Archives for the month of: December, 2012


Keep on dancing’ at Christmas and into the New Year!


From the flooded toilet floor of the Dome’s dressing rooms up to the stage area, it’s a long, cold way. Especially barefoot. Hazardous too: the steps have a metal edge. Cameraman and soundman stand impassively amongst the women changing their costumes, filming interviews. After the last two days of rehearsal, ThreeScore Dance Company are about to go on. Nerves ripple down the lines of us waiting for the doors to open, and for us to file through, finally, to an audience.

We’ve performed Bettina Strickler’s piece before, but in less than ideal conditions. Now, it’s properly lit, in classic ‘black-box’ theatre, and we’ve all come a long way in the conviction (and maybe grace?) of our movements. The group (twenty of us) are intertwined on the stage, ‘breathing’ to the Morricone score, then breaking into the fast klezmer: I and three other men finally co-ordinate our strange feints, and with a ‘Hey!’ – slap back-to-back, sink down, and are pulled off. (You had to be there, really).

Antonia Grove’s piece is complex: four of us play live music at the beginning, building to a crescendo, after bedding down plants in the bank of earth at stage front. Then the company stands in front of our triangular-back chairs, before the strange repetitive sequence begins, in total silence. We stand, then the music starts: ‘Treasures’ by Seasick Steve, and we perform the rituals of caring and tending, waiting for growth: it’s about ‘the emotional relationship that forms with something alive and rooted to the earth.’ Labour and Wait.

Ben Duke’s piece, You Can’t Miss Me, evokes the classic footage of the flood of commuters across London Bridge, leaving one man isolated in the middle: ‘Well – how did I get here?’ His is one story among many – he’s joined (but not joined) by others, also questioning their positions. We attempt to make contact, but ultimately, we’re on our own. We move, slowly, around the stage, surrounded by the richness of Glenn Gould playing Bach, and for me it’s a truly beautiful, euphoric moment. This is the culmination of a year’s work in a parallel life, a life I’d never imagined. Dance.