Friday, October 03, 2014

Ballet Rambert: Rooster: The Lowry, Thursday 2nd October.

  Four major pieces of modern dance were performed by Rambert  last night. The Strange Charm of Mother Nature, choreographed by Mark Baldwin, was based on particle science, each dancer representing a quark. It was a varied piece with so much going on it was not always easy to know where to look, a feature of some modern dance. The best passages for me were the slower, lyrical ones which were beautifully interpreted.
   Dutiful Ducks was a text sound composition from Charles Amirkanian, choreographed by Richard Alston. Very different and thought-provoking, this was a short piece of almost disintegrated language interpreted brilliantly by a lone dancer.
   The most impressive dance of the night for me came next in Sounddance. with electronic sound by David Tudor, a bit like the sort of radio static one might pick up from outer space, which was unnerving, unpredictable, chaotic and mesmerising. Merce Cunningham choreographed the seventeen minute piece originally, which starts and ends with a void and is open to many interpretations - is it about dance itself? Creation? A staggering performance that brought lengthy applause.
   The last piece was Rooster, a celebration of the music and times of the 60s and 70s, choreographed by Christopher Bruce and set to songs by the Rolling Stones. Now over twenty years old, this still retains its original vitality, humour and appeal. My favourite was the very slick choreography for 'Sympathy for the Devil.'

An excellent evening that was challenging and rewarding for the appreciative audience.

Black History Month

  October is Black History month and celebrations take place worldwide. The Bolton version of this month is funded by One Bolton, Bolton At Home and Bolton CVS. Around 120 people attended the opening ceremony yesterday in one  of the lecture theatres in the Central Library. The event was organised by the African Community Association of Bolton.
   The Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton opened the event. The Mayor spoke well about the benefits of integration and diversity for  Bolton. Nat Biney, the Chairman of ACAB, introduced a varied programme of events. One involved school children telling us about inventions by black people which few of us knew about: the potato chip was invented by a black chef; the fountain pen was invented by a black person. These are just two of a long list we were given by the children.

   Further entertainment was provided by a group of children from Starting Point, Bolton's International Family Centre, introduced by Caroline Lynch, who performed an impressive set of African drumming. Then Bollywood music and dancing were provided by Monica, Anna and Sacha who  got many of the schoolchildren present to join in with the moves which was great fun. A buffet lunch concluded the opening ceremony, the prelude to a month of planned activities to heighten awareness of Black History.