Innovative Canadian choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault has a unique way of working. There’s no lounging around in leg- warmers for the dancers, it’s straight into costume for the first rehearsal discovers Ellie Carr.
Jean-Pierre Perreault has a vision. He carries it around in his head for days. makes endless sketches on paper and constructs scaled down 3D sets long before he ever makes a move. And invariably. when the dancers arrive at his studio for the first rehearsals. they are greeted not by the obligatory practice barres and mirrors. but by a performance-ready stage design almost entirely of his own creation.
As far as Perreault is concerned he is not painter. sculptor or choreographer. but all three. ‘I use whatever medium i feel will best express my ideas at the time, he says. ‘Often the light will speak. or the scenography will speak as much if not more than the choreography — it brings a different quality to my work.‘ To the audience
la Vita: visionary choreography
uncannily like visual art. Perreault himself. speaking about La Vita (the work he brings to Edinburgh) says: ‘When i saw it on the opening night 1 suddenly realised how much it was “painted”. ’
Each of Perreault‘s dances begin life in a converted church in his native British Columbia where Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault has its home. it‘s here that he begins his set designs. and where dancers come and go according
it‘s a quality that makes his dances look i to his latest needs. To give Perreault
maximum creative freedom the Fondation operates as a pick-up company. changing in size and structure from project to project. He may use ten dancers. or twenty. or work only with actors. A few dancers have been with him for years but no one gets a permanent contract. There are certain things though that remain constant. like Perreault. Ultimately the Fondation has only one artistic voice and it‘s always his. Of collaboration he says scathingly: ‘it‘s like six people all talking at once and everybody butting in. it’s unclear writing.‘
in Canada and elsewhere on the international scene Perreault’s voice is widely heard and he’s fast etching out a style that proudly wears his name. His dancers have been described as ‘a tribe of Perreault-peoples’ but he’s quick to point out they are no slaves to his rhythm. ‘1 don‘t want them all to move the same way.’ he says. ‘I choose them first for their personalities — I need artists not hoofers.‘
Hoofers are out then. as are skinny teenage ballerinas. ‘Dance for so long has been based on narcissism.‘ he explains. ‘You had to be young and pretty with nice feet and dance was robbing itself of all its ability to talk to people about anything other than dance.’ Jean-Pierre Perreault is not interested in talking about dance; he wants his work to talk about life. (Ellie Carr)
I la Vita (Festival) Fondation Jean- Pierre Perreault. King‘s Theatre. 225 5756. 20—22 Aug. 8pm, £5—£l8.50.
Bib and Bob
The Travis Bickle oi stand-up, Jerry Sadowiiz makes supposedly angry young men seem merely mildly irritated. Emerging irom Glasgow in a hail-stonn oi savager iunny spleen and vitriol, he became something oi a controversy magnet in the late 80:. Yet, in contrast to the carefully plotted rise oi the comedy-as-the- new-rock ’n’ roll brigade, his career curve registers as an erratic and intermittent zig zag, ii at all.
His act - a mixture oi surreal violence, non-aligned political iury and conluring (both deliberater inept and suprislngly skilled) - was goadineg anti-PC beiore the phrase existed. Determined to leave even the most liberal advocates oi tree speech squirming, his shock value has obscured ior many the ﬂashes oi sheer brilliance that pepper his set (he was once punched oii stage at the Montreal comedy schrnooze test).
The mental disintegration oi latter
day James Kelamn novels is not as
» ludicrous a comparison as it sounds -
his is the drowning rage oi a man ilailing against circumstances beyond his control, a million miles away irom the cosy student angst oi iiewman and Baddiel, Sean Hughes et al.
A eecz series seemed too good to be true, and it was - watered down and
weakened by the restraints oi the medium, The Pail-Bearers Beview understandably iailed to launch him into comedy's super-league. lie dropped out oi sight not long after.
Following an unspecified illness, Sadowiiz has made a low-key retum, alongside his Pallbearing pal Logan Murray, as Bib and Bob, an act which continues the sketch-based ionnat oi the television series. Intended as a parody oi all that is wrong with Oxbridge-educated double act comedy, B & B reveals Sadowiiz as a convincing comic actor, and gives iull rein to his more surrealist tendencies - imagine Eddie luard on crack. With Tourette’s Syndrome.
The show iirst seen at the Liverpool comedy iestival showed healthy lashings oi his trademark “total abuse‘ style, though it's a more traditional show than he’d probably be prepared to admit. But Sadowitz, ior all that, is still Sadowitz, and worth a dozen Perrier award winners any day oi the week. (Mark nay)
Bib and Bob (Fringe) Acropolis on Dalton iiill (Venue 26) 557 6969, 19-21
With an ear to the ground, a finger on the pulse and a toe in the water, contortionist Eddie Gibb selects iive hot tips.
I Mooi Street Moves Post-apartheid theatre about a white visitor from the country who visits his brother‘s flat in Johannesburg to find it occupied by a black con man. in a reverse Pygmalion tale.
Mooi Street Moves (Fringe) Traverse (Venue I5) 23 Aug—3 Sept. times vary. £7 (£4).
I Scanning Dancers Russell Maliphant (0V8. Michael Clark Company) and Yolande Snaith with a two-piece programme which creates a new language in theatre/dance crossover. Scanning (Fringe) Ricochet Dance Company. St Bride Is Centre (Venue 62) 346 1405. 22—27Aug. 9pm, £5 (£3).
I Jimeion He's lrish. he lived in Australia, he sings the odd song (admittedly not the high point of his act). Jimeion is a laid—back. conversational stand-up who'll make you laugh and feel good when it’s all over
Jimeion (Fringe) George Square Theatre (Venue 37) 650 2001, until 29 Aug. 9.45pm. £7.50 (£5).
I Leno and Woodley Sketch-based humour from this pair of clowns who fall over themselves to get a laugh from the audience.
Lano and Woodley (Fringe) Fringe Club. until 3 Sept (not 22 Aug) 8.30pm. £6 (£5).
I Alan Davies Dry-ish observational stand-up who treads fairly familiar territory. but manages to find fresh insights to avoid the obviousjokes. Alan Davies (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 215/. unti13 Sept. 8.15pm. £6.50 (£5.50).
The List l9—25 August 1994 45