CriticalDance Forum

New DV8 production
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Author:  Marie [ Tue Jul 25, 2000 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  New DV8 production

DV8 has webpages up for their new show, "can we afford this" <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <BR>and with a cast of 17, it makes me wonder...i am certainly in awe of the number of performers.<P>i've only ever seen the film for "enter achilles", does anyone have any insights into this company's work? <P>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Aug 07, 2000 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

Image <P>hand-bill for 'Strange Fish' by DV8<P><BR>Marie, apologies for not getting back on this sooner.<P>You're not alone, a lot of people are in awe of Lloyd Newson and DV8. He produces no more 1 piece per year and the Company spends a lot of time outside of the UK - they really love his work in Continental Europe.<P>The first thing that comes to my mind is the way he deals with alienation in a raw, no-holds barred style. Another key aspect is the use of everyday movement as a vocabulary to create complex and fascinating dance. 'Enter Achilles', which I have only seen on video and deals with violent lads in a pub, is a prime example of both these points. When I first saw it, I remember for the first minute or so thinking - where's the dancing - and then becoming spellbound as this mundane movement was transformed into a language to express the hostility and phobias of the characters.<P>Last year I saw 'The Happiest Day of My Life' at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, which is about romantic ideals in a clubbing setting in the North of England. It worked very well and I remember one section where the performers slid over, across and round a settee to weave a magical dance sequence. The second half features a living room which transformed into a swimming pool, so a knowledge of breast stroke was added to expertise in Graham, Cunningham or whatever technique, as requirements for the the audition. Despite all the theatrical business, the style never dominated the content with the emotions and tensions of the lives of the characters always taking centre stage.<P>From my experience, there's nothing quite like it. If you go to the two links below and type in DV8 in the Company or Organisation boxes you will get several reviews of his last two works and also some interviews/features on's great database. Note that in the second section the first few articles that deal with the sad death of Jeremy James, who worked with DV8 at one time.<P>The new work 'can we afford this' comes to London next month and you've reminded me that I must get tickets soon as a DV8 visit to London is a much sought after event. <P><BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 07, 2000).]

Author:  Marie [ Mon Aug 21, 2000 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

Thanks for your insight Stuart, very much appreciated. I guess I'll have to either get to Australia or the UK to catch DV8... Image

Author:  grace [ Mon Aug 21, 2000 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

DV8's sydney performance, in august 2000, is reviwed in this thread:<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>

Author:  Jennifer [ Thu Aug 24, 2000 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

I need to hold my hands over the keys of my laptop and try to find the right words to express how I feel about DV8’s Sydney debut, after seeing "Can We Afford This" a couple of nights ago. This was the first time I had seen the company perform live -I'd only seen the video of Lloyd Newson's “Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men.”<P>When I entered the theatre of Sydney's Seymour Centre (on a University Campus), I was prepared for a radical production, one that magnified human emotions and presented them graphically for all to see. “Can We Afford This” took me - through a series of tableaus, theatrical skits, solos, duets, circus-like acts and synchronized group dances - on a tumultuous, yet satisfying emotional journey. I laughed at the reality of the skits exploring human interaction, glared at a naked performer as he jiggled his genitals and told us what our seats would cost if we wished to see a dancer perform naked, empathized with the plight of a legless man while another man victimized him with the questions we all ask when faced with the “abnormal” and sighed in disbelief at another performer’s technical expertise. <P>Newson's newest production left me with the feeling of incoherence I have after a bizarre dream that leaves me asking: “Where does the dream end and reality begin?” At the same time, I found myself making connections between the imagined –in this case, the performance- and real events. The choreography can’t be put into a niche or likened to anything else. For instance, a tall dancer spends most of the show doubled over walking on the balls of her feet and her hands. It isn’t until the legless man is seated on her hips, making her legs appear as though they belong to him, that the audience sees how this “weird” choreography might have evolved.<P>If you get the chance to go along I suggest you do just that!<P>------------------<BR>[This message has been edited by Jennifer]<BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Aug 26, 2000 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

Many thanks Jennifer for your vivid comments on the new DV8. My No. 1 priority for Sunday is to book tickets for the London performances in September. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 26, 2000).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Aug 28, 2000 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

Caroline Baum interviews Lloyd Newsom, who tells us about the money problems that are a constant stress factor as he has to do so much himself. He plans to have a stress free sabbatical working as a receptionist, or something similar, to pay the bills. I guess that a lot of us have set off to a problem filled day at work and seen a postman and thought , 'That looks like a good job.' Hmm…. I wonder how long before he would be bored rigid though. <P><BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>Lloyd Newsom interview</B></A><P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 29, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Tue Aug 29, 2000 3:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

moved from another thread - august 20:<P>jill sykes (sydney morning herald) reviews "The Cost of Living"<P> "Cerebral dance includes the<BR> legless, the elderly and the obese"<P> "....piercing images<BR> and vignettes that you won't forget - that will make you think<BR> differently. At its best, it is a mixture of the shattering, the<BR> hilarious and the deeply affecting. ---It also explores the toll<BR> that life itself takes on a human being.<P> This juxtaposition of humour and horror gives The Cost of<BR> Living its edge" <BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P><BR>marie, you don't have to go to hong kong or australia. DV8 bring this show to the South Bank, September 18 to 29:<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited September 02, 2000).]

Author:  Marie [ Tue Aug 29, 2000 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

ha ha grace, south bank is still a long way from canada. Image<BR>thanks stuart for the link to the newsom interview. i was beginning to think he was somewhat like the wizard of oz hiding behind the curtain (especially after reading the dv8 bulletin board where the term svengali seems about to roll off everyone's tongue).<BR>great review jennifer--very insightful.

Author:  grace [ Wed Aug 30, 2000 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

just found 'the independent' article about newson, by caroline baum. really interesting. i had forgotten that he is australian...<P>anyway, wanted to highlight a few different bits to what stuart noticed:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"When I arrived here the festival had put me in a big posh<BR> hotel, so I moved to a cheaper apartment so that I could buy<BR> another dancer", says Newson. " - - -<P>"Newson's<BR> latest work deals with our preoccupation with appearances<BR> and the human tendency to present a smooth surface while<BR> underneath everything is crumbling. Newson himself<BR> recognises the toll of the ageing process. "I wake up and feel<BR> as if I've been beaten. This piece represents my desire for<BR> innocence and my dream of a body that does not deteriorate."" - - -<P>Sydney audiences have reacted positively to Newson's gags,<BR> but for the dancers, the rehearsal process has been anything<BR> but fun, judging by the rumours escaping from rehearsals.<BR> Several performers have confessed that the experience of<BR> working with Newson has been extremely frustrating,<BR> downright miserable and more than acceptably gruelling. - - -<P>Newson refuses to take curtain calls to protect his anonymity,<BR> which he insists is vital to his research. "If you are exploring<BR> the underbelly of society, you can't afford to be recognised," he<BR> insists. "I am sure hundreds here would recognise Pina<BR> Bausch but I won't allow myself to be photographed. " <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Author:  grace [ Wed Aug 30, 2000 4:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

marie - sorry about the geography! for no reason i can identify, i assumed you were in england! Image

Author:  grace [ Sat Sep 02, 2000 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

<A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P>carol dilley, an american completing an MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle writes:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Newson is Australian, though he has made his name in London with an impressive body of impactful, socially relevant physical theater works which are, in my humble opinion, as good as it gets in contemporary dance today. This new work, however, is not one of his best. It was originally commissioned for Lunar Park, an amusement park on the harbor right across from the opera house. Due to structural safety problems at the site, however, it was re-assigned last March to a regular theater, thus rendering the remaining whispers of amusement park imagery woefully out of context. - - - <P>"The Cost of Living" (formerly titled Funnyland, Wasted, and Can We Afford This) reflects the adverse conditions in which it was created. Even large sums of money, a dynamic director, the pick of international dancers and a sympathetic media could not remedy the wandering lack of purpose. It seems that Newson was unable to salvage a coherent piece from the chaos of the circumstances and "The Cost of Living comes off as more of a showcase of ideas than a completed theatrical event. - - -<P>In the difficult world of creation upon demand, it is easy to understand how it happened. There was too much money, too many ideas, too much bureaucracy and not enough time to clean up the mess, for creation is a messy business. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 09, 2000).]

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Sep 09, 2000 4:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

Rupert Mellor interviews Lloyd Newson about his new work and the background to his company. I think this one works very well, giving details about the preparation for the new work and the alienation that Newson feels towards the traditional dance scene. It doesn't mater whether he is 'right' or not, but rather whether it has served as a potent source of inspiration. From what i have seen it clearly has.<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It is 20 years since DV8's leader Lloyd Newson left his native Australia for the UK in pursuit of a career in dance. Swiftly securing a scholarship to the London School of Contemporary Dance, he followed that with work at Extemporary Dance, until he became overwhelmed by the sense that his brain was about to implode. "You all have to do the same steps, move in the same way, so actually it's all about reductionism to make everybody look identical on stage," he explains. <P>The obsessive pursuit of technique had, he felt, drained dance of its power to address the concerns of "real people". "I was bored of pretending, trying to fool audiences that we were saying something when all we were really doing was step-arranging. What's the difference between step-arranging and flower-arranging?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank>Now read on</A>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Sep 20, 2000 10:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

DV8 opens in London and the critics think that it's enjoyable and definitely worth seeing, but does not have quite the focus of his previous work.<P><A HREF="Http://" TARGET=_blank>Donald Huters in The Times</A><P><BR><A HREF="Http://" TARGET=_blank>Ismene Brown in The Telegraph</A><P><BR><A HREF="Http://" TARGET=_blank>Nadine Meisner in The Independent</A>

Author:  Tuk [ Thu Sep 21, 2000 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New DV8 production

DV8 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London by Judith Mackrell Thursday September 21, 2000 <A HREF=",3604,371137,00.html" TARGET=_blank>,3604,371137,00.html</A> <BR>

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