Mary Brennan

When Jasmin Vardimon says that she's looking for honesty on-stage, she's not only referring to the way she asks dancers to approach the making and performing of her company's repertoire. She's also talking about the content of that repertoire, of the cogent observations and insights that she channels into choreographies about how we live now, our relationships and our behaviour patterns. If that all sounds a tad academic, well Vardimon originally started out studying anthropology and psychology - before abandoning academe for dance. Dance that is so alive with dramatic narratives and a vivid mix of other media - text and visuals, including 3D imaging. aren't "add-ons", they're truly integral - that it could just as easily be described as compellingly dynamic physical theatre.

PARK, which begins its Scottish tour at Glasgow's Theatre Royal (on January 28) is a prime example of Vardimon's distinctive style and popular appeal. As the name suggests, it's set in a dear green place where anyone can stroll around, sit and chat, fall in love - or maybe just find respite from the world beyond the park gates. "I used to pass by my local park and see the same people there every day," says Vardimon. "It was as if they created their own private space, but in what was actually a public space. This made me think about the nature of ownership, and especially the ownership of public spaces - the way that people who use the park feel it belongs to them. There's the seat they always sit in, or the route they always take - it is a familiar place to them and yet, their rights to it are really non-existent. It can be sold off, without their say. Especially if the land is in a prime commercial location."

That threat does, in fact, hang over the park where her eight sparkily individual characters criss-cross and interact. "It's in the background." she says."But PARK is really looking at the personal dramas of the people who rely on it, such as the homeless who live there, the busker who makes his living there, and others who feel the space belongs to them. The subjects of ownership, belonging, land and homelessness all have a wider concern, I think. You could say that what happens in the park reflects on wider UK issues, and on conflicts of interest and attitude - particularly with regard to the subject of immigration, law and ownership of land and public land. All those things are quite current. So, with that in mind, I feel PARK is actually more relevant today than when we made it".

She's referring to the piece's original incarnation in 2005, adding - with a lovely ripple of laughter - that "we'd received constant requests for PARK during the last ten years. Even when people would be saying how much they'd enjoyed whatever the new show was, they'd ask when PARK would be coming back... We thought about it, and decided it felt right to do it now. Partly because there's a new cast, and that makes it all fresh for me. Some of the choreography has changed, however a lot of the essence and movement of the piece has remained the same. The difference - probably because I have a wonderful, multi-cultural cast - is in what the dancers bring to the situations. That comes from their own background, their own physicality, their unique skills and talents. It's what we explore in the studio - and that is where we find the honesty to perform."

Audiences in Inverness and Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling have seen that honesty - and Vardimon's flair for melding humour with near-gymnastic prowess, brittle relationship tensions with sensual rapprochement - come centre-stage at different times since Vardimon formed her own UK company in 1997. Glasgow, however, has only caught sight of her dance-making once: in 1999, when the CCA - under renovation and temporarily housed in the McLellan Galleries - programmed Zbang!, as the Jasmin Vardimon Company was initially tagged. I can vouch that the inaugural double bill more than lived up to the explosive energy of that name. Years later, Vardimon has fingers (and toes) in a host of creative pies: an Associate Artist of Sadler's Wells for the past eight years, she's also involved with various educational initiatives as well a new partnership project with Ron Arad at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. So - seize the opportunity, Glasgow, to see how one of the quirkiest, innovative and provocatively entertaining choreographers anywhere turns ordinary park-life into extraordinary dance theatre.

PARK is at Theatre Royal, Glasgow (Jan 28), Eden Court, Inverness (Jan 31) and HMT, Aberdeen (Feb 26)