CONTEMPORARY DANCE Sign Of The Times/One
Touring * t t it
Over 20 years, Kokuma has become a dynamic dance theatre group, displaying a tremendous range of movement styles. Under artistic director Patrick Acogny, the company defies pigeon- holing: cosmopolitan diversity is its overwhelming spirit. Acogny himself epitomises this celebration of variety. Born in France and raised in Senegal, he leads a multi-racial company with a fascination for dance styles as disparate as Indian and Celtic.
Sign Of The Times, the ensemble piece in the current double bill, takes themes of manual and mechanised labour and Creates a kaleidoscopic world of movement. Five dancers work and play through a constantly changing sound- score, blending African fluidity with earthy Breton stamping. Somehow, each dancer retains a stubborn individuality, even in the unison sections, cherishing the nuances of their own body dynamics. This is a wide-ranging journey that never loses its way, as each performer travels a road that is clearly both joyous and wearisome at different moments.
Even more compelling is Acogny’s solo, One, inspired by Shiva, the Hindu god of both creation and destruction. Acogny uses this theme as the foundation of a dazzling display of dance, drama and athleticism, as he considers androgyny
and ambiguity in current culture. The fusion of Indian, African and classical ballet movements is hypnotic - Acogny seems able to hold all three disciplines in his body simultaneously. Within minutes, we see reflected in his form the male and female sides, the mythological aspects of Shiva as tiger, snake and fire.
Acogny appears capable of selecting a single muscle and making a flowing statement in its focused movement. One moment soigné sophisticate; next prowling predator, he gives a performance of stark power and breath- holding concentration. The live vocals and instrumentals complete the picture — a triumph of internationalism that is hybridised but never homogenised. (Don Morris)
I Sign Of The Times/One is at Paisley Arts Centre, Fri 6 8: Sat 7 Mar.
Shiva me timbers: Patrick Acogny in One
Scottish Dance Theatre Touring. * t it
Finally on its feet again, Scottish Dance Theatre is walking carefully into the future. This spring tour puts the Dundee-based company on the road with a quartet of choreography intended to please many a palate. In addition to two pieces shown last autumn in Edinburgh — artistic director Janet Smith's Chiaroscuro and Alan Greig's The Director’s Cut — this show premieres two new works.
Playfa/l is Smith’s first company creation. Four dancers perch on a bench like coiled Springs. The shout of
'North!’ unleashes this mostly lighthearted 'Simon Says’ of choreography. The commands
continue well past 'Go!’ and 'St0p!’ through military imperatives and directives from schoolyard games. Clad in gym gear, the dancers race against a tumbling score of Bach and Christopher Best's rushing variations. The finale, of sand streaming from the heavens, suddenly changes the mood, tilting the tight physical performance into something more thoughtful. DeSpite a slight overdose of choreography, it’s safe and solid dance.
Carol Brown's commissron The Glory Box interweaves melancholic strands of memory into a curious mix of sensual, spare performance. Tender couplings and tougher confrontations are set among generous gestural sequences in a dance-hall strewn with lone chairs. Kilt-clad men square off as though
“The script has everything... sex, drugs guns and smarties...” Polar Magazine
thur 12 -
sat: 14 march
Why chromosomes: Scottish Dance Theatre in action
sparring, and couples engage in sinister liasons to snippets of text . Russ L. Skoons's lilting and driving music flavours the nostalgia with nuance and bite, but the lush and beautifully acrobatic duets come a bit late, and for all its allusion The Glory Box doesn't really get off the ground
This show Will not be touted for earth-shattering choreography, but there is some sublime dancing. The dancers seem sole of themselves and each other, and have gelled into a group of growing style. A solid base for a good future. (Lynn Keating) l Scottish Dance Theatre is at MaCRobert Arts Centre, Stirling on Fri 5‘ Apr; Eastwood Theatre, Glasgow on Sat 78Apr.
a physical assault on the senses with
6,000 bars of
thur 12 -
sat 14 march
tra mway 0141 287 .3900
6—19 Mar 1998 THE U8T85’