‘One of the most strangely compelling and visually stunning pieces I’ve seen’ Audience Member, March 2015

Trapped in an airless, dusty land of the living dead, UNDERWORLD is Vincent’s darkly haunting take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.

Eight athletic performers engage in a series of disconcerting, relentless rituals and beautiful vignettes to form constantly shifting, visually striking cinematographic images, formed with 150 chapel chairs and accompanied by a stunning soundtrack of rushing rivers, church bells and faint children’s voices by internationally renowned composer Gavin Bryars.

‘Superb performances’ **** The Guardian, March 2015

‘Contemporary dance fans should beat a path to her door’ **** The Observer, March 2015

‘Vincent choreographs with such a specific attention to gesture, atmosphere and motive…a fully imagined world.’ The Observer

Originally commissioned by Leeds Canvas and devised with Phoenix Dance Theatre for OverWorlds & UnderWorlds in 2012, VDT restaged UNDERWORLD in 2015 as a 5 hour durational work / 2 hour production as part of 21 YEARS / 21 WORKS, a live and online collection of Artistic Director/Choreographer Charlotte Vincent’s film and production work that toured to Shoreditch Town Hall and Southbank Centre in London, Dance Xchange in Birmingham and Brighton Festival 2015.

Context - 2012 Production

A collaboration between Phoenix Dance Theatre and Vincent Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Charlotte Vincent, originally commissioned by Leeds Canvas for the Artists Taking the Lead 2012 Cultural Olympiad project Overworlds and Underworlds.

UNDERWORLD was created for the longest, darkest, filthiest of the Dark Arches under Leeds Railway Station and seen by over 10,000 people over a weekend in 2012, draws on the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice and is inspired by the work of acclaimed artists The Quay Brothers.

Initially set in an airless, dusty land of the living dead, accompanied by 140 antique chapel chairs and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack of rushing rivers, church bells and feint children’s voices by acclaimed composer Gavin Bryers, UNDERWORLD explores the art of not looking back. Eight of the UK’s finest athletic performers – Phoenix Dance Theatre – engage in a series of highly physical games and disconcerting rituals designed to pass time in an environment from which there is no escape.

UNDERWORLD is a durational live performance for unconventional spaces. UNDERWORLD is not easy to categorise – it is a site-specific live installation. It is punishing choreography. It is visual art. It is highly physical theatre. It is a series of dark, beautiful vignettes. It is robust, risky ensemble work. It is a piece that transforms the space over and over to form a series of striking cinematographic images.

‘I can liken my experience of watching Charlotte’s work with Phoenix with the greatest (Pina Bausch, Alain Platel), very moving, powerful and so clear.’ Wieke Eringa, Artistic Director, Yorkshire Dance

‘Fantastic! Eerie and atmospheric in the dark arches’ Helen Oldham

‘Fluid and evocative. One of the most crowded arches!’ Culture Leeds


The Quay Brothers re-imagine Leeds for 2012 Cultural Olympiad’ (The Guardian)
Original OverWorlds and UnderWorlds Website
Charlotte Vincent rehearses with Phoenix Dance Theatre for OverWorlds and UnderWorlds
Gavin Bryars on OverWorlds and UnderWorlds
OverWorlds and ‘UnderWorlds: The Quay Brothers take over Leeds (The Guardian)
Quay Brothers notorious animation film Street of Crocodiles (1986)

WHO’s WHO 2012

Directed and Designed by Charlotte Vincent
Devised and Performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre
Originally Composed for OWUW by Gavin Bryars
Original Sound Design for OWUW by Mic Pool
Lighting Design by Jason Taylor