Ellie Carr previews forthcoming dance h1ghl1ghts.
Three months ago Fiona Wright. the London-based dance artist. took Glasgow's New Moves by storm. She liked the place so much she is coming back to work in a residency developing the third part of her Jonah cycle. this time at the CCA. First there was Jonah. then Touching Jonah. and now it’s Jonah Touching Jonah. The piece. she says. tnay continue to develop. but the title I am reassured will not.
lfyou don't know already. Fiona Wright is a solo performer who does that movementbased/performance art thing that New Moves audiences liked so much. She describes herself as being ‘right on the edge‘ of dance and live art. but is usually categorised and billed as dance. Her work is quiet. measured and deliberate. and charged with a focus more often found in the likes of Japanese Butoh than in British dance performance.
Early influences include teacher Liz Agiss and the Expressionist movement. particularly Pina Bausch. She identities with the an of Butoh. and agrees that though the look is different. the whole process is similar. Despite this very personal. internal way of working her outlook remains broad. ‘My work is about love and desire. sexuality and identity. and what is "acceptable" in an. I want to challenge accepted forms and deal with wider issues — and at the moment sexuality and censorship is probably my biggest concern.‘ She has been noted for this. and described as challenging. subversive. even anarchic. ‘I want to be challenging.‘ she says. ‘but not “in yer face". If I‘m subversive. it‘s quietly so.‘
So where does our man Jonah come into all this? ‘The Bible story of Jonah and the whale. and the myth ofa seahorse born into the body of a man
Jonah Touchlntt Jonah
carry the various subtexts of the piece. The stories appealed. because of the
3 way both Jonah and the seahorse live inside another animal. and because
Jonah is the disobedient prophet.
There‘s no big statement about religion
here. but like most people with an
E ordinary Protestant education. Jesus
was a pretty big figure in my life.‘ Jonah. Jesus and the seahorse are all there. but the audience. she says. should go in with an open mind. and
i come out with their own interpretation.
lnterpretations aside. audiences generally come out with the opinion that Wright is a stunning performer. And if you don‘t catch her this time she
; assures me she'll be back although next
time without Jonah.
And elsewhere on the dance horizon. Scottish Ballet will be the first dance act to grace the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. The company will also be celebrating their 25th anniversary with
a programme that sees Balanchine's 2 Scotch Symphony (1952) (said to be his
most romantic ballet). alongside the more modern Tippet ’- Bruch Is Violin Concerto ([987) and the acclaimed Kylian work (of Nederland Dans Theater lame) — Forgotten land. Looks like being a bit of an occasion.
And last but not least. if you fancy extending your knowledge of Chinese culture. get on down to St Bride‘s Centre to see Chinese folk dancer Tina Chen in action. and/or down to the open workshops at Edinburgh's own Dance Base to try out this ‘exquisite form‘ for yourself.
Jonah 'Ioiafhing Jonah. CCA. Glasgow 23—25 Jun (24 and 25 Jun includes shoii'ings front local performers. created during this residency).
Triple Bill — Scottish Ballet Gala performance. lz'dinlmrgh Festival Theatre. 29 Jun.
Classical and Traditional Chinese Dance. ii'orkshops. Dance Base. 22—23 Jun. performance. St Bride Is Centre. 24 Jun.
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