A double bill of works by choreographers Bettina Strickler and Robert Clark with Shift Dance, the MA Dance Performance and Choreography repertory performance company, at the University of Bedfordshire.

The Company

  • Hannah Birch
  • Louise Douse
  • Kirsty Lee Russell

The Repertoire

‘A Short Introduction to Rhyming English’

Choreography: Bettina Strickler

Music: Johann Strauss, Eduard Strauss, traditional hornpipe and drum display.

How would you explain some of the intricacies of the English language to visitors from a foreign planet? How could you use your body to articulate and demonstrate the sound and specific character of words? These were some of the questions asked at the start of rehearsals for this tongue-in-cheek work. Three dancers attempt to illuminate clusters of rhyming words through movement – in the process, their communication and interpersonal skills are severely tested…

‘Tides’

Choreography: Robert Clark

Music: Melancholia II by William Basinski; Coffee Shop Restaurant Cafe Ambience Sound Effects by Essential Sound Effects; La Ligne by Herve Savioz; Untitled by Wovenhand; Brimstone Power by 16 Horsepower. Sound editing by Robert Clark.

“No siren did ever so charm the ear of the listener as the listening ear has charmed the soul of the siren” Horace

Created as a collaboration between choreographer Robert Clark and the performers Tides is a distillation of the many mythologies that centre around the archetype of the triple deity or female trio (the three graces, the sirens, Mermaid stories, the witches of Macbeth and the Ugly sisters of Cinderella amongst others). Exploring the theme of belief, seduction, death, power, revenge and tenderness that arise from these mythologies, Tides imposes these references onto the presence of the three female performers, asking them to open themselves to the ghosts of these narratives to become living representations of this archetype. Through a movement vocabulary that ranges across the pedestrian, the dynamic, the abstract and fluid expansive sequences, the work drifts dreamlike into existence and fades back into the dark, existing only as an echo of the myths from which it emerged.

 

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