Printer Friendly

No collissions buy many near-misses.

Goldberg Variations, Dance City, Newcastle A FULL house for the weekend's first performance showed Dance City's busy programme is finding appreciative audiences.

This was something special and not only because these are the only English dates.

Rarely do we see musicians physically engaging with a contemporary dance company rather than simply accompanying it.

Scottish Ensemble, the UK's only professional string orchestra, joined Andersson Dance, from Stockholm, to create this work in which the musicians are integral to the action. After the performance the Ensemble's Jonathan Morton explained the group enjoyed working across art forms.

Having worked with a visual artist, they fancied dance. A meeting with choreographer Orjan Andersson proved fruitful and Bach's 30-part Goldberg Variations was chosen.

On a white stage, the lights subdued only occasionally, the 11 musicians and five dancers began by facing us, regularly spaced.

Variation number one was announced by one of the three male dancers who then began to move frenetically as the musicians launched into the choppy Baroque opener.

A female dancer joined him, moved so wildly among the musicians that I feared for the bowing arms.

Often I wanted to smile but the performance, from start to finish, was delivered deadpan.

"This is an ordinary walk," intoned one dancer as everyone began crisscrossing the stage. "I don't know why we are doing that." I felt a bit in the dark, too!

Occasionally performers could be seen smiling and whispering but their faces, turned to us, were mostly expressionless.

The strings were augmented by the percussive slapping of the floor with knees, hands and elbows.

Props (bowls, a shoe, a clothes rack) were introduced, costumes were removed - a man dancing in green underpants was not the night's most appealing sight - and the lights finally dimmed on a lone double bass and a stage littered with little piles of everyday objects.

A destination had been reached, even if the journey had taken a strange course, and much energy expended.

On an evening of grace, exertion and occasional oddness, we learned that musicians can move as rhythmically as they can play. There were no collisions.

David Whetstone

CAPTION(S):

A scene from Goldberg Variations

COPYRIGHT 2015 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 23, 2015
Words:359
Previous Article:Meet the farmer whose stock is rising fast in literary world; As Newcastle's book festival, Books on Tyne, begins, DAVID WHETSTONE looks at some of...
Next Article:Has the penny dropped?
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters