NEW DANCE Scottish Dance Theatre

Edinburgh: Brunton Theatre, Wed 26 Apr, then touring.

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Appetising? She Is What He Eats

Don't be misled by the cryptic title of Dundee Rep’s Scottish Hydro-Electric Spring Tour’s headlining performance, She Is As He Eats. Far from a gruesome tale of mysoginistic cannrbalism, Scottish Dance Theatre’s short composmon is prrmarily a piece about male and female relationships.

’The title is insprred by a line of poetry that says “You are as I need water,


I Am Alsatian and Destroy

Glasgow: CCA, Fri 14 & Sat 15Apr.

He contrives a love affair between two china dogs and incorporates vomiting into a dance routine To say Sean Tuan John’s work rs quirky is like saying Celine Dion likes ballads. Since 1992, he’s been combining his own idiosyncratic style of dance with video Imagery, exciting soundtracks and innovative texts. He returns to the CCA With two works, l/lrn Alsatian and Destroy.

’It's more wacky and off the wall, I use a lot of sick humour,’ he says of lAm

g Alsatian wherein he explores the very

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British notion that man’s best friend is ‘lt's a lecture demonstration about dmis,’ he says 'l create love stories for Ilrt’rl‘. and the; have sex in a

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says choreographer, Jan De Schynkel about the inspiration behind his portrayal of the mating game. ’You've got a “she” and a "he", and then you have “to be" and "to eat". It's about the differences between the two within their relationship. One exists, survives, and the other person might just be sitting down watching television, or having a meal.’

De Schynkel’s piece also focuses upon the imbalances that exist within relationships, mixing physical mediums to depict some of the more difficult situations that can arise between the sexes. A case of She Is As He Goes Down The Pub, perhaps? ’It’s about juxtaposrng drfferent kinds of relationships,’ he says ’To what point is a relationship nurturing, and positive? When does it become abusive? You get different examples: idolising, violent or abusive relationships, which all lead to the same result.’

If thrs all seems too cynical, De Schynkel is keen to pornt out that the tone of the piece is optimistic. ’Basically we’re all in relationships and it's an appeal for tolerance,’ he says. ’lt’s not necessarily a purely cynical point of vrew. I wanted to say that, most importantly, we should just try our best to live together.’

This dance will be the opener in a succession of short pieces, including the work of De Schynkel’s fellow Peter Darrell Award wrnner Liz Roche, Darshan Singh Bhuller and Janet Smith, as well as the revival of a fragment of the ClaSSIC Peter Darrell piece, Five Ruckert Songs. (Olly Lassman)

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Hot dog and chips: Sean John Taun

human situations. It’s quite kitsch really.’

For both pieces John has chosen contemporary rock musrc accompaniment: Mercury Rev, Death In Vegas and for Destroy Glasgow’s own Mogwai. ’I like indie pop and l think it’s easrer to relate to than a composers score,’ he says. ’I chose Mogwai for Destroy as their musrc can be very soft and really aggressive and I liked that.’ Destroy or hrs ’drunk in Wales solo’ as he calls it, recreates the post-pub streets of Swansea and the general malevolence and disarray there. ’l’ve got an installatron of 21 bags of fish and chips whrch I dance ar0und and create a general mess wrth, vomiting and fighting’

John rt would seem, rs provoking a reaction using unrversal images ’People can relate qurte easily to Destroy even when I perform it abroad Thrs kind of drunken Brit thing is a real British legacy' lMark Robertson)

NEW DRAMA Making Room For Camille

Stirling: MacRobert Theatre, Fri 15 Apr.

While Sylvia Plath posthumously garners the column inches with the publication of her memoirs, Aberdeen’s AwareHaus Theatre Company is exploring the madness of creativity by taking inspiration from French sculptress Camille Claudel. Like Plath, her artistic efforts were often overshadowed by her relationship with her famous other half. Claudel was one of Rodin’s mistresses and his refusal to commit to her exclusively led to a breakdown and her institutionalisation at the behest of her brother, playwright and poet Paul Claudel.

'If you want that kind of tragedy you can read the book or see the film’, says Tina West, director of Making Room For Camille. ’I wanted to do something much more based in the sculpture.’ West chose to work with installation artist Aileen Starkhouse rather than a set designer and after a couple of development weeks, the company came up with a story which looks at a present-day artist obsessed with Claudel. ’It’s really about the artist's journey, about what goes into the process of creating a piece of work and how on the edge that can be.’ (Fiona Shepherd)

Claudel's hell: Jay Christelle


Freshmess Glasgow: CCA, Fri 21—Sat 22 Apr.

Stirling’s not exactly famed for the four pillars on which B-Boy culture is built, namely breakdancing, graffiti art, rapping and turntable tunes. Nevertheless, it managed to produce Freshmess, a company founded by central belters Alan Irvine and Wallace Sulley. Specialising in a fusion of raw, funky hip hop and lyrrcal contemporary dance, it won the Herald Angel Award at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe for Combo. The piece features dancers chilling out, strutting their stuff in mock rivalry and engaging in all manner of athletic japes, all to a soundtrack of live jazz. Despite its success, tryine felt that Combo could be edited and tightened, so 2000 sees its return.

’lt needed a lot of work after the first time round,’ he says ’and I wanted to develop it in a different way, but still using the original music.’ Tables, the accompanying work, adds another element to the mix, scratching and sampling. The aim of Freshmess is simple: ’To get people who don’t usually go to see dance, as well as avid theatre-goers to come and take a look.’ (Dawn Kofre)

NEW DANCE " i r The King

Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Tue w 18—Sat 22 Apr. . . Everybody's heard of Elvis; with an

enormous world-wide fan-'oase, a loyal army of novelty impersonators, Elvis-sighting cornpendiums, and even a religion devoted to ’Elvis The Divine’, rt's undeniable that Presley rs a cut above the Rod Stewarts and Buddy Hollys of rock ’n’ roll. ’He’s probably one of the most famous people of the last century,’ says Peter Schaffus, whose latest productron, described as a ’danSical’, ' a. is a full-length, multi-styled dance ' piece inspired by Presley’s dramatic M, a- v. rags-to-riches career. ’But the most important thing is really hrs musrc, and Elvrs cut more than 360 records durrng his career.’ He adds, ’l've chosen a selection of songs that you’ll hear no chronological order When you hear the musrcal synopsis, you can really feel the development of a

Dancing king

: young boy becoming a man, and then, sadly, the tragic end of his life, at the age - of 42.’

With Schaffus' troupe empioy-ng a huge range of dance styles from tap dancrng, classrcal ballet through to rock and roll receivrng standrng ovations, when The King arrives in Edinburgh, you can bet it won’t just be hard-core Elvrs fans who’ll be, um . _ all shook up (Olly Lassman)

~ and recent perforriiances