Sunday, 9 September 2012

Michael Clark

Just bought a ticket to see Michael Clark at Glasgow's Tramway in early October.  The last time I saw Clark and his dance troupe in Edinburgh was one of the most eye-opening, opinion altering nights of my life. I wrote this for an extremely limited circulation fanzine at the time:

“Kinetic Freedom”

Whenever I play Pastels/Tenniscoats’ sublime take on The Jesus and Mary Chain’s tender ‘About You’ I see shapes. Thankfully, it’s not a symptom of some kind of synesthesia but a remembrance of the lovely sequence in 12 Stars’ play ‘Do I Mean Anything To You Or Am I Just Passing By?’ in which the cast repeatedly adopted beautifully simple shapes in time to ‘About You’ to genuinely moving effect. Prior to that play, theatre and contemporary dance both seemed impenetrable to me. They just didn’t seem like the kind of worlds a pop obsessed football fan from Ayrshire should enter. Then The Pastels got involved in a play and I unexpectedly found myself in a theatre! And while I didn’t fully understand everything that went on, I knew conclusively that I could feel comfortable in a theatre.

Watching Michael Clark’s dancers twist and leap thrillingly to Bowie’s ‘Jean Genie’ from the heaving stalls of The Playhouse in Edinburgh last Sunday I was thankful that The Pastels had enticed me over the threshold of a theatre as without that first step I would’ve missed out on something special. As for ‘About You’, I hope those moves were captured on film as I’d love to see them again. J and I both reckon that they could’ve added up to a neat little dance video for the song. Maybe one day some shaky footage will find its way onto YouTube. After all in these digital days you never know who’s sitting there with their wee Fuji Finepix sneakily filming away do you?

There's a great little documentary on Michael Clark here.  The section to "Heroes" was incredible.

The ripples of that night in Edinburgh were felt recently when I attended the Juiliard Dance School's at times astounding show, again at The Playhouse.  I really will be forever grateful that The Pastels tempted me into a theatre and opened up whole areas of culture that, up to that point, I could never see myself embracing.

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