I S S U E
S U M M E R T E R M
THE PUBLICATION FROM LONDON CONTEMPORARY DANCE SCHOOL
the Summer Issue. | Mark Bruce | Pina Bausch | Grayson Perry | | Problems Made Pointless | Verve | Chris Brown |
Issue 7 | July 2012
LCDS Goes Forth - Problems Made Pointless.
The Summer Issue - Staying curious outside the studio.
10 - The Olympics 2012 How to get involved... or where in London to avoid.
Contemporary What? - What do the public know?
18 - In the Best Possible Taste What DO we like? 20 - Reviews:
Pina Bausch, Zoi Dimitriou, Verve and SUM.
22 - Garble Over Lunch With Mark Bruce, on ‘Made In Heaven’ . 26
Dance Fashion Advice - Chloe Mead talks layers.
What’s On? - In Dance, Art and Theatre.
FIND GARBLE ONLINE:
+ Read the full issue at WWW.ISSUU.COM/LCDSGARBLE + On Facebook and Twitter - Search LCDSGARBLE + For Submissions, Email us @ LCDSGARBLE@GMAIL.COM
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Editor’s Note. What a wonderful summer to be in London. With our bipolar weather and the inevitable Olympian overcrowding, you really should run and hide on a beach in Magaluf... Or Blackpool. In all seriousness, I hope that if you find yourself with nothing to do over the next two months, you will come here for inspiration. We thought of this issue as a celebration: of the life and curiosity of the coming summer, of the end of another academic year, and strangely enough of contemporary dance. Without which, we would all be rather bored. Of course, here we tend to celebrate things by moaning about how awful they are, sorry about that. On a rather sadder note, we will shortly be losing the third years, who just so happen to be the best third years that have ever graced the halls of LCDS (their words not mine). Wild exaggerations aside, it is safe to say we will all be very upset to see them leave. Though lets not get the hanky’s out yet, panto hasn’t even begun...
James Morgan Jessica Sim Mari Colbert Chris Scott Kit Brown Declan Whitaker Emilia Gasiorek Celina Liesegang
Special Thanks to
Mary Bullard David Steele London Contemporary Dance School Chloe Mead
Cover Images by Amber Tank, dress by Chloe Mead. Model, Gemma Shrubb
The Garble Team:
GARBLE | 3
LCDS GOES FORTH
Problems Made Pointless
Interviewed by James Morgan PMP’s logo is made from an infrequently used punctuation mark called the interrobang, which combines the functions of exclamation and question marks. Clever, eh?!
JM So, Problems made pointless. Who are you? What do you do? CH We are an improvisation collective, who use dance as our fundamental medium. We also use voice, text, we use physical theatre, we also use music... to combine all of our skills in completely improvised performances. JM What are your intentions as a collective? Who are you ‘for’? CH We have discussed this quite a lot, and basically our main aim is to inform people and change the way improv is perceived in the arts, and outside of the arts. We feel that improvisation is quite misunderstood, so essentially we want to use performance to enlighten people in the sense that improv is a technique. You don’t just sort of, do what ever you want.
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I had a chat with Charlie Hendren and Tom Peacock, two members of Problems Made Pointless, a dance collective made up of graduating LCDS students.
JM So what is it that makes your group different to what already exists in performance improvisation? What do you want to contribute to the London improv scene? CH I think, because we are trying to access people’s understanding of improv, that we are trying to actually plug into the public consciousness, as well as just performing. We really have three stands: to promote, to educate people about improvisation as a life skill, and... TP Perform. CH Yes! Our mission really is to inform people - it’s not quite so much about entertaining. JM So at what point did you all get together and think, yeah, we can actually do this! We can make money from thisTP Ha! JM Well, maybe at least make a living from it... CH Well after the improvisation into Performance course in third year, we just decided that we wanted to keep going. From working every day with improv we discovered we really enjoyed it. It started as a bigger group, and has got more refined in time, down to the six of us. JM Is it quite fluid in terms of the people involved? CH We have the core six and we occasionally have had people interested in working with us from our original improv course group. I mean, two of us are going to do other things next year, so there will really
Problems Made Pointless rehearsing in studio 8
be four of us for next year. At the moment we’re creating practice to go into schools - one of our main aims. JM Is that Secondary... or CAT level? CH Yes, I mean, also we are going for junior schools, because we want to try and tackle the way that education is executed now. It isn’t very improvisation friendly, everything has to be structured, and planned so far in advance. But that’s as well as college and secondary schools. TP I think we are really looking for anywhere we can teach, where we feel improvisation would be really beneficial. CH Because it’s such a human thing - I mean that’s how we actually learn, from being babies, we learn by improvising, we pick up things and play JM I guess we tend to lose that spontaneous impulse as we get older. CH I think because there’s such a focus on being ‘correct’, especially in western society. So I guess our intentions go quite deep... JM What do your parents think about what you are doing next year? I have to say, I don’t think they fully understand it. My parents are not that artistically disposed - this sort of relates back to what we are trying to do, to educate people about it. I mean they haven’t really seen much. Even people within the arts world, or even dance world haven’t been exposed to much. So I guess its a bit of a stretch for my parents, though they
“These are problems... And they are pointless.” ................................... have enjoyed what they have seen. And actually when you do watch improvised performance, I find it’s very accessible in a sense, because it is so innate. JM Where did your name come from? CH We were discussing choosing something that relates to the process of improvisation. As in, what we are doing is solving problems that we set up ourselves. In our minds we have that philosophy in improvisation that you should never say no, and never get stressed about things. Just accept what is happening in the space, which makes this kind of work very positive, and accommodating I guess. So we decided it really summed up what we were about and was kind of punchy. These are problems... and they are pointless. It also relates to our mission, in that you can actually solve problems through improvisation. JM And also its sort of a play on words because really, improvisation isn’t pointless. It seems like it’s poking fun of that misconception.
Continued over the page...
GARBLE | 5
LCDS GOES FORTH
CH Yes exactly. I guess we’re also a bit like Macyou performing for the first time? gyver - you’ve got a problem, how can we solve it? CH We are actually working tomorrow on [LC3] tour Improvise. Make a little dance thing and it’ll all go and teaching a workshop as PMP, and then performawaying at Sadler’s Wells to the Company of Elders. But I TP We can fight crime, solve middle eastern conguess our first proper event is on... flict... TP July the 18th I think. JM Third world hunger... CH Which is ‘Improv On The Rocks’, at the Wenlock CH We will save the world! *Cough* … Sorry I’m & Essex in Angel. We’ll sell drinks and people can a little hoarse. watch us perform, it’ll be a nice informal, fun evening. TP Neighh. TP I think it starts at 8 but don’t quote me on that... JM Anyway, I hear you CH There will be posters! are all going to live together, which is pretty JM Is there anything else cool, it has a very sort of, you would like to tell Garromanticised artists comble readers? mune vibe... CH Really only just to ImCH Yeah, it is very auspiprovise. Because for me it cious at the moment, but has been really fulfilling, I think in terms of just beand has actually changed ing around each other its the way I function in my very important because everyday life. I mean I when we were doing the know that sounds quite whole improv into perfordeep, but it in that sense mance course, we found it’s really been a learning that because we got to curve and a really useful know each other so well, life skill. Just the whole we got a kind of mutual philosophy of accepting consciousness and unthings... It’s very zen in that Charlie Hendren and Chloe Mead in action. derstanding of the group. way. Photos by Problems Made Pointless I think living together TP And very therapeutic. would be a very interestCH And fun. ing experience. TP Also, I am free and available if anyone is interJM And that’ll create problems that you can solve in ested! performance I guess. CH Oh my god... Actually, I am also cripplingly CH Do the dishes! alone. JM Haha, while you’re all on stageJM Oh dear. CH Which one of you didn’t do the dishes!? Where TP I wasn’t in this interview, by the way. Everything is the landlord? ...Hello, I am the landlord! said should be accredited to Charlie. TP Wow... JM Yeah, ok... Well, I eagerly await your first perforJM I am very excited to see you perform - when are mance, thanks for the chat!
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STAYING CURIOUS | Text by Mari Colbert |
ith a full day of class, plus
person that you are outside of the studio.
evening and weekend rehearsals and shows,
Our spare time is limited but if you find your-
the average student at LCDS can clock up
self with an hour, a day or even a weekend free
some 50 hours a week of dance focused brain
there are many things that you can do away
and muscle work. Granted, it was our own
from the studio. Here are a few of my sugges-
choice to enter into this world and don’t get me
tions. This is not by any means a comprehen-
wrong; I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
sive list but I hope that it at least offers you all
But, human beings that we are, there is only so
ideas for a little escapism. The only question
many hours of dance that we can fully enjoy
is, how long have you got?
and appreciate before our sanity is brought
And if none of this tickles your fancy and
into question. From my experience, having a
you’re still stuck in the depths of a boredom
life outside of dance can inform your training,
hole while away from the barre, consider this:
but more importantly it reminds you of the big,
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no
wide world and everything else in it, and the
cure for curiosity” – Dorothy Parker. Continued over the page... GARBLE | 7
An Hour or Two
Ted.com – TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design): Ideas worth spreading, presents a variety of inspirational talks and conferences of global relevance - highly accessible and utterly engaging. Meditate – I am no expert, but spend simply 10, 15 or 20 minutes in a quiet place, focusing on your breathing, counting the out breath ‘1’, the second out breath ‘2’, the third ‘3’ and so on, allowing your thoughts to come and go, to find a moment of peace and calm.
STAYI CURI | How much time
Stumbleupon.com – a discovery engine that finds web content on a topic of your choice. Absorb yourself in the World Wide Web. Take photos – Pick up your camera or phone, or ask to borrow a friend’s, step out of your front door and start snapping anything and everything that catches your attention. You will see the world entirely differently, noticing the smallest details that may otherwise slip your notice during the rush of day-to-day life.
A Morning Off
Go swimming at London Fields Lido – London’s only Olympic sized heated outdoor swimming pool. Nothing like a refreshing morning swim. London Fields, Westside, E8 3EU - £4.10 for adults. Cook - The morning is a great time to prepare your dinner for that evening, or to bake yourself a treat. It is also incredibly fulfilling to eat a meal that you have made yourself. Check out foodgawker.com – type in your favourite food or current craving for a vast list of recipes incorporating that ingredient. Visit The Welcome Collection – Located just round the corner from LCDS at 183 Euston Road, ‘it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future’. From my experience, the exhibitions are always really interesting and well curated. Free admission. Visit The British Library – This is one of my most favourite places in the world. Just to sit and absorb the atmosphere. There is free internet access, a café with good food and various exhibitions. Grab a good book or a friend and over coffee spare a thought for the 150 million plus collection of books that are under the same roof…
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| THE SUMMER ISSUE |
YING IOUS do you have? |
An Evening Off Ahhh, the quintessential British pub… Whether you want some live music, a good roast or a wobbly wooden bench on which to perch your beer on a summer’s evening, it’s tucked away somewhere in The Big Smoke. For Live music - The Fiddler’s Elbow, 1 Malden Road, Camden, NW5 3HS – Punk, Rock, Ska, Indie, Soul, Acoustic and everything in between, encased in its ‘loverly’, authentic, tobacco stained walls. For Food and Drink – The Duke of Wellington, 119 Balls Pond Road, N1 4BL – Food sourced from fresh produce and a great selection of real ales and lagers, all at a very reasonable price. For Beer Garden and Atmosphere – The Ranelagh, Bounds Green, N11 2EU – Well worth the travel north on a cool and breezy summer’s evening.
Hampstead Heath – For a brisk dip in the lake and a picnic over looking London. Go for a walk and see if you can find the Hollow Tree.
A Whole Day
Go on Safari through Hackney – Start by picking up fresh produce for the day and doing a spot of vintage shopping in Broadway Market, which runs from London Fields Park to the Regent’s Canal. Continue down Goldsmith’s Row to Hackney City Farm and have a chat with a whole host of farm animals, including Larry the Donkey and the biggest pig I have ever seen. And finally, although only open on Sundays, end at Columbia Road Flower Market for a walk through an urban meadow. Get creative with ceramics– Zebra Ceramics,110 Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill, N10 2AE – Drink endless amounts of tea or coffee and paint the hours away. A great, personalized gift. GARBLE | 9
THE OLYMPICS 2012 | Text By Jessica Sim |
For the London resident, the fact is inescapable - the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are coming to London. Tube and television advertisements, job notices, Olympic icons, and endless other snippets of information have covered the city and our inboxes, telling us how to get involved and counting down the days to each of the thousand of events. Having last hosted the games in 1908 and 1948, London is striving to better the world’s expectation. If you haven’t yet seen the posters, it is time for London to put on the ‘greatest show on earth’. Yet with London already overflowing with traffic, people, and events, hosting an additional mass of athletes, supporters, and tour10 | GARBLE
ists is not a simple task. Despite the fact, the city has all ambitions to take it on – it is now advertising 42 venues across London to host a total of 57 events. Engulfed in our busy lives and in the midst of a dance degree, the ‘big games’ may have, by now, slipped into our periphery. For some, a summer vacation to escape the city could well be the smartest-of-plans. But for others, this is a once-in-a-life-time event. The city is hosting uncountable events in celebration of the Olympics, and in irony of such “economic times,” the majority are the arts (coincidental? I think not!) Big Dance 2012, running from 7th - 15th of July is to be “the UK’s biggest celebration of dance.” So if the advertisements have not yet done their job, there is still plenty more to see, to get involved with, and to join in ‘Countdown’.
| THE SUMMER ISSUE |
From The Place, our very own participants:
And how they are taking part.
Iris (Chia-Yun Huang) BA1: Opening Olympic Ceremony, 27 July 2012 “It is a really interesting project, I’ve learnt some street dance which I never learnt before. It is a good experience to be involved with, I’m looking forward to be on the stage.” Katie Neil BA1: Opening Olympic Ceremony, 27 July 2012 Eleni Papaioannou BA1: Opening Olympic Ceremony, 27 July 2012 Julie Anderson BA2: Opening Ceremony, 27 July 2012 “I am participating in a section of the Opening Ceremony choreographed by Temujin Gill and Sunanda Biswas. I look forward to an intensive rehearsal period and the experience of being apart of, what is for me, a huge celebration!” Tim Clark BA2: Opening Olympic Ceremony, 27 July 2012 “Being a part of the mass spectacle has taken me away from the contemporary world and into a more commercial style, working with a huge number of performers, many of whom have done very little dance. Currently, the majority of the choreography has been learnt and we've moved to a location which is the same size as the stadium, and soon our rehearsals will venture into the stadium itself to prepare for the opening ceremony... Exciting times!” Gemma Shrubb BA3: Opening Olympic Ceremony, 12 August 2012, dancing for choreographer, Akram Khan “Running up to the Olympics, it has already become very busy and exciting with rehears-
als. They began in mid-June with 5 weeks of intense rehearsing with Akram Khan and the rest of the company. I can’t actually go into any details, as there are a lot of contracts and things being left as a surprise for the ceremony! The audition process was really great and gave me an insight to his work and the intense strength, passion, and knowledge he has as a dancer and choreographer. It’s an incredible opportunity to not only be part of the London 2012 Olympics, but to work alongside such a world renowned choreographer.” Laura Robinson BA3: Closing Olympic Ceremony, 12 August 2012, dancing on pointe with 80 girls from the Royal Ballet “Not entirely sure what we will be doing yet as they are keeping it hush until we start rehearsals… But we have had lots and lots of measurements taken and they have given us lots of free shoes which is always a bonus!” Albert Ciasktek, Anna-Kay Gayle, Alistair Goldsmith, Thomas Hands, Poh Hian Chia, Robyn Holder, Alfric Ni Chaoimh, Jemima Storey, Sophie Thorpe BA2: The Four Corners Project, 12 – 14 July 2012 “The Four Corners Project is part of the city of London festival which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. There are 4 schools involved in the project being, NSCD, Laban, Central School of Ballet and our very own LCDS. Each school has been working with separate individuals. Our choreographer is Ponciano Almeida, who is primarily known for his capoeira, and is now choreographing a contemporary piece. This piece will be shown as part of the collective from the schools on the 12-14th of July this year.” Continued over the page... GARBLE | 11
Events to follow and join:
Olympic Torch Relay: Lit in Greece, the Olympic flame arrived in the UK on the 18th May 2012. 8000 torchbearers then carry the torch through 1000+ UK cities, towns, and villages in the following 70 days. Find out when the flame will be nearest to you by checking the “Olympic Torch Relay route” online at www.london2012.com/ torch-relay/route
27/07 – 12/08 36 events
London 2012 Festival:
12,000+ events & performances across UK of art, outdoor carnivals, comedy, dance (including Big Dance 2012 of dance events from 25 000+ artists), film, museum & heritage, books, theatre & performance, music, fashion, and food. 21 June – 9 September 2012 Visit them online at london2012.com/festival The events extend far from London, to Wales, Aberystwyth, Rochdale, Glasgow, Blackpool, Cambridge, Belfast, and beyond… Locations in LONDON are marked in orange.
Showcase of Olympic and Paralympic medals @ British Museum, London, 8 February – 9 September 2012, FREE (MAP: letter M)
The English Flower Garden – 15 000 handthrown ceramic flowers by Paul Cummins @ Chiswick House and Gardens, London, 25 April – 17 September 2012 (MAP: letter O)
The Official London Shop – for Olympic goods and souvenirs – among other locations, find them @ Paddington Station, Heathrow Airport, Westfield, and Canary Wharf (MAP: Paddington, Heathrow Airport, Westfield, Canary Wharf, all noted in red)
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22 screens across the UK – to view the games, news, community events, arts and media for FREE In LONDON, find your patch of grass @ Hyde Park, Potters Field, Victoria Park, Waltham Forest, or Woolwich
Paralympic Games 29/08 - 09/09 21 events
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance - @ St. Mary’s Old Church, London, 28 – 30 June 2012, FREE (MAP: letter L)
Dance and performance events @ Southbank Centre: Creating a Spectacle - self-propelled underwater wheelchair from artist Sue Austin, 31/08 - 09/09 Fusional Fragments - Mark Brew, 31/08 Leaving Limbo Landing - Caroline Bowditch, 31/08 - 09/09 Boomba Down the Tyne - Lawnmowers, 02/09 Candoco Unlimited - Candoco Dance Company, 06/09 Private Dancer - Janice Parker, 21/06 - 09/09 The Impending Storm - David Toole and Lucy Hind, 0709 - 08/09 (MAP: Southbank Centre - letter E - and noted in red)
Olympic Park - Location of Olympic venues including the Olympic Park where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held (MAP: noted in red)
Greenwich World Cultural Festival @ Eltham Palace Gardens, London, 1 July 2012, FREE (MAP: letter K)
Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausche - @ Sadler’s Wells and Barbican Centre, London, 6 June – 9 July 2012 (on sale from 2011!) (MAP: Sadler’s Wells - letter J, Barbican Centre - letter I)
Iconic Spectaculars – “Olympic rings in iconic locations” – among other locations, spot them @ St. Pancreas International, Channel Tunnel, and Birmingham Airport (MAP: St. Pancreas Int’l and Channel Tunnel noted in red) GARBLE | 13
CONTEMPORARY WHAT? | Text by Declan Whitaker |
“Will we see you on Strictly next year?” “Is that like Diversity?” “Ooh, like So You Think You Can Dance?” Just a few of the responses I’m sure we have all experienced when questioned about what we actually do in this building.
Our results were varied and although some people had more of an idea than we expected it was safe to say that noone had knowingly watched contemporary dance. It was It occurred to me recently that the contem- apparent that people had formulated ideas porary dance circle is a fairly closed one; I based on something they had seen or heard often see the same faces time and time again from other people. Much like many peolingering around ple think all ModSadler’s fag in ern Art looks like a hand, boasting Mark Rothko painttheir gold dust ing, the publics view tickets for next of contemporary weeks world dance was weird premiere and and not so wonderdiscussing the ful. What was more latest shock gosstriking is that peosip from compaple hadn’t heard or nies X, Y and Z. even seen The Place even though they Choreographer extraordinaire Chris Brown, If the audiences were sat in Tavistock breaking boundaries as usual... for contemSquare two minutes porary dance “Have you ever been to see any away - including are made up contemporary dance? Could you two guys that ate of mostly peo- name a choreographer?” lunch at The Place ple involved in “No erm... Chris Brown?” cafe most days! dance, with the exception of say So it may be fair to the Matthew Bournes of the world, I was in- say that contemporary dance exists for itself trigued to find out what the general public and the people directly involved. With such make of it all. We headed out into Blooms- a closed circle of regulars, reserved only for bury, two minutes away from the Country’s those with 3 years training or a strangely inleading powerhouse for dance to see if any- vested interest, it’s not hard to begin to ask one had a Scooby-Doo about what on earth “What’s the point?”. We’re basically in it for goes on at The Place. ourselves - now how self centered is that? +
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ART AND CULTURE
HOPE G: We’re writing an article on contemporary dance and wondered if you’d ever heard of contemporary dance? H: I’ve heard of it yeah. G: So what’s your understanding of it? H: Like dancing from today. Modern day dancing. G: Yeah perfect. Have you ever been to see any contemporary dance? Could you name a choreographer or company? H: No erm... Chris Brown?
NANCY G: We wondered if you knew anything about contemporary dance? N: Not really no. G: What’s your impression of what it might be? N: I think I’ve seen a couple of shows where they do contemporary dance. Somewhere between ballet and fusing it with other types of dance. G: Have you heard of The Place? N: Nope?… G: It’s where we study, just 2 minutes away. So what shows have you seen? N: It was something with the Pet Shop Boys, but I can’t remember the name. G: Javier De Frutos - The Most Incredible Thing? N: Yeah, I enjoyed watching that. If you guys have any shows I’d love to come and watch. I love watching dance but there’s no where really to go see much. Of course we swiftly directed this lovely lady to The Place, and the upcoming grad shows. Continued over the page...
GARBLE | 15
LYNNE, SUE AND PAM G: We’re asking members of the public if they know anything about contemporary dance. Have you ever had any interaction or experience with contemporary dance or what it might be?
G: We constantly get asked what is contemporary dance and struggle to answer as it’s such a broad spectrum. Could you hazard a guess? Sum it up in a sentence?
P: Not traditional? Not classical ballet or ballroom dancing. L: [Laughs] A Long time ago I did go with a friend who was interested in dance to a very S: Less structured and more...contemporary. strange performance art type thing. Certainly a L: I’d say it’s actually movement to music. Where dance performance that I would call contem- movement and music are integral to the performance and then you can layer other things on porary dance. top. But movement and music. G: Can you remember where? G: Ah, very interesting. L: It was in London but not a major producL: Yeah and the human form. So are you contion, perhaps students or people based at a temporary dancers? dance school. G: Yeah, going into second and third year at The S: I may have done years ago but I can’t remember. Not live anyway but I like watching Place. things on BBC 4 and on TV but I can’t recall L: Oh okay. But I guess with that you’d have to seeing anything live. do your share of ballet and physical fitness. G: Can you remember what you’ve seen on G: Yeah we do ballet that underpins our conTV? temporary every day amongst other things. Thanks for the chat! S: Not specific productions but yeah… 16 | GARBLE
ART AND CULTURE
STEVE AND GARY
G: We’re trying to see if the public have any awareness of contemporary dance, have you ever heard of it?
G: We study contemporary dance and were interested in the publics view of what that might be, do you have any idea?
S: I’ve heard of it, but couldn’t define it. G: Have you ever seen anything you would describe as contemporary dance?
D: Well it’s my personal idea, so I don’t know for sure but maybe modern dancing. Not like R’n’B, like ballet but contemporary - I don’t know how to define it.
P: I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s abstract or modern? I’ve seen ballet but never contemporary.
G: Neither do we! Have you been to seen any contemporary dance? D: No but I’ve seen a ballet in Greece.
Profuse apologies to our interviewees, we didn’t get your names so we made them up. DECLAN WHITAKER GARBLE | 17
IN THE BEST POSSIBLE TASTE | Text By Declan Whitaker |
In a recent documentary on Channel 4, transvestite Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry questioned the taste values of the social classes in Britain. Venturing out into a cross section of lifestyles, Perry delved into the rites, rituals and taste decisions of the working, middle and upper classes. His research culminated in a series of tapestries illustrating in a brazen and undiluted fashion a still life representation of taste, as a socially
18 | GARBLE
complex culture. Perry’s comments on taste had me questioning taste in dance… I honestly can’t remember the last time I thoroughly enjoyed a piece of dance. Leaving performances mildly amused, entertained in parts, with my thoughts being moderately provoked, it’s more often the case that I mildly despised, was frustrated in parts and moderately pissed off by the piece. I think it’s fair to say that dance and choreography don’t intend to do this or that neither myself or the Garble team have all the answers - but it seems that either we’re at a standstill in
ART AND CULTURE
dance and have seen it or before, or, as Perry unveiled, it’s all a matter of taste. To quote Oscar Wilde: “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. Perhaps dance is as frivolous as fashion, changing monthly and with an ambition to be as dissimilar from last season as possible. This determination to move onwards and onwards with no reflection on what has been established, has on one hand, meant enormous growth in an art form less than a hundred years old, but has accelerated at such a rate that the need to shock and excite has made way for the ludicrous and illconceived.
text, music, props, the list really is endless nowadays but all these things are intrinsically based on a taste decision. By applying a strong dose of your own taste into a piece, as Perry revealed in his programme, you inevitably ostracise a proportion of your audience. People who find these things not to their taste will disconnect somehow, making the success of the piece to them lesser. This in turn makes way for different types of dance, the plain and safe, and the extreme and unclear.
In the 50’s we witnessed Graham with her shocking modern dance removed as far from the ballet a la mode as possible. The 70’s saw revolutionary ideas from Cunningham and the Have we seen it all beJudson church collecfore? Is it a matter of tive. The 80’s was the taste? Later in the issue Above - Grayson Perry, In The Best Possible Kingdom of Clarke, Emilia Gasiorek chats Taste, Channel 4. Opposite -‘The Upper Class with his radical fetAt Bay’ - Rii Schroer to choreographer Mark ishised costumes, reBruce about his piece naissance and recon‘Made in Heaven’. A piece I think would be struction of ballet technique and the 00’s more appropriately titled ‘Dragged from have produced innumerable figureheads in Hell’ – however that’s a matter of taste, but dance. Each have developed distinctive vosomething that arises from the interview is cabularies and aesthetics: Bourne, Shechter, the need for choreographers to apply multi- McGregor, but somehow it seems the shock media and theatrics to pieces. It would have and spark caused by personas gone by has to be astonishingly inventive movement dwindled. + for a full length piece to captivate it’s audiFind ‘In The Best Possible Taste’ on 4od ence with pure dance. So choreographers for the next few weeks. add things: projection, sculpture, video, Tweet @lcdsgarble with your opinions.
GARBLE | 19
REVIEWS. Verve 2012 @ Robin Howard Theatre
You May - Zoi Dimitriou @ The Robin Howard
Five pieces comprised Verve’s programme, ranging from James Cousins’ athletic duet Dark In The Afternoon to Akram Khan’s Vertical Road, which saw all 12 of the company’s dancers on stage. Further works performed by the postgraduate performance company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance included that of Jordan Massaarella (a recent graduate from Northern), Milan Kozanek (resident teacher at Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance) and Lea Anderson MBE. Choreographically, moments of engaging and interesting artistry were few and far between but the dancers were tremendously strong, both individually and as a collective. This facet was made most apparent in the climatic Vertical Road where lighting, choreography and musical score have been beautifully crafted together by Khan into a haunting and compelling piece. With this and Lea Anderson’s more theatrical Dynamo the programme was diverse but this is small compensation for the uninspiring and overall disappointing choreography. +
In the rather optimistic 500 word preface, I was informed that the piece was ‘about’ a great number of things: time, space, structures, language, the French film La Jetée, misbehaving objects, spirits, lost towers, and the phrase “You May”. By the end of the post show talk this list had doubled in length. Not only did it seem like Dimitriou lacked a clear idea of what she was creating; but neither did the other 8 people involved in the creative process. Collaboration is one thing, but this was unashamed creation by committee, complete with board room table and vote counting. Structurally the work was episodic, with no linear pathway from section to section. Plain, two-dimensional movement was broken up by sections of inconsequential speaking, and moving strange cloud-on-astick structures around the space. Though arguably the layer with the most clarity, the text was given no physical context within the work and was mostly made up of grand but unfounded statements: “this space will never be the same again”. The dramaturgist had employed the much overused technique of repeating and gradually changing words, presumably in order to create profound and thought provoking contradictions. However this just translated as cliché and predictable. Ultimately, I was only once surprised during the piece and that was when it ended. I must have just assumed it would last forever. +
20 | GARBLE
ART AND CULTURE
SUM - Mark Richter and Wayne Mcgregor @ The Royal Opera House Declan Whitaker
A story about simultaneous crossed emails, between Richter and McGregor deciding upon the stimulus, makes this piece all the more fateful. Based on the book SUM by David Eagleman, this chamber opera is a thought provoking reflection of what happens when we die. The first time Richter and McGregor collaborated was in 2008 for the Royal Ballet on ‘Infra’ to rave reviews, and although this piece was considerably more stripped back, it’s integrity and style, helped along by Eaglemans wonderfully contemplative stories made this piece a success. 12 excerpts of the script were delivered in a variety of ways, predominantly through three enormously talented opera singers, but also through text, projection and speech. Set in the round, the four walls and floor were eerily white, reminiscent of a hospital ward and hosted intricate lighting projections from Lucy Carter. The piece balanced musings of both poetic and scientific situations in the afterlife. By far the most moving, was the idea that our life is reordered, so that everything sharing a quality happens at once, so we might spend twenty-seven hours in pain and yet experience only 14 minutes of pure joy - an incredibly humbling thought about the human condition. With the orchestra set in a pit in the middle of the round, Richters music became all the more enchanting. Rolling themes continued for extended periods of time but to no irritation. Ominous and uplifting in equal measures, the singers thrived off music that seemed to exude a musical projection of their emotions. Refreshingly free of dance, although curated by McGregor, this piece was incredibly inclusive for a first time Opera goer. A must see if revived! +
Pina Bausch’s Nur Du (Only You) was hands down incredible! Having only ever seen her work from DVD or YouTube I was interested to see how it would feel live. If I felt the dancers brought energy and vivacity over the screen, it was nothing to the power and exuberance on stage.
Nur Du - Pina Bausch @ Sadler’s Wells
Nur Du, first performed in 1996, presents a series of vignettes, solos, monologues, duets and incidents which all explore the human condition. Danced against Peter Pabst’s ginormous set of tree trunks, evocative of Californian redwoods, Bausch draws upon the American West. From one women worrying that her man has not arrived, another pulling down endless pairs of underwear and an American cheerleader describing her team’s cheers the piece looks at how we encounter each other, presenting fear, hope, strength and frailty. The movement was incredibly graceful and theatrical interspersed with quick gestural sections. I have to hand it to the men however. While they were not the most lavishly dressed and therefore at times stood out less visually, they moved with such control and ease which was such a pleasure to watch. The work was a long as the set is big, lasting three and half hours, but have no fear the seats in the Barbican are incredibly comfortable! +
GARBLE | 21
MARK BRUCE | Interviewed By Emilia Gasiorek |
Formed in 1991, the Mark Bruce Company is a dance theatre group famous for its wildly imaginative work. With loud music, an interest in Greek mythology and a hint of grunge Mark Bruce produces incredibly powerful work. ...................................
His latest piece ‘Made In Heaven’ is full of the most unexpected twists and turns. Performed at Wilton’s Music Hall (‘the city’s hidden stage’ which it quite literally is), the setting of worn away stone walls lined with photographs of past performers ooze history and charm. A perfect example of the marriage between setting and performance. From some far corner of Bruce’s imagination spills the most hybrid piece of work I think I have ever seen. From a blind sheriff, to a mermaid, to a baby with cherub’s wings, to a life-sized shark Bruce covers it all. For me the piece took me to an utterly surreal and dream-like land full of strong 22 | GARBLE
visual images. Perhaps it was the opening image of a sleeping girl in gingham dress bringing with it a sense of humanity, which provided such a contrast to everything that unfolded that led me to that strange land. The enjoyment of his work is certainly a matter of taste and for some he may simply have gone too far. One could argue I guess that there were too many visual images rendering the piece a little too overwhelming. I spoke to Bruce afterwards to find out more about this latest piece and his work as a choreographer. Wow. I’m still struggling to put words to what I’ve just seen… Don’t feel you have to talk about it. It’s quite a lot to take in. It’s the type of piece where I really need to go away and think about it. Firstly, I’m interested in how you wanted people to see it. Would you like the audience to search for a logic behind it or simply to see it as a series of visual images? I found that I was searching for the former but would perhaps under-
GARBLE OVER LUNCH
stand it more in the context of the latter. I don’t think you need to find a logic. There definitely is one. I don’t require the audience to understand or find that. My intention is simply for an audience to leave with an image or something that makes sense and has some meaning to them. Everyone can take what he or she wants from it. I aim to conjure and evoke something within people. This ties in really nicely with my previous experience of working with you. I recall you speaking about the importance of creating something that remains with people. Something that may be hard to pin down and clearly identify. Going back now, what first interested you in dance? What led you to dance?
nation of dance and drama; do you think that graduating students have sufficient training for this? I don’t think that dance theatre is a particularly new and modern thing. It’s just simply not always the fashion. But it’s just what has always interested me and is what I want to explore. I think, however, there is a lack of preparation for this sort of work. Many theatre schools provide ‘movement’ classes but with a dancer’s training it is left to the individual to seek out a more theatrical training. Dancers need to be interested in working theatrically. There is this pocket of work that encompasses dance and drama and there isn’t enough training for it.
“Many theatre schools provide ‘movement’ classes but with a dancer’s training it is left to the individual to seek out a more theatrical training.” ...................................
I wasn’t initially interested in dance, although I grew up in that world. Both my parents were dancers so I got a lot of experience from them, especially my dad [Christopher Bruce]. But it wasn’t until I was older, and realised that I missed it, that I went back to it for my own sake. I now create work that I want to, that makes sense and is true to me. I notice that your company is called a ‘dance theatre’ group, would you explain what this means for you? Dance theatre for me is exactly what the title suggests: dance and theatre. My work, as you can see clearly with Made In Heaven, asks the dancers to do both. Tied with the above question, there seems increasingly more demand for pieces that involve a combi-
Photo opposite and over page, by Farrows Creative Above by Stephen Berkeley White
From working with you previously on sections from the two Greek plays The Bacchae and Antigone it seems that a lot of your work centres on Greek mythology and tragedy. Is this a subject you are particularly interested in or do you feel that it lends itself well to dance theatre? I’ve always had a personal interest in Greek tragedies, starting really at school. I feel that they connect with life at a basic level. I mean that with many daily instances you can find an equivalent in mythology. I find that the aspects of the stories leave me with something. I’m interested in this idea of something intangible staying with you. It doesn’t matter what this is, GARBLE | 23
“Many theatre schools provide ‘movement’ classes but with a dancer’s training it is left to the individual to seek out a more theatrical training.” could simply be a feeling, an impulse or something I can’t shake off. This is what I like about them. I’m also interested in the idea of rituals, which runs so strongly throughout Greek mythology. Making work is a ritual. The dancers are on stage for real, they are dancing for real and are partaking, in a sense, in a ritual. Through the piece they reach another state of being. As the Greeks say, ‘Dionysus was here’. Dionysus is a god of epiphany, the ‘god that comes’. In a sense the dancers have arrived, they have attained something ‘other’. I’m interested in how you start a new project. Can you tell me a little about your choreographic process? I never start conceptually. I prefer to start from an image, a dream, simply something that comes to me. It’s like finding something in the sea, that you pick up, treasure, polish and nurture. Something like that remains wedged in your conscious and you know that you want to explore it and find some sort of logic. It’s like a series of images of pieces in a big jigsaw that you’re trying to fit to24 | GARBLE
gether. This process is all encompassing; covering the movement and performance of the dancers and the visual set which unfolds and changes. One informs the other. You have to be sure in your mind about what you want. For example I always knew that I wanted to have a shark (Made In Heaven). You have to know what you want, spend the money and do what you want. Having worked with Mark Bruce with students from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in order to create a series of short collaborative pieces, this sense of ambiguity resonates. Bruce advocated that the beauty of pieces can often be found through different interpretations. I learned that while it is important as a choreographer to remain sure of what you want, you have to be equally open to letting your piece be understood in different ways. My interpretation of Bruce’s piece may have been quite different to his, or the person sitting next to me, but I know that does not matter. I certainly left the venue with something, and an awe for how rich, imaginative, wacky and anarchic dance theatre can be.… +
EVERYTHING ELSE You need to see...
GOODBYE LOVELY THIRD YEARS!
After a slightly rowdy (there was food involved) and very emotional graduation party, Garble would like to say an enormous thank you, and farewell to all of the graduating third years. In particular, to our three Garblers: Mari Colbert, Jessica Sim and Chris Scott, who have been on the team from our humble beginnings. Thanks for all of your hard work and for being generally awesome. Every one of you will be missed around the building, though I am sure we will be seeing plenty of you sneaking into morning classes next year.
Big Dance 2012
Big Dance kicked off this week in St Pancras Station, with performances of works by LCDS students, Louise Lloyd and Thomas Hands, plus several Youth Groups and a specially commissioned work by Katie Prince, created on ZooNation. Obviously Arlene Phillips and Boris Johnson were there to add the comedy factor to festivities, Boris remarking that “The UK are not only among the financial leaders of the world, but the best at art, dance.... umm and everything else!” If you missed the perfomances throughout the station on Thursday, and all the wonderful speeches, you can catch the Channel 4 special at 4pm on Sunday 15th July, and appreciate all of the fantastic train related metaphors. “Big Dance 2012 is pulling into a station near you!”
GARBLE | 25
It’s always one of the first questions ‘non dancers’ ask when they come to The Place: “Why do they have one trouser leg up and the other one down?”. To which we will quite often reply “Erm. I really don’t know!” This is however, just one of the distinguishing trends we sport so convincingly as style choices. Here are a few ‘on the up’ and ‘going down’ of our eclectic ‘School Day Looks’.
Going Down The sports short over trackies This fashion faux pas is an unforgivable offence. And to those of you who will try to defend it. No it doesn’t ‘help you slide’. Cartoon patterned Pyjama bottoms One would have hoped by 18 you can distinguish between your home and educational establishment, and wondered if you ever stopped and questioned why, when you’ve thought: “oh there only £3 in the sale” Ripped Clothing When your shirt is so ripped you cannot distinguish which is the head hole perhaps it’s time to get a new one. ‘Homeless’ is not a look! 26 | GARBLE
The high school gym shorts Breezy yet appropriately dignified. Adding a splash of retro to our contemporary look. The long sleeved Tee round the waist Wrapped round the slimmest part of the waist gives even the boxiest or figures the illusion of curves whilst the main body of the Tee drapes behind and elongates the back. The sports sock Whether you pull them up or let them slip down, these are an essential to every ‘School day’ look choose a neutral white or grey to avoid any unnecessary colour clashes.
On The Up
THIS ISSUE’S BEST DRESSED TEXT BY CHLOE MEAD
Why It Works: Hair is swept up. Practical yet bang on trend. It says: “I’m here to dance but can look sleek doing it.” The unbuttoning creates a gorgeous ‘V’ neckline which reveals a contrasting burst of red to compliment her natural skin tone. Bold horizontal stripped onesies are flattering and relaxed. Effortlessly chic. The purse clutch works with the earthy red and is an understated yet bold accessory to this minimalist look. The footwear is right on the ‘sport socks’ trend. Perfect colour choice to continue the stripe pattern.
VIDEO CORNER Cirque du Soleil - Worlds Away 3D Trailer: YouTube
Verve 2012: YouTube
Written and directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek and Narnia), this feature film fuses narrative and circus performance with 3D awesomeness. Released late 2012
One of many full length performances in the Robin Howard Theatre which you can stream live, for free! Check out The Place’s Video Channel on Youtube. Also look out for the Place Prize nomination videos.
Reverso, ArtFX: Vimeo by Kimberly Honma / Clément Lauricella and Arthur Seguin
National Anthem, by Lana Del Ray: YouTube
A sweet animated short about Barney, a man with a reversed sense of gravity. Make sure you watch until the very end!
Instagram contrived, faux nostalgic and with a coat of sugar thick enough to render you toothless, I still somehow managed to love this video. It’s because she’s sexy isn’t it...
SONIA SAYS: What do you have to say to Garble readers this issue, oh wise one?
People learn something every day and a lot of the time it’s that what they learned the day before, was wrong. GARBLE | 27
What’s On? Our Top Picks...
9th - 14th July: The Public House @ Unit 237 Shopping Centre, Elephant & Castle - Hiru Dance presents a pop up home for performance, with 10 works created in response to the created living space. Performances, workshops, discussions and experiments last for the whole week, both day and evening, so make sure you pop in! Visit www.publichouse.hirudance.org for more info and tickets. 6th - 13th July: LCDS Graduation @ The Robin Howard Theatre - We hardly need to advertise, but make sure you support your graduating 3rd years in their last shows on the 6-7th and 9th-13th. 18th July: ‘Improv on the Rocks’ @ Sit back with a drink in hand, and watch the new Improvisation collective in their first performance event. It will be a cheap, chilled night, so check it out. 10th - 13th July: New Movement Collective - Casting Traces @ Testbed 1, Battersea - “Inspired by Paul Auster’s seminal novel “The New York Trilogy”, dance architecture, film and specially commissioned music meet to create a world of illusion, mystery and shadow-play, where nothing is what it seems.” 12-14th July: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company - Too Mortal @ St Pancras Church “Exploring notions around the church as a place of enquiry as well as solace, the work offers an intimate and thought-provoking respite to the busy hubbub of the streets outside. 12th - 14th July: Like a fish out of water @ Hampton Pool - a multi-sensory event in which audience members follow a journey around one of London’s lidos experiencing site-specific and recorded performance from the English National Ballet 19th - 20th July: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker - Fase @ Tate Modern - A chance to see de Keersmaeker’s early minimalist piece either in a full length ticketed showing or a shorter free performance. * Get booking now for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Rosas and Batsheva - all of whom will be at Sadler’s Wells later this year, and will likely sell out. *
2nd June – 5th September: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ @ Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – a Shakespearian comedy in a unique outdoor setting; a perfect summer evening outing. Until 15th July: Sweeny Todd @ Noel Coward Theatre - Jonathan Kent’s thrilling and unforgettable new production of the amazing musical, with two world class performances from Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. Its only on for a four week run so grab a £20 ticket before its gone. 28th July – 27 October: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ @ The National Theatre – A play based on Mark Haddon’s award winning and heartfelt novel, a peculiar mystery to discover the murderer of Wellington the dog.
19th June - 9th September: Yoko Ono, ‘To The Light’ @ Serpentine Gallery - This extensive and reflective exhibition examines the great impact Ono has made on contemporary Art, featuring both new and archival work, from large scale installations to film and performance. Part of the London 2012 Festival. 21st June - 23rd September: ‘BP Portrait Award’ @ National Gallery - Exhibits the very best of contemporary portraiture from artists around the world - A must see for art and portraiture lovers! 28th June - 14th October: ‘Edvard Munch, The Modern Eye’ @ Tate Modern - An incredibly emotionally charged exhibition showcasing Munch’s work as a modern artist. 13th July - 19th September: Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2012 @ The Photographers Gallery This exhibition features the four shortlisted artists, showcasing their diverse approaches to photography, from portraits taken in the toxic waste dumps of Ghana, to exquisite images of everyday moments. 18th July - 8th September: Damián Ortega, ‘Traces of gravity’ @ The White Cube, Mason’s Yard - This Mexican artist’s work explores economic, aesthetic and cultural situations with a punchy political immediacy in an accessibly mischievous manner, sculpturally manipulating everyday objects and functions.