Scottish Academy of Music and R I D E Drama this year. She is currently

working on her second opera which

Spink will direct for Scottish Opera in 1990. Weir’s music for Heaven Ablaze is for six voices, provided by Vocem Voice Theatre, and two pianos. Spink desribes it as ‘a beautiful, tongue-in-cheek score. It travels through time with amusing references to Brahms and romantic twelve tone music.‘ The 1815 Hoffmann story ‘The

Sandman’ concentrates on ‘the way

Second Stride are undoubtedly one l eompany’s new piece Heaven Ablaze

ofthe gems of British contemporary ' at his Breast is not, however, a sugar

dance, The company have an sweet story like Coppelia, which

enviable reputation for innovative OWCS "web {0th romantic idealism

multj-facctcd dance theatre which of the time in which it was produced.

employs some of the country's Second Stride have ChOSCfl to

outstanding dancers in close closely follow the original subversive

collaboration with accomplished 1313.113 "well more Sinister. not as

designers and composers. Artistic saCCharlnC 35 the ballel‘. says Spink.

director Ian Spink's work in opera. Who adapted the Scenario diTCClIY

dance and theatre gives him a fresh. from The sandman‘- ’11’5 made for a

things are seen and illustrates the experimental approach to

danger ofescapist romantic choreography where dance. design.

pretty bizarre, pretty strange work. It would be lovely if this piece could be seen as Gothic Opera Ballet. It’s

element in all Hoffmann’s writing.’ Optical illusions abound. As in

projections, ofcreating myths which destroy you,’ summarises Spink. music and dialogue are intelligently fused.

Hoffmann‘s tale is given a deconstructive twist which allows the It’s not surprising that the next point ofdeparture for a

psychological elements to surface. The eight dancers and six singers operate as doppelgdngers,

choreographer who isn‘t afraid of

using Thatcherism, religious

mythology, science fiction or

sometimes there are actually four people on stage simultaneously Hitchcock as subject matter. should be E.T.A. Hoffmann’s rich. dark

playing two characters! ‘The doppelganger effect dovetails neatly into the idea,’ Spink explains, ‘of fractured characters, of displaying different identities at different times,

tale of a young man’s obsessional

love for a mechanical doll which

sends him mad. lt‘s previously

inspired the ballet Coppelt'a, two

operas, The Nuremberg Doll and

of bizarre shifts, which are an Offenbach‘s opera, the glasses the Offenbach's Tales ofHoffmann. The

young love-sick man obtains don’t help him see any better, if anything they cloud his vision and make him believe even more in the doll, Olympia, the mistaken object of affection. Rose-tinted spectacles accord with the story’s plethora of double images, its distorted sense of reality, the element of self-deception inherent in romanticism Heaven Ablaze, like all Second Stride’s work, is multi-layered, dense in teasing allusions. Don’t be surprised to find reference to Freud’s castration theories, Balthus, Coppelia, photography and Kokoschka, but picking them up is definitely not essential to enjoying this blaze of imagination.

not strictly gothic. or opera, or ballet. but a strange piece of theatre which goes into all these areas.’ Heaven Ablaze boasts music written by acclaimed Aberdeenshire-born composer Judith Weir, whose first full-length work Night/1t The Chinese Opera was feted by the critics in 1987. She received an Arts Council Composer for Dance Award. to fund what is her first major collaboration with a dance company. whilst Guinness Composer in Residence at the


Two remarkable dance pieces are performed in Glasgow this fortnight. Maria Clements meets Ian Spink, artistic director of British group Second Stride, whose dark and sinister elements are to the fore in Heaven Ablaze in His Heart, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, leader of Belgian dancers Rosas and ‘the most interesting choreographer in the world’, investing new life in Bartok with Mikrokosmos.

Second Stride will be at the RSA M D, 100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow. Tue 10 and Wed 11 ()ct, 7.30pm, £6.50


j ,‘1 Al"; 7 If?)

1 ., {Ill '

ito—s'lfios GIRLS

The Third Eye Centre is once more set to host a European dancemaker ofthe highest calibre. Anne Teresa De Kecrsmaeker’s appearance in Glasgow during the National Review ofArt represents another coup for Scottish arts programming. London hasn‘t had the opportunity to see this world-class, cult choreographer since she appeared in the Dance Umbrella Festival back in 1987. Since forming her own company. Rosas, in 1983, this 29 year—old

2 The l:i-s—t_2—9Septembcr— 12 October 1989