Donald Hutera, notable arts journalist and dance critic, has been invited to curate the GOlive Dance & Performance Festival currently taking place at the Lion and Unicorn theatre until the end of September. Hutera’s work has appeared in The Times, Time Out and Dance Europe amongst other publications and websites world-wide, making him the ideal candidate to programme this new festival of dance.
The Giant Olive Theatre is a small black box venue of about 50 seats, so the qualities desired when selecting artists to take part were venue and curator specific. Hutera aims to ensure an immediate connection between the performers and the audience, with the performances close-up; risk, intimacy and play underpin the basis of the festival. As critic-turned-curator, Hutera has found the transition smooth as he enjoys championing dance work he believes in on a day-to-day basis.
The GOlive festival looks to be highly rewarding as a result of its conception. George Sallis, the artistic director of Giant Olive Theatre at the Lion and Unicorn pub, questioned Hutera about curating a dance festival earlier this year, meaning Hutera’s desire to do so was met by Sallis’ need. In fact, the pub has a past record of presenting dance as a result of the efforts of George and Antonia Franceschi, formerly a Balanchine ballerina and later a teacher, coach and choreographer. Franceschi is also an actress, playing the ballerina who becomes pregnant in Fame.
Spread across 21 consecutive days and featuring works of over four dozen individuals or companies, the GOlive Festival will include Darren Ellis, Ella Mesma, Renaud Wiser, Anusha Subramanyam, Daniel Hay-Gordon/Eleanor Perry, Shane Shambhu, Nuno Silva, Moreno Solinas, The Dangerologists, Stopgap’s Sg2, Angela Woodhouse, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Mickael Marso Rivière, Jennifer Jackson/Susie Crow and Fred Gehrig amongst many others. Between them they have worked with the likes of Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Shobana Jeyasingh, Russell Maliphant, The Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Rambert Dance Company, Henri Oguike and Arthur Pita.