CriticalDance Forum

Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:52 am ]
Post subject:  Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

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TICKETS: 020 7304 4000

A Dance Umbrella commission, Bird Song is presented in the round, bringing the audience strikingly close to the dancers.

Award winning choreographer Siobhan Davies has collaborated with visual artist David Ward and sound artist Andy Pink to create an extraordinary, full-on sensory experience as film, light and video sweep across her remarkable dancers to the accompaniment of an intriguing score. Bird Song draws on over one hundred different sound sources as inspiration, from classical music to jazz and baroque to digital samples. At the heart of the piece is the first sound to initiate the process: the song of the Australian Pied Butcher.

"This is a sculpture of space, cut through by light and movement… an enigmatic experience of light quite unlike conventional theatre effects."
The Daily Telegraph

Sun 24 Oct
Free to ticket holders after the matinée.

<small>[ 06 November 2004, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Staccato buttocks

the Daily Telegraph

Siobhan Davies, by contrast, is a poet of small things, whose exploration and distillation of detail is magnified by the power she focuses on them.
more in the second part of the linked article

Author:  Admin [ Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Siobhan Davies Dance Company

the Guardian

The sound is a deliberate assault on the dancers, who appear to be flung around by its force - catapulted into flailing, staggered lines, or dashed, twisting, to the floor. For the audience, seated on all four sides of the stage, the combination of driven energy and savage pattern making is overwhelming...

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 24, 2004 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Move over, starling

The Observer
October 24, 2004

For Siobahn Davies's Bird Song, the Linbury space was reconfigured to place part of the audience in the round. Seen from above, the dancers appeared poised in a pool of light; from the sides, if one's view was partially obscured, following a particular performer was like trying to locate a bird in a forest clearing.

Author:  eschwyzer [ Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Siobhan Davies Dance Company
"Bird Song"
Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London
Thursday October 21, 2004

by Elizabeth Schwyzer

Halfway through Bird Song, the Australian Pied Butcher bird warbles its beguiling cry, and long-limbed Henry Montes responds. As the bird’s cry slips beneath his skin, his movements describe not mimicry but possession. He shudders with an intimate awakening as sexual as springtime, and just as sweet and fresh. His body sings. It’s from this central song that the dance radiates outward, passing through seasons and moods at turns harsh, melancholy, and gently curious.

Davies chose to set Bird Song in the round, a physical structure that reflects the radiating structure of the choreography itself. The dancers extend towards the encircling audience and retreat in relation to one centre. Light and sound come from above, enclosing the audience in a shared space with the performers. Adrian Plaut’s lighting is evocative, haunting, and beautifully integrated. Under the stark, grey light of a full moon, the dance takes on a frightening intensity, the dancers compelled through a bleak, barren landscape. David Ward’s visuals—shimmering pixels and flashing arcs of light—seem to dance and sing to the wide-ranging musical score, arranged by Andy Pink.

From the onset, the dancers operate with finely-tuned flock mentality. As one undulating body they stop and go, freeze and rewind, cower and twitch.
Whether they move in one large group or many smaller ones, movement vocabulary is established, picked up, and translated. Two dancers lie on their backs and slide their arms along the floor like children making snow angels. In another corner, four dancers begin to swing their arms from the shoulder socket, creating lines, through space that diverge, convene, and describe the space between them.

In this austere landscape, music, movement, lighting and visual effects are not so much complementary elements as indivisible parts of a whole. The dancers lunge, skip and dart like water droplets dancing on a hot frying pan; the crackle of static punctuates the space. Pulsing pixels appear on the blank floor and the dancers freeze as if caught in headlights.

The rich layering of Bird Song and its multi-directional space create effects so complex that at times it’s impossible to track each theme. Solos become treasured moments of intent focus. Deborah Saxon explores space with other-worldly, puppet-like lankiness. Her arms and head establish a hold on space and hang still as she winds her way around her own limbs, changing direction with luxurious precision.

Other treasures come in unexpected places—a flash of mind-bogglingly fast, understated footwork explodes and dies down, Sarah Warsop’s metronomic legs swing through space, Tammy Arjona hops and twitches like a tiny sparrow. The thing is, it’s all so exquisitely matter-of-fact, so satisfyingly un-psychological; you have to be really watching.

Birdsong may be abstract, but it’s certainly not inhuman. The dancers share definite relationships, such as the delicate tenderness between Saxon and Montes towards the dance’s closing. When a third dancer interrupts their tender duet and cuts diagonally across the space to a broken classical score, it’s a jarring interruption, making us suddenly recognize our thirst for fluidity.

Author:  Rosella [ Tue Oct 26, 2004 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

I found the lighting arrangement functioned as a kind of disembodied partner to the dancers' movement phrases, very impressive...those who benefited from a vision from above definitely enjoyed it more, I was in the first row of seats facing the moving bodies and almost breathing the same air....and could not fully appreciate the everchanging lighting patterns forming on stage...

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Bird Song, Linbury Studio Theatre, London

The Independent
October 28, 2004

It is performed in the round, the dancers surrounded by the audience and by David Ward's brilliant designs. Light scrolls across the stage, over the dancers, like a cloud shadow. Bright spots shiver on the floor, as if shaken by wind.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 31, 2004 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

By David Dougill for The Times

The Siobhan Davies Dance Company’s latest production, Bird Song, came to the Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden, where the seating was reconfigured in a square, to give varying views of the dance and close contact with the dancers. Adrian Plaut’s ingenious lighting floods the floor with wipes and washes of changing colours, creating separate, mysterious spaces in which the troupe of eight (each a compelling performer) cluster and rush, crawl and process — or split up for intricate solos and duets.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Siobhan Davies Dance Company: 20 - 24 October

Bird Song
By Gavin roebuck for The Stage

Sound is central to this work, with more than a hundred different sound sources from classical to jazz and the latest digital samplings. At its heart is the song of the Australian Pied Butcher Bird, which is a series of notes it rearranges into different sequences of signalling and display. Rather than being birds, the dancers explore the shape of the sounds scored by Andy Pink.

click for more

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