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The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

Title: Dance Work

Work: Wanting to Tell Stories

Summary

A dance for six. Two enormous screens hang, rotate and slide to divide and close off areas of the stage, providing intimate and open spaces, corridors, private and public rooms. The visual and physical influence of edges, corners, corridors and open spaces on the people who were encountering them provided the initial information for making the movement material, as well as the strength of the commissioned score by Kevin Volans. The title came from Volans who had spoken with Davies about the work of the artist Philip Guston (1913-1980) whose later paintings became more figurative.

Analysis

‘To tell stories or not to tell stories? The conflicting attractions of the figurative and the abstract have continued to absorb creative artists throughout the 20th century. As the century nears its close, Siobhan Davies and composer Kevin Volans, with designers David Buckland and Antony McDonald revisit the debate in Wanting To Tell Stories, which received its World Premiere at the 1993 Brighton Festival. All acknowledge the need to communicate something about the human condition 'to tell stories' in their work, but all are equally convinced of the ability of dance, music and design to communicate on their own terms. The result shows that stories can be told in a myriad of unexpected ways and that abstract language has the power to underline and enrich the process’ (Programme note, 1993).

‘In Wanting to Tell Stories, two huge wire mesh panels move and rotate to create rooms, corridors and recesses. Davies' company of six dancers perform with an energetic fluency in simultaneous solos, duets and trios, offering high-speed movement encounters and quieter dialogue from the chance meetings. This superb work is choreographed to Kevin Volans' specially commissioned score for piano, viola, clarinet and double-bass’ (Towngate Theatre, Basildon 23/05/93 Promotional Flyer).

Dance Work

  • Series Title: Wanting to Tell Stories
  • Title: Dance Work
  • Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
  • Dancers: Amanda Britton, Gill Clarke, Paul Douglas, Sean Feldman, Jeremy James, Elizabeth Old, Deborah Saxon
  • Music: Kevin Volans
  • Music - comments: Commissioned by Siobhan Davies Dance Company with funds provided by a Digital Dance Award sponsored by Digital Equipment Company. By arrangement with Chester Music.
  • Musicians: Andrew Ball (piano)
  • Musicians - comments: Andrew Ball, Bridget Carey,Roger Heaton, Alan Taylor are the musicians listed in the majority of the programmes available. However, for 1994 Sadler's Wells programme the following musicians are listed: Roger Heaton, Kenneth Knussen, John Metcalfe, Clive Williamson
  • Designer: David Buckland
  • Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
  • Sound Engineer: Ron Thomson
  • Costume Maker: Sasha Keir
  • Production Manager: Ian Beswick
  • SDDO Creator: Paul Allender and Ross Varney
  • Summary: A dance for six. Two enormous screens hang, rotate and slide to divide and close off areas of the stage, providing intimate and open spaces, corridors, private and public rooms. The visual and physical influence of edges, corners, corridors and open spaces on the people who were encountering them provided the initial information for making the movement material, as well as the strength of the commissioned score by Kevin Volans. The title came from Volans who had spoken with Davies about the work of the artist Philip Guston (1913-1980) whose later paintings became more figurative.
  • Analysis: ‘To tell stories or not to tell stories? The conflicting attractions of the figurative and the abstract have continued to absorb creative artists throughout the 20th century. As the century nears its close, Siobhan Davies and composer Kevin Volans, with designers David Buckland and Antony McDonald revisit the debate in Wanting To Tell Stories, which received its World Premiere at the 1993 Brighton Festival. All acknowledge the need to communicate something about the human condition 'to tell stories' in their work, but all are equally convinced of the ability of dance, music and design to communicate on their own terms. The result shows that stories can be told in a myriad of unexpected ways and that abstract language has the power to underline and enrich the process’ (Programme note, 1993). ‘In Wanting to Tell Stories, two huge wire mesh panels move and rotate to create rooms, corridors and recesses. Davies' company of six dancers perform with an energetic fluency in simultaneous solos, duets and trios, offering high-speed movement encounters and quieter dialogue from the chance meetings. This superb work is choreographed to Kevin Volans' specially commissioned score for piano, viola, clarinet and double-bass’ (Towngate Theatre, Basildon 23/05/93 Promotional Flyer).
  • Publisher: SDDO
  • Production Date - original: 1993
  • Production Date - SDDO: 2008-04-03
  • Media type: Profile
  • Source: SDDO
  • Relation: Profile
  • Word Count: 0
  • Tour: with White Bird Featherless 13/05/93 - 15/05/93 - Gardner Centre, Brighton Festival with Make-Make (unless otherwise stated) 18/05/93 - 19/05/93 - Harlow Playhouse, Essex 06/07/93 - Northcott Theatre, Exeter Festival 09/07/93 - Dundee Repertory Theatre 27/09/93 - Opera de Lille, France (with Different Trains) 04/10/93 - The Hawth Theatre, Crawley 08/10/93 - Theatr Hafren, Newtown, Powys 15/10/93 - 16/10/93 - Queen Elizabeth hall, London (with White Bird Featherless) 17/10/93 - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 21/10/93 - Recklinghausen, Germany 23/10/93 - Gelsenkirken, Germany 26/10/93 - Krefeld, Germany 29/10/93 - Leverkusen, Germany 18/04/94 - 19/04/94 - Ankara, Turkey 23/04/94 - 24/04/94 - Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall, Istanbul, Turkey with the Glass Blew In 03/05/94 - 04/05/94 - South Hill Park, Bracknell 10/05/94 - 11/05/94 - Connaught Theatre, Worthing 23/05/94 - Towngate Theatre, Basildon 04/11/94 - 05/11/94 - Sadlers Wells, London 14/11/94 - Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 19/11/94 - Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
  • Subscription - only: Public
  • Permanenent URL: http://siobhandaviesreplay.com/record/32