CriticalDance Forum

Pick Up Performance Company: 2 - 4 November
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:48 am ]
Post subject:  Pick Up Performance Company: 2 - 4 November

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WHEN: Tue 2 - Thu 4 November
WHERE: The Pit, Barbican
TICKETS: 0845 120 7553

The metal folding chair is a career-long preoccupation for the New York post-modern dance legend and multi OBIE winner David Gordon, known for his elegant and often wry work. His latest piece continues this investigation of the most common of utilitarian objects in a new adaptation of the modern French classic The Chairs (1958) written by the father of Absurdist theatre, Eugéne Ionesco.

In The Chairs, an old couple attempt to pass on wisdom and life experience to guests who never arrive and whose absence is symbolised by a proliferation of empty chairs. The couple perform a partnered dance of half-remembered steps as they bark, banter and sing the text. The words fly. The chairs fly.

In this tragic farce, Gordon performs the role of the old man and his wife of 40 years, dancer and actress Valda Setterfield, takes the part of the old woman. They are joined by members of Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Company. The Chairs is performed in a new translation by Michael Feingold, featuring a commissioned score by Bang on a Can co-founder/composer Michael Gordon and with lighting by distinguished designer Jennifer Tipton.

"The highlight? The New York duo of David Gordon and Valda Setterfield in an endearing piece about couples. Filled with Pinteresque dialogue, archive recordings and everyday movement, it showed how love is there in the smallest, most prosaic details."
The Times (2003) on Dance Umbrella’s Silver Celebration

The Pit, Barbican 0845 120 7553

<small>[ 29 September 2004, 08:11 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pick Up Performance Company: 2 - 4 November

The Chairs
By Debra Craine for The Times

THE American choreographer David Gordon has always straddled dance and theatre most comfortably. And throughout his long career he has also had a thing about metal folding chairs. So what better match for the feisty post-modernist than Ionesco’s play The Chairs?

There are 50 of them in Gordon’s new staging, presented at the Barbican as part of the Dance Umbrella festival. But dance it isn’t. For although Gordon begins his production with archive footage of himself and Valda Setterfield dancing with, on and under chairs (his seminal 1974 work Chair), he quickly abandons a more full-bodied physical expression in his live staging.

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