Janis Claxton Dance Company
- Kelly Apter
- 16 October 2008
Traverse, Edinburgh, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Oct, then touring
The last time we saw Janis Claxton, she was looking rather sodden in a rainy enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. Not that the weather dampened her spirits – Claxton’s group show, Enclosure 44 – Humans was a huge success at this year’s Fringe, garnering more media attention and critical acclaim than anyone could have predicted.
Still, it’s always nice to get back into the warm, and Claxton’s next venture sees her resolutely her sheltering indoors. Touring venues across Scotland, the ‘Falling Light’ tour will feature seven female dancers (including Claxton herself) performing three works to some truly sumptuous music.
The triple-bill opens with Rinne, set to the sounds of Australian new music ensemble, Waratah and inspired by the movements of the humming bird. ‘I always say that the dancers’ bodies sing the music,’ says Claxton of the piece. ‘It’s completely set to every pulse and is very fast, so it’s quite a mental and physical workout for the dancers.’
Joining the company on tour will be the Edinburgh Quartet, who’ll perform live on stage alongside the dancers. A cello solo of Bach’s Partitia No. 2 will accompany Claxton’s new piece, Torque. While Songs Are Sung will feature Henryk Górecki’s score of the same name. The latter causing a frisson of excitement among the classical music fraternity, as this will be the first time the Polish composer’s piece has been performed in Scotland.
Those familiar with Górecki’s million selling Symphony of Sorrowful Songs will know how emotive his strings can be. This is something Claxton has tapped into with her choreography for Songs Are Sung. ‘The music is the starting point,’ she says. ‘It evokes a lot of images that we play with, to do with loss and grief but also support. It’s pretty much a pure dance work with an emotional base, and I’m hoping that people will interpret their own journey through it.’