New Moves dance season previewed (below), new plays in Cumbernauld (page 47),
and mime from Poland (page 48).
LISTINGS: THEATRE 49 CABARET 53 DANCE 53
The shock of
Marie Clements examines the New Moves season coming to the Third
The third New Moves season takes place in February and March at venues throughout Glasgow. It’s even more ambitious than ever. Clever programming by Nikki Millican of the Third Eye will again demonstrate just how vital an art from new dance can be. There‘s a proven commitment to not only tried and tested exponents of dance, such as David Dorfman and Sue MacLennan, but a championing of adventurous upcoming choreographers, like the Nomads, whose only deficiency is often the lack of a suitable venue or promoter to support their
art. The common link between these
choreographers, from Britain, Belgium, Holland
and the States, is their experimental and bold approach to their art. They extend the boundaries of the form, intent on encompassing video, film, performance and experimental music, often aided by sculptors and painters. An eclectic spirit, breadth of interest and training make for ambitious events that are consistently stimulating, theatrical in the widest sense, but never confined by the parameters of movement
The epitome of all that is good about dance is represented by Yolande Snaith. She is amongst the most challenging and entertaining of the New
Moves‘ choreographers. Her superb eye for detail and rich visual imagery come from an early training in theatre design, followed by dance study at Dartington college, with an emphasis on improvisation. In 1989 she produced her most acclaimed work to date, Advanced Lessons in Social Skills or Germs. The production takes a wry, witty and densely layered look at the upbringing ofVictorian young ladies. [I intersperses bon mots from the 1866 Young Ladies Journal, a behavioural lexicon. with movement that belies the intended tightlaced moral messages. Lurking in this text is the insidious idea that women are the progenitors of
Snaith is interested in creating strong images and discovering their potential through a series of imaginative interactions between the performers, their elaborate costumes and deftly manipulated props. The choreographer and her fellow dancer, Kathy Crick, first appear creating child-like wailing by gurgling into chamberpots, which rapidly evokes a sense of repression and restriction. These ridiculous props are a redolent symbol of taboos as the two women, corsetted in puritan clothes, gradually unlace both their stuffy dress and their behaviour.
Their movements are strong, asexual, matronly and purposeful as they pace about, chiming rhythms on a chamberpot with a small staff, a symbol ofdiscipline. They gleefully invent subversive games, investigating a many chambered wardrobe, which is obviously forbidden territory. Gloating over the vessel impishly, they proceed to divest it of its contents (chamberpots and fruits) in a ritual executed with an amusing officiousness of manner. The cupboard is a rich prop for Snaith. She exploits it and its contents as an image of the women‘s suppressed desires and of their teeming subconscious. The dance and movement is . carefully wrought, worked to a point ofelegant '~ definition, smoothly, yet never predictably executed. Under Mike Seignours lighting the set is reminiscent of Dutch Old Master paintings.
The performance incorporates an absurd film about vicious and destructive childrcaring practices. The strange antics with trussed chickens and nappies combine to achieve an effect somewhere between a Victorian Dr Spock and Mrs Beeton‘s cookbook, whilst deftly echoing the imagery of Axel’s Babette's Feast. lt’s altogether a devastating, entertaining expose of Victorian morality and hypocrisy. (Marie
Germs is at the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow on Thurs 15—Sat 17 Feb, 7. 30pm.
‘In Spit It Out we’ll be looking at the types of issues which are relevant to women in the 1990s. You know, the usual type of thing; the stockmarket, going shopping, penis envy. . .We’ll also be doing it all in glamorous Doris
What The Sensible Footwear Theatre Company see as ‘the usual type at thing’ has never been what automatically springs to mind for the rest at us. Wendy Vousden, Alex Dallas and Alison Field were stalwarts ol the Edinburgh Fringe lor seven years and brought a certain tongue in cheek glamourto their post-feminism routines. Last yearthey didn't show up and we had to settle lor Simon Fanshawe. I asked Wendy how she could be so cruel.
‘We were touring the world . . . well Canada actually’ she says. ‘There are a lot of festivals over there based on
Edinburgh’s, but they're much less pressured. We’re really looking forward to coming up to Scotland without having the pressure at the Fringe.’
The wisdom of arriving six months ailerthe rest at the London cabaret circuit also seems to be borne out by the fact that Sensible Footwear aren’t just stuck in a draughty church hall for three weeks. ‘We wanted to strike a balance between community centres, theatres and other venues. We’re also going up to the Highlands so we shall be wearing our own glamorous thermals under the Doris Day dresses.’ (Philip Parr)
See ‘Touring' lor Venue details.
The List 9 — 22 February 1990 45