Triple Bill

Cottier’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

three stars

LIVE music on-stage has proved an integral part of this week’s Cottier Dance Project, and in this triple bill the relationship between sound and movement sees players and dancers alike involved in the choreography

The interaction that hovered on the point of subtle narrative in Thomas J Baylis’s Game? This premiere was a fine example of how Cottier Chamber Project’s artistic director Andy Saunders and dance programmer Freya Jeffs are like oxygen to new talents. Claire McCue, the winner of last year’s composition competition, provided Baylis with a soprano (Victoria Atkinson) whose soaring delivery of short texts – from Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson and T.S. Elliott – swooped over the melodic bedrock of strings, piano and clarinet. With a dancer (Lucy Ireland) in an identical green frock, Baylis choreographed a relationship that sustained on different levels: friendship and rivalry? body and soul? Four girls in pale pastel shades – all BA Modern Ballet students – were the playmates that Ireland never quite belonged to, as Baylis offset the dark energies of McCue’s score with a clean, classic elegance of his own.

If Game? had a finished, polished feel to it, time:touch – danced by Penny Chivas to Alex McCartney’s theorbo playing – stayed semi-improvised. Perhaps her palette of movements, with courtly flourishes of hands and arms, shaded into repetitions while his playing trilled further afield but the sense of ancient and modern coming together in a dialogue of spontaneous associations.

Molly Bloom’s final monologue in Joyce's Ulysses was credited as inspiration for *is to Finish, where three dancers – Guilia Montalbano, Federica Exposito, Joel Wilson – along with cellist Atzi Muramatsu and Ross Whyte (composer/keyboards/electronics) clashed ideas and tempi in a pick and mix jumble that attempted to stream Molly’s surreal reverie but, for all the technique on show, didn’t Bloom with sensual abandon.