REVIEW VIM VANDERKEYBUS
Wlm Vanderkeybus, RSAMD, Glasgow, run ended.
Moving to the RSAMD, New Moves could not have picked a more energetic ilnale to the season of new dance which has been running at Third Eye Centre since the end of January. In a non-stop programme (a British premiere) the Wim Vanderkeybus company kept up the vigour to a shouting pace, cracking whip-lash choreography in a style which equally gave the contrary impression oi being swaggeringly laid back.
They opened with a piece which tired lite into what was to follow. Two men taking their rest on the iloor are disturbed by the smacking oi hands on a desk. The hands give them their orders. Tossing and turning to the amplified rhythms, the men are like sleepers in a bad dream. The iact that it is a woman behind the hands may or may not have signiiicance in this piece, but as the rest of the programme rolls out, it is clear that the Vanderkeybus iascination is with relationships, between men and women, between rival males, between groups and individuals. He likes to move the games people play.
To that end he pours on a superticlal physicality to grab attention, which smartly ieeds the psychological vein running through every piece. In varying
degrees Vanderkeybus plays with sensations oi jealousy, sexuality, frustration, lust, danger, anger, pleasure ortemptation, laying them not onto the characters themselves who remain anonymous, but into the character oi their dance. ln Frisking, three women are spread-eagled and searched by their men just like they do in the movies, an act which turns into a saucy, erotic ritual. While risking bad taste, it is nevertheless an exciting juxtaposition demonstrating the close quarters at sex and violence.
Whether throwing chairs or bricks at each other, or posing in the group portrait, or simply dancing as they did in the iinal part of the programme to the electronic sounds Vanderkeybus chooses as his backdrop, this is a company and a choreographer with reason to be at the ioretront oi contemporary dance. (Alice Bain)
Wayne Sleep in Bits and Pieces 18—22 April. 7.30pm evenings and Wed. Sat matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets
choir is said to be a highlight and the Bolshoi has provided choreography for some of the dances. From their home in the Crimea. the Red Navy are billed as being fighting fit.
I KINGS THEATRE Leven Street. 229 4840 ext133.
Dance with Sheridan Nicol Classes by Edinburgh's dancer-in-residencc. Sheridan Nicol is a vivacious teacher with bags ofenergy and fun. Contact her at the above number for more details ofthe classes listed below. All classes £2 (£1). Contemporary with Marilyn Williams Mondays 5.30—7pm.
Jazz with Sheridan—General Tuesdays 5.30—7pm.
Jazz With Sheridan—General Wednesdays 5.30—7.
General Open with Raymond Kaye Thursdays 5.30—7pm.
Jazz Advanced-Professional Wednesdays 11am—1pm.
Edinburgh Youth Dance Theatre Mon. Wed and Fri at St Brides Centre 6pm. Sheridan is building up a youth group which will take class and workshops at this time at St Brides Centre, Orwell Terrace (just off Gorgie Road). Contact the phone number above for details.
£12.50—£4.50. Concessions available. Popular dance from the star who left the Royal Ballet to become more ofan entertainer.
I USHER HALL Lothian Road. 228 1155. Th. Red itavy 24. 25 April. 7.30pm. Tickets £7.50—£10. Concessions available. Over 90 naval ofﬁcers, dancers and musicians are promised by this latest import from the Soviet Union. No doubt there will be the high kicks and colour we have come to expect from such ensembles and no doubt they will be highly disciplined and professional about it all. The male voice
I LABAN CENTRE INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL Laurie Grove. New Cross. London SE14 6NH, 016924070. One of the country's best summer courses for both professionals and those with a Special interest in dance. This yearthere are several courses to choose from: a full~time course which includes the choice of contemporary. ballet. choreography. singing and music for dancers with the young choreographer Jacob Marley in residence. This full time course runs from 17—28 July and costs £220 not including accomodation. There is also a young people's course . a dance/movement therapy course, and a dance video course. Contact the college (one of Britain's top contemporary dance colleges) for more details.
Scottish Ballet's Peter Pan returns from its tour of England and is playing at Eden Court in Inverness. 19—22 April. Aberdeen follows. 3—13 May and Edinburgh. 23—27 May. Information on 041 331 2931 .
Mayfest Dance Throughout May. The Mayfest dance programme is bigger than ever and certainly one of the most exciting seasons Scotland has played host to. A compact number of ten groups and solo artists bring together some riveting new dance from America, Europe and Britain. Ones not to miss are the Stephen Petronio Company from New York — sensationally fast with a world premiere from 14—16 May, Le Ballet Du Fargistan — abstract beauty on 10 May and Philippe Decouﬂe— circus tricks in contemporary dance on 8 May. Contact the Mayfest ofﬁce on 221 4911 for details of booking all dance events and further programme details. Note that all Mayfest performers will be taking workshops and classes around the time of their performance. Details from Mayfest office.
THE ART OF THE IMPROVISERS
Improvisation is generally held to lie at the heart ofjazz. but.
like jazz itself. the word encompasses a wide range of music. from the contrapuntal lines of New Orleans through to the free blowing of the newest version of the avant-garde. KENNY MATHIESON looks at a complex art. and welcomes some European visitors with the ability to produce the unexpected.
mprovisation makes huge demands
on the improviser in all modes of modern jazz. The New Orleans and early Swing styles placed more emphasis on ensemble playing. but the development of bands like those of Duke Ellington and Count Basie in the late 1930s. which were full of gifted soloists. set the precedent for what became an increasingly solo-dominated. improvisatory music from the bebop period onward.
Broadly speaking. the bop-based style of improvisation involved playing on the chord changes rather than the melody. allowing the player to introduce substitute and altered chords in a logical manner. but leaving enough room to develop individual nuances. a style which John Coltrane took to its logical limit in the celebrated Giant Steps record in 1959.
At around that time, Miles Davis. who had been associated with both
bop and the more melody-oriented Cool school. developed his celebrated Modal method. allowing the improvisers to work with scales or modes rather than chord changes. as on the classic Kind ()fBlue from the same year. Simultaneously. Ornette Coleman was developing his own distinctive approach to improvisation (subsequently called Harmolodics). which abandoned conventional notions oftonality and changes in favour of polytonality and exploratory linear improvisations.
Ornette‘s music was considered outrageously revolutionary. and it lent an incendiary spark to what became The New Thing; indeed. Free Jazz took its name from an Ornette record. although he himself later claimed he didn‘t like the title. which the record company foisted on him. In the US. the leading protagonists ofthis new avant-garde — Ornette. Coltrane. Cecil Taylor. Archie Shepp. Pharoah Sanders et al — carved out a new and highly controversial niche in jazz history. and the reverberations are still around today.
In Europe. the example of free improvisation (in practice. this means without conventional framework rather than totally spontaneous) was eagerly seized upon by important groups of
musicians in various
Q countries. from England to ' the Soviet Union. and has gone on to constitute a major stylistic area '--~"; in its own right. At the
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'. “ he List 7 — 20 April 1989 27