Dance highlights 2015
By Mark Brown
Much of the dance programmed for Scottish stages in the coming year carries the signature of an influential international artist. From the great Irish poet WB Yeats, to famous American dramatist Tennessee Williams and acclaimed, contemporary Norwegian physical theatre maker Jo Strømgren, we will be seeing work inspired by or, as in the case of Strømgren, created by major artists from beyond our shores.
There are, no doubt, dance purists who have a certain disdain for the circus-related art form known as “aerial dance”. They might do well to avoid The Second Coming (Tramway, Glasgow, January 16-19).
The piece is inspired by the life and work of Yeats and is co-produced by Irish collaborators Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company and Hawk’s Well Theatre. It combines live aerial dance, film and live traditional Irish dance, music and song.
Presented as part of the Celtic Connections festival, the show has been praised highly by Julian Erskine, senior executive producer on Riverdance; but don’t let that put you off.
There’s a considerable leap (an aerial one, perhaps) from the Irish hybrid production to Scottish Ballet’s revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (Eden Court, Inverness, March 12-14; Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, March 18-21), which plays Scottish dates before setting out for London and an extensive tour of the United States. Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and directed by Nancy Meckler, this impressive ballet is remarkably faithful to both the spirit and the narrative of Williams’s great play.
A final word on Scottish Dance Theatre, whose busy 2015 programme includes Strømgren’s darkly humorous Winter, Again (Dundee Rep, February 13 & 14; Traverse, Edinburgh, February 19).
The Norwegian artist thrilled Edinburgh Fringe audiences back in the days of the much-loved Aurora Nova programme. It’s great to see SDT producing one of his visually memorable works.
This feature was originally published in the Sunday Herald on December 28, 2014
© Mark Brown