We use cookies on this website. By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings, you agree that you are happy to accept our privacy policy and for us to access our cookies on your device.

Accept

The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

Title: Dance Work

Work: Signature

Summary

First performed by Rambert Dance Company in 1990, Signature is set to a commissioned score by Kevin Volans: Chevron (1990), which draws together the largest orchestral ensemble of any of Davies' commissions. Signature takes place on a stage made vital by a field of red and green marks. The artist Kate Whitehead filled the space, background and floor, with the energy of these opposing colours. The dancers were also dressed in red and green. The challenge was to find a movement vocabulary which could belong to this world, but also allow the performers to contribute their own movement signature and to be able to claim an individual place within the strong colour environment.

Analysis

‘...whilst continuing to make abstract dances, Davies has developed a more clearly defined dramatic/narrative content in another strand of her work; suggestions of human character and relationships emerge from the web of dance movement’ (Stephanie Jordan, Rambert Dance Company programme, 1990).

‘The movements in Signature are like a series of signs – as the title suggests – personal, gestural marks or writings that set off tingling reverberations in your mind or memory...Signature makes sense abstractly, as a community ritual progressing gradually towards symmetry and repose, an open space and cast of ten becoming a territory contained by a front gauze and a peaceful duo’ (Stephanie Jordan, THES, June 8 1990).

Dance Work

  • Series Title: Signature
  • Title: Dance Work
  • Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
  • Dancers: Jeremy James, Elizabeth Old, Paul Old, Catherine Quinn, Sue Hawksley, Sara Matthews, Steven Brett, Alexandra Dyer, Gary Lambert, Glenn Wilkinson, Yolande Yorke-Edgell, Lee Boggess, Gabrielle McNaughton
  • Music: Kevin Volans
  • Music - comments: Chevron (1990): commissioned score made possible by Arts Council of Great Britain. Published by Chester Music Ltd.
  • Musicians: The Mercury Ensemble
  • Musicians - comments: The music is scored for two flutes (one doubling on piccolo), oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, cornet, trombone, piano, two violins, viola, cello. There are 14 performers in all
  • Designer: Kate Whiteford
  • Design - comments: The designs for both set and costume are predominantly red and green. The floor is painted red with a curved pathway marked out in green, which cuts across the centre of the stage. There are three distinctive backcloths. The first is a vibrant plain red backcloth. The second is a cloth of vertical narrow stripes in red and green and finally a gauze is lowered at the front of the stage. This has a large curved pattern marked upon it, which when lit appears green.
  • Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
  • Costume Designer - comments: The costumes are based on simple tights and tunic tops or looser trousers with leotard tops, individually designed for each dancer. They are dressed in either all red, all green or a combination of both and although the designs are individual, the costumes are dyed to the same shade of red and green.
  • Painter: Cloths painted by Liz Reed
  • SDDO Creator: Paul Allender and Ross Varney
  • Summary: First performed by Rambert Dance Company in 1990, Signature is set to a commissioned score by Kevin Volans: Chevron (1990), which draws together the largest orchestral ensemble of any of Davies' commissions. Signature takes place on a stage made vital by a field of red and green marks. The artist Kate Whitehead filled the space, background and floor, with the energy of these opposing colours. The dancers were also dressed in red and green. The challenge was to find a movement vocabulary which could belong to this world, but also allow the performers to contribute their own movement signature and to be able to claim an individual place within the strong colour environment.
  • Analysis: ‘...whilst continuing to make abstract dances, Davies has developed a more clearly defined dramatic/narrative content in another strand of her work; suggestions of human character and relationships emerge from the web of dance movement’ (Stephanie Jordan, Rambert Dance Company programme, 1990). ‘The movements in Signature are like a series of signs – as the title suggests – personal, gestural marks or writings that set off tingling reverberations in your mind or memory...Signature makes sense abstractly, as a community ritual progressing gradually towards symmetry and repose, an open space and cast of ten becoming a territory contained by a front gauze and a peaceful duo’ (Stephanie Jordan, THES, June 8 1990).
  • Publisher: SDDO
  • Production Date - original: 1990
  • Production Date - SDDO: 2008-04-03
  • Media type: Profile
  • Source: SDDO
  • Relation: Profile
  • Word Count: 0
  • Tour: 24/05/90 - Theatre Royal, Brighton (premiere)
  • Subscription - only: Public
  • Permanenent URL: http://siobhandaviesreplay.com/record/26