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DANCE PREVIEW Jaleo Flamenco Edinburgh: King's Theatre, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Sep, then touring.

Infectious rhythms, fiery emotions and passionate drama; the Jaleo Flamenco dance company, direct from Seville, are set to banish the dreary September post-Festival blues and quicken pulses with their flamboyant and exciting new show.

Following the success of their appearance at the King’s in May ’98, the prolific dance company is returning to Scotland with a dynamic new line-up of award-winning dancers and musicians. Evolved from Indian, Jewish, Byzantine, Arabic and South American influences, Flamenco is a unique dance form capturing the rich diversity of Andalucian culture. Comprised of three principal elements - singing, dancing and guitar playing - fans of Flamenco will enjoy the fusion of the authentic and the innovative from this internationally renowned company.

For the uninitiated, Flamenco dancing can only be compared to witnessing what amounts to a small Spanish carnival on stage. Gypsy women, extravagantly decked in riotous colour, strike dramatic poses against rugged black-clad lotharios, while captivating guitar builds the movement into a frenetic party atmosphere that utterly absorbs the audience. (Catherine Bromley)

No Sevilleian casualties: Jaleo at full strength

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52 THE “ST 9—23 Sep 1999

THEATRE PREVIEW Pilate Glasgow: Arches Theatre, until 11 Sep.

Fresh from success at this year's Fringe, Morpheus Theatre are set to take their dramatic exploration of the world's archetypal politician to Glasgow audiences. ’Ostensibly it’s the life story of Pontius Pilate and the play explores the various myths that have surrounded him and that have kept reinventing him.’ Paul Needham, artistic director, stresses that the story of a man who lived 2000 years ago continues to represent the moral and political dilemmas faced by today's leaders.

Needham speaks of the contemporary parallels we could draw: ‘Tony Blair is famous for his compromise. That’s not to say we’re critical of him but Pilate is a symbol of compromise and many leaders are held up in comparison.’ Adapted from Pilate The Biography of an Invented Man and produced in collaboration with the author, Ann Wroe, Needham's direction shifts the focus from Pilate's most public predicament and instead concentrates on the private man and his personal relationships: ’We don’t show the trial scene because people have so many preconceptions about it. Instead we focus on his and his wife’s reaction to it.’ Naturalistic acting will sit alongside Brechtian elements and symbolist motifs, in a production indebted to total theatre. (Catherine Bromley)


Edinburgh: Merchiston High School, 22 Sep, then touring. Tragedy of blood was the speciality of Athenian drama of the 5th century BC, and they don‘t come much bloodier than Aeschylus’ Orestiea. The first, quite self-contained episode of this cycle narrates the fate of the title character, a king who, after victory in a war against Troy, learns the true meaning of trouble and strife. Her indoors, Clytemnestra, has taken a lover in his absence. Influenced by this, and Agamemnon's sacrifice of their child to the Gods, she tops the old man, and his soothsaying fancy woman Cassandra. All the bleak drama of this is brought to contemporary audiences by Actors Of Dionysus, a York-based company who have specialised in ancient tragedy for some years, and have performed it with some distinction. Tamsin Shasha, joint Artistic Director, asked whether the portrayal of Clytemnestra is misogynistic, points to the nature of the characters, both male and female: ’There’s no doubt that she's a scheming, conniving bitch, but then Agamemnon isn't too nice either. The real innocent party is a woman, Cassandra, who just lands in the middle of all this. The point about these characters isn’t their sympatheticness, anyway. It's their strength that makes them so powerful as dramatic characters.’ (Steve Cramer)

It's a bloody tragedy: Agamemnon