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The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

Title: Dance Work

Work: Embarque

Summary

First performed by Rambert Dance Company in 1988, Embarque was created after Davies' visit to America and is another work that seems to be influenced by her American experiences. Music is by Steve Reich, the minimalist composer. The texture of the music changes as the work progresses creating a continuous series of subtly different sound-worlds and rhythmic patterns throughout the piece.

Analysis

‘The constantly shifting structures of Steve Reich's composition Octet (1979) equalled Davies’ sense of the vast distances she and her family had travelled in the United States while she was on a Fullbright Arts Award. The subtle changes that took place over the endless miles of landscape could have gone unnoticed. However, Davies had become intrigued by the varying textures and, and gradually began to notice how the effect of a whole day's changing light impacted on the map of their journey, animating the long hours. These rolling shifts influence the form of Embarque’ (Deborah Saxon, 2009).



‘It is a fast and intricate piece...The patterns of movement and grouping of the dancers subtly shifts and changes, rather like the topography of the vast plains and deserts Davies travelled through across America’ (programme note, 1993).

Dance Work

  • Series Title: Embarque
  • Title: Dance Work
  • Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
  • Dancers: Paul Old, Mark Baldwin, Lucy Bethune, Sue Hawksley, Sara Matthews, Cathrine Price, Siobhan Stanley, Michael Hodges
  • Music: Steve Reich
  • Music - comments: 'Octet (1979) is structured in five sections, of which the first and third resemble each other in their moving piano, cello, viola and bass clarinet figures, while the second and fourth sections resemble each other in their longer held tones in the cello. The fifth and final section combines these materials. The transitions between sections is as smooth as possible with some overlapping in the parts so that it is sometimes hard to tell exactly when one section ends and the next begins. In the first, third and fifth sections there are somewhat longer melodic lines in the flute and/or piccolo. This interest in longer melodic lines composed of shorter patterns strung together has its roots in my earlier music as well as my studies in 1976-77 of the cantillation (chanting) of the Hebrew Scriptures' (Steve Reich, n.d.). N.B. Octet is now withdrawn in favour of the 1983 revision for slightly larger ensemble, Eight Lines.
  • Designer: David Buckland
  • Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
  • SDDO Creator: Paul Allender and Ross Varney
  • Summary: First performed by Rambert Dance Company in 1988, Embarque was created after Davies' visit to America and is another work that seems to be influenced by her American experiences. Music is by Steve Reich, the minimalist composer. The texture of the music changes as the work progresses creating a continuous series of subtly different sound-worlds and rhythmic patterns throughout the piece.
  • Analysis: ‘The constantly shifting structures of Steve Reich's composition Octet (1979) equalled Davies’ sense of the vast distances she and her family had travelled in the United States while she was on a Fullbright Arts Award. The subtle changes that took place over the endless miles of landscape could have gone unnoticed. However, Davies had become intrigued by the varying textures and, and gradually began to notice how the effect of a whole day's changing light impacted on the map of their journey, animating the long hours. These rolling shifts influence the form of Embarque’ (Deborah Saxon, 2009). ‘It is a fast and intricate piece...The patterns of movement and grouping of the dancers subtly shifts and changes, rather like the topography of the vast plains and deserts Davies travelled through across America’ (programme note, 1993).
  • Publisher: SDDO
  • Production Date - original: 1988
  • Production Date - SDDO: 2008-04-02
  • Media type: Profile
  • Source: SDDO
  • Relation: Profile
  • Word Count: 0
  • Tour: 27/10/88 - Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (Premiere) 13/10/93 Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, 9/11/93-13/11/93 Haymarket Leicester, 16/11/93-20/11/93 Festival Theatre Chichester, 24/11/93-27/11/93 Apollo Theatre Oxford
  • Subscription - only: Public
  • Permanenent URL: http://siobhandaviesreplay.com/record/15