gravity — preoccupations shared by most post-modern choreographers.
Booth. a 197‘) graduate of Devon’s :
progressive Darlington ("ollege of
Arts. says he chose a career in dance é
because. ‘as a performance fortn it was the least manipulative of people‘s heads. Where theatre may draw people in in order to manipulate them to a certain world view, dance can be much more personally interpreted.‘
Requiair is a case in point. The piece. approximately 70 minutes long. refuses to yield easy meanings. The subtitle is not to he taken literally. despite the large pair of movable white aeroplane wings hovering above the stage (designed
on the floor. so suggestive of ﬂight paths. Hans Peter Kuhn‘s complex sound score is endlessly surprising.
Structurally the show accommodates
both set segments ofehoreography and passages in which the five dancers. including Booth. are thrown back on their own resources as creators of movement.
Booth likens what they do in Requiair to ‘playing with recipe. We have the ingredients and cook the meal, but it‘s going to taste slightly different each time.‘
Born in Holland. van Schuylenbureh has a face ofdolorous serenity and an aura of imperturbability that is a fusion of
her ties to American choreographer Merce Cunningham‘s alert. supple technique and her experiences as a member of(‘lark‘s convention- ﬂouting company. She laughs. recalling the friend who said ofher
: time with (‘lark. ‘All these horrible
i things happened around you — naked : people running around. policemen
sticking truncheons up bums — and
you came on very devoted to your dance. so calm and elegant!’
Her innate state ofgrace and clarity comes in handy working with Booth. ‘I‘m not an improviser.‘ she protests. ‘lt's uncomfortable for me. like trying to move around with my underpants around my ankles. I
don‘tunderstandthe philosophy of by Nigel Coates) and the silver strips
improvisation anyway. To say that if I do the satne phrase ten times. I
don‘t do it each time anew — I just don‘t believe it!’
She is. nevertheless. after Booth.
,' perhaps the most interesting
: performer to watch in Requiair. ‘l‘m a dancer who likes to work with
f material. It's good that I found that
out. with Laurie. I hope that I can
continue to work with him. He‘s very
easy. open. not defensive. He tells r us. basically. to see the whole
performance as one phrase. Even the time you‘re offstage. you still continue: even when you're still. you‘re moving.‘
Requiuir, Tram way. Glasgow, Tue 1 7— Thurs l 9 March.
Everyone is impressed with the Citz at the moment. More than impressed. Overwhelmed. Oic Edwards as much as anyone. ‘1953 was quite simply one at the most powerful pieces at theatre I have ever experienced,’ he says oi the play which has had the critics spewing their choicest superlatives. Now his own play, Casanova Undone, is to take over in the Second Theatre, and the Welsh-born writer is naturally anxious that it will win a similarly hearty reception.
‘Essentially the play is a battle between male and lemale sexuality,‘ he says. ‘Sex can be a trap in many ways, and tor Casanova one way at being areal libertarian about sexuality is to use it lor his own power games.‘ Edwards ploughed through some at the lover's 24 volumes oi journals in order to write the play; it wasn‘t bed-time reading. “It‘s very repetitive, and mostly sell-glorilication rather than enlightening.’
Strange to relate, Casanova was a bit oi a prude, according to Edwards, who shares no such inhibitions. ‘It's a heavily erotic play, and approaches the subject oi sexuality in an altogether more innovative way, exploding, I hope, the myth that he was a great lover!
Neither has Edwards ignored Casanova‘s historical environment,
___-_- a- __._.___T
Oic Edwards placing him iirmly in the context oi The Terror. ‘In a sense, Casanova anticipated Marx, arguing thatthe Revolution was a phoney revolution committed by the petit bourgeoisie, petit in the sense at small, but also in the sense at petty,’ he explains.
Currently working tor Theatre Powys and Made In Wales, Edwards is only now beginning to lind security in writing, alter nine plays and years oi waiting on tables (‘l like the way that putting “waiter” in my passport can be misread as writer'). Casanova Undone is not his iirst ‘historical‘ play, but it could be his most controversial. ‘lt‘s quite radical,‘ he admits, ‘but theatre in Glasgow is much more exhilarating than London anyway. Everyone is lar too alraid ol cuts and management to try anything new down there.‘ (Aaron Hicklin)
Casanova Undone, Citizens‘ Theatre, Glasgow, Thurs 26 March—Sat 18 April. Three Plays by Oic Edwards (including Casanova Undone) will be published shortly by Oberon Books at £7.50 (details on 071383 5569).
‘The world is lull oi theatre, it‘s not in the theatre,‘ Joan Littlewood once said. it’s a dictum that Peter Schumann‘s Bread and Puppet Theater has taken literally. Founded almost 30 years ago, the company’s lame rests on its large-scale pageants. Periormed on the streets, in lorests, in hails oi all shapes and sizes, in tact anywhere that people gather, Schumann's work otters an enthralling blend ol the mystical and the political —irom Old Testament spectacles to anti-Vietnam demonstrations.
The title oi their latest work, Christopher Columbus: The New World
Order, sums up their linking oi past and '
present, the individual and global politics, myth and reality. ‘It juxtaposes the iairy-tale version at Columbus that we grow up with herein the States,' says tour manager Stephan Cantor, ‘with the iacts, which aren’t nearly such a tairy-tale.’
The arrival oi Columbus led directly to the bloody destruction ol the great Aztec, lnca and Mayan civillsations, but such things don‘t just belong to the past, as Cantor explains. ‘The locus of the pageant is on native populations, in particular the Cree people who live in northern Canada, in Quebec. Speciilcally we are looking at the James Bay Hydro-Electric Project
Bread and Puppet Theater
5 being undertaken by a huge power ' corporation called Hydro-Quebec. They
, are damming rivers and ltooding an
area as big as New England. lt's displacing these people who‘ve lived
there tor thousands and thousands oi years, and more than that, it’s causing
? massive large-scale environmental
changes at catastrophic proportions.‘
The company also touches on another, much better-publicised current event, the Gull War. ‘lt's to point up the lact that 500 years after Columbus arrived here the mission is still the same,‘ says Cantor. ‘The doctrine oi conquest and expansion and imperialism is still going on.“ (Ken Cockburn)
. ChristopherColumbus:The NewWorld
Order, Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 25—Sat 28 March.
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