I S S U E
A U T U M N T E R M
THE PUBLICATION FROM LONDON CONTEMPORARY DANCE SCHOOL
New Year, New Lycra
| BeyoncĂŠ Knowles | Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker | Daniel Madoff | | New Movement Collective | Rosemary Lee | Gill Clarke | Michael Kelland |
Is s u e 4 | Autu m n 2 0 1 1
Rosemary Lee’s Square Dances
7 - LCDS Goes Forth! Sophie Robinson, Michael Kelland 10
Beyoncé VS De Keersmaeker
Occupy Everything - Inside the protest at St Pauls
16 - Frying Solo Quick food for school lunches 19 - Culture and Things Flowers Gallery, New Movement Collective and Circus Space 22 - Reviews: Akram Khan, Fabulous Beast, Lucinda Childs and more 24 - Garble Over Lunch With Merce Cunningham’s Daniel Madoff 26
Whats On? - in Dance, Art and Theatre
Bloomsbury Festival and London Occupation. 2 | GARBLE
Editors Letter A new year at LCDS is well under way, and here at Garble we have reinitiated our quest to excite and inform you about things you have no energy to do at the weekends. But with one of our founding writers departed for graduate skintness and another two on the other side of the Atlantic, Its safe to say us three left over were worried about Garble’s future. Alas! All is not lost - with the arrival of a few new firsties, we have gained 4 new, wonderfully bonkers members. As always, feel free to get in touch with ideas for articles, contributions, and anything interesting you’re doing outside school, which can soon be done via our Garble Noticeboard on the body-con corridor, or via our many online points of contact listed below. So, here’s to the not-so-new, new school year, plenty of drama, and short shorts!
The Garble Team: -
Special Thanks to
FIND GARBLE ONLINE:
James Morgan Mari Colbert Kit Brown Emilia Gasiorek Declan Whitaker Célina Liesegang Esther Fuge Jessica Sim Chris Scott Chloe Mead Thomas Hands
=Read the full issue at WWW.ISSUU.COM/LCDSGARBLE = WWW.LCDSGARBLE.TUMBLR.COM = On Facebook and Twitter - Search LCDSGARBLE = For Submissions, Email LCDSGARBLE@GMAIL.COM
Where would we be without the trusty short shorts?
GARBLE | 3
For once we see our LCDS friends performing not inside the studios and theatre of the Place, but outdoors...
Rosemary Lee’s ‘Square Dances’, part of Dance Umbrella, sprung up in parks close to LCDS last month. Appearing on the turn of autumn, they used people of all ages and abilities to move in the outdoor spaces, in each very unique park. The performances were a beautifully touching comment on the exit of summer, of life, death and the energy of nature, and were truly uplifting, and a great day out. The four dances included men, women, children and training dance students, each one embracing the individual history of each park, and amplifying it with beautifully crafted movement and sound.
Dedications are given by the audience, and are written on the dancers arms, to be recorded. The third years of LCDS filled Queen Square, entering on the hour, and positioned themselves in front of the parks bordering benches to perform three minute solos. After asking if the viewers would like to dedicate the dance to anyone, they rang their shop-counter style bells to signal the beginning. This was a wonderful nod to the dedications each of the benches already bore, and brought the dancer into into a mutual understanding with each audience member before it even began. Each performer had a unwavering but gentle focus that drew you into their world, and the movement explained more than you might think possible in three minutes. A chorus of unique and delicate ‘dings’ rang out, and suddenly the moment was over. After three solos the group were gone, the park left untouched, but still feeling their presence. Quite unexpectedly, the life of the parks went on throughout each performance some members of the public continued to walk through as if nothing was going on at all. Working with the public - whether it be serving them in a pub, asking for the time or displaying yourself to their prying eyes in performance, often results in notable and unforgettable encounters. The latter was the scenario for the performers, when they had to perform to strangers in this park, which is situated just outside Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital. During Ellen’s solo, a local pub owner walking her dogs opposed their occupancy of the park, and placed herself between the bench and Ellen in defiance, telling her in no uncertain words what her dogs are more important than her swinging her arms around. Here, Esther Fuge tells us about some more of the memorable encounters the dancers experienced – the good, the bad and the ugly.
“My dogs are more important than you swinging your arms around”
4 | GARBLE
LCDS GOES FORTH Esther: On one of the rehearsal days Andrew Hawkins approached a man in a wheelchair, who was with his son, and explained that he was going to perform a short solo for him if he didn’t mind. The answer was instantly hostile as the man replied “well it better be good then”. As Drew danced the man laughed with his son, saying things like “look son it’s a fucking fairy” and “look how gay he is”. Mari: How was Drew able to respond, given that it was a performance? He carried on, like any performer would in a live show. But it turned out that in the days that followed, when we returned to the park for more rehearsals, the man kept coming back to watch Drew, bringing different family members to clap and praise his performance. A lot of us had certain individuals who would keep coming back. Mari: The solos were all very subtle and emotive. Was any body obviously touched by them? Esther: Throughout Charlie’s (Hendren) solo he had his eyes closed the entire time. People seemed to relate to this a lot more; he had a lot of people crying in response. One woman had flown over from Australia to be with her young son who was about to Drew Hawkins carried tremendous poise go in for an operation on a brain tumour. After Charlie’s perfor- and digity throughout his solo mance, she said “you’ve given me so much peace, I feel ready now to handle whatever may come my way”. Another woman just broke down into a shrill cry and outburst of emotion. Mari: It sounds incredibly poignant. Was it very difficult to resist responding? Esther: When we entered the park we also entered a realm of performance. As we rang our bells through the park an atmosphere of serenity and magic was created and if we responded then that would have been broken. This was never planned, the feeling was so profound that that’s just how it was. But there were always chaperones around the park who were there to comfort and console. Mari: Most of the observers devoted your solo to someone, the name of whom you wrote on your arm. How did dedicating the solo to someone influence the performance? Esther: Claire (Lefevre) had someone dedicate her solo “in remembrance of all who had died”. You can imagine that something as affecting as that can change how you perform. We all had a moment in our solos where we listen to the ground. Claire said that in this case she had an acute sense of the dead being there. On a lighter note, a lot of people made dedications to their pets! And actually, there were some great interactions with animals. A bird landed in Gabi’s (Monty) hand at one point and I had a squirrel run up my leg. In a spiritual way, it was like they were happy to share their space with us and to accept our presence.
Each solo was as personal and unique as the the bells they rang
GARBLE | 5
Ellen’s dynamically exhilarating material was performed with an honesty and patience that meant I couldn’t look at anyone else.
Square Dances Continued...
erformances ocurred all weekend in three other squares, each equally unique, engaging, and sucessful in capturing the character of their ‘venues’. In Gordon Square, the largest of the four, a crowd of women of all ages gathered and flocked like birds, ringing town crier-style bells. They moved as one, a rippling and pulsating sea of bodies, which transversed the length of the green through the 10 minute piece. The audience were very much part of the work; not knowing the dancers path, we moved back as they swarmed towards us. The mood was joyous but contemplative as they exited from the far end of the park, striking their bells towards the sky in perfect timing, the sound of bells descending an ethereal atmosphere that lingered even after they had departed.
Woburn Square was different again, 10 young children ran and skipped around the rectanglar green, transforming it into a school playground. Wearing bright colours and carrying bells in their school satchels, they ran and skipped in solos, duets and groups. Their movement was energetically whimsical, and they played as though noone was watching; I was genuinely stunned at their focus and engagement with the material, as if away in another world, chasing, diving and flying amongst fantastical creatures and villains. In Brunswick Square, and under a huge chestnut tree, gathered a group of men, dressed like a random sample of people plucked from the streets of London. At the sound of a deep, mellow gong, the men then began to sink slowly to the ground, their motion almost unobservable, and their
focus, beautifully meditative. It was only after looking away for a second that you could notice they were even moving. Rosemary Lee, with the help of many dedicated trained and non-trained performers, managed to create a series of site-specific works which were not only beautiful to watch, but respected and transformed their sites, as well as being completely accessible to the entire local community. The audiences were made up of not only those who are involved in dance themselves, or who are supporting those performing, but intrigued passers by, who felt an unexpected and uplifting experience on their day out. It was great to see Dance Umbrella extend the tendrils of contemporary dance out into the wider community, and touch people who have possibly never been exposed to our little artform before.
by James Morgan and Mari Colbert 6 | GARBLE
LCDS GOES FORTH
Arenâ€™t they Adorable? There were 10 of them, all as cute as this...
.................... Photos by Mari Colbert and James Morgan, of Ellen Johansson, Andrew Hawkins, Charlie Hendren, Bridget Lappin, Esther Fuge, Tom Peacock, Hilary Grumman, Hannah Wintie. Find names of the other performers on the Dance Umbrella website
.................... These are almost as cute!, theyâ€™re really going for it! I just wanted to get up and join them - such a joyous piece of dance!
We got moved back for standing too close
GARBLE | 7
LCDS GOES FORTH In LCDS Goes Forth, we follow current and graduate LCDS students in their dance escapades outside the four walls of the school.
Michael Kelland ‘Last Stand’, and ‘Rethink’
‘Last Stand’ by Michael Kelland, at The Yard. Photograph by Katherine Leedale
his summer Michael Kelland, and his three dancers, Chloe Mead, Charlie Hendren and Harlan Rust, went to work on two 25 minute pieces, to be performed in August and September at The Yard - an independent theatre in Hackney. The first work, ‘Last Stand’ was a deep and affecting commentary on death, set against a red washed stage with a profound use of text. The second was more lighthearted, a beautifully funny yet contemplative exploration of the games we played as children, and the metaphors for real life they pose. It just goes to show that school sharings aren’t the only chance to perform and show your own work. Through this project both choreographer and dancers gained insight into the logistics of composing and presenting a piece; finding a space to perform in, set and lighting design, advertising, rehearsals, traveling to and from those rehearsals... the list goes on. Sometimes the conditions aren’t perfect or what you hope for and you count yourself lucky to have a space at all, regardless of whether it’s concrete and unsprung. However, the overall experience is far more rewarding and this project serves as a fine example of a summer well spent.
8 | GARBLE
The Yard is a collaboration between architecture and theatre practitioners, who have converted a dormant warehouse in Hackney Wick, into a fully functioning Theatre space using only recycled and biodegradable materials. They serve good food over candle lit tables in the adjoining cafe/bar, and as the evening draws in they bring out wool blankets for you to snuggle up under and keep warm. The Yard offer their time and space for free, generating, “an environment where artists can thrive and take the risks necessary to create remarkable work”. Ultimately, if you are interested in creating and staging your own work, this is the perfect opportunity for the novice choreographer.
Sophie Duncan WhiteLabel
feat Tom Blakey
‘UNSOUND’, for Reslution! 2012 James: Last time I saw you, you were walking onto the stage to shake Veronica’s hand, how have you found being a new graduate? Sophie: I mostly kinda like it. There was a point, just before we finished where I felt like I was ready. Not necessarily ready as a dancer, but ready to not be told what I need to be doing anymore - I mean when you think about it, I’ve had the same schedule since I was 4years old. I’ve found I’ve got to grips with what I want a bit more and what kind of performer I am - turns out that massive desire to be an actor I had whist at The Place wasn’t a fake one, so I’m pursuing that a little more. You gotta get a good balance between arts and ‘normal life’, otherwise you get yourself down until being arty is your normal job. When you’re used to being creative all day, the monotony of real life really hits you, but I’m probably doing 70-30% arts to normal right now, I just do plenty of cool, varied things. London’s a very lonely place if you’ve not got much direction, but I got some good news this week and Ill be performing in a new musical in Paris, but not until next August. So In the mean time, I’ll just keep my head down and try and build a bit of a reputation. So, all in all, I’ve had more ups than downs, but I keep thinking on the down days, ‘it’s only December’. I’ve been very lucky with the jobs i’ve had so far, and I’ve got a lot to look forward to. So what ideas do you have for your Resolution piece? Got it all planned out? Yeah, my idea is fairly formed actually. It’s called UNSOUND, it’s a collaboration between me and my designer, Tom Blakey. Based on Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas*. The basic plot [of the film] is set in the 70’s, a journalist (Raoul Duke) and his attorney descend on Vegas to chase the American Dream, whilst completely hazed by a cocktail of drugs. My work is going to play with that idea a bit more, and I’m basing it around a female journalist who’s trying to write memoirs of her time reporting in Vegas, but there’s a whole event missing, so she’s trying to work out what and why she forgot it the first place. One thing though - it’s just me. On stage. 15-ish mins. And I don’t wanna be boring. I have a rule that something should change about every 2 mins to keep people interested (based on my terribly short attention span). So we’re mixing spoken word, physical theatre and a wonderfully contained set - I’m sure the 2 minute rule will stand. The difference with this and other pieces I’ve done is that it’s my debut in actually writing the piece too. But there’s some great social commentary in Thompson’s wrting of
the 70’s, which mirrors life today. Although it will have a very vintage feel about it, I’m not going to give it a definitive date, so you can read into what you want. Have you started rehearsing yet? And how is it finding space to do it? Because it’s my writing debut, I started asap so I can have time to edit. Come January, we’ll have all our set so I can work with it to push on with the movement. I’ve not needed space yet. The reason for doing a solo isn’t just because I wanted all the limelight! It’s kind of an economic, practical and moral one. We don’t have funding for UNSOUND, so we can’t be hiring huge spaces for 15 dancers at £12 an hour, when I can do most of it in my bedroom for free. I’m sick and tired of choreographers sending out audition notices like: “it’s this big long project where I need you to be really available all the time and it will be a great experience
Sophie Duncan, photographed by Tom Medwell and you’ll get to work with great people ... but I can’t pay you” ... Erm, sorry but I’m not down with that. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it. And that’s how I’m gonna build my company. The set and story of UNSOUND are pinned down in a really nice way by the fact that she’s stuck in a hole and she can’t figure it out. The fact that we can’t afford big things is actually making it really interesting. We’re artists because it’s our job to work with what we have. When should we show up? Thursday 9th of February at 8PM. I believe LCDS students can get tickets for £7, other students £11 and everyone else £14 (editor - prices tbc). Tickets go on sale on Monday 5th of December. I would really love to see LCDS people there because, well, its like team spirit right? If you liked ‘Rob The Post Office’, if you like the film, if you like strange characters, or maybe you just like me, please come along. It would be an honor to perform to you all. *Check the Garble Facebook Page for explanations. So, you heard it here first! Find more info on Sophie’s debut work at www.wix.com/resolutions90212/show
GARBLE | 9
Beyonce VS De Keersmaeker By Kit Brown
ouble déjà vu, though not official terminology, can roughly be described as a sensation of déjà vu about having felt déjà vu. For example: maybe one day in early October you sat down to watch Beyoncé’s Countdown video and realised you’d seen the choreography, costumes, set and camera angles before. Déjà vu. Then maybe you remembered you’d had a similar feeling when you watched the video to Single Ladies with its Fosse and Robbinsinspired choreography. Double déjà vu. Yes, Beyoncé is certainly no stranger to déjà vu (excuse the pun); true Beyoncé fans may also remember Get me bodied with a dash of Sweet Charity, and recent copyright controversies concerning ‘Run the world’. For those of you unfamiliar with the details of the controversy Beyoncé stands accused of cutting and pasting the work
10 | GARBLE
of Belgium’s premier contemporary choreographer Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker into the music video for her song Countdown. Whilst other references have been used (notably Audrey Hepburn’s costume from ‘Funny Face’; Andy Warhol; Brigitte Bardot; Dianna Ross; and Twiggy) none are more prominent than de Keersmaeker’s work. Beyonce begins by taking large swathes of barely edited choreography from the 1990 work Achterland, many of the moves from which seem almost more passable as Beyonce’s work than that of an avant-garde choreographer. She then goes a step further, directly copying some of the most iconic images in contemporary dance from Thierry de Mey’s film of de Keersmaeker’s seminal Rosas Danst Rosas complete with exact set, costume and cinematography. Most dancers will probably immediately recognise the iconic shirt pulling and chair sequence.
Too close for comfort?
GARBLE | 11
So is the Countdown video an homage or be done, And there is nothing new under downright plagiarism? Both legally and eth- the sun.” ically this is a tough question. The law re- TS Eliot writing nearly a century ago may garding the ownership of choreography is a provide the best template for judging the massive grey area (see below). What is cer- Beyoncé scandal: tain is that credit was not given where credit “Immature poets imitate; mature poets was due. In the cases of both Countdown steal; bad poets deface what they take, and and Single Ladies Beyoncé only admitted good poets make it into something better, her ‘inspirations’ once scandal had been or at least something different”. sparked. De Keersmaeker herself is certain So is Beyoncé immature or mature, bad or of the plagiarism and has been consulting good? Personally I say good. Beyoncé’s rea legal team about what action to take. In appropriation of de Keersmaeker’s chorea statement she admits to being neither an- ography and Thierry de Mey’s cinematoggry nor honoured before going on to claim raphy certainly puts a different spin on the that Beyoncé “has work. It is misleading good taste” and askto simply judge the ing “why does it take “Immature poets imi- argument by viewpopular culture thirty ing clips of Beyoncé tate; mature poets years to recognise an and de Keersmaeker’s steal; bad poets de- work side by side as experimental work of face what they take, has dance?” characterised Its easy to put the and good poets make it much of the debate. spotlight on Beyoncé The experience of a but her lack of origi- into something better, de Keersmaeker work nality is certainly or at least something is a world away from nothing new. Samthe snappy and enterdifferent”. pling is widely actaining music video cepted in contempoformat. Her work is rary music and the film industry is rife with challenging and not primarily defined by theft. George Lucas copied tried and tested the movement material. An early de Keersshots for Star Wars and Quentin Tarantino maeker work like Rosas Danst Rosas seems has built a distinctive brand out of refer- more concerned with pattern and form and encing other films. Art and innovation has structure and is often very difficult to watch; always been a discourse characterised by I have never seen more people walk out of a copying and theft. That nothing is entirely performance than did during Elena’s Aria at original is certainly not a recent realisation. Sadler’s Wells. So whilst Beyoncé has reapHenry Ford famously admitted “I invented propriated the movement material she has nothing new. I simply assembled into a car ignored the essence of the pieces, bringing the discoveries of other men”. Even the Bible the movement to a different audience in a denies originality: “That which has been is more popular and entertaining way. If only what will be, That which is done is what will she had asked first. +
12 | GARBLE
For more information and to hear a lot of what I’ve said from the people who said it first, check out: http://www.austinkleon.com/steal/ and www.everythingisaremix.info.
FEATURE | Beyoncé Vs de Keersmaeker
The subject of ownership when it comes to choreography, is a tricky one: you can’t copyright a dance move.
The legal standing of choreography is anything but clear. A key issue, particularly in the Countdown case is that of ‘fair use’. ‘Fair use’ is a US legal concept concerning instances where copyrighted work may be used without permission, usually only in cases where there will be no economic benefit to the appropriator. Such instances include use for private study, criticism and review, and simple reporting. ‘Fair use’ exceptions are limited and usually depend on there being sufficient acknowledgement of the original authorship. In the US ‘fair use’ can be used as a defence if the new work is found to be a sufficient transformation of the original. A further important distinction is between idea and expression. The law states that “copyright protection shall extend to expression and not ideas.” Often in the protection of films, such as de Mey’s Rosas Danst Rosas, it is the case that protection extends only as far as piracy and illegal distribution rather than subject matter and content. Choreography is treated slightly differently to film however and may receive greater protection when it comes to content depending on the amount of material copied and how closely it has been copied. It is important to note that copyright law exists to encourage creativity by protecting the publishing rights of authors. Make the law too strong and over-protective and it risks restricting the creativity it seeks to promote. whilst further reducing public access to art. Make the law too weak and authors lose the incentive to create and their work becomes at risk of misuse. The balance is a difficult one to find.
Beyoncé didn’t stop at de Keersmaeker, and is looking rather Audrey-like in this shot...
GARBLE | 13
The Guy Fawkes ‘V for Vendetta’ mask has come to represent many members of the Occupy Movement. Peace.
sions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1% - A powerful message that I think we can all relate to. Hundreds of reactionary occupations have sprung up all of the world; one of the most famous being outside St Pauls Cathedral, which closed its doors for 5 nights, for the first time since the Blitz. Many have criticised this camp messing with
hough not a person we would necessarily like to model ourselves on, it seems Guy Fawkes, and his plot to bring down parliament, is a person, and a piece of history which many have been able to relate to recently. It is a time of massive economic turmoil across the entire globe, which has come as a result of relentless growth and a consumption driven society. The ‘Occupy Everything’ movement has arisen out of this very feeling - a wearyness towards social and economic inequality, the credit crunch, unemployment, and a lack of hope; we are tired of living in a country, and a world, which puts business ahead of people.
“Flood lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street”
It all started with Wall St. Starting on the 14th October in New York, people were urged to "flood lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street. The official occupation website states: Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persua-
peoples right to worship, which is strange given that St Pauls itself has backed the protesters right to be there, and the entrance isn’t disrupted in any way. Some newspapers even complain that apparently 90% of the tents were left unoccupied over night, which has since been proved false, due to them not understanding how heat imaging
14 | GARBLE
works. It gave middle class businessmen a nice way to not have to talk/think about why it was happening: something about the protesters just being lazy and unemployed. Never mind that they are protesting about the lack of jobs in the first place. Regardless, I wonder what percentage of time the protesters should have to be in their tents for them to be ‘allowed’ to protest... Along with all of the other protests that have happened in recent times, the Occupation has been labeled socially disruptive, but those who believe this surely don’t understand that it isn’t about that. Regardless of whether the minority abuse it, we have a right to protest; to voice our opinions, and noone should be able to tell us how to express them. When speaking to those on the streets of the London Occupation, the general consensus is that for every person taking part, they know ten more who would also be there if they didn’t have jobs and lives they could leave: I know I would be!
Theres nothing like a ‘meme’ to spell popular opinion.
In fact, vocal supporters of the movement include, Vivienne Westwood, Yoko Ono, Russel Simmons, Lupe Fiasco and Alec Baldwin. No, the occupy movement doesn’t have all the answers, but they have some decent ideas about how things should be done differently in society. I can’t claim to understand everything they say - I’m no economist, but if you are interested, check out their manifesto at: http://occupylsx.org and find more on our Twitter page. +
Recent walking protests have seen techniques such as ‘kettling’ and ‘bubbles’ (a moving kettle) used by the police, in order to contain protesters, leaving otherwise peaceful people stuck in the streets for up to 10 hours. But look on the bright side, at least you aren’t in...
Photo by Joshua Trujillo
+ Seattle. Above is activist Dorli Rainey, 84, after being hit in the face with pepper spray by the police - a photo which has become instantly iconic, and synonimous with the Occupy Movement. Pregnant women, and other innocent protesters were also hit as the police brought out fire extinguisher size canisters of pepper spray on November 15th. Photo by Joshua Trujillo. In the past week or two, riots all over America are being shut down, with pepper spray being used against innocent protesters as they peacefully execute their contitutional right to protest, merely sitting or standing, part of the occupy movement.
+ China. Occupy is also now a banned search term, adding to the burgeoning list of censored ideologies and websites. I’m not going to lie, it can’t be doing much for tourism... + Pretty much everywhere - recent protests in Rome, Cairo, Madrid and Yemen have all ended violently, with protesters forcibly removed.
GARBLE | 15
FRYING SOLO Mari Colbert and James Morgan
Leaving home and
ing home. You can make ANYTHING! As dancers becoming a student we all know that a good offers an array of new diet is a very important experiences, both good part of our training, so it and bad. One of which is even more important to is cooking for yourself. Gone are the days when put the effort into home cooking. you are ushered around It is, however, extremely the family dinner table difficult to cook for one where a plate full of without serious waste. So homemade food has we have come up with magically appeared to a couple of very simple, satisfy you. But cooking for yourself is also one of and CHEAP recipes that the best things about leav- are yummy and nutritious,
16 | GARBLE
and they can be frozen or saved in the fridge, and eaten every day for a week if you like - so donâ€™t be afraid to make a big batch! These recipes are not strict at all, they are a guideline. The key is just to go for it, taste it as you go and add what ever you think it needs, until the dish is to your own taste. Check out our tumblr page for more recipes!
Which then becomes this...
And these. GARBLE | 17
18 | GARBLE
We like to chop.
ART AND CULTURE
Urban Narrative 4 2002 - George Blacklock
New Gallery - Flowers and the ‘Studio Narrative’
In dance we sometimes learn that the most in-
teresting work can be arrived at through mistake or through trial and error. There is the ‘upon stumbling across’ theory, which relies on chance and accident; where starting two counts after someone because you weren’t ready creates a beautiful canon effect. And so it was that I, lost in London one Saturday, ‘stumbled across’ this incredible art gallery. ‘Flowers’ was exhibiting the work of George Blacklock, a strongly abstract painter (but) who claims to see his work in figurative terms. His paintings are just as bold in form and movement as they are rich in colour and texture. Created through layers of visceral colour the paint captures the very movement used in its application. There is a playful relationship between the background, the movement of the paint and the curvilinear strokes.
Reading more about Blacklock’s work it appears that his belief in his work being figurative stems from the idea of a ‘studio narrative’; the concept that in the process of painting there are things outside of the final piece which are just as crucial. These personal associations, like reading a book or sign, could later affect the piece, live apart from the concerns of the work and form the ‘studio narrative’. Today someone suggested that the most interesting dance is seen in rehearsal and not on stage; is this also not stressing the importance of a ‘studio narrative’? As we create work and are affected by situations, things we read or see, we are building our own ‘studio narrative’. It is this collaboration and accumulation of ideas that makes a piece of dance so interesting, just as it makes Blacklock’s paintings so rich. In this sense his work almost becomes more about the process, than what he originally set out to convey or portray. One could say the subject matter of a dance, just like his work, is the process of assimilation, association and impression. Of course, however, with both dance and art, the artist will also always know more than the viewer. As an audience member we cannot fully know the piece’s ‘studio narrative’ but only see and experience the final piece on canvas or on stage. It was one blunder into this gallery to ask for directions, which led me to consider all of the above. My day, and I guess my ‘studio narrative’, were affected by chance, accident, lack of a map and a poor sense of direction!
by Emilia Gasiorek GARBLE | 19
ART AND CULTURE
CIRCUS SPACE EXCHANGE By Célina Liesegang
“I think the biggest difference is the architecture. At LCDS it almost feels like you’re going through a load of tunnels” explained Emily Fraser, a Circus Space exchange, and quite rightly so. Anyone who’s visited Circus Space, the “leading provider of circus education in the country”, will confirm that the converted Shoreditch Electric Light Station has quite a different feel, with many of the studio’s ceilings high as a circus tent and more cluttered than I imagined with ropes, trapeze’s, pretty much all things ‘circus’ suspended above your head! First years were given the opportunity every Friday for the first 4 weeks to spend a day at Circus Space, and a day welcoming some of their students to The Place. We were able to get a bit of an idea as to what a normal day as a circus student would be like, and ball games aside, we saw some fantastic artistry from both students and professionals around the building. The whole environment had a sophisticated atmosphere, as it must have in order to produce such high calibre circus artists. In hindsight it was a little naïve to expect red noses on unicycles to make an appearance, but getting in to the studio and learning how to handle a diabolo, juggle and make letters with our bodies in two highs and bridges, it was clear that this is also a place for crafting and perfecting a student’s skills. We couldn’t help but feel like we could relate to Emily after asking her whether it gets scary learning new aerial tricks- “It’s about getting your strength up. When I first got on the course I kept thinking ‘I’m so weak’, but now that I’m stronger I trust myself when I’m up there. It’s mostly about trust really, you have to trust yourself, your partner and the equipment.” Emily informed us that the majority of graduates audition for circus companies, as opposed to the old school ‘touring circus’ as I naively assumed. She added, “If you graduate from Circus Space, you’ll always go back to Circus Space, it’s like a family.” - Ring any bells? The Circus Space exchange was an exciting chance for us to meet other CDD students, learn new skills, and make others more aware of what we’re doing too, something which we can all agree, doesn’t happen often enough. I hope that this link between the schools can begin to develop, perhaps giving us the opportunity to learn things we can combine with our training, and vice versa. Maybe even introduce exchanges with other affiliates of the CDD? Find the full interview with Emily Fraser on our Facebook page
20 | GARBLE
New Movement Collective: ‘'Exquisite Corpse”
The staging included a set built for recycled crates, projection and inflatable spiders webs New Movement Collective explore the manipulation of dance in ‘different and unusual theatrical settings’. Close your eyes and imagine you are transported into another world. Tall white houses, black wrought iron balconies, around a neat green bushy square. Having seen Jonathon Goddard’s a tweet advertising the piece that day, this was where Google Maps had directed me for an evening of dance performed by some of Europe’s leading dancers and choreographers, including Goddard (nominated National Dance Award’s best male dancer) himself. The dancing took place in The Architectural Association and began on a roof-terrace bridging the gap between these Victorian houses. Music swelled from inside, as the
Check Twitter and @Jonathon Goddard for similar impromtu performances ............
by Emilia Gasiorek
dancers walked out upon a high balcony, their floor-length billowing red skirts were highlighted in stark, striking contrast to the dark silhouette of London’s skyline. The performance moved inside with the audience sitting on carpeted floor in a warehouse-like room as the dancers wove in and out of chain curtains, blown-up white spider-webs and different flooring levels. The performance finished outside with a projection between the buildings and a solitary dancer standing on a wrought iron walkway. Without doubt this performance challenged traditional performance settings. I left in awe. Not only had the movement been so beautiful and clear-cut, but I felt as if I had been transported into and out of something fantastical.
GARBLE | 21
Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker & Jérôme Bel3Abschied @ Sadlers Wells The performance was an intriguing challenge to test, prove and prevail if some music can’t, or at least shouldn’t, be danced to? In a lecture/ conversational tone we are informed of the Belgian choreographer’s proposal to Daniel Barenboim (composer and musician) to collaborate with Keersmaeker in choreographing to Mahler’s “Song of the earth”. Outraged, he refused to work with her due to the sheer enormity of the music influence and in response she passionately experimented against him. This was humorously interjected by Jerome Bel acting as a spectator, suggesting alternative endings : musicians walk off, they “die” (funniest part of the show!). It added a very sincere and human touch to the trouble of crafting work. Anne controls every aspect of the performance with a lighting and music board on stage, the musicians at her disposal and even a printed copy of the poem Farewell; instructing the audience to read the last song cycle. Her solo, though beautifully articulated with evidence of experience, was deeply unsatisfying and her singing was cringingly awful. However I was overpowered by her commitment and complete embodiment of the emotion of the music ; “Preparation for death”. I felt it was intellectually and carefully crafted through the specificity of the choices by the two choreographers. If not, the context of their entire career succeeded in convincing me otherwise whilst I watched them grooming their ego. Esther Fuge
Akram Khan - Desh @ Sadlers Wells
Knowing I was about to watch a solo performance, I did wonder how anyone could entertain an audience as big as Sadler’s, for one hour and 20 minutes. My fears were soon quashed however, by the epic visual spectacle crafted to accompany Khan on stage. The lighting, set and prop design were each astounding and full of surprises, from the projected cartoon animation which he became part of, to the huge curtains of gold ribbon; a more than adequate replacement for the number of dancers you may expect from Khan. The dialogue and autobiographical aspects of the piece created some quite touching moments when we learnt of his childhood in Bangladesh. Though adding a much needed human and emotive element to the mostly grandiose, visual piece, the speech wasn’t always profound. At times it seemed a little forced and animated, and attempts at humour came across as obvious - jokes about foreign call centres are pretty much exhausted. Looking purely at the dancing however, you couldn’t knock it - his physicality is exquisite, technical and expressive. A fellow audience member summed up the movement quite eloquently... “he’s so fucking fast!” James Morgan
Fabulous Beast - Rian @ Sadlers Wells
Michael Keegan-Dolan’s piece Rian brought together a culturally diverse group of eight dancers to create engaging, uplifting and diverse choreography. A collaboration with musician and composer Liam O’Maonlai, the Dublin based company took the audience on an emotional journey through toetapping group jigs, melancholy solos and playful, frisky duets. There was a strong sense of tradition throughout the entire 110 minutes. The soul touching, live Irish music was clearly embraced by the audience’s rapturous applause at the end of each song and the movement had its own tradition as the dancers were visibly free to engage with their own, unique physical qualities. A contagiously energetic piece, comforting in its carefree and fun presentation of life and very easy to watch with its simple yet spirited choreography. But the highlight of the show was by far the music. There is nothing like live musicians, especially if they’re playing songs that originated in the pub, over a sociable pint with friends and family. Mari Colbert
22 | GARBLE
Wendy Houstoun 50 Acts @ the Robin Howard Theatre
This was an intimately reflective solo on the expectations and preparation of being middle aged. Where dance is a world committed to youth Houstoun questions the status of an ageing performer, with more than thirty years of experience she certainly delivers. A crazed blur of 50 acts she neurotically jumps from apologies and errors, random acts, small dances and big ideas, safety and invisibility, With an array of media and reference material she uses recorded video, sounds and “safety” props exploring the landmarks of age. Comically committing to routine risk assessment of the theatre space when “Falling”. What I love about her most is that she’s highly skilled, yet will purposely play it down; almost fluffing her way through, whilst during the state of confusion do something that’s actually pretty impressive; flaying her legs up and repeating spinning act, in which she collapses as if shot when gun shots are heard. Don’t be fooled as she had some hard hitting moments of cathartic pleasure, during her record smashing and political statement in projecting the standard-issue Arts Council blurb about the social benefits of contemporary dance she uses her own poetry projected on the back wall, building to a peaceful but profound ending of silence as she sits swaying in a chair. Esther Fuge
Lucinda Childs - Dance @ the Barbican
Siobhan Davies Comissions @ Bargehouse
A series of four collaborations between choreographers and visual artists presented as installations in the atmospherically run down spaces of the Bargehouse on the Southbank. Siobhan Davies’ laissez-faire attitude to her role as curator allows for a very varied programme of work. Perhaps most interesting was the final piece, a series of films entitled ‘A question of movement’, a light-hearted questioning of whether movement can address everyday concerns. The process used is by no means scientific and its results by no means conclusive: a subject is asked to provide a question that has been concerning them which the dancer attempts to answer through improvised dance, the subject is then asked for feedback and to suggest ways in which the dance could have provided a clearer answer or solution. What the piece appears to hint at is a choreographic equivalent to a talking cure, the relief of symptoms through expression. Rather than the movement providing a solution or answer it becomes purely an expression of the question or problem, acting as vehicle for the solutions already brought to the table by the subject/ viewer, particularly when they are given the opportunity to edit the choreography. Kit Brown
A contemporary revival of the 1979 original, Lucinda Child’s ‘Dance’ is a wonderfully perplexing piece where the content of the movement exists only to bring her intricate structuring, minimalist repetition and floor patterns to centre stage. Movement and music became one, as almost indistinguishable changes pass over both sound and visuals, in perfect unison. A video of a 1979 performance of the work by Sol LeWitt, was projected onto a gauze in front of the dancers, which was both engaging and alienating to watch. The interaction between the two sets of performers, of floor patterns and directions, was wonderful to follow; the on-screen dancers moved above, around and sometimes following the on-stage performers, but the translucent screen at the front of the space left me feeling a little cut off, as if I was watching a 3-D movie of the performance. Though much effort was taken to free the work of embellishment, inherited from her time in Judson, it was ironically the human aspects which were often the most interesting; the signs of fatigue and slight differences in the way the performers moved, emerging across the relentless 60 minute piece. Since moving images have come to run our lives, I wonder how differently the work will be viewed now, to when it was created: surprisingly, I was still more interested in the dancers on stage than on screen. James Morgan
GARBLE | 23
GARBLE OVER LUNCH
Daniel . . . . . . . . . . . . . Madoff ......................... of Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Tell us about how you began dancing... I began my studies with tap and jazz and soon discovered that ballet was necessary to improve my jazz skills. It did not take long before I realised that ballet was something I enjoyed very, very much. When was your introduction to contemporary dance? I attended a high school for the performing arts where I was introduced to modern dance, or as it is sometimes called in Europe, contemporary. After that I went to Purchase College where I trained at the dance conservatory for approximately 3 years. Before I finished the program there, I was hired as an understudy at Cunningham. The first Cunningham class I ever took at the studio was during the summer of 2003. How long have you been in the company, who had you danced for before? I arrived officially as a student during the summer of 2005 and was asked to join the understudy group in November 2005. I've been dancing in the company since August 2007. Since I joined the Cunningham company right out of college, I didn't have a chance to dance for anyone other than smaller choreographers in New York City. The most famous pieces I danced in college were "Cloven Kingdom" by Paul Taylor, "Serenade" by George Balanchine, and "Septet" by Cunningham. What was the best thing about being in the company? The best thing about being in this company is that I get to travel around the world, see amazing cities, and meet wonderful people. I think I will soon find out that truly the best thing about being in Merce's company is that I believe wholeheartedly in his work, and I can commit myself completely to his vision. I think it is probably rare to find a choreographer that you believe in so strongly that you can feel no sense of self-consciousness while opening yourself completely to his work on stage in front of thousands of people. 24 | GARBLE
Did you ever meet Merce? Could you describe him in 3 words? Yes, I knew Merce quite well. I worked with him for four years. I was lucky enough to be in the process of creation for his final four works. I don't know that I could describe him in three words. He had a Zen-like focus whenever he was in the studio. The way he would watch dance was so intense. I remember feeling disbelief that he had been watching dance for 75 years and could still invest so completely. I have been told this wasn't always the case, but by the time I arrived he was very kind and very generous. I loved to sit with him and chat about things that had happened in the news, or the weather, or whatever was on his mind. He was sort of grandfather to me. When we were creating new pieces, he was extremely patient. Since he could not stand or dance he would describe every step in detail. All of his descriptions could be interpreted in a few ways, so you had to attempt many things until he said yes. It was very trying at times but his determination and dedication were infectious. What's your favourite Cunningham piece and why? I could say which of Merce's pieces is my favorite to watch but since I experience them as a dancer, I will say which is my favorite to dance. Antic Meet is one of my all-time favorite pieces to perform. It was created in the 50s but it exposes a side of Merce that I can very easily relate to. The piece is comprised of many vignettes, not necessarily related to one another, but there is somehow a dramatic through-line that is very fun to discover. Also, being silly on stage is a complete pleasure. Who is your favourite choreographer? I love Pina's [Bauch] work. In fact if she were alive I would definitely try to dance with her next. She has a brilliant mixture of physicality, drama and quark. Those are all qualities I love in Merce's work, but Pina is more heavy-handed with the theatrics. What would you do if you weren't dancing? If I weren't dancing, which I won't be forever, I would want to do something where I would be translating between English and other languages. I don't know what exactly, but it would/will definitely be centered around spoken language.
Daniel Madoff speaks to us about Merce, Maryland and More. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland USA, Daniel started dancing at the age of 10 and at just 27 has enjoyed a successful career in dance. ............................................ .
Daniel Madoff performing totem Ancsestor in Fire Island Dance Festival 2010. Choreography by Merce Cunningham. Photo taken from Youtube.
Interviewed by Declan Whitaker. With thanks to Jade Anand (Dance Umbrella) and Daniel Madoff (MCDC) GARBLE | 25
What’s On? Our Top Picks...
1st - 3rd Dec: ‘UNDANCE’, by Wayne Mcgregor @ Sadler’s - A collaboration with acclaimed composer, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Turner prize-winning visual artist Mark Wallinger and including the work of Eedweard Muybridge, this is a visually assaulting work about undoing, unraveling, unwinding… 1st - 3rd Dec: ‘6 Breaths’ and ‘LANDForms’, Sydney Dance Company @ Queen Elizabetgh Hall, South Bank- In their first visit to London in almost 25 years, the company brings two works by Bonachela himself. 20th Dec - 2nd Jan ‘Murmers’, Staring Aurelie Thierree @ Southbank - A tour of whirlwind romance, city confusion, undersea encounters and dining-room debacles. Tickets start at £15. Jan - Feb: Resolution! @ the Robin Howard Theatre - A season of dance which showcases three emerging choreographers’ work every night. Some will be good, some bad, and some entirely breathtaking. Make sure you see a few evenings worth, you won’t regret it! Jan 6th: ‘Chocolate’, by Eleanor Sikorski for Resolution! @ the Robin Howard Theatre - With a taste for detail and the absurd, a woman walks into the spotlight to present the noisy face of curiosity. 28th Jan: Stranger than Fiction @ Siobhan Davies Studios - Monthly event celebrating the art of improv. An eclectic mix of artists draw on dance, music & comedy to create unique, spontaneous performances. 2nd - 3rd Feb: British Dance Edition @ Sadler’s, the biennial showcase for British dance showcases a must-see Triple-bill, including work from Candoco, Hofesh and Random Dance. 4th Feb: Richard Aslton Dance Company - Part of Brtish Dance Edition 2012 - Tickets not on sale yet. 5th Feb: Russel Maliphant Company - The Rodin Project @ Sadler’s - A one day only preview of his new work, inspired by the works of the great French sculptor, Auguste Rodin.
Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth @ Apollo Theatre until 14th Jan - £10 tickets available - “comedy about a bunch of South-Western ne’er do wells getting off their nuts on an illegal caravan site in Wiltshire” 13 by Mike Bartlett @ the Olivier Theatre until the 8th of Jan - £25-52.50 - Set in a parallel London, Bartlett explores the issues our society is facing and argues for a change from the current unease.
One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean @ the Adelphi Theatre until 26th Feb - £15-52.50 ‘Slapstick, satire and gags galore: a classic comedy hilariously updated’- The Times, Need we say more?
Matilda, the Musical by Dennis Kelly & Tim Minchin @ the Couryeard Theatre - Award winning stage adaptation of the Roald Dahl childrens classic - tickets from £15, try midweek performances!
14 Oct to 1st Jan: Whitechapel Gallery Wilhelm Sasnal's paintings portray the complexities of today's society. If you saw the Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern then this is a great counterpart, plus the gallery has an incredible café! 9th Nov to 5th Feb: National Gallery opens a "blockbuster" Leonardo da Vinci exhibition which is the most complete display of his rare work to date. The National Gallery is limiting the amount of people able to enter to exhibition so get your tickets quick and be prepared to queue! 10th Nov to 12th Feb: National Portrait Gallery: The Talyor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an exhibition and fantastic opportunity to see the contemporary portrait photographers. 8th Dec to 19th Feb: White Cube presents a new collection of Anselm Kiefer’s work an artist who has continuously produced a diverse body of work with an interesting historical background. 19th Jan to 18th Feb: The Alan Cristea Gallery is exhibiting David Hockney lithographs. Its a nice offthe-beaten-track gallery to visit.
26 | GARBLE
we think you need to see
Hampton Court Palace, from Nov 26 to Jan 8 > £9.50-£12 Somerset House, from Nov 22 to Jan 22 > £10.50-£15 Natural History Museum, untill Jan 8 > £11.50-£13
CHRISTMAS MARKETS Search “Single Ladies Gone Wrong” in YouTube, and LOL forever.
Search “Double Dream Hands” - you won’t have to pay for a dance lesson ever again.
If You don’t get the joke, check out : http://peppersprayingcop.tumblr.com/
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, untill Jan 3 2012 - Rides, food, grottos and markets to get you in the festive spirit! Bad Santa’s Grotto - Graffik Gallery, from Nov 26 to Dec 10 Bad Santas paint, rap and beatbox their hearts out. Includes street art photography as well as a Christmas market. Columbia Road Christmas Shopping Evenings, from Nov 30 to Dec 21 - Cobbled streets of traders offering vintage fashions, quirky artworks, quality homeware and indulgent deli goods.
More details and links to all of this, on our Facebook page...
Dogs can play the guitar... Just saying...
You now have no excuse for not being able to do this.
SONIA SAYS: What do you have to say to LCDS students for this issue, oh wise one?
You are never without the most advanced fitness machine ever created.
PORTRAIT OF GILL CLARKE, BY PARI NADERI, FROM JERWOOD BANK PROJECT 2008, SIOBHAN DAVIES
Gill Clarke was a founding member of Siobhan Davies Dance Company, teacher, performer and inspiration to many. Described as a ‘goddess’ and ‘irreplaceable’, her life, work and teachings will resonate through the dance world beyond her passing. On behalf of all at The Place we would like to take the chance to remember her. “Gill has left her indelible mark on the lives of so many...The whole dance community will miss her immensely.” - Kenneth Tharp.