well-worn shoes ofcompany director and esteemed choreographer John (‘ranko If(‘ranko moulded the character of the company. Ilaydee has maintained and developed its excellent standards. ‘Its not easy to take over from anybody" she admits. ‘I wasn‘t prepared for it. I just had to learn how to direct the company and I‘m still learning.‘ It has helped that being one of his protegees she found it natural to think along the same lines as him. but her own robust character and unique talents as a dancer have led her. undaunted. to the feet of many great choreographers‘. The company has not waned in the memory of the great (‘ranko.

Stuttgart Ballet are bringing two full-length ballets to Scotland. (.‘ranko‘s Eugene ()negin with music by 'I‘chaikovsky and John Neumeier‘s A Streetcar Named Desire with music by Prokofiev and Schnittke. Adapted from I’ushkin‘s verse novel. ()negin is a tragic love story with a fascinating twist. ‘It was one ofCranko‘s great ballets‘ says

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Haydee. ‘I think it is one where everything is exactly right; the

music. the choreography. the costumes. the light. He has a special

quality. The audience like what they

see. they understand what he is trying to express on stage.‘ Streetcar was commissioned by Haydee six years ago. ‘Blanche du Bois is a fantastic character to play because it is a very complicated story.‘ she enthuses. ‘It‘s already complicated for an actress on stage to play her. so as a dancer it is even harder because you don‘t have the words. I like everything that is hard work. that you have to think about.‘

Neumeier did not attempt to make a

copy in movement of'l‘ennessee Williams‘ original play. Without words that would be impossible. Instead he created Streetcar the ballet. preferring to view the relationship between the two like that between Shakespeare and his literary sources or the opera (hello and Shakespeare. The structure of Neumeier‘s ballet is different from the play. As he has pointed out. you

The Stuttgart Ballet's A Streetcar Named Desire.


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can‘t dance the past. yet in the play Blanche DuBois‘ previous experiences form an important explanation ofher present behaviour. For this reason. the ballet begins where the play ends.

If in conversation Ilaydee tends to paint things in black and white. one can see how her steadfast attitude has kept the company on its toes. ‘Wc have the same aim we‘ve had all the time. We create ballet. we create new dancers. we create new choreographers; it‘s a creative company. Not a company that feeds

on Swan Lakes and the repertoire that every other company has.‘ llaydee herselfwill be dancing Blanche DuBois for the first oftwo performances. I ask when she will give up dancing. "l‘he day that Choreographers don‘t want to work with tne anymore.‘ she remarks without emotion. ‘l‘ll just wait until there is no more interest.‘ (Jo Roe) Eugene ()negin is“ on at the Theatre Royal. Glasgow, 4’5 Decand A , Streetcar Named Desire will be performed there on 78 Dec.


One man Omen

‘It‘s difficult to know why one does one thing more than another.‘ says Arnold Wesker. who will read from his plays at the Glasgow Festival of Jewish Culture.‘ but I find women more interesting. more courageous. more vivid in personality. Men embarrass me a bit maybe because I know myself too well.‘

Whatever the reason. most of the leading characters in Wesker‘s many plays are female. And incongruous as it may seem. his marathon. four-hour reading on Sunday 25 will be exclusively from three of his recent one-woman plays. Yardsale. Whatever Happened To Betty Lemon? and Annie Wobbler.

But ifWesker‘s own recommendation is to be believed. the quality of his reading will compensate for the absence of staging or actesses. ‘I think people are worried that a writer is reading his own work. and that‘s boring because a) it‘s a reading and b) writers are notoriously bad at reading. but I happen not to be. I‘ve read all over the world and time and again audiences have said to me. “I don‘t know why we need the play just listening gives us our visual image.“

The three plays presented have common themes and a similar spirit ofgrin-and-bear-it black comedy. which Wesker describes as ‘very Jewish‘.

‘That‘s what seems to be there in all the plays. I don‘t think you can write about courage and strength unless you take people through hell. The kind ofcharacters who interest me are those who survive their hell. or at least fight against it with humour: that always moves me. I‘m also interested in the kinds ofpeople who are animated by ideas their wit and their lives are shaped by startling intellect. I‘m not talking about heavy intellectuals. I‘m just talking about people who think and enjoy the process of thought. and are deeply emotional as well.‘

Which brings us back to men. Will they ever take centre stage in a Wesker play again? "I‘hat‘s one of my plans.‘ he replies. ‘I‘m planning a cycle ofplays for one man it's one

ofthe things I shall do over the next two or three years.‘ (Andrew Burnet)

Arnold W esk er is" at the Renfrew Ferry. Glasgow on Sunday 25 November. 2.30—6. [()pm. Tickets front ( ‘andlert‘ggs or RSA M I ).

The List 23 November 6 December 1990 59