Archives for posts with tag: South East Dance

dancing men

Oi!  Men!  What is it about you and dancing? (Sorry – I’m addressing too broad an age range here. Let’s narrow it down). You guys – yes, you over 60: you went to the Palais, the Odeon, the Locarno, the Lyceum, the Marquee, the Flamingo, the Twisted Wheel, or wherever, didn’t you? Did you dance to Otis Redding, Georgie Fame, Zoot Money, The Animals, the Rolling Stones, Geno Washington, and to Tamla Motown, Blue Beat, rocksteady? Then in the late Sixties, to psychedelic stuff by Traffic, Floyd, Arthur Brown? Come on – you know you did! In that willowy, hair-swirling, floppyflared style that we called ‘idiot dancing’? Ah – there’s the rub! It’s the ‘idiot dancer’ memory, isn’t it? I sympathise.

(The hard sell: a new 10-week Contemporary Dance course in Lewes for men and women aged 60 and over. Contemporary dance technique and creative exercise. No prior dance experience is necessary; suitable for all abilities, over 60. Mondays, 5.45pm-7.15pm. 23 September – 2 December)

Venue: Cliffe Hall, Cliffe High St, Lewes.
Contact Lauren at South East Dance: 01273 696844 or


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.