Anthony Lo-Giudice debut’s Savages at Dance City Theatre on 11 March, we caught up with him to ask him about the piece and his connections to the North east and Dance City.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m a choreographer based in the North East of England and I am the artistic director of Lo-Giudice Dance.

What is your connection to the North East?
Although I was born and raised for the early part of my life in Italy, my mum is from the North East and when my parents divorced we moved here to be brought up. Though I’ve had the privilege of seeing the world through work and play, I will always be a northern lad at heart and I’m passionate about contributing the cultural sector here.

What influences you?
I grew up in a broken family and there were times when it was tempestuous and fraught with heartache and struggle, whilst at others it was a world that was full of excitement and contrast. My father’s family came from a place notoriously interlinked with the mafia whilst my mum came from a small northern town in England and our upbringing saw the best and worst of both of these worlds. Being subject to both the darkness and beauty of human relationships at a young age has probably influenced me more than I realise as an artist. Regardless what the concept of my work is, there is always the ever presence of longing and desire.

What initially sparked your interest in Northern folklore and the themes of Savages?
When I was a child, I was adamant I was going to be an archaeologist. I loved stories of explorers, kings and dark worlds. In reference to the North, we live a part of the world that is distinctively special. We are a people of resilience, of drive and no nonsense hardiness. We are tough and sometimes cruel, yet we are equally warm and caring and defend one another. Our landscape and weather can be both awe-inspiringly beautiful and utterly grim at the same time and can feel wild and untameable. Our blood is a kaleidoscope of cultures and races and Savages focuses on a particular period (It was pagan and Christian, violent and divine), in history when our region was between worlds.

What do you expect the audience to feel when watching Savages?
We’d love audiences to be taken to another world with this piece. For one hour, we want people to feel like they have stepped into a portal that has taken them back over 1000 years and they have become spectators in a series of unfolding scenes, both dark and beautiful. The music in itself should take the audiences to another world. Wadruna fuse ancient Scandinavian runes with battle cries and hauntingly beautiful song which in itself is something quite exiting to experience when the bass of the drum can be felt through the floor and the chants of ancient words lead the dancers through their stories.

Why should people come and see Savages?
People who love watching the physicality of dance will find pleasure in this piece, whilst those who love history and storytelling will feel engaged with the themes of the work. I also take pride in gender neutrality within my choreography, so to see men and women equal in their vulnerability, strength, prowess and weakness can be a wonderful thing to watch. When we first previewed some of this work at Resolution!2015, it was referred to by one reviewer as a ‘powerful, Game of Thrones Vignette’ – although Savages does not bare any connection to the TV show, I think audiences who love that kind of thing would find enjoyment in some of the elements of this production, be it the use of historical re-imagining, feuding power struggles interlaced with sensuality and fear, the sprinkling of dark magic and the human psyche, or the pounding drums of in the musical score.

You can book your tickets here or give us a call on 0191 261 0505.