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Subject: "Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2732
Reading Topic #2732
Lynette H

14-05-02, 04:34 PM (GMT)
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"Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
   Cohabitants 2, Clore Studio 13 May 2002

Tom Sapsford and Cathy Marston retuned to the Clore with a double bill of new works a little more than a year after the first ‘Cohabitants’ programme. There are some changes in both their work, though it was more marked in Sapsford’s. His earlier piece had been quirky and entertaining: tic(k) was a rather more cool, formal and controlled. It looked a carefully structured work, and flowed well, which is remarkable, given the constraints under which these works are made – the dancers give up what limited free time they have to rehearse and Sapsford indicated in a question and answer session later that it was difficult to work with more than two dancers at any time until very shortly before the opening.

Tic(k) had a cast of three women and two men, simply and identically clad. There was a attractive section early on with one women lifted and passed around the group, but most of the interactions were in twos and threes. There’s a lot of use of the floor, and a film projected on the Clore’s rumpled curtains intermittently gives views of sleeping bodies. Little gestures and moves are passed around the group. Thomas Whitehead and Bennet Gartside were involved in some contorted rolls across the stage, weirdly interlocked: acrobatic, but quite slow and dreamy, rather than fierce and gymnastic.

While Sapsford seemed to have moved away from narrative gestures, Cathy Marston is consciously exploring how dance can convey narrative and character. Her starting point for Between Shadows was L.P Harley’s the Go-Between. I haven’t read the novel or seen the film based on it though the title does call up vague evocations of Edwardian romance: so I was curious to see how clearly the story came across. It isn’t a straightforward approach, more an evocation of memories, atmospheres and encounters, watched simultaneously by the young Leo (Giacomo Ciriaci) and his much older self (Kevin Richmond). A girl (Lauren Cuthbertson) is young Leo’s charming friend, (charming dances, all summer sweetness) but also the object of her controlling mother’s schemes to pair her off with the suitably aristocratic young man (an unsmiling Edward Watson) who is ready to push her into the appropriate respectable stiff-armed shapes from which she slithers away. Meanwhile in the background with passionate intent lurks a tousled Martin Harvey. The characters seldom leave the stage, but wait and watch on the sidelines as the main encounters take place.

Considerable care and planning have gone into the work – the music was specially commissioned from Philip Chambon, with a live viola overlaid on a recorded score. Costumes (Elizabeth McGorian) are elegant evocations of the Edwardian era, detailed, but very light and floating. Marston’s cast is very well chosen. Kevin Richmond and Elizabeth McGorian, as older dancers, bring a strong stage presence, and Richmond’s frustrated regret is strongly conveyed. The real surprise is Lauren Cuthberston, a recent joiner from the Royal Ballet School. Towards the close, just as the work seemed to be losing focus among the complexities, Marston provides a pas de deux for her and Harvey of startling emotional and physical intensity. Cuthbertson has both a teenage freshness and an unrestrained ardour as she flickers around Harvey, who winds her up, over and around him. Marvellous stuff, with a very recognisably Marston style to it – the intricate duet that pushes partnering skills as far as they will go has been very much a hallmark of hers. Some of the other dance vocabulary employed seemed a more conscious attempt to try out new styles.

Do get to see this if you can – it’s a great shame that the BBC are not, after all filming this, and it’s a great chance to see the dancers at close range. The Cutherbertson / Harvey duet was stunning.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 Bruceadmin 14-05-02 1
     RE: Cohabitants, Clore 15/5/02 Brendan McCarthymoderator 16-05-02 4
  RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 Bruceadmin 16-05-02 3
     RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 AnnWilliams 16-05-02 5
         RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 Hiromi M 16-05-02 6
             RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 Steven 16-05-02 7
                 RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 sylvia 16-05-02 8
                     RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 sylvia 17-05-02 9
                         RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02 PhilipBadmin 17-05-02 10

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14-05-02, 05:43 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #0
Thanks Lynette - I really enjoyed Cathy's new piece but I'm not sure anybody would think me wholly objective!

I think the pieces for ENB and now ADI are of a pair - sensitive and deep tellings on relationships with powerful, very powerful, pdd at their heart. But I try and see her work a few times and each time another layer comes off or I notice some action elsewhere on stage that escaped me before. The central pdd is amazing but another cameo for me from last night was the duet between Elizabeth McGorian (Mrs Maudsley) and Giacomo Ciriaci (young Leo) - scarry stuff.

I also enjoyed Tom's piece - more classical then I'd associated with his work in the past - but not that classical for goodness sake! Bright, buoyant fun. It was a good night of professional level work rather then experiment I thought.

Because of the lack of BBC recording (very sad) there are seats now released for sale - as Lynette says you'd be foolish to miss this. There is a separate thread, started by Cathy, that gives more details about the run in the Clore:

It ends Thursday so hurry, hurry, hurry.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

16-05-02, 09:32 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 15/5/02"
In response to message #1
   LAST EDITED ON 16-05-02 AT 01:09 PM (GMT)

  • Stunning opening (Between Shadows). I often take notes, but last night just put my pen down and never picked it up again. Cathy has a real talent for making theatre and she knows something of the human heart. She has outgrown the Clore. I wondered how this would look in a bigger space with some rewriting.
  • As a dance story it was comprehensible in its own terms: no need for constant glances at programme notes.
  • In a fine cast, Kevin Richmond was extraordinary. The choreography for him might have been "NDT3-concessive". It wasn't - and he went full out. Incredible.
  • Good dialogue between score and choreography - sometimes a very intricate interplay, sometimes not. The Bill Whelan/Celtic twists were unexpected. Not bad though. Always a courageous decision to commission a score. Wonder how long before the event she had the score - and how she reinvented when she got it?

  • Riveting (and torrid) central pdd for Lauren Cuthbertson and Martin Harvey.
  • High production values, costumes (by Elizabeth McGorian, one of the cast) and very inventive lighting by Simon Bennison. Good lighting design is one of CM's signatures.
  • Tom Sapsford's piece was fun. He is not a lyricist and he should have stayed away from Schubert. But his very literal 'mickey-mousing' was interesting satire and his writing for Bennet Gartside and Thomas Whitehead teased the eye. His heart seems to be in multi-media and he deserves a chance to make a Dance for the Camera. I kept thinking 'Wayne McGregor'; that seems to be his preferred direction

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16-05-02, 09:07 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #0
   There are still some tickets left for this I think - last performance tonight. Excellent work, excellent dancers. Just have to mention Lauren Cuthbertson who consistently amazes after only 2 months in the company.

Tickets are £10/£7. Book on 020 7304 4000.

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16-05-02, 11:00 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #3
   Yes, Cohabitants is not to be missed. I'm trying not to get too excited about Marston's choreography - she has to be allowed some space to fail - but it is difficult, so I'm excited.

I'm also trying not to get too excited about Lauren Cuthbertson for the same reason, but again I'm failing. Aside from her beautiful dancing (we could almost be expected to take that for granted) there is her astonishing emotional maturity aged only 17. And to think she is 'home-grown'! We have much to look forward to.

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Hiromi M

16-05-02, 11:34 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #5
   I was also a lucky one flew from Japan to see the performance last night.

>Lauren Cuthbertson
yes she was unbelievablly wonderful. The pdd between Martin Harvey was totally breathtaking. Thank you very much for this wonderful performance. I love to see this ballet again in future.

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16-05-02, 12:44 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Steven Click to send private message to Steven Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #6
   >I love to see this
>ballet again in future.

Yes I too would love to see it again. It's difficult to know how we could... Anyone got any ideas on how this ballet should be presented again?

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16-05-02, 04:07 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #7
   ergghh...ok you convinced me, I'm headed over right now. There still are tickets available, students only £5.

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17-05-02, 00:34 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #8
   LAST EDITED ON 17-05-02 AT 00:53 AM (GMT)

...and it was as fantastic as you all said!! Cathy Marston sure came up with some beautiful choreography. As for Lauren Cuthbertson, she was so lovely and I can't believe she's only 17. It's going to be fun to watch her progess in the company. Her pdd with Martin Harvey is something memorable - such a shame the BBC broadcast didn't work out.

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17-05-02, 09:50 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail PhilipB Click to send private message to PhilipB Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: Cohabitants, Clore 13/5/02"
In response to message #9
   My companion described the pdd as "pretty hardcore...I didn't know where to look!" - in a positive way, I hasten to add! For those who didn't see it, there was a lot conveyed without ever resorting to lewd contact or gesture, or visual stunts like Ek's Carmen.

I thought the whole piece, superficially reminiscent of Pride & Prejudice but with more dynamic relationships between the characters, was quite superb. The intimacy of the Clore and the raw emotion of the dancing meant that one felt positively voyeuristic throughout, even uncomfortable at times.

I understand the "outgrown the Clore" comment now - not necessarily in terms of physical staging, but in terms of the capacity of the piece to fill a room much larger than the Clore and reach people in a much larger audience - say, Sadler's.

Wasn't so keen on Sapsford's piece, but then it wasn't really my style.

All in all, very glad to have seen another step in Cathy's ever-upward career - a real "I was there!" moment, perhaps!

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