MacRobert, Stirling, Tue 5 Jun


With his love of geometric patterns and big budget dance routines, Busby Berkeley knew how to entertain an audience. And trying to emulate such a master, in these days of funding cuts and small venues, is no mean feat. But as she’s more than demonstrated over the past 23 years, Lea Anderson is always up for a challenge.

In her role as artistic director of two dance groups - the all-female Cholmondeleys (pronounced Chumleys) and all-male Featherstonehaughs (pronounced Fanshaws) - Anderson has created over 100 works, and been awarded an MBE for services to dance. Her latest venture, however, seems to have divided opinion.

Inspired by Berkeley’s 1930s film, Whoopee!, the superbly titled YIPPEEE!!! takes the late choreographer’s love of repetitive patterns and gives it teeth. With outrageous costumes, including three legged trousers, gas masks and tails, and a live score performed by the Yum Yum Band, the show flies in the face of conventionality.

At 90 minutes long without an interval several comments have been made about excess length. Then again, nobody ever said art had to be easy, so go ahead and judge for yourself.

(Kelly Apter)

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