RAMBERT DANCE COMPANY
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 5-7 Nov.
At ﬁrst he thought it was a wind up. Sitting at his computer on a Saturday night, checking his e-mails, Rafael Bonachela was surprised to see one with the subject ‘Kylie’. A dancer with Rambert for ten years, with a burgeoning choreographic career, the Barcelonan had no links with commercial dance or pop music. Which is why, when he received an e-mail from William Baker, one half of Kylie’s creative team, asking him to choreograph her upcoming Brit Awards appearance, he assumed it was a joke. ‘So I called my ten best friends and asked them,’ he says. They all said no, so he started to take the proposition seriously.
By no means a fan of Kylie, Bonachela had just one CD by the pop princess, bought with a touch of irony while Rambert was on an Australian tour. So he put it on. ‘I was thinking this can’t be real,’ explains Bonachela. ‘I kept trying to imagine my movement set to this
music, and I just couldn’t understand why they wanted me. But of course I answered the e-mail and said “let’s meet”.’ A day later the record company was asking him to name his price, and within 48 hours he was sitting with Ms Minogue discussing choreography. What started off as a one-off job for an awards ceremony soon spiralled into a world tour. Kylie’s Fever show featured two hours of highly physical dance, performed by some of the finest dancers working in Britain - all hand-picked by Bonachela. The pop world had never known the like.
So now, it’s payback time. He gave her a vital component towards an award-winning tour. She’s given him inspiration, her onscreen image, her voice - and more publicity than Rambert ever dreamed possible. Back in his day job after the Kylie tour, Bonachela was commissioned to create a new piece for the company. ‘I wanted to make something relevant to my life, and I
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NEW WORK ALLADEEN Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 6-Sat 8 Nov
YOU don't have to be a genius — or a genie — to realise that the telephone call centre is at the front line of globalisation. When. earlier this month. HSBC announced that it was transferring 4,000 jobs from Britain to India. Malaysia and China. it was the tip of the iceberg. Within two years. the number of Scottish call centre jobs is estimated to fall by 23 per cent. from
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Call centre de-centred
50.000 to 38.500. It's a trend that inspired this collaboration between two theatre companies — London's motiroti and New York's the Builders Association — as they sought a new context for the Arabian legend Aladdin. Al/adeen moves between New York. Bangalore and London. mixing live action with animation and video interviews with real call centre workers in India. “The call centre is a flying carpet ride.‘ says Ali Zaidi. motiroti's co-director. ‘At the touch of a button.
Rafael Bonchela: Inspired Kylie
thought it might be interesting to use Kylie,’ he explains. ‘80 together with Kylie’s creative team, we decided that she was going to represent an image of love and adoration.’ And so 21 was born. Performed by Rambert’s consistently talented dancers, with a huge projected image of Kylie looming over them, the work questions the concept of celebrity. Shocked by the fanaticism he witnessed while part of the Kylie touring machine, Bonachela has tried to capture the almost obsessive love people have for celebrities they don’t even know.
In doing so he’s opened up Rambert to hitherto untapped audiences, enticing Kylie fans into the theatre and then exposing them to a mixed bill of dynamic choreography by Hans Van Manen and Javier De Frutos. And with Kylie herself in town that week for the MTV awards, will she turn up for Rambert’s show? We should be so lucky. (Kelly Apter)
you cross the world.‘ Or. to put it another way. the telephone is the equivalent of the Aladdin's lamp. a mechanism by which wishes are granted and fantasies made flesh. This kind of wishing cuts two ways. of course. For western consumers. it may mean paying an electricity bill in the middle of the night or instantly hiring a car. For the phone operators in the developing world. it is more ambivalent. Material gain goes hand in hand with cultural subjugation.
'The majority of people in the call centre we went to in Bangalore to research the show are 21—26.‘ says Zaidi. 'They're using it as an opportunity to explore a different Culture. A fresh university graduate with three and a half weeks' training can earn more than a doctor.’ In learning to serve western customers. however. workers are required to undergo a crash course in American culture. from the World Series to sitcoms. The Gita who answers the phone becomes a Gail or. more likely. a Rachel or a Monica. As the old saying goes: be careful what you wish for. or you may lose yOur identity to one of the cast of Friends. (Adrian Turpin)
Re: Treading the Boards
The Gateway and its best product, its students
COMMUNITY THEATRE IS perhaps the most valuable and demonstrany useful thing that the theatre does. Developing communication. awareness and mutual respect within local communities is just the tip of the iceberg. But it's a thankless task a lot of the time. with all the credit for arts and development going to established theatre. That's why the Royal Bank of Scotland deserves credit for its initiative and insight in providing the most substantial grant for community theatre development ever awarded in this country. for Queen Margaret University College's Gateway theatre. It reflects great credit on both the bank and Maggie Kinloch's dynamic drama department that this initiative will go ahead. Perhaps most of all, Lynne Clark, the dedicated and very creative head of community theatre. might be credited for what looks like a sea change in community theatre thinking. Whispers might add that he knows this lady. and can think of few worthier recipients of this kind of recognition. We'll all see the benefits in our communities.
A YOUNG RSAMD GRADUATE, Mark Traynor, might also be seen as a young man of great initiative in bagging a Dark Lights commission at Tramway for his . . . at the dawn of the 8th day. A multimedia piece, the performance examines the possibility (some would say, certainty) that the media don’t always give us the facts. Questioning the reality of what reaches us through our television screens is just the beginning of a piece that might well ask profound questions of the comfortable realities we define in everyday life. It looks fascinating, but it’s not due for performance until late November, so look out for it then. Go, and be intrigued.