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The Michael Clark Company Performs Th At Tate Modern

Total Blam Blam's picture
on June 11, 2011

Drive-in Saturday*...

Strictly speaking it's Sunday here in the UK as I write this, but it's still Saturday night to the less pedantic.

Just back from Michael Clark's presentation of th in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and still buzzing from the experience.

Some folk seemed a little puzzled by the title of th... I could be wrong, but I'm guessing it stands for Turbine Hall.

We first told you about this one back in August of last year (08.24.2010 NEWS: CLARK USING BOWIE TUNE FOR MASS DANCE AT TATE MODERN), and again in March of this. (03.09.2011 NEWS: CLARK IN SCOTLAND & GERMANY PLUS TATE UPDATE)

In those news stories we weren't sure if Michael would be using anything more than It's No Game (Part 1). However, in the event the music was predominantly Bowie's with six of the eleven pieces utilising Bowie tunes.

Here's the running order for those that can't make out the details on the sheet above...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Programme

Part 1

The Heavy - Relaxed Muscle
Maggot Brain - Funkadelic
Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise) - David Bowie

Part 2

Beatmaster - Relaxed Muscle
Wickerman - Pulp
It's No Game (Part 1) - David Bowie
Hall Of Mirrors - Kraftwerk
"Heroes" - David Bowie
Future Legend/Chant Of The Ever-Circling Skeletal Family - David Bowie
Aladdin Sane - David Bowie
The Jean Genie - David Bowie

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As you know, this presentation differed from come, been and gone mainly due to the scale of the cathedral-like Turbine Hall where it was performed, as opposed to the more modest confines of The Barbican, which was the London home of come, been and gone.

Clark got around the problem of filling such a vast space by utilising 48 volunteer members of the public as 'untrained' dancers.

Before I got moved on, I was alone in experiencing a balcony view for the first piece. I enjoyed the Busby Berkeley effect of the aerial view for one delightful moment.

The volunteers, dressed in simple black toga-like garments, employed the beauty of repetition to great effect as they moved as one in stark white light.

The only problem I had with the 'untrained' dancers was that some didn't seem as committed as others, and when, on occasion, one was out of time, it spoilt the overall effect as your eye would go immediately to the transgressor.

One lovely moment was when a group of the untrained were dancing in what I remember to be various different styles during that brilliant weird bit of instrumental at the end of Sweet Thing (reprise). The overall effect was like a scene from a mutant disco and I had a strong urge to join in.

The contrast between the volunteers and Clark's own brilliant troupe was never more obvious than when they shared the stage. Clark's dancers seemed god-like, gigantic, brightly-coloured, preening birds-of-paradise among the Epsilons.

I'm bound to say it, but it's true nevertheless, the Bowie sections did seem to be a bit more special than the others in a similar way to the contrast between the volunteers and Clark's dancers. Different class.

The final group of four pieces were pretty much as they were in come, been and gone with some tweaks here and there. In the "Heroes" piece the Bowie video seemed to play for a longer period before Clark took to the stage in what looked like a silk martial arts costume from where I was...though it probably wasn't.

His table prop had changed from the Barbican performances from some kind of high chair/baby safety seat to a black three-legged affair with a mirrored top. As before he spent the duration seemingly trying to both escape from and become part of the table, while his own dancers occupied another part of the floor in their little black leather jackets in homage to the "Heroes"video playing on a big screen at the other end of the hall.

As with come, been and gone the evening ended with The Jean Genie which really is a stunning piece.

Anyway, I'll leave you with links to several online reviews from the last few days by people who know how to talk about dance...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Independent - Laura McLean-Ferris - June 8

Financial Times - Clement Crisp - June 9

The Guardian - Judith Mackrell - June 9

Londonist - Lindsey Clarke - June 9

Evening Standard - Sarah Frater - June 9

The Telegraph - Sarah Crompton - June 9

The Independent - Zoe Anderson - June 10

Pink Paper - Jane Czyzselska - June 10

The Express - Neil Norman - June 10

The Observer - Luke Jennings - June 12

The Independent - Jenny Gilbert - June 12

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stay tuned for details of more performances of come, been and gone shortly.

*Well, I Did.

blog image: 
    11 June 2011
    The Michael Clark Company Performs Th At Tate Modern

    Drive-in Saturday*...

    Strictly speaking it's Sunday here in the UK as I write this, but it's still Saturday night to the less pedantic.

    Just back from Michael Clark's presentation of th in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and still buzzing from the experience.

    Some folk seemed a little puzzled by the title of th... I could be wrong, but I'm guessing it stands for Turbine Hall.

    We first told you about this one back in August of last year (08.24.2010 NEWS: CLARK USING BOWIE TUNE FOR MASS DANCE AT TATE MODERN), and again in March of this. (03.09.2011 NEWS: CLARK IN SCOTLAND & GERMANY PLUS TATE UPDATE)

    In those news stories we weren't sure if Michael would be using anything more than It's No Game (Part 1). However, in the event the music was predominantly Bowie's with six of the eleven pieces utilising Bowie tunes.

    Here's the running order for those that can't make out the details on the sheet above...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Programme

    Part 1

    The Heavy - Relaxed Muscle
    Maggot Brain - Funkadelic
    Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise) - David Bowie

    Part 2

    Beatmaster - Relaxed Muscle
    Wickerman - Pulp
    It's No Game (Part 1) - David Bowie
    Hall Of Mirrors - Kraftwerk
    "Heroes" - David Bowie
    Future Legend/Chant Of The Ever-Circling Skeletal Family - David Bowie
    Aladdin Sane - David Bowie
    The Jean Genie - David Bowie

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As you know, this presentation differed from come, been and gone mainly due to the scale of the cathedral-like Turbine Hall where it was performed, as opposed to the more modest confines of The Barbican, which was the London home of come, been and gone.

    Clark got around the problem of filling such a vast space by utilising 48 volunteer members of the public as 'untrained' dancers.

    Before I got moved on, I was alone in experiencing a balcony view for the first piece. I enjoyed the Busby Berkeley effect of the aerial view for one delightful moment.

    The volunteers, dressed in simple black toga-like garments, employed the beauty of repetition to great effect as they moved as one in stark white light.

    The only problem I had with the 'untrained' dancers was that some didn't seem as committed as others, and when, on occasion, one was out of time, it spoilt the overall effect as your eye would go immediately to the transgressor.

    One lovely moment was when a group of the untrained were dancing in what I remember to be various different styles during that brilliant weird bit of instrumental at the end of Sweet Thing (reprise). The overall effect was like a scene from a mutant disco and I had a strong urge to join in.

    The contrast between the volunteers and Clark's own brilliant troupe was never more obvious than when they shared the stage. Clark's dancers seemed god-like, gigantic, brightly-coloured, preening birds-of-paradise among the Epsilons.

    I'm bound to say it, but it's true nevertheless, the Bowie sections did seem to be a bit more special than the others in a similar way to the contrast between the volunteers and Clark's dancers. Different class.

    The final group of four pieces were pretty much as they were in come, been and gone with some tweaks here and there. In the "Heroes" piece the Bowie video seemed to play for a longer period before Clark took to the stage in what looked like a silk martial arts costume from where I was...though it probably wasn't.

    His table prop had changed from the Barbican performances from some kind of high chair/baby safety seat to a black three-legged affair with a mirrored top. As before he spent the duration seemingly trying to both escape from and become part of the table, while his own dancers occupied another part of the floor in their little black leather jackets in homage to the "Heroes"video playing on a big screen at the other end of the hall.

    As with come, been and gone the evening ended with The Jean Genie which really is a stunning piece.

    Anyway, I'll leave you with links to several online reviews from the last few days by people who know how to talk about dance...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Independent - Laura McLean-Ferris - June 8

    Financial Times - Clement Crisp - June 9

    The Guardian - Judith Mackrell - June 9

    Londonist - Lindsey Clarke - June 9

    Evening Standard - Sarah Frater - June 9

    The Telegraph - Sarah Crompton - June 9

    The Independent - Zoe Anderson - June 10

    Pink Paper - Jane Czyzselska - June 10

    The Express - Neil Norman - June 10

    The Observer - Luke Jennings - June 12

    The Independent - Jenny Gilbert - June 12

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Stay tuned for details of more performances of come, been and gone shortly.

    *Well, I Did.