Minor Tears

An insightful and artistic expose of what dancers put their bodies through in the name of their art. Painfully obvious, commonly denied.

“One of the best things I have seen in a long time… utterly breath-taking, utterly fantastic.” – Norman Smith, Chief Political Corresponent, BBC News Channel

Drawing on the information from Professor Helen Thomas’ enquiry “Pain and Injury in a Cultural Context” (2007) and from choreographer Jenni Wren’s own experience and research process with other dancers, the choreography exposes the athleticism, determination and elegance that professional dancers demonstrate in their work whilst hinting at the vulnerabilities they also experience.

“Minor Tears” includes an educational package of workshops which provide information on the management of dance injuries and rehabilitation, where to find specialist support.

Funded by: Arts Council England, Leeds Inspired, supported by Harlequin Floors and The CIC.

“Minor Tears” premiered at the Globe Theatre in London, selected and commissioned by Graham Watts – Chair of the Dance Critic Circle.

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“Minor Tears” continued performances at the Riley Theatre (NSCD) and The Place in London, by Azzurra Ardovini and Ioannis Tsigkris. The work also features on Article 19 with interviews from the choreographer and cast.

Minor Tears reviews

Sanjoy Roy – Dance Critic –
The final image of Slanjayvah Danza’s Minor Tears puts a new spin on the whole piece. A clear trajectory leads up to it. Azzura Ardovini opens with superbly controlled poses that display her grace and power. She’s joined by Ioannis Tsigkris, and the music drives more dynamic sequences of whipped turns, long lunges and pumped kicks before both dancers appear to weaken, deliberately showing the effort of achievement. And then comes the reveal: the strikingly bright bands and curious marks across their bodies are colour codes indicating injuries, the “minor tears” that all dancers sustain and perform with. In sensing the pain behind the performance, your heart hurts too.

Reviewer: Vikki Jane Vile –
The evening started strongly with a piece from Jenni Wren’s Slanjayvah Danza entitled Minor Tears, the title reflecting the attitude with which dancers’ injuries are typically treated. The piece was enhanced with the athletic and supple display from its two performers Azzura Ardovini and Ioannis Tsigkris. The music builds gradually, the rhythms quicken but the two remain elegant, demonstrating their ability to be strong in spite of pain. Their simple costuming offered only a basic covering allowing the audience to see the ripple of every muscle and the power in every movement and pose. The final reveal is where the piece really hits home, as we discover that every carefully-placed piece of coloured strapping on their bodies represents a different injury, pain or complaint both past and present; each has been the source of minor tears.

Lara Hayward – Dance Critic –
Fluorescent rainbow strips of KT Tape cling to both the strong and susceptible body parts of a spellbinding Azzura Ardovini in Jenni Wren’s Minor Tears. Athletically resplendent, Ardovini owns the piece, disco electric lunges into box splits into quick flicks, each sinewy extension stretched deliberately to its limit in time with the tense thumping score. One minor niggle in this otherwise physiologically perfect performance – the all too literal explanation of its theme at the end. Ardovini and her partner Ioannis Tsigkris having already conveyed that dancers (controversially) learn to power through pain with grace.

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