PREVIEW DANCE DA ENTSTÜNDE EIN ENGEL The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 5 Dec
Whether he was dancing an atmospheric abstract work, or playing the father in a lavish fairytale, Jarkko Lehmus was always a captivating presence during his time at Scottish Ballet. When the Finnish dancer bid adieu to the company in 2009, after six years of service, it was a sad day for audiences but a necessary move for Lehmus.
‘It was time to go,’ he says. ‘The past year has had
its ups and downs, but it was definitely the right thing to do. I feel I’m now technically a better dancer and a more powerful performer than I’ve ever been. I also feel like I’m only at the beginning of my journey.’ That journey has brought Lehmus full circle, leading him back to Glasgow for a Development Residency at Dance House. As well as teaching daily class to members of Glasgow’s professional dance community, Lehmus has also worked with a group of performers to produce new work, Da Entstünde Ein Engel.
‘I have choreographed here and there during my career, but I’d like to explore that side a little more to determine if I’m any good,’ he says candidly. ‘I can’t bear rubbish choreography, least of all if it’s my own. Working as a choreographer with professional dancers is truly inspiring, seeing the piece grow and the performers flesh out the ideas given to them. As a choreographer I just try to facilitate the process.’
Da Entstünde Ein Engel started life as a solo, created and performed by Lehmus earlier this year. It will form part of Dance House’s Arches presentation, giving fans another chance to witness Lehmus’ inimitable style. Both pieces are set to music by American composer, Robert Moran, with whom Lehmus struck up a friendship via a rather unusual route.
‘I came across Robert’s work through 32
Cryptograms, which Ashley Page used at Scottish Ballet,’ he explains. ‘The piece was a real pain to count while dancing, so I bitched about in on my blog for ballet.co.uk. Robert read it and we had quite an amusing exchange – we’ve been friends ever since.’ (Kelly Apter)
R R A B N H O J
PREVIEW MUSIC HALL YOUR OWN – YOUR VERY OWN – OLD TIME MUSIC HALL Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 9–Sat 11 Dec
The festive season is well underway, but if you’re not a fan of traditional pantos why not check out an altogether different form of Christmas entertainment. Strathclyde Theatre Group are once again donning the mantle of the Celebrated Gaslight Gaieties to perform a riotous mix of comedy, send ups of opera and 19th century melodrama and classic music hall standards. The show harks back to the golden
age of cockney music hall, when Marie Lloyd gained notoriety for songs such as ‘The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery’. ‘One of the great pleasures as a performer is creating a character to suit a song or routine,’ says director and performer Susan Triesman. ‘You have such an incredible rapport with the audience. It’s so unusual in theatre to be able to talk to the audience and have them talk back to you.’
The Music Hall tradition is part of Triesman’s family history: her mother, the actress Rita Triesman, started her career in music hall with Unity Theatre before World War II, and Susan recalls helping her mother revive the tradition in Hoxton Hall in London’s East End some 30 years ago. The show marks a poignant end to Triesman’s tenure as director of the Ramshorn and STG, as she is retiring at the end of December after 26 years. The List wishes her the best of luck for the future and we look forward to seeing the Ramshorn carrying on with her good work in the new year. (Allan Radcliffe)
PREVIEW NEW PLAY THE STORY OF HOW WE CAME TO BE HERE, WHAT WE DID BEFORE WE GOT HERE, HOW YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN WHY YOU ASKED US HERE AND WHY WE CANNOT REMEMBER WHY WE CAME, OR: IS THIS WHAT BRINGS THINGS INTO FOCUS? Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 11 Dec
Every time Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan submit a funding application for their one- man show, they regret the title. With only 300 words to persuade a would-be grant-giver to part with some cash, they find themselves eating up 41 words on the name alone. But still, The Story of how . . . isn’t called that for nothing. It reflects the show’s focus on
the shaggy dog story and the idea of teasing audiences so they don’t know whether to drift off or pay attention. ‘It’s playing with an audience,’ says Tatham. ‘They might get bored, but it’s also funny, so they can’t completely relax.’ With a history of collaboration going back 15 years, Tatham and O’Sullivan are more
commonly found on The List’s visual art pages. That this one is here in the theatre section is because the duo like playing with the rules of different artforms. In a gallery, spectators encounter art in their own time; here in the theatre, we expect Gareth Brierley, a People Show veteran, to keep us interested. ‘We wanted it to work as a piece of theatre and not just because we were using another form,’ says Tatham. ‘We are interested in making things that have a direct function over audience. Sometimes that’s about visual pleasure, spectacle or entertainment; or it’s about hoping the audience will go away and think about the experience. Theatre is an interesting way of continuing that enquiry.’ (Mark Fisher)
84 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010