CriticalDance Forum

Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:51 am ]
Post subject:  Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

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TICKETS: 020 7387 0031

Set in a futuristic garden of white, translucent and luminous forms, Jardin Blanc intertwines a surreal language of dance, human behaviour, text, music and song in this stunning new production. The dramatic staging of tall, majestic columns and evocative shapes of interlocking fibres and light suggests both plant-like forms and architectural structures, allowing the definitions of interior and exterior to be intriguingly ambiguous. The performers move hypnotically through subtly changing seasons, articulating intricate patterns in their fantastical landscape.

For Jardin Blanc, Yolande Snaith brings together a unique and talented group of artistic collaborators and powerful performers to create a spellbinding and surreal world. The collaborations on this production are with visual artist Sharon Marston, theatre/garden designer Miranda Melville, writer Adele Shank, lighting designer Chahine Yavroyan and composers Jean-Jaques Palix and David Coulter.

"She is a theatre poet who uses scenery, costumes, props, music and dance to create her peculiar wonderlands. If Yolande Snaith were a playwright or visual artist, her work would be ranked with that of other such imaginative experimentalists as Caryl Churchill or Rachel Whiteread."
Financial Times 2000

<small>[ 29 September 2004, 08:07 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Rosella [ Tue Oct 26, 2004 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

very inspiring piece, sophisticated in the costumes articulated in the choreography and beautiful in the scenography-lighting...
furthermore the intersection between the music-sound and the spoken words resulted in an aura which transcended the time and space we were inhabiting!

Author:  kurinuku [ Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

Yolande Snaith Theatredance

The Guardian
October 27, 2004

Given the rich imagery supplied by her team, Snaith has only to animate their input. Her five dancers rove the stage, pausing to coil into a lovers' embrace, or to languish in a noon-day stupor.

Author:  Rosella [ Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, London, 25th October 2004

Dance and gardens, dancing gardens, gardens as dances. According to the study of dance historian Jennifer Nevile, during the Italian Renaissance the creation of gardens and the writing of dance treaties bore several similarities in terms of space control and shaping. In seventeenth and eighteenth century France this correspondence seems to have further developed with even more intricated patterns. "Jardin Blanc" by Yolande Snaith Theatredance, especially commissioned by Dance Umbrella, does not follow this tradition, at least not entirely. Snaith and some of her numerous collaborators, have researched the idea of 'gardens of movement', as she puts in the programme, for two years. They have visited all sort of gardens, from English country gardens to cactus gardens in the California desert. The result is an articulated work, that confirms Snaith's virtuoso capacity for visual works where all the aspects of the performance actively interact with each other.

There is a flowy synergie between all these components. To name a few, Jean-Jaques Palix's music which is never too intruding, the visual part, a combination of the work of visual artist Sharon Martston, theatre designer Miranda Melville and lighting designer Chaine Yavroyan, is refined and poetic. The spoken texts by Adele Edling-Shank is particularly warm and swinging, especially thanks to the device of what has been termed as the 'talking light', that is a kind of Japanese lamp from which the voice comes in some lyrical moments of the piece. And of course, Snaith's choreography, beautifully mingled with the moving props, at times characterised by sustained group phrases, at times by solo pieces or pas de deux, rich in delicacy and tenderness.

Among the moving props, what caught my attention was the white columnlike scultpure placed on the left of the stage, it represented a sort of magnet during different phases of the performance when some of the surreal 'gardeners of movement' explored it, touched and caressed it, hid behind it….the opening scene presented a transparent curtain which diagonally cut the stage, behind it one of the dancers appeared to initiate us into the dreamlike world of "Jardin Blanc". The dancers were dressed in white and only after a closer look did I notice the fine plant drawings which were almost appearing and disappearing from the folds of the fabric as the dancers swang and turned in their movement phrases.

Of particular visual impact was the abrupt unfolding of a flame red curtain that cuts the stage in an opposite diagonale with respect to the initial transparent curtain. This event opened a tango flavoured episode with a sensual duet and the figure of a third dancer jelously looking at the two lovers. This touch of red was explained by Sanith herself in the enriching talk which followed the performance. It was inspired by mediterranean gardens and the way the sun sometimes hits the terracotta so typical of those areas. This warmth is embodied in the colour of passion par excellence, that is red. Following different questions from the audience and from Betsy Gregory, Associate Artistic Director of Dance Umbrella, who was chairing the talk, we find out that the idea of 'a garden of movement' is also very much associated with the idea of home and England. Yolande Snaith is now living and working in the United States and she has suffered from a cultural dislocation which has affected the genesis and development of "Jardinn Blanc". Nevertheless the piece benefits from the cultural diverse background of the dancers none of whom is English.

Dance and gardens, dancing gardens, gardens as dances. A recurring image remains stamped in my mind, that of the bubbled white and long skirt worn by one of the two male dancers, he ritualistically walks in it, he crawls in it, he repeatedly turns in it at the far back of the stage and circling the talking light in the front part of the stage…hypnotic sets of whirpools echoing the key words pronounced at the beginning and at the end of the performance: "Have I seen this garden or have I dreamt it?"

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

Yolande Snaith
By Donald Hutera for The Times

THE British choreographer Yolande Snaith’s speciality is a hybrid theatre of images, sound and movement. After a few years abroad, this genteel eccentric is back on home turf with a new production.

The Dance Umbrella presentation Jardin Blanc isn’t really “about” gardens. Rather it is an attempt to create an imaginary, garden-like retreat on stage, a place of comfort, fantasy and romance.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

Jardin Blanc
By Katie Phillips for The Stage

Choreographers often fuse dance with new media or installation art but few toy with lights in the way this production does. The atmosphere created by silken, squishy pale costumes and a blue bathed set with plastic sheets like the bow of a boat, is soft, warm and enchanting.

Snaith has created an underwater world, where deep, deep down, strange crustaceans and sea creatures light up like electrical toys.

click for more

Author:  kurinuku [ Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yolande Snaith Theatre Dance: 25 & 26 October

Suspend and disbelieve

the Independent

Jardin Blanc is often baggy, overextending ideas or allowing them to get cute.
more in the final part of the linked article

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