Fijis (2005)

Dance Umbrella premiere & commissioned by the Jerwood Foundation

Fijis was originally conceived with the support of Jerwood  Choreographic Award and Dance Umbrella , it was first performed as part of the Brief Encounters series in the Dance Umbrella festival in 2005 at the Purcel Room.In this improtant first major comission Jean Abreu , utilizes a very contemporary abstract choreography but he contrasting with a movement style filled of emotion and personality.

Fijis is a trio taking its audience on an intense journey to an imaginary place. Placing the subjects of gender, intimacy and desire under his choreographic microscope, Abreu explores his material with an emphasis on movement and raw physicality performed with the triangular relationship of 3 dancers. Drawing inspiration from the unique cultures and rituals of the Polynesian Islands he begins to give real highlights of his fluid and grounded movement vocabulary in this early career work.

Like the conflicting dynamic between the imaginary and the physical world Abreu has devised a choreography that pushes the dancers to explore what it is to express a feeling of totally letting it go while being totally in control - a creative conflict often present in his evolving dance practice.

Fijis was a Jerwood Foundation commission premiering at The Purcell Room of the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Dance Umbrella 2005. It includes a specially commissioned score from composer John Metcalfe with lighting by David Holmes and costumes by Tony Wood.

‘Fijis’ is a celebration of dance and movement, a tribute to the communicative powers of bodies moving in time and space. Abreu subtly explores aspects of urban modern life. He hints at a life filled with desire, loneliness and aching sensuality and conveys these

subtleties through a unique movement vocabulary: a delicate mix of release technique, capoeira, tai-chi, contact improvisation and glimpses of the proud stance derived from ballroom dancing. It is this quality of desire or longing,

that grabs hold of something deep inside of me, these dancing bodies evoke a powerful corporeal connection between me and the dance, almost making my limbs twitch and shudder. ‘Fijis’ awakens a sensation to move. "