TO LOOK at them on stage - focused, energised, smiling even - you would not think the Scottish Dance Theatre is between artistic directors, no replacement having been confirmed now that Neville Campbell has returned to Zimbabwe.
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Indeed, the only hint of unsettled times comes in the two works Campbell made just before he left. Both reveal raw nerve-ends, though Farewell To Whisky - with its pointed jibes at a culture trapped in its own tartanalia and literally taking the feet from under its own folk - is by far the angrier and more overtly bitter. Talking Blues, where choreographed images of ''labelling'' and exclusion are underpinned by spoken images of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and bigotry is open to wider interpretation. Set amid huge cut-outs of faceless white ''wraiths'' and incorporating a little girl - the only being who responds to the increasingly rejected Mick Lindo as a fellow human being - this piece may well encapsulate Campbell's feelings about his Dundee experience, but it also looks beyond and carries a humanitarian moral. It also gave Lindo a chance to show he's going from strength to strength
as a dancer.
Another premiere, Peter Kyle's playful but dark Foray gave the girls a welcome chance to show a real elegance of bodyline, as they stretched down into deep, open plies or upwards in clean, sculptural leaps. The classic edge to this work - set sympathetically to music by Philip Glass - looked good on them and suggested that Kyle has creative resources that we haven't previously recognised. Gary Lambert's Virtuality - now opening, rather than closing the programme - also came into its own: the interplay of light, shade, silhouette, colour, sound and silence had gained keener definition in performance.