International Dance Day Celebrated by World Premiere from Scottish Dance Theatre

To coincide with this year’s International Dance Day, Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) is showcasing a solo work from Company member Pauline Torzuoli that will take the form of the film adaptation of Thin h/as h/air. The piece was originally developed in December 2019 as part of SPUTNIK, a creative platform showcasing new work from emerging voices nurtured within the Company.

The intriguing name, Thin h/as h/air, derives from the question “Aren’t trees the hair of the Earth?” that turned out to be the seed from which the show grew. While researching the resemblance between human hair and trees, Pauline discovered two beautiful natural phenomena: Itla Okla (a south American air plant), and Hair Ice (ephemeral strands of ice that grow on fallen trees in Northern countries). Examining these two curiosities turned the studio into a laboratory, bringing a scientific lens to the creative space. Slowly a journey of a man from scientist to a tree evolved.

The piece features dancer Yosuke Kusano, who has previously performed and toured with SDT as part of his international career and now returns to the company as a guest, and the work has been captured by Edinburgh-based video artist Tao-Anas Le Thanh, with choreography and costume design from Pauline Torzuoli

SDT’s Artistic Director Joan Clevillé said “Scottish Dance Theatre has a long history of nurturing the development of choreographic voices, and I am delighted to introduce Pauline’s work to our audiences. Our new digital platform, Rep Studios, will allow us not only to share our work more widely with communities in Scotland and across the world but also to create new and exciting ways of experiencing dance. For me, watching Pauline’s new work feels like discovering a delicate gem, diving into a poetic world that invites us to look around us with awe and curiosity”.

In June, Clevillé also brings a new full-length work entitled The Life and Times that will see the whole ensemble returning to Dundee Rep’s stage for the first time after the lockdown, Broadcast live in a single, continuous shot, The Life and Times will be a cinematic, dance journey set to a soundtrack of Baroque music. The work is a visual meditation on human fragility and explores how our relationship with time has changed over the last year.

The project is part of Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre’s new digital platform Rep Studios that will present a season of theatre, dance and music, celebrating Dundee’s distinctive cultural voice within a wider world during the unique times we are living through.

Thin h/as h/air premieres as a film at7.30pm on Thursday 29th April with a running time of 20 minutes followed by a live Q&A session. It will then be available for a further 12 months. A version of the work with Audio Description by dance specialist Emma-Jane McHenry will be available for audiences who are blind or visually impaired.

Full details of these shows will be on the Dundee Rep Website.

Irene Brown

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