Theatre, Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Exchange Manchester, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Citizens’ Theatre Glasgow, Birmingham Rep and Manchester International Festival.
Designs include Touching the Void (Tour and Duke of York’s Theatre, London), Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall, London), Switzerland (Bath Theatre Royal, Ambassadors Theatre, London), Nightfall (Bridge Theatre, London), Rhinoceros (Edinburgh International Festival), Sweeney Todd (La Monnaie Brussels, Copenhagen), 42nd Street (Chatelet Theatre, Paris), The Driver’s Seat (National Theatre of Scotland), Footloose (National Tour).
Opera includes Madame Butterfly (Oslo), A Little Night Music, The Magic Flute, Queen Of Spades (Opera North), Romeo et Juliette (Opera Ireland), L’Heure Espagnole, La Voix Humaine, Hippolyte et Aricie (Nationale Reisopera Netherlands), L’Arbore di Diana (Valencia), I Capuleti E I Montecchi (Opera North, Melbourne, Sydney Opera House), Skellig (The Sage Gateshead), Aida (Houston), Bird of Night (Royal Opera House London), Bluebeard (Bregenz), Jephtha (Copenhagen / English National Opera/Welsh National Opera), The Magic Flute, Sweeney Todd (Welsh National Opera), eight seasons for Grange Park Opera, Les Illuminations, The Turn of the Screw, The Rake’s Progress (Aldeburgh Festival), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Monte Carlo).
Jess Brigham is an emerging lighting designer from Hull, having recently graduated from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2022. She was selected to be a member of the SLX Lighting Programme and The Godber Theatre Foundation. Jess has a passion for theatre and art that really speaks to people and loves to help emphasise this art with her lighting and installation work. The combination of practical lighting and theatre is something that is incorporated in a lot of Jess’ work, creating a unique immersive feel to her designs.
Recent professional credits include Patricia Gets Ready (UK Tour, Directed by Kaleya Baxe), YEP Cabaret (Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, Directed by Chris Tomlinson) and recent credits whilst at University include Gilgamesh (LIPA, Directed by Nick Bagnall), The Long Drift (Unity Theatre Liverpool, in collaboration with Imitating the Dog).
Struan is head of Movement at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He has been creating work as a director, movement director, choreographer and dramaturg for over 35 years in all areas of performance and media in both his own projects and in collaboration with practitioners in other fields including architects and urban designers, composers and visual artists.
He was the first Head of Movement at The Royal Shakespeare Company for five years until 2013. His work has been produced at the National Theatre, London; Manchester International Festival; Traverse, Edinburgh; Teatro Piccolo, Milan; American Repertory Theatre; Berkeley Repertory Theatre, USA; Illinois theatre/UIUC, Welsh National Opera; and English National Opera. Directing and staging Choruses is a constant in his work from those in Greek Tragedies, Iphigenia At Aulis (National Theatre) to contemporary opera, James MacMillan’s Sacrifice (Welsh National Opera). His writing on this and other areas of his practice have been published and he has presented workshops, master classes papers on his work at conferences and symposia. As a director and deviser Struan’s work includes: Les Illuminations an evening length work for orchestra soprano and circus ensemble for Aldeburgh Festival. ‘Beyond praise’ (The Telegraph). A Suit To Travel In (Paul Smith/World Tour); My Case Is Altered: Tales Of A 21st Century Roaring Girl (US tour); HOP[E] (Wonderground South Bank London); English Skies – a staged song cycle (QEH London, Amsterdam Festival); Song Of Songs (RSC); Guys And Dolls (also as Choreographer – Theatre Bielefeld, Germany).
Performing and composing from San Francisco to Berlin, Marc Kate has created soundtracks for choreographers Stephen Pelton, Monique Jenkinson and Keith Hennessy (Circo Zero), contributed to the soundtrack of cult horror film All About Evil, created sound effects and cues for documentaries (the Emmy winning 3 Seconds in October: The Shooting of Andy Lopez, Leaning Out – An Intimate Look at Twin Towers Engineer Leslie E Robertson and Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani).
In 2012 he launched the podcast Why We Listen, where he interviews a varied range of cultural practitioners about their relationship to music. In 2016 he began the podcast Scary Thoughts: Horror, Philosophy, Culture with writer Chad Lott. He has composed music for the audio tour of the Clyfford Still room at the SFMOMA, performed at the De Young Museum, was featured in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Bay Area Now 7 and worked on performances with the FOR-SITE Foundation. In 2019, he performed in the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. He has been a resident artist at Land and Sea in Oakland, CA and Tanzhaus in Zürich and is currently an Incubator member of Gray Area Foundation For The Arts.