Director’s mini blog – RISE 2019

Director’s mini blog – RISE 2019

Director’s mini blog No.1:
After three trips to Quebec, supported by The British Council and The Québec Government Office in London, and 18 months of dreaming and planning and plotting, I’m super excited RISE 2019 festival has such a strong Quebec presence. There’s going to be at least 7 Québec artists here for the whole of the weekend, dancing, screening films, talking about their work and hopefully enjoying the coastal locality.

Kick starting the whole festival is Mandoline Hybride from Montreal with ‘Singeries’. I have such vivid memories of this from when I saw it in Nov’17.
SYNOPSIS: “Trapped in the middle of a videographic fresco in which their image is multiplied and shattered, two women try to stay true to themselves… ”
MY TAKE: An intelligent and bright live and on-screen performance; artful, witty and at times a bit bonkers.

Director’s mini blog No.2:
Chang Dance Theatre Oh boy! Oh boys! There was a unified enthusiasm from the whole of the Dance North team after seeing Bon 4 Bon, choreographed by Eyal Dadon, at Dance Base last #EdFringe that kept us uplifted for days.  The stories of four brothers growing up in Taiwan are instantly relatable – perhaps universal.  From secret TV watching and something of a passion for mangos, to light hearted retelling of sibling rivalry and pure joyful dancing for the sake of dancing.  It is a rare work that gladdens and entertains and is reassuringly free of sentimentality.  It’s not made for a specific age range and I’ll go out on a dancing limb to say it would delight anyone 7/8yrs and above –  or the mango juice is on me.  Get a glimpse for yourself

Broadway Baby – ★★★★★  The List – ★★★★ The Guardian – ★★★★

Director’s mini blog No.3:
I’ve just had a preview of Katrina McPherson and Harold Rhéaume’s brand new screendance Paysages Mixted | Mixed Landscapes and it’s quite brilliant. It’s a deeply evocative, intimate film, full of glimpses history and narrative fragments. At times it’s quite unworldly, a little unnerving and always beautiful.  The absence of words, indeed absence of everything in-between the fragments, makes it a powerful work.  I saw it on the laptop and can’t wait to experience it on the big screen with full cinema sound.
Katrina and Harold’s project and the wider Dance North Scotland-Québec Connects was made possible through the support of he British Council and The Québec Government Office in London.


Director’s mini blog No.4:
Janine Harrington’s Screensaver Series touches on a couple of the threads running through work at this year’s Rise – Quebec and screens.  The choreographer is from England but the work gets it Quebec reference because the first time I found out about this extraordinary, hypnotic piece was while chatting with Janine in a café in Montreal (incidentally before a meeting with Priscilla from Priscilla from Mandoline Hybride). I was unexpectedly drawn into its mesmerising shifting patterns of Screensaver, its perpetual unfolding and folding in on itself.  The references to the now obsolete screensavers of earlier computing are clear but as you can see from the trailer, it is as much human, certainly of the living world,  inducing a sense of receptive calm.



Director’s mini blog No.5:
It’s Monday and it’s sunny and the outside is calling. A lazy blog, actually it’s quotes, about Matteo Fargion’s and my work Extremely Pedestrian Chorales. They are good quotes I think and so I’ll use them.
***** The Herald  With hand percussion, kazoos, some laptop recordings and a few wigs thrown into the mix [the dancers] delivered a clever, funny, and thought-provoking 45 mins  **** The Scotsman … strange, sometimes comic, sometimes intensely moving. … perfectly capturing the rhythmic power and grandeur of the mighty JS Bach in all his exhilarating glory.  The Guardian A dadaist riposte to Strictly Come Dancing. Irene, Lossie Singing Exercise & Tea group Karl the entertainer!
We’re on at 3pm Sunday, so there’ll be time for a post show scone.