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 Post subject: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2001 8:50 am 
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<B>Plucky white heather</B><BR>Dance Inside Somewhere/ High land, Scottish Dance Theatre<BR>Lemon Tree, Aberdeen till October 27, then touring. Ellie Carr in the Sunday Herald enjoys the programme.<P> <BR>Errol White of Scottish Dance Theatre, streamlined to his close-cropped scalp, stands centre-stage with a tourist-standard green Nessie toy, complete with tartan tammy clutched to his chest. Slowly he turns Nessie to face his audience, manipulating his fun-fur body until he is staring us out mock-menacingly like a soft toy version of Rab C Nesbitt, and then snatches him back to the safety of his chest.It's an opening gambit that requires confidence and the kind of oozy charisma that swims right out over the footlights, qualities this young company seem to have been stockpiling of late. And while it may well lose something in the translation, it is sketches such as this one -- played out as they are with the taut, hair-trigger skill of a stand-up comedian -- that power this funny, fulsome, showcase along.<P><A HREF="http://www.sundayherald.com/19360" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 1:12 am 
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Article in Scotland on Sunday on Scottish Dance theatre's current season.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Schynkel, she knew the young choreographer’s talent was "something extraordinary". They met in 1999 when Smith was a judge for the Peter Darrell Choreographic Award and Belgian-born de Schynkel - at that time a dancer with Rambert - was one of the finalists. From that first meeting, says Smith, it was clear that the panel had found a winner. <P>"We could tell from the video of his work that he had talent," she recalls. "But when you talk to Jan there is the same intensity you find in his movement and it has to find an outlet. I remember thinking, he has to make work or he’s going to burst!" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=183752002&rware=NZRUPPXHVAKV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=2" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:58 pm 
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Article in The Scotsman.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>No pain, no gain is a widely accepted phrase among the dance fraternity. Sore feet and aching limbs go with the territory, but even so, watching Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) rehearse Jan de Schynkel’s latest creation, you can’t help but wince. Spines crash against the floor; knees bang as though they are made of plastic . But this is de Schynkel’s second visit to the Dundee company, so at least the dancers know what to expect. <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=187882002&rware=HZSVPQZFMBKV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 4:35 am 
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It will be interesting to see how SDT fares once the plan to change Scottish Ballet to a contemporary company, is carried through? I understand that it did not want to grow larger and wants to stay a small company. Is there such a big audience for contemporary dance in Scotland - ie outside the festivals, for the people always resident there?


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 1:21 am 
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Article in the Herald.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> <P><BR>He's the Daddy of the dance<P>Choreographer Jan de Schynkel's career has taken great steps. <P>MARY BRENNAN talks to him about his new work which first foots in Dundee<P><BR>For some choreographers, thinking up the title for a new piece can be as taxing as making the actual steps. Should it - like the varnish that does what it says on the tin - tell audiences what they should expect to see? Should it be a joke they won't get until the end? Or - and this is Jan de Schynkel's forte - should it make you curious, intrigued . . . like the forthcoming Daddy I'm Not Well, which receives its premiere in Dundee tomorrow night.<P> <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.theherald.co.uk/arts/archive/21-2-19102-22-0-0.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:11 am 
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<B>Scottish Dance Theatre<BR>Dundee Rep<BR>Mary Brennan</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Trust to instincts - especially the primitive ones - when watching Daddy I'm Not Well (premiered last week). And resist analysing why choreographer Jan de Schynkel has suspended a ginormous meat-hook, and what look suspiciously like two separated (giant) testicles above the stage. Just accept that these objects - like the dancers' fur hats, yeti boots, and side-slashed frock coats - are dramatic devices to suggest a barbarous landscape where savage emotions may pounce at any time. As indeed they do, in this intense and visceral account of a dysfunctional family with a fraught father/son relationship at its core.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><A HREF="http://www.theherald.co.uk/arts/arts_home.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more....</B></A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 19, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2002 8:01 am 
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<B>Scottish Dance Theatre</B><BR>By Ellie Carr for The Sunday Herald. Also reviewed are 'Madame Butterfly' and 'Waterwall'<BR> <P>A giant butcher's hook hangs menacingly from the ceiling. A pair of what look alarmingly like giant testicles swing pendulum-like across the front of the stage. The surreal set for rising star Jan de Schynkel's second piece for Scottish Dance Theatre looks like the site of some serious sado-masochism. But the dysfunction at the heart of Daddy I'm Not Well is of the hidden, family variety rather than the kind that wears a PVC mask.<P>Partly inspired by Oedipus, the Oresteia and the paintings of Francis Bacon, this arresting work pivots around an abusive father/son relationship underpinned by a sexual violence that keeps a family of four locked into a vivid cycle of pain and regret. The jaggy, cartoonish landscape of Phyllis Byrne's set is a neat metaphor for the emotional rocks this family throw at each other -- as is the oddly eloquent movement language of off-kilter balances and dislocated virtuosity.<P><A HREF="http://www.sundayherald.com/22682" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P>*******************************************<P><B>Daddy I’m Not Well / High Land</B> <BR>by Christopher Bowen in Scotland on Sunday. Also reviewed is Madame Butterfly <P><BR>DYSFUNCTIONAL families seem to be occupying the minds of Scotland’s visiting choreographers. In Edinburgh, Northern Ballet Theatre’s Madame Butterfly, choreographed by the company’s new director, David Nixon, showed the faithless Pinkerton as a particularly feeble character who (literally) flees from his responsibilities towards his young Japanese ‘wife’, leaving his American bride to deal with the messy business of adopting Butterfly’s child. I’d give that marriage six months. <P>Meanwhile, in Dundee, Jan de Schynkel’s Daddy I’m Not Well presented all manner of familial turmoil, albeit in a less clearly defined narrative.<P><A HREF="http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=237642002&rware=MVVCLTAKNCKV&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=2" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2002 1:31 pm 
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<B>COMPANY AUDITIONS GIVE YOUNGSTERS CHANCE TO DANCE</B><BR>From The Press and Journal (North Scotland)<P><BR>DANCE enthusiasts are being offered a chance to audition for a place in a new North-east youth dance company.<P>Contemporary Youth Dance is looking for promising young dancers interested in working with top choreographers and performing throughout Scotland.<P>Dancers in and around Banchory will have a chance to audition for the new company from 4.30pm to 6pm on Monday, March 18, at Banchory Academy.<P><A HREF="http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=84092&command=displayContent&sourceNode=83929&contentPK=1185172" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2002 7:37 am 
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Image <BR><small>Scottish Dance Theatre</small><P><B>Scottish Dance Theatre</B><BR>The Place Theatre,15th March 2002<P><BR>BY LUCIANA BRETT<P><BR>The first thing that strikes you about Janet Smith’s ‘High land’ isn’t the green, toy monster that stares at you, boggled-eyed, from the centre of the stage; but the boyish enthusiasm of its puppeteer. In fact it’s the fresh, almost innocent enjoyment expressed by all seven dancers, a quality rarely seen on the London contemporary dance stage, that keeps you enchanted until the very end. <P>The Scottish Dance Theatre, which started out as a community dance group back in the mid 80’s, appointed Janet Smith as artistic director in 1997. Since then the company haven’t looked back, progressing rapidly in their craft and sophistication. ‘High land’ captures this sense of excitement beautifully.<P>The question inevitably occurs: is it a cliché for a Scottish dance group to perform a host of traditional Scottish images?<P>It might be. But the piece is constructed with such a lighthearted and joyous tone that one can’t help but be drawn into its irreverent spirit. Laughter rippled through the audience at the sight of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ emerging from behind a raised platform, as the dancers arched their backs, one by one, to form its scaly spine. Or smile at their clownish mockery of the highland hill-walkers in their anoraks.<P>The dance follows a traditional choreographic structure, with solos, duets, trios and quartets dividing the piece into equal sections. But there are a number of unexpected shifts in tempo and dynamic which take you by surprise. All of a sudden, for example, the company line themselves along the back. Their sequence is visually complicated as each dancer, in a different order, bursts forward with a jump, turn or twist before they resume their original positions.<P>In the second piece, there is a total mood change. ‘Daddy I’m not well’, choreographed by guest artist Jan De Schynkel, tried hard to provoke and shock us.<P>Inspired, or was it muddled, by an indigestible mix of influences: Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, paintings by Francis Bacon and text by T.S. Eliot, De Schynkel seemed to entangle his quartet of dancers in a complicated web of emotions. He also surrounded them with a bizarre array of props. Costumes were made up of Russian-style fur coats, hats and boots, and the set design included a large purple hook suspended above the floor by a metal chain and two hanging sacks in flesh coloured material. It was hard to see how one thing related to another.<P>The piece was technically demanding and the dancers certainly coped well with its numerous arabesques, balances and turns but the meaning behind De Schynkel’s gestural vocabulary remained obscure. The audience were left without any convincing insight into the work’s stated themes. Provocative actions became simply effects. <BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 18, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2002 2:58 am 
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I've consolidated two threads, including these two reviews posted by Emma: <P><B>Scottish Dance Theatre</B><BR>4 stars (out of 5)<BR>Robin Howard Dance Theatre, London<BR>Judith Mackrell<BR>Guardian<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Over 20 years ago Janet Smith choreographed her gentle parody of English sporting manners, Square Leg, which she followed with equally fond vignettes of Lowry cityscapes and Whitby fishing folk. Now Smith is director of Scottish Dance Theatre, and she has turned her choreographic lens north of the border. The result, High Land, mixes her powers of comic, geographical observation with dance of sinewy and stirring invention. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4376833,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>****************************************<P><B>Scottish Dance Theatre</B><BR>by Donald Hutera<BR>Dance: The Place, London WC1<BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>WHILE Scottish Ballet has been swimming in a sea of troubles over the past few seasons, Scottish Dance Theatre appears to be riding a wave of good fortune. <BR>Last autumn Janet Smith’s Dundee-based repertory company grew from six to eight dancers, all of whom will be on permanent contracts from the end of June. This appealingly individual group visited The Place in London as part of a UK tour that finishes in May. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <BR><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,685-241147,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2002 4:50 am 
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<B>From Nessie to messy</B> <BR>BY NADINE MEISNER for The Independent - United Kingdom<P><BR>JANET SMITH has pulled Scottish Dance Theatre up by its bootstraps since she took over as director in 1997. The Dundee-based company now enjoys a higher profile and favourable press coverage as it tours the British Isles. Its eight dancers are young, polished and physically alluring. They slot smoothly into a contemporary dance package moulded in Smith's own accessible choreographic style and designed to appeal to a broad cross-section. SDT deserves to be promoted to Scotland's premier contemporary ensemble, rather than be diminished by competition from Scottish Ballet, which is in the process of being rebranded as a kind of northern Rambert.<P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020319001112&query=dance" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited March 19, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 1:08 am 
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More praise for Janet Smith:<P><B>A stepping out in style</B> <BR>BY KELLY APTER in The Scotsman <P><BR>Scottish Dance Theatre Dundee Rep **** <P>COULD Janet Smith's High Land be one of the most accessible works of contemporary dance ever created? It might just be.<P>From the opening sequence, when a cuddly green Nessie turns shyly towards the audience, she has the crowd in the palm of her hand.<P>A whirlwind trip through Scotland's idiosyncrasies, the mood shifts from comic whimsy to atmospheric austerity, from tartan tack to historical tragedy. It's a loving look at a country Yorkshire-born Smith has embraced with the fondness of a native but the objectivity of an outsider.<P>Smith and composer Christopher Benstead capture the almost poetic beauty of the Scottish landscape before taking an affectionate swipe at annoying midges, raucous ceilidhs and discordant bagpipes.<P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020513004537&query=dance" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 3:53 am 
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Article in The Herald on Scottish Dance Theatre's Autumn tour.

Quote:
It's the last few days before Scottish Dance Theatre sets off on its autumn tour. Time for everybody to get back in the studio: for Tom Roden and Pete Shenton (aka New Art Club) to jet back from performing in Philadelphia and put the finishing touches to their new work for the company. Time for the company, which currently numbers eight, with four of them newcomers to SDT, to flex ensemble muscle and prepare to take on some of Scotland's largest, most prestigious stages.

MORE

<small>[ 09-13-2002, 05:54: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2002 1:04 pm 
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Things to make you go hmmm ...
Well known for its sense of adventure and fun, Scottish Dance Theatre has drafted in a pair of maverick guest choreographers. They're out for revenge, finds Ellie Carr for The Sunday Herald, but on who or what?


Filing down the narrow steps of Scottish Dance Theatre's cramped studio space to watch rehearsals for their Autumn Tour premiere, Revenge Of the Impossible Things -- I feel I've stepped into a strange, shape-shifting world where anything can happen.
The work's creators are Tom Roden and Pete Shenton, joint artistic directors of New Art Club (formerly Air Dance Company). They are lobbing one-liners around the room like ping-pong balls -- which, incidentally, have featured heavily in their oeuvre.

'That lift is looking really good,' deadpans Roden to a pair of dancers in mid-flight. 'If we want it to look really boring.'

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 Post subject: Re: Scottish Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2002 3:54 am 
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Another review from The Sunday Herald.

Quote:
Confession time. Halfway through Revenge Of The Impossible Things, tears are rolling down my cheeks with such force that I can no longer put pen to paper and take notes.
Why? Because this Buzzcocks-soundtracked, half-hour excursion into the mad world of maverick choreographers Tom Roden and Pete Shenton (aka New Art Club) is back-achingly, stomach-creasingly funny.

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