CriticalDance Forum

Arthur Pita's "Open Heart"
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Arthur Pita

Cracker for Christmas
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews Nutcracker! and Arthur Pita Open Heart at Sadler's Wells and The Place.

....Arthur Pita, launched his own company with a promising double bill involving love in the Swiss Alps, a moose with waggly ears and 30 female drummers from Glasgow.

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Author:  kurinuku [ Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Arthur Pita's "Open Heart"

Arthur Pita Open Heart

The Guardian
June 21, 2004

The seasons. Fertility. Decay. Renewal. With themes like these, CAMP could easily be toe-curlingly corny, but newcomer Arthur Pita, with only one shaky double-bill under his belt, has created a surprisingly powerful piece of dance theatre - although it takes a while to hit its stride.

Author:  Lyndsey Winship [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:48 am ]
Post subject:  Arthur Pita's 'Camp'

Arthur Pita’s 'Camp'
The Place

Arthur Pita’s 'Camp' is an intriguing, inventive piece of dance theatre, but ultimately a disappointing one. It begins with a novel concept – five dancers, four seasons, three tents and a gamut of possibilites – but while the antics of the performers keep us easily amused, it’s more difficult to really understand their motivations. What is the point of it all?

The 75-minutes of the show do skip by, which is always a plus, and the passing of time is marked onstage as spring turns to summer, then autumn and icy winter, aptly accompanied by snatches of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and atmospheric projections by Luiz Marchetti. Our campers arrive and set up their tents. There’s some flirting, some messing around, some boys trying to do skateboard tricks using their flip flops and some weirdo in his y-fronts. But from this jolly start things begin to veer into stranger territory.

A stomping camp fire dance turns bacchanalian as clothes are ripped off and the dancers also shed some of their more civilised qualities. Pita makes good use of the stage and is imaginative with props. A tent, for example, becomes a woman’s voluminous skirt, and a length of rope goes from innocent scouting accessory to hunter’s snare. But the patchwork of scenes and ideas lacks the glue to make it into something bigger.

The underlying problem is that you can’t create real drama without depth of character and some connection with the audience. Pita has assembled an experienced cast, including Robin Dingemans (DV8, Mark Morris), Michael Pomero (Russell Maliphant), Ben Ash (Ricochet) plus two female dancers Rachel Lopez de la Nieta and Tiziana Fracchiolla (both choreographers in their own right) who are particularly strong, but they don’t always have enough to work with. Pivotal moments pass by, easily ignored.

The most engaging parts of the show are a series of simple male/female duets matching the seasons, which capture the essence of a scene, character and relationship. In spring, the pairing is naive, tender, cool and detached, by summer, steamy, fevered and tactile, and subsequently aggravated and blustery come autumn. As Camp’s more ambitious elements don’t always come off, this proves that the most straightforward scenes can often be the most successful. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too clever.

Author:  corrival [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:56 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you Lyndsey Winship for your review. It sounds like a very interesting concept, I wonder if it will develop, as time goes by, into a more substantial piece. Did anyone else out there see this performance?

Author:  monkeysraincoat [ Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:59 am ]
Post subject: 

I saw it when it originally premiered in 2004. I thoroughly enjoyed it - thought it captured a rainbow of emotions and was very clever and unique. It was a truly enjoyable mix of theatre and dance and I would rate it high on the entertainment index.

By the way, two of the original cast, Jason Piper and Cody Choi are now on tour in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Jason, in fact, dances the dual role of The Swan/Stranger.


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 01, 2005 3:41 am ]
Post subject: 

By Jann Parry for The Observer

Five characters in search of their true natures go camping in all weathers, accompanied by Nigel Kennedy's idiosyncratic account of Verdi's score.

The problem is that Pita, a former member of Matthew Bourne's Adventures in Motion Pictures, starts by promising a jokey narrative show that he does not intend to deliver.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu May 12, 2005 5:13 am ]
Post subject: 

By Donald Hutera for The Times

MOST contemporary dance makers are lucky if their work plays one or two nights in a single venue. By that standard Arthur Pita is indeed fortunate. Camp, his first full-length show, opened at The Place last week. Unusually, its run at this Central London dance house continues through mid-May.

As a former member of Adventures in Motion Pictures, Pita performed in many of Matthew Bourne’s dance-based productions including The Car Man, Nutcracker! and Swan Lake. He has also choreographed the odd opera in the UK and abroad. Like Bourne, Pita’s approach to dance has pronounced theatrical leanings. These he couples with a visual sense that, even in a small-scale venue such as The Place, borders on the operatic.

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