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Dance piece uses real voices; Tyneside dance festival Dancing The World is in full flow. Entertainment Editor GORDON BARR takes a look at one of this week's shows.

Byline: GORDON BARR

DANCING The World is showcasing some of the dance world's elite choreographers and leading dance companies over a three-week period.

It is taking place across three of Newcastle's key venues - DanceCity, Northern Stage and the Theatre Royal and includes performers from 13 different countries.

This Thursday to Saturday sees the acclaimed DV8 Physical Theatre company performing its latest work, To Be Straight With You, at Northern Stage.

Lloyd Newson has been the artistic director of DV8 since its inception in 1986. The company has redefined the boundaries of dance and theatre, winning dozens of international awards for 15 highly acclaimed theatre works which have toured nationally and internationally.

In To Be Straight With You he leads a multi-ethnic cast in an exploration of tolerance, intolerance, religion and sexuality.

DV8's new production is based on hundreds of hours of audio interviews collected throughout the UK with people directly affected by these issues.

Newson explains: "It is a verbatim theatre work based on 85 interviews and a series of vox pops conducted with people living in the UK.

"The interviewees include members of the clergy, asylum seekers, human rights organisations and people opposed to homosexuality due to their religious beliefs.

"All the text used in the show is taken directly from those interviews.

"Many of the interviewees, particularly from ethnic minority groups with strong religious ties, requested that their identities remain hidden, fearful of the consequences, should their communities discover their sexuality.

"Despite the great gains in the law to protect gay people in this country, our interviews show how lesbians and gay men, if they choose to become visible, regularly face intimidation and/or physical abuse.

"How does a society reconcile religious beliefs with human rights?

Is freedom to love another adult of the same gender a human right?"

Always keen to embrace a new challenge, DV8's artistic director and founder, Lloyd Newson, set himself the task of turning the interviews into a stageable piece of theatre that would involve more than talking heads.

Using movement, animated projections, words, music and an international cast of nine, DV8 Physical Theatre promises a riveting show guaranteed to stimulate debate.

For the full line-up of Dancing The World, log on to www.dancingtheworld.com

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TOURING THE CITY - DV8 Physical Theatre Company is coming to New Castle's Dance City, Northern Stage and Royal
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 7, 2008
Words:393
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