Monday, 25 March 2013

INDEPEN-DANCE, Random Accomplice, Scottish Ensemble

It was about half way through Diva's performance at Stereo that I experienced a sense of temporal disorientation. I realised, with real horror, that Diva is an artist who could not have existed in my youth. It isn't just the use of a computer that sets her apart from the bands that filled my youth: it is the eclecticism of her influences. I know music writers do this sort of thing all the time, but a list of influences rarely does justice to the immediacy of a gig. Diva is mash up of  burlesque movement and costume, abstract electronica, hippy folk lyricism and sardonic humour. Or, as someone younger pointed out, like Lady Gaga before she was put through the homogenising machine.

In line with this recognition, I am no longer going to try and give my top tips a theme. I am just going with the flow. There ought to be a prize for anyone who makes a connection between these.

INDEPEN-DANCE have got a double-bill at Tramway: they have been Glasgow's most visible inclusive dance development company for longer than I remember. This time, they have invited choreographers Natasha Gilmour and Lucy Bennett to make new pieces on their dancers.

Gilmore is another powerful presence in Glasgow: if she isn't working with the Maryhill Integration Network, her own Barrowlands Ballet has a record of making community focussed dance that refuses to sacrifice professionalism for inclusion. Now. No. Now!  teams up with composer Quee McArthur,

Goldfish by Lucy Bennett follows the story of a boy who wishes he was a fish. I relate to that already...

Tramway, Glasgow

Fri 5 & Sat 6 April  7:30pm  

Random Accomplice developed their Random Bites programme so that they could get some of their shorter plays out onto the road, without having to wait for a full scale production. Having been described as one of Scotland’s most versatile and energetic companies’  in The Skinny (well, that was probably me...), it isn't surprising that they've come up with an answer to the Fawlty Towers Dining Experience.

Tips is performed by its author, Mary Gapinski. While lunch is served, she is your waitress. She muses on  marriage, serial killers and ice-cream. Take your time to order - she has got far more interesting things on her menu.

The Scottish Ensemble will cross the United States performing concerts in leading venues across the county, before they will travel to the Far East for concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, and Kaohsiung.   

It has become an important part of the annual schedule for national companies to nip abroad and show the rest of the world how great Scottish art can be. The Scottish Ensemble, who are more than happy to mix up baroque and contemporary composition, are likely to make the USA envious. And they are going to be at that Scottish Government’s Scotland Week celebrations in New York - the one that always gets in the Metro, usually with a picture of a tax exile giving the country respect. 

The press release notes: 

To mark the Ensemble’s return from the US, they will perform a ‘homecoming’ concert at Glasgow City Halls on Wednesday 24 April at 7.30pm. They will be joined by soloist Jane Irwin for Britten’s late, dramatic masterpiece,Phaedra, and sparkling arias from Handel and Purcell. The programme will also be interspersed with classic works from the Baroque string repertoire, many of which feature during their US tour. The concert also marks the end of the Ensemble’s Glasgow season focus celebrating Britten’s centenary.

Concert Programme

Handel       Concerto Grosso op. 6 No. 7 in B flat Major
Purcell       ‘Dido’s Lament’ ; ‘Hark! The Echoing Air’
Handel       ‘Ah Mio Cor’ (from Alcina)
Biber           Battalia
Purcell       Dance of the Furies ; Chacony in G ; Fantasia upon One Note
Britten       Phaedra

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