FALLING ON HIS FEET
Alice Bain reviews Michael Clark’s 1am Curious, Orange. plus other dancenewsandreﬁews.
As the national anthem played before the lights went down. people of a certain age stood to attention. Patriotism turned into audience improvisation. Michael Clark had managed to topple pre-conceptions before the show had even started.
I Am Curious. ()range. Michael Clark‘s latest dance piece. was commissioned by the l lolland Festival in the tricentenary of the accession of William of()range to the British throne. What a mouthful. But Clark is not hindered by by historical or social convention - he tips the facts into his electric dance machine and comes up with a performance which is racy. sexy. bolshy. fun - in the hands ofsuch a talented MC. it's all over before you‘ve had a chance to give a second applaud.
An intro of(iod Save the Queen loop taped to the Dutch national anthem made a dynamite start with Clark’s dancers setting the scene a la contemporary in black and white.
Then there was The Fall. at rock group of prodigious talent. National anthems out of the way. they moved in and remained on stage behind the dancers for rest of the performance. filling the stacks of speakers with compulsive sounds.
As Clark led his company of dancers round the music of Mark E. Stnith. the charismatic lead singer and song-writer with The Fall. he directed with his feet. As they paraded in their spangled , orange coat-tails. high black William of()range wigs. pink puff-balls and green mists. they followed his lead like a band of merry men. ready for any action. And there was plenty of that. Celtic and Rangers strips were out fora football match. MacDonald’s tipped their fries over the Houses of Parliament and the King got in a fankle with some of his subjects. Shades of disco. fast Highland footwork. post-modern American dance blended with Clark‘s incisive classical style. .\'ot all the dancers were top-class professional. ()f no consequence. Clark's brand ofentertainment art is not about clinical technique (though he and lillen Schuylenburch are very fine dancers). It is art of its time. full of ideas and realities from the world around us now. Be a devil. join the orange party today. before it‘s all over.(Alice Bain) I Am Curious ()range is on at the King’s Theatre. 7.3(lpm until 20 August. I Michael Clark has also organised a public one-night club at the l.eith Assembly Rooms on 20 Sept starting 1 1pm and on till 7am. (Alice i
YOUNG AT ART
‘Odsox is willing to try anything no matter what.‘ reads this eager group's publicity. ‘We're not just ballet. contemporary or jazz dance.‘ elaborates young company member'chief publicist Lorraine Wright. ‘We're just us. and that's different.‘
Operating under the auspices of Community and Recreational Arts in Barnet. London. and directed by dance animateur Jane f-‘orde.
()dsox is big: 46 members.
ranging from 7 to 22 years old. Their broad-based training also includes tap and various ethnic styles. They perform and present workshops in community centres. the open air and even cabaret venues in addition to legitimate theatres. The tone oftheir programmes can easily switch from the comic to the serious. while the movement can be acrobatic. abstract and everything inbetween. only eight of the eldest members (minimum age 18) are coming tip tothc l’ringe for a second consecutive year.
‘A lot of the repertory is choreographed by us.‘ Wright reports. ‘()ur Iidinburgh show comes out of pieces we did this last year. Most have been altered and hopefully the choreography is clearer and more sophisticated. It's also the last time we'll present this particular repertory. so it's at a peak performance level.'
The company's somewhat ambiguous but big-hearted policy is 'Dancc is for everyone- so let them enjoy it‘. This translates. onstage. as basically lighthearted family entertainment witl an accent. naturally. on youthful themes and expression. ltxamples: a group send-up of w atcrsports. a dttet a la Astaire and Rogers. and ; look at drugs from a non-User's perspective. (Donald l lutera)
l Young alAl'l()dsox Youth Dance Company. Chaplaincy Centre. Aug 23—27. 4pm.
EAST—WEST REVELATIONS Born sometime in the l‘)5()’s to l-‘rench parents. Devayani isa tantalising mix of cultures. This Indian classical dance solist grew up in Paris.onc of the world's most movie-mad capitals. lt seems fitting. then. that she should find her calling at the cinema. \ ia dance sequences in Louis M;illc"s Phantotn India. Dubbing the film ‘a revelation.‘ Devayani
speaks glowingly of ‘the infiniteness ofthe way Indian people look at things. The look. Their eyes.‘ ()bviously she was hooked. As she puts it. ‘I gave up everything once I discovered Indian classical dance.‘
‘Everything' eventually included life in Paris. where she'd been studying Latin. Greek. Philosophy and Literature at the Sorbonne. and — against the wishes ofher conservative maman et papa. who didn't want her to become une artiste —- ballet and modern dance. music theory. classical guitar and flamenco.
All this was before Devayani's 1969 ‘revelation."l‘he next year she began training in Indian classical dance. mime and music. In 1073 she won a scholarship to study in Madras ('thc most beautiful years of my life'). arriving auspicioust on the birthday ofShiva. god of the dance. Blessed with a pretty face and voluptuous figure. she became a media darlingin 1976 as the heroine of a hit film in which she danced and in the brisk. seductive Kuchipudistyle. llcr public debut as a soloist of
Bharata-Natyam - temple dances dedicated to the gods - came in 1977.
Since then. frotn her base in New Delhi. Devayani has performed throughout India and in littrope. This is her second Fringe visit. in a 90-minute programme designed to show offber
complaisant personality. quicksilver footwork.
stamina. facial expressiveness and choreographic skills. (Donald l lutera)
I Devayani Masonic Lodge. Temple Theatre. Aug Zl-27. 7pm. 4.50 (concs4). (Also: St Andrew'sTheatre. Buckhaven. Aug 31. 7.30pm & Scottish Ballet Studio Theatre. (ilasgow. Sept 7. (1.30pm ).
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The List 19— 25 August 1988 27