Archives for posts with tag: Three Score Dance

 

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Freezing cold in the huge church! – our rehearsal space for this week. We’re watched by images of Jesus and saints from their bright stained glass windows. This is ‘The Oskar Schlemmer Re-Enactment Society’, (real title Tall Tales) and our carefully practised moves suddenly thrown by the introduction of our props.
Too cold for costumes in here, but it should be warm for Sunday’s performance on the pebbles by the West Pier. Pebbles?!!

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Rehearsal of the whole group: An hour of warm-ups and stretches, followed by working through two of Jason’s exercise sequences. Fortunately in the (middle section of) the Corn Exchange, so plenty of room this time. While we’re doing these, Faith arrives with four big laundry bags: our costumes and props! We’re not allowed to see them just yet (nor are you); then Lea arrives in trademark black gaucho-style hat, and we’re into rehearsal. Groups 1&2 into formation for our ‘Dolly’ sequence, while the other groups remind themselves of theirs. Then 1&2 go through their ‘baby-smallnose-skewer-hand-bignose-kebab-headless’ sequence, and make adjustments. Meanwhile Lea is watching the other groups with Jason fine-tuning. Then the bags are opened…

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Three Score Dance has been commissioned by the Brighton Festival to work with famous choreographer Lea Anderson (The Cholmondeleys, The Featherstonehaughs) to make a new piece, Tall Tales.The Founder’s Room at Brighton Dome is rather small for a rehearsal for 50 people. No collisions even though we’re all moving rather quickly in different directions (and that’s just the warm-up). Because the company is so large (yes, 50), we’re split into two groups to rehearse on alternate sessions, but we all do the exercises together. We’re looking forward to the finished piece in the Festival, though we don’t yet have an idea of the final shape of it. Working with Lea is really exciting, and her designer Tim Spooner has dropped some intriguing hints about possible costume designs (I’m not telling!)

The piece is based on paintings and designs by the Bauhaus artist/designer, Oskar Schlemmer.

http://www.leaanderson.com/

Dome

The drugs are working: a breakfast of Asacol, Prednisolone and Co-Codamol. Consequently I’m here, on the big stage of Brighton’s Dome Concert Hall, built by the Prince Regent in 1805: otherwise I’d be languishing in bed feeling miserable. Overhead are the huge scalloped cut-outs of the circular layered ceiling – the place is gorgeous but not fancy Art Deco – with modern lighting gantries hanging (though unlit now). Facing me are 1700 empty seats, but we won’t be performing here – we’ll be in the black-box Studio theatre next door. Jason, our rehearsals director, and now – at last! – our choreographer, is working up a new dance piece – contemporary dance, dance-theatre, ‘modern’ dance, some calls it. The women rule this one. We men (5 of us) scuttle around, hiding behind the 13 female bodies, till we’re revealed, snaking geometrically round the stage, heads down. We don’t know where this is going, yet…

What I do know is that I have to rush around onstage, trying to get attention, becoming increasingly desperate, until, humiliated, I strip down and stand alone in my underpants…

 

 

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 lauren.proto@southeastdance.org.uk

http://www.southeastdance.org.uk
http://www.threescoredance.co.uk

Five Stratocasters on stage playing themselves. Mirjam has come on and turned up the volume knob on the Strat lying on its back: the low hum from the amp beside it sounds throughout the whole piece. But the others have a 12″ record mounted on the front of each, and as it revolves, it brushes a tremolo-drenched chord from the strings. She gyrates very slowly, leaning back to the floor, with incredible control. A tap-dancer sets up a slow rhythm – other dancers join the rhythm, and it builds, one of them crunching out an edgy riff on the guitar…

This is a performance by Candoco, the company that includes so-called ‘disabled’ dancers among its members. But that word really doesn’t apply here: the power, control, grace and beauty of their movements make it meaningless. A solo piece: Vicky comes on, in silence. She’s wearing an extraordinary outfit – as unlike contemporary dance as you can imagine. It’s a burlesque version of Wonderwoman, black and rhinestoned bikini, knee-high boots, headress with huge blonde hair spilling out. She approaches the audience, smiling, almost offering herself, this is me, hello, yes – me. Sort of sexy, but self-mocking, with each move turning to the audience: ‘Well?’ Funny too. Then suddenly there’s dry ice and a pounding house/disco track kicks in and she’s singing, and dancing: ‘This Is It!’

I’m on the huge Dome stage the next day, with two of their dancers and the rest of 3Score Dance. Mirjam takes us through Qi Gung exercises, and then she and Dan get us to walk the space, claiming it, then walk at half the speed, then half again, till we’re barely moving, (trying not to fall over). We’re tightly knotted together, echoing the shapes of each other’s bodies, still slow. Intensely physical and extraordinarily liberating.

This is it!

http://www.candoco.co.uk/
http://www.michaelmunday.com