allowed anyone outside their borders into the delicate business of fashioning those sticky-out skirts so inextricably part of any self-respecting dying swan.
Tim Goodchild is the man in charge of the tutus. With 40 West End musicals to his design credit and most recently ‘A Simple Man‘. a ballet story lortelevision about the artist Ls. Lowry. he has lots of experience on stage. but little when it comes to classical dance. None in fact. However. he was honoured to be asked. ‘I was quite stunned at first. ldidn'tthink I stood an earthly.’
An initial two and half hour chat was all it tookfor Moscow to make uptheir minds. An easy summit. But for Goodchild the project fitted strangely from the start. Visits to Moscow to savour atmosphere and research the ballet puntuated the actual design work. all of which was done in this country. Working through interpreters Goodchild found an extraordinary experience— with that and the miles between designer and client Goodchild had to feel his way.
Sticking to traditional Gothic lines few problems raised difficulties between
Russia and Britain inthe end. Apart from the tutus themselves. 0n the insistence of the company
the tutus were to be made in Russia underthe keen eye of the wardrobe mistress of the Bolshoi. The cut ofthe bodice and decoration were completed before shipping. butthe skirts arefrom
Moscow alone. ltappears that the Russian idea ofthe
tutu is quite differentfrom the British — it's still against soft. Goodchild is hoping
thatthe Russianswillrelent ; alittle butfears not.‘They
have had this shapefor
j years and years and are not ’ happyto let itgo.‘ So on
Friday 15 watch outforthe tutus in this world premiere
of Swan Lake. There's a
story behind them. . . (Alice Bain)
Moscow Classical Ballet are dancing Swan Lake on Friday15 and Saturday16 July. Earlierthatweekthey
programmes of divertissements which are expected to illustrate their Russian virtuosity.
The genesis otthe Westbrook-Rossini. which the Mike Westbroﬁk band will perform atthe Ross Bandstand in Edinburgh on
July 15. lay in a request from a Swiss street theatre group lorMike Westbrookto compose some music on the theme ofWilliam Tell. Westbrook. one of the most distinguished and ambitious composers in Europeanjazz. has always been interested in combiningjazz and theatre. and undertookthe commission with relish.
Kate Westbrookthen suggested they consider Rossini's opera onthe subject. and the much acclaimed Westbrook- Rossini was born. The version now performed has grown considerably. but still uses a largely brass and woodwind instrumentation which echoes its origin. as Mike explains.
'The Rossini originals are very bold pieces. with very direct structures. and whatl did was to identify the core elements. then translate them into ajazzidiom. Some sections are cut-down versions otthe originals. others are considerably altered. The instruments hark back to the Brass Band lhad in the 1970s. and I've always been interested in those textures. but it really grewfrom having to carry the instruments out on the street in the first instance. which meant no piano. although we have added one since. and no doubling of instruments. ltdid present me with some unusual problems in writing the music. but they were all interesting ones.’
A new CD-only studio version of the composition hasjust been released on the Swiss Hat ART label. to complement the in-concert recording already available from the same source. while Virgin Venture are about to release Westbrook‘s latest major composition. London Bridge is Falling Down.
‘London Bridge is a more experimental composition, and that is perhapsthe direction I would consider to be the mostimportant. but the Rossini has always had a good feel to it. and although it is by no means trivial music. it has its humorous aspectas well. We still enjoy playing if.‘ (Kenny Mathieson)
WITCH’S BLOOD ll
Last year Dundee Rep pioneered awonderful outdoor community event involving hundreds of local people and much of the city. Witch's Blood was a novel staging ofWilliam Blain's book about Dundee-all around the city scenes were acted out and the audience. ferried around in buses from one site to another. was ableto walkthrough
Mike Westbrook and his: Band
living history prior to seeing a dramatised staging properolthe novel at Dudhope Castle.
This year the city returns to the idea with Witch's Blood ll. another epic outdoor production staged on sites from the rubbish tip to the castle to the Tay Rope Works. Well worth a visit it you can make it. the
performances take place on . 9.10 and 11 July at7pm. For |
more information phone 0382 23530. (Sarah Hemming)
The last time that Luke Cresswell was in Glasgow. it was to play the verylirst Mayfest when he was a member otthe music and comedy group. Pookiesnackenburger. ‘The change is really incredible' he told me on his return to Glasgow this week. Cresswell recalled that playing to places like the Govan Shipyards. Glasgow. had all seemed to be about unemployment. Now he is returning to the city to find not only that Mayfest has become established as one ofBrltain’s biggest festivals. but to help create one of the key performance events on the route tothe celebrations ol1990. Cresswell will literally be drumming up an audience for his latest project as he assembles fifty of the city's finest drummers to perform from a pontoon moored on
the Clyde. Beat The Clyde will be the grand finale of the Street Biz events announced last week bythe Festivals Unit andthe District Council (see ROS). and it is likely to be a pretty spectacular event. Cresswell already has experience of organising a similar event on a Brighton housing estate. and has it seems become quite adept at organising whathe describes as an ‘anarchic orchestra‘ of percussionists whose backgrounds are likely to range from rockto classical. ‘I'Il be giving hand cues and shouting numbers to control them on the night‘ he told me adding. should there be any doubt. that he is 'very Ioud‘. ‘lt's not a mass jam atall. We‘re out to create a real piece of music. butthe orchestra will befreeto decide its shape. I’m not here as a dictator. The real hook is when you manage to get this whole orchestra of drumsto become silenta
A: I, r ’ / i. exactly the same moment.‘ Cresswell's own career seems to be on a crescendo. Signed to a seven album record deal. his current band Yes No People have justfinished a film short in New York. He's currently working on a project. also in America. fora “Busby Berker style‘ musical. But despite the glamourhe's adamantthat he wantsto continue with locally based performance projects. Cresswell describes the results of his mass drum compositions as ‘very western' ratherthan. as might be expected African intone. Butto find outfor sure you will have to book yourselfa place onthe
Clyde Walkway. bythe suspension bridge. on 27 Augustwhen the sixty- minute performance. accompanied bya laser Iightshow and fireworks can be seen and heard. More details infuture editions of The List.