Previews | DANCE & THEATRE


DANCE THEATRE PREVIEW LORD OF THE FLIES Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Wed 11–Sat 14 Jun

To credit a choreographer with changing lives sounds like hyperbole. But in the case of Matthew Bourne, it’s unquestionably true. Not only has Bourne’s accessible work (Swan Lake et al) created a legion of dance fans, but his Re:Bourne project has provided boys with life-altering experiences.

In 2011, workshops held in schools across West Dunbartonshire led to an edgy and entertaining dance adaptation of William Golding’s uncompromising novel, Lord of the Flies. Three years later, the production has grown legs.

‘The original Glasgow project succeeded way beyond our expectations,’ says choreographer, and Bourne’s right- hand man, Scott Ambler. ‘It was a risky and ambitious venture but the boys’ commitment, focus and desire to do something memorable was astonishing. Other cities wanted their local boys to have the same opportunity to shine, so we’ve spent two years scheduling the workshops, auditions and performances for 13 venues.’

Bourne’s team is working with boys across the UK, to

stage unique productions in each area including returning to Glasgow, where it all began. They know from experience, that those involved (most of whom had no prior dance experience) have their lives changed for the better. ‘From the original Glasgow company, several have formed

their own dance group,’ says Ambler. ‘Some have decided to train full-time and hope to be professional dancers. Even the ones who didn’t go on to dance afterwards are still proud to have been involved, and if the only thing some of them take away is a sense of achievement and self-worth, we’ll consider that a job well done.’ (Kelly Apter)


Like most dance studios, the walls at Nederlands Dans Theater are lined with mirrors, throwing back the reflection of dancers who spend hours perfecting a move that will last mere seconds. But walking into the company’s headquarters in the Hague to create new work Sara, Israeli-born choreographer Sharon Eyal had other ideas. ‘I didn’t say anything, I just covered them up,’ explains Eyal. ‘Because I never work with

mirrors it all comes from inside. The mirror is something which I feel is a lie, when you are such a judgmental person and you want to look good. My work is about feeling something.’ Eyal’s approach to creating is heavily influenced by the company she spent almost 20 years dancing with: Batsheva. Calling her time at the Tel Aviv company ‘amazing’, Eyal was also given ‘the freedom to be myself, and go my own way’. Which she duly did. Teaming up with her partner (on-stage and off) Gai Behar, the duo has built up a reputation for creating emotionally driven dance, including the dream-like Sara, which will sit alongside works by Lightfoot / Leon and Johan Inger on NDT2’s upcoming Edinburgh dates. Behar’s background on the underground live music and rave scene complements Eyal’s experience of the dance world. ‘We have different points of view, and Gai is a real artist,’ says Eyal. ‘He’s not a dancer, so the movement comes from me; but after that, there are so many layers of composition and aesthetic with large and small details. We do everything together.’ (Kelly Apter)

VERBATIM PREVIEW MY NAME IS . . . Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 29–Sat 31 May

The story of Molly Campbell, a 12-year-old apparently kidnapped by her father from her Scottish home and taken to Pakistan, created a flurry of tabloid speculation. When Sudha Bhuchar began developing a script based on the story, she discovered that things were more complicated. ‘At first, I thought that I was writing a fictional piece about the story, but I met the father and daughter in Pakistan, and the mother in Scotland, and I kept coming back to their words: I found them much more moving.’ My Name Is . . . has been in development for six years and uses verbatim conversations to

examine a complicated tale of love, faith and media frenzy, with Molly’s story cast in simple terms by the newspapers. ‘The headlines went from having sympathy with the distraught mother against the fundamentalist, tyrannical father,’ Bhuchar remembers. ‘Then the daughter said she wanted to be with him. The media did a lot of navel gazing and had to consider whether they’d got it wrong.’

Bhuchar ‘was struck by the role of faith in the stories of all three people’. Realising that this was a family story and not the symbolic battle between national identities presented by the press, Bhuchar was inspired. ‘I am drawn to the personal story,’ she says. ‘We are often encouraged to put our name for or against something, and I want to show all the sides. And this is a story that doesn’t have an end: family life continues.’ (Gareth K Vile)

15 May–12 Jun 2014 THE LIST 101