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Subject: "Scottish Dance Theatre" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2623
Reading Topic #2623
Carly Gillies

07-04-02, 05:29 PM (GMT)
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"Scottish Dance Theatre"
   Scottish Dance Theatre. Glasgow
It seems that while Scottish Ballet are stranded in uncertainty, SDT have been going from strength to strength.

This was a much more self confidant company than the one I saw 2 years ago.
This time thay have been touring a two dance production.

The first piece choreographed by SDTs founder and AD Janet Smith, was 'High Land'.

All 8 dancers in stylish kilts and Tshirts danced a wonderful and witty pastiche of all things Scottish.
Tartan stereotypes appear fleetingly - Nessie, rain swept hill walks complete with midgies and pac-a-macs, a drunk (woman), bagpipes (a balloon substitutes), and sword dancing.
The score is a wonderful mix of different types of music, and sometimes silence, punctuated by pipes or gaelic song.
All is held together by such inventive choreography, and strong performance that the eight scots always look unashamed, sexy, together and empowered.
These are right-on young scots, leaving behind the centuries of national lamenting and keening about hills and valleys, nodding to tradition as they go their own way.
At one point they all join in an energetic eightsome reel - but this is an eightsome reel with attitude.

The second half of the program was Jan de Schynkel's 'Daddy I'm not well'.
This bleak and perplexing piece is (some say) about family dysfunction and the cycle of pain and regret - or some such.
Four fur clad figures enter a frozen landscape, and interact in variously agressive, predatory and intermittently more tender ways.
The dancers coped beautifully with what must have been very difficult choreography - tricky lifting and intertwinning, and sustained in- or out-turned arabesques.
Interesting and not unenjoyable to watch but completely incomprehensible.
So here's my take on it: It's a dance about hunger - both physical and emotional (the giant empty meat hook hanging from the ceiling is a symbol, and clue) Perhaps I'm taking the dancers biting at each other and passing a golfball from mouth to mouth too literally, but it could all be understood as four people trying to feed off each other but being unable to give any sustenance to each other.
My husband said he just found it all indigestible - So I guess he agrees!

So, a mixture of the weird and the wonderful, but a company definitely on the up, and well worth seeing if you can.

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