About Janet Randell and Cedar Dance Animations
Janet Randell, BA (Hons), AISTD is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and Cedar Dance Animations Ltd. She has choreographed for The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and Cedar Dance Animations, and has worked as a freelance choreographer for many years. Randell is also a digital dance choreographer and animator, teacher, lecturer, author, researcher and musician. She started dancing and performing from an early age. Randell continues to explore choreography, pushing the boundaries of creative dance in live performance, animation and film, where the integration of live dance with 3D animation, motion technology and film, continues to inspire her artistic expression.
Randell’s choreography, with its eclectic range of styles, conveys a depth of expression that has been highly acclaimed by the critics. Her dynamic repertoire, with its timeless universal content, challenges audiences with dances of originality and musicality, where spiritual and social issues are confronted head on. Most recently Randell has been choreographing animated and live dance, experimenting with the fusion of digital with live performance, creating independent film, video and theatre dance works. Her videos in The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms open a door into the world of digital dance and animation.
Cedar Dance Animations: in addition to her choreography, dance animation, film and theatre dance work, Randell has been focusing her attention on digital and is also actively researching and developing digital dance for education. She has created a key educational resource for choreography, animation and movement analysis called The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms, produced by Cedar Dance Animations. The Guide has been designed as a digital aid for dancers, choreographers, teachers, students and lecturers.
Life in One Minute
Charis and Aphrodite
Choreography Janet Randell © Cedar Dance Animations Limited
About The Cedar Dance Theatre Company
The Cedar Dance Theatre Company was established in London in the 1970s under the artistic and choreographic directorship of Janet Randell. The Company became established as one of the leading UK contemporary dance companies with a diverse repertoire, performing dance works by Randell in collaboration with composers, musicians and designers. Song, speech and live music accompanied some of her dances, with actors, puppeteers and dancers participating under her directorship and choreography. Under Randell’s leadership, TCDC performed dances of depth, originality and inspiration, choreographed by her for stage and film, to critical acclaim. Most recently Randell has been producing various digital dance projects for the Cedar Dance Theatre Company, incorporating her work with Cedar Dance Animations.
The Cedar Dance Theatre was one of the first companies to incorporate both ballet dancers from companies such as The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and modern dancers from Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Nederlands Dans Theater, Diversions, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, The Place, London, and other major companies and dance institutions, including the London Contemporary Dance School and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
READ MORE ABOUT CEDAR DANCE AND RANDELL
Renowned for its artistic excellence, the Company attracted leading as well as emerging young dancers, who have been challenged by choreographer Janet Randell to explore her range of innovative and modern dance styles. With every dancer considered a soloist in his or her right, one of Randell’s aims is to draw the unique artistic talent out of each individual dancer. Integrating technically demanding digital choreography with live dance, her works extend the boundaries of experimental, independent and creative dance.
The Cedar Dance Theatre has performed in London and in a variety of venues throughout the UK. Janet Randell taught and rehearsed with the Company for many years in the company studio in the heart of London beneath the historical building St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square. One of the crypts was used as a studio theatre venue, where The Company performed some of Randell’s experimental dances. These included versions of Psycho Pieces and The Line That Goes For a Walk, based on the paintings and writings by Paul Klee, with costumes and masks by the renowned film milliner Pippa Cleator. The Cedar Dance Theatre Company later performed these dances together with other works by Randell at the Barbican Concert Hall, London and at other UK theatres. Randell also adapted some of these works for an Irish tour, with performances by the Irish National Ballet. Janet continues to rehearse and work in London and the Midlands and is developing a number of projects.
Following further studies in modern dance techniques in New York, Randell has choreographed for and worked with various other dance companies and institutions including Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Company III (directed by Kelvin Rotardier); The Irish National Ballet; the Academy of the Central Ballet of China in Beijing; the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Guangzhou, China; One Extra Dance Company, Sydney, Australia; the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts and the Royal Academy of Dancing, UK. Janet Randell has also choreographed ballets for TV as well as modern productions with dancers from The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Northern Ballet and others.
Randell’s love of music is illustrated in the wide-ranging choice of compositions used in her choreography, from early music settings of mediaeval liturgical drama, baroque to modern music and sound. She has collaborated with a number of contemporary composers, musicians and singers.
Janet Randell’s dance works have been performed in the UK on stage and TV, as well as internationally and digitally. Some of these include:
- Study for Passing Moments, inspired both by the music of Chopin with its elusive and enigmatic subtleties of rhythm and by the life of a young author during the World War II;
- Motion in Three Planes, featured in The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms, with music by J S Bach, where Randell has created a live dance narrative. This has been inspired by her visualization of the planes of movement depicted by both the human body in motion and by the animated translation of dance into the three rotational planes of movement in digital choreography in DanceForms.
Other works include:
- Lamentation with jazz music by Mary Lou Williams;
- Lies and Messenger of Fire (with music composed specially by Janet Danielson) for TV and stage;
- Foxes in the Vineyard (premiered at the Edinburgh Festival), choreographed to a music/sound score by Peter Monk with voice extracts adapted from an award winning play, featuring two parallel themes – the ideal relationship described in the ancient text of the Song of Solomon and a tortured modern marriage;
- Chorale with music by Vivaldi;
- A Ceremony of Carols with music by Benjamin Britten;
- Labyrinth, a dramatic dance based on an early mediaeval liturgical Easter dance;
- Stonerites with music by Elmer Bernstein;
- Psycho Pieces / The Line That Goes for A Walk (based on the works of the artist Paul Klee) with flute music by Alain Barker, percussion by Tamara Vaslanko, piano/wind by Denis ApIvor; costumes and masks by Pippa Cleator (performed by The Cedar Dance Theatre Company, Barbican Concert Hall and Irish National Ballet);
- Ancient Voices, inspired by the Sumerian and Biblical story of Job, with music by Bella Bartok;
- Misa Criolla to music by Ramirez;
- Jane, an episodic dance based on the life of Jane Austen, with music by Mozart and Dvorak, performed by dancers, actors and puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew with puppets designed by John Wright, Little Angel Theatre, London.
Other dance-related work:
Randell continues to be inspired by her passion for music, postgraduate research into historical dance, literature, current affairs and the natural world. She has lectured on aspects of dance and the arts in the UK, and worldwide, including the University of Oxford, the Royal Academy of Dancing, London, the Academy of Beijing, China and at various conferences in the UK and Israel. Janet Randell has written various articles including a review on the William Blake exhibition (in association with the William Blake Trust) at Tate Britain (formerly called the Tate Gallery). Additional works include a book about the history and application of dance and worship. When based at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, the home of Cedar Dance Theatre Company, she also pioneered classes and workshops in liturgical dance, and created dances for performance in churches and cathedrals.
Janet Randell’s teaching work has encompassed various contemporary dance techniques. She also pioneered teaching therapeutic dance classes with music to patients with high and complex needs at the City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health and to senior citizens with physical disabilities and sensory impairments at various Community and Adult Day Centres in London.
Randell has directed a number of live and film projects providing opportunities and new challenges in Dance and Movement For All. The projects include Dance Outside and Access for the Disabled in the Countryside with opportunities for movement and dance projects within a woodland setting. In the nineties, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission, the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries, The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, the local MS Society and Local Cheshire Home, Janet Randell planted an arboretum designed for wheelchair access.
The project, originally planned jointly with some patients from the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries, aimed to provide a special therapeutic environment in the countryside which, as part of rehabilitation programmes could be accessed by all, including those in wheelchairs.
The resulting environment provides the calm and satisfying experience of freedom in the woods with all the benefits of fresh air and seeing, smelling and even touching the plants or trees and observing or hearing resident wildlife with the background sound of a running stream contrasted to the restriction of being confined in a controlled environment. In ‘choreographing’ the series of woodland scenes with selected scented shrubs and a variety of trees around a winding wheelchair access, Janet Randell’s aim was to provide an uplifting sanctuary of tranquility – a precursor to the ethos of the Horatio’s Gardens planted in the grounds of NHS spinal injury centres.
The woodland provides access for all to explore the countryside, an activity often denied to those in wheelchairs. The planting and wheelchair access was created by Randell with the help of volunteers in the local community, including ex-patients from the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries, The Conservation Volunteers, Groundwork UK and young adults with learning disabilities from Derwen College. These, together with members of the local community including Prospects and Livability, who support people with learning disabilities, have continued to benefit from the facilities. Together with a local charity, she has also helped to open up rural access in North Wales, including the Sculpture Trail at Lake Vyrnwy with an outdoor space for performance.
Motion in 3 Planes
Choreography Janet Randell © Cedar Dance Animations Limited
Janet Randell © Cedar Dance Animations Limited 2019
READ MORE ABOUT RANDELL'S DANCE REPERTOIRE
Selection of Dance Repertoire
Dances choreographed and directed by Janet Randell, performed by The Cedar Dance Theatre Company:
A Ceremony of Carols; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Chorale; Darkness into Light; Destination Eden II; Foxes in the Vineyard; Freedom is Coming; I’ve got Plenty of Nothin’; Jack’s Visit; Jane (based on the life of Jane Austen); Jesus Then and Now (film); Labyrinth; Lacrimosa; Lamentation; Messenger of Fire; Misa Criolla; Motherless Child; Mr Darcy’s Letter; Passing Moments; Psycho Pieces; Quem Quaeritis; Rosewind; The Descent of the Gods (Perelandra); The Line That Goes For a Walk; The Maiden and the Hare; The Play of Daniel; Tribute to Fats Waller; La Llave (The Key) WIP; Spring Dances; Spirituals for London; Various Digital dances
Selection of Performance Venues – The Cedar Dance Theatre Company
The Barbican Concert Hall, London; Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Robin Howard Theatre, The Place, London; The Young Vic, London; Leicester Square Theatre, London; Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds; Theatre Clwyd, Mold; Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury; Essex University Theatre, Colchester; Sherman Theatre, Cardiff; Leeds Royal Armouries; BBC studios; ITV studios; St Andrews Festival, Scotland; Cheltenham College; Gwent College; St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh Festival; All Souls, Langham Place, London; Battersea Arts Centre, London; Drill Hall, London; Hoxton Hall, London; St Leonard’s Church, London; St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London; St Etheldreda’s Church Crypt, London; St Peter’s Centre, London
Dances choreographed and directed by Janet Randell, performed by various dance companies including The Cedar Dance Theatre Company:
Ancient Voices Full-length work created for the Guangzhou Dance Company, Peoples Republic of China
A Ceremony of Carols Full-length work to music by Benjamin Britten
Chorale Full-length work to the music of Vivaldi performed at the Young Vic, London, with live musicians, and throughout the UK. The role of the main dancer was adapted for either female or male soloists.
Daniel Musical performed by The Riding Lights Theatre Company
Destination Eden II Created for the Edinburgh Festival
Foxes in the Vineyard Created for the Edinburgh Festival, based on an award winning play. Composition and musical arrangement by Peter Monk of European award winning radio play of same name by Rob Cochrane
Freedom is Coming Created for workshop performance Oxford Playhouse
Harvest Praise Created for Cedar Dance in Worship Group
Idola Choreographed for the Cyprus & Hellenic Foundation and performed by dancers from the Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert and The Cedar Dance Theatre Company at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Music by Christos Pittas
Jack’s Visit Performed by the Cedar Dance Theatre and One Extra Dance Company, Sydney Music by David Martin; Singer: Dorothy Eschweiller
Jane (based on the life of Jane Austen)
Jesus Then and Now Video series, re-choreographed for BBC broadcast
Labyrinth Arranged mediaeval music and percussion by Jon Kehlior, London Contemporary Dance Theatre; composition by Michael Finnissey. Performed at the Edinburgh Festival. (Dramatic dance depicting death and resurrection based on an early mediaeval Easter dance)
Lacrimosa Created for workshop performance Oxford Playhouse
Lamentation Performed for stage/TV
Lies Performed by ex dancers of The Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company for HTV
Messenger of Fire Created specially for ITV Music by Janet Danielson
Missa Criolla Created for one of the Alvin Ailey Dance Companies III, New York and performed throughout UK by The Cedar Dance Theatre Music by Ramirez (Latin American rhythms)
Motherless Child Created for workshop performance Oxford Playhouse
Passing Moments Digital Dance Film, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury Music by Chopin
Perelandra Workshop performed at the Oxford Playhouse
Psalm 23 Created for Cedar Dance Theatre performed by Rebecca Ham, ex Ballet Rambert
Psycho Pieces Music by Tamara Vaslanko (percussion) and Denis ApIvor (piano and wind composition)
Quem Qaeritis (Whom are you seeking) Created for Cedar Dance in Worship Group
Sanna Created for Cedar Dance in Worship Group
Stonerites Choreographed by Randell and performed by one of the companies of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Summer Dances Performed by dancers from the Royal Ballet, Ballet Rambert and The Cedar Dance Theatre at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London Music by David Cain
The Line that Goes for a Walk Based on the paintings and writings of Paul Klee, performed by the Irish National Ballet and The Cedar Dance Theatre, The Barbican Concert Hall, Music commissioned, composed by the South African Composer Alain Barker
The Play of Daniel Created for the Queen’s Jubilee. Based on twelfth century liturgical drama with mediaeval music
Tribute to Fats Waller Performed by the Irish National Ballet and The Cedar Dance Theatre
Selection of Dance Animations by Janet Randell:
Ascending and Descending Percussion Ensemble
Animation Studies For The Tutorial Guide To DanceForms
Barcarolle Music by Alcan
Dancing Forms For Eight Music by Pachelbel
Dream Fantasy Music by Chopin
Etudes Music by Chopin
Schubert slice Music by Schubert
The Fusion of Digital Technology & Dance