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 Post subject: Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2003 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Intelligence of the Heart
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Nigel Charnock has long been a virtuoso deviant on the British dance scene, with the foulest mouth, the most uninhibited confessional spirit, the most confrontational attitude. Recently appointed director of Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company, his new piece for them is, disappointingly, just what you'd expect.

Intelligence of the Heart is basically a cross between a variety show and psychological role-play, with an all-singing, all-talking, all-dancing cast that riot through a string of transgressive and emotional numbers. They first appear in flamboyant fancy dress, outfitted like 18th-century goths with matted wigs, garish makeup, frock coats, chains and crosses. As they preen through a vaguely baroque dance, they exchange elaborate pick-up lines, screech obscenities at each other and engage in a bigoted debate on world religion.

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Nigel Charnock
By Donald Hutera for The Times


NIGEL CHARNOCK could be accused of exploiting, in a positive sense, a Finnish natural resource. The British choreographer unwittingly laid the groundwork for his new post as head of Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company by first creating two full-length works for the ten-strong troupe. The second, The Intelligence of the Heart, demonstrates his ability to extract copious amounts of theatrical juice from these seasoned all-rounders.

The show is an ensemble version of the sort of post-modern ontological cabaret that Charnock regularly indulges in. It’s an assemblage of verbal, musical and kinetic riffs on sex, faith, death and love. Although antithetical to Finnish character, the cast delves into Charnock’s self-conscious, hyper-articulate stream-of-emotional-consciousness whole hog.

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