Scottish Dance Theatre present Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith inspired Velvet Petal by Fleur Darkin

Latest dance production from Scottish Dance Theatre brings energy and style of late 1970s and early 1980s New York to Derby this spring.


Debuting a new adaptation, the company makes a striking return to Déda as part of a Spring UK Tour of their sexy sensual hit show Velvet Petal.


Velvet Petal is inspired by the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, and the transformative power of creating beauty out of whatever you can find on the bedroom floor. Choreographed by Fleur Darkin and created in collaboration with this exceptional company, the Velvet Petal dancers philosophise, seduce and experiment with their bodies, clothing and ideas.


Set to a fresh dance-punk score arranged by Torben Lars Sylvest including music by LCD Soundsystem, Spoek Mathambo and Abul Mogard this unique show adapts and morphs in content and length for each performance. Audiences will enjoy the essence of Velvet Petal at times distilled and developed by the company of dancers to create an intense dance experience.


Choreographer, Fleur Darkin said, “Velvet Petal is about change - how humans change by themselves or through relationships with others. It’s about those times in your life when you must transform yourself. I spent a lot of time researching the photographic process and the Polaroids of Robert Mapplethorpe inspired me to see things in a new way. We think we understand at first glance but actually it’s when we spend time letting the object communicate with us that the magic happens. I think the revealing nature of time is particularly true of dancers. The dancers are the Velvet Petals and they open themselves towards the light and dig deep to pull us through the darkness.


Ever since reading Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids I was compelled to make a piece that captures the energy of constant change and transformation. I hope Velvet Petal will inspire audiences to reflect on their own metamorphoses as they are moved by the marvel of human growth. We are living in tough times and a lot of our depression comes from hearing the news. Velvet Petal is about listening to those private desires and connecting with our dreams. I want the audience to leave the theatre thinking: Anything is possible."


“Darkin choreographs with a cool wit, and her cast whip off her demanding moves, and their clothes, with élan” The Observer ★★★★

“A truly compelling piece, exquisitely performed” The Stage ★★★★

"An erotic and electrifying dance-drama" Edinburgh Guide★★★★



Listings information:

Velvet Petal by Fleur Darkin

7.30pm Thursday 28 March

Déda, Chapel Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3GU

Age: 12+ (scenes of an explicit nature and may contain partial nudity)

Tickets: £12 £10 concession


For further information, interview and image requests please contact Owen O’Leary, Oh Really PR on 07815 992658 or email


View and download hi res production images here:

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