PREVIEW INDIAN/CONTEMPORARY/CHINESE DANCE AKRAM KHAN DANCE COMPANY AND NATIONAL BALLET OF CHINA
Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 22 & Sat 23 May
Bringing different cultures together has always been one of Akram Khan’s strengths. For the past ten years, the acclaimed dancer/choreographer has created an entirely new form of dance, based on contemporary moves and Indian Kathak. Now he’s added a third culture into the equation — Chinese.
An ambitious collaboration with the National Ballet of China, Bahok took months of rehearsal to put together. As Shanell Winlock, dancer with the Akram Khan Company explains, one major stumbling block stood in their way. ‘lnitially the language was a bit of a problem,’ she says, ‘because none of them spoke any English, so we had to use a translator which slowed down the process. But after a while we got the hang of it and it’s been an incredible mix.’
Learning to communicate with one another was crucial to Bahok’s creation, as so much of the material used in the dance is based on personal experience. Set
. . ‘ Ego . Michael Praed as Milo in Sleuth '
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in a waiting room, five dancers from Khan’s company and four from China try to find their way ‘home’ - wherever that may be. ‘Home is so different for everyone,’ says Winlock. ‘For example, for one of the characters his home is in his head, because his physical home was destroyed back in India, so he only has his memories.’
Winlock joined the Akram Khan Dance Company in 2001 and ended up marrying the boss himself four years later. Like all the dancers in Khan’s company, she had to undergo a crash course in Kathak - an ancient Indian dance style which can take years to master. Already an accomplished contemporary dancer, Winlock found that learning Kathak had a profound affect on her.
‘It somehow soaked into my body subconsciously,’ she says. ‘And made a real impact on the way I think and move. That’s the beauty of this kind of dance - you go past the technicality of it and it becomes more about what you have to offer an audience, not just what you have to show.’ (Kelly Apter)
PREVIEW REVIVAL SLEUT
will see a very different show.‘
you're going to pay".' (Steve Cramer)
PREVIEW DEVISED THEATRE RIGMAROLE
Arches, Glasgow, Wed 28-Fri 30 May,
Ah, the youth of today. They skulk around at bus stops, they commit acts of arson . . . they devise experimental theatre pieces structured around Pirandello farces. . .
Phil Spencer. one member of the appropriately-named, frighteningly youthful Glasgow theatre collective For We Are Many, is talking me through the genesis of their latest production, Rigmaro/e. ‘Well. when we're devising, we spend lots of time playing and pushing each other. hanging around bridges and bus stops and setting each other on fire.‘
I laugh. Spencer does not laugh. Yes. apparently For We Are Many have actually set each other on fire in the course of preparing for their third show, which uses Luigi Pirandello's farce. Right you are (if you think so) as a starting point.
“The play really has just been a source: we kind of ripped the heart of the narrative of it. dumbed it down for our own purposes. and then layered and layered in all our own ideas about what Pirandello was getting at — fear of the unknown and ostracisation in communities.‘
The result is what he describes as a ‘funny. dark, intimate theatrical experiment, played to an audience of 30 around “a gigantic dinner table'.
‘What we’re trying to do is distill the. ah, “anarchicness” that comes naturally from being a gang of people who like to make a lot of noise and run about into something that happens in a theatre — into something that makes the absolute most out of the realms of what theatre can be.‘ (Kirstin Innes)
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Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Mon 26—Sat 31 May
Since Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth first appeared in 1970. its c0untless revivals and two film versions attest to its capacity to intrigue audiences. But will the much- hyped. though ultimately slightly disappointing 2007 film version overshadow this touring production? Michael Praed. the former Dynasty star feels that this latest version. a 70s-set production of Shaffer’s original, has the edge over the film. ‘In fairness. the remake set itself a monumental task in updating a classic play.' he says. 'By doing that. they had to change it a lot. People coming to see this version
The story of the young, entrepreneurial Milo visiting the country home of Andrew. an ageing novelist has, notoriOusly. more twists in the tail than a 40ft anaconda. The former's affair with the latter's wife is the starting point for a memorably brutal series of encounters. Praed maintains that it is the endless shifts in sympathy that create fascination for an audience. ‘What's really interesting is the way power shifts. We start off sympathetic to Andrew. who. it seems, has been cuckolded by this younger man. but then his response to this is so nasty that we start to feel sorry for Milo. But after that Milo behaves so nastin that we switch back again. These are two men who really are out to settle scores in a nasty way. By their actions they are making a monumental gesture. saying: "You fucked with me, and