- Kirstin Innes
- 24 April 2008
Dundee Rep, Wed 7 May
Aptly named after a cocky wee beastie with an eye for cherry-picking gems, Magpie is an expertly-curated rummage through some of the most exciting contemporary choreography of the last 20 years – a modern, dance take on the fading art of the variety show, if you like.
It’s the second production by slick, sexy young UK company Probe, aka 20-something dancers Antonia Grove and Theo Clinkard, who between them have danced for Ballet Rambert, Matthew Bourne, Siobhan Davis and, ah, Kylie. Composed of seven different pieces by radically different choreographers, Magpie showcases not only Grove and Clinkard’s versatility, but that of contemporary dance, snapping between an Astaire/Rogers pastiche by Broadway darling Steven Mear, and Scag, a dark, evocative solo about addiction and the first ever piece by late choreographer Jeremy James. They’ve encompassed the very recent (a part-dance, part stand-up comedy piece by New Art Club, themselves lately seen at Edinburgh’s Traverse and the Arches in Glasgow) – and the modern classic (Trisha Brown’s seminal 1971 dance short Accumulation, credited with changing the face of modern choreography), and like every good variety show, it involves lots of jokes, even more costume changes, and is all framed by a set of red velvet curtains. The Dundee date is your only chance to catch what ought to be an excellent retrospective.