State Theta - Collaborative Arts Performance Company.
State Theta - Collaborative Arts Performance Company.
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The Quartz Cycle

The Quartz Cycle

Ever Changing Formations

Dancer / Choreographer

Musician / Composer

Choreographic Eye

Set Design

Lighting Design

Projection Design

Scientific Advisor


The first idea to create 'The Quartz Cycle' came in early 1990. The company wished to create a piece that represented Scotland - a piece that audiences could relate to regardless of their geographical location - a piece that would be of international appeal.

Inspired by an exhibition of crystals at Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum, a challenging new collaboration was set up between the Curator of the Hunterian Dr Graham Durant, internationally acclaimed director David Glass 'Gormenghast', 'The Mosquito Coast' etc..and State Theta.

The company decided to base the project on the naturally occurring quartz cycle; a cycle that takes millions of years and is seen at its various stages throughout Scotland.

Five geographical areas were identified that share the various stages and corresponding rock forms presented in The Quartz Cycle:

State Theta - The Quartz Cycle
  • The Outer Hebrides and the North West of Scotland
    • Gneiss
  • From Cambeltown to Aberdeen
    • Granite
  • The Midland Valley - Stirling, Edinburgh, including the borders
    • Sandstone
  • The Grampians
    • Schist
  • Inner Hebrides, Islay and Jura, Mull, Skye and Arran
    • Volcanic

The company spent some time visiting each of these areas, gathering photographic and scientific material which was then integrated into the production of the performance as well as contributing to the simple but comprehensive touring exhibition and the many workshops and residencies that followed.

David Glass, Director:

"In one way or another all theatre is a collaborative effort, requiring individuals to work creatively and practically in close proximity.
Theatre where the elements of Dance, Music, Slide, Lighting Design and Text have to weave seamlessly into one another requires that this collaboration be even stronger.
Like in film each element works with another to beguile and entertain the audience.
It was my job to ensure that each of the collaborators was represented and seen to their best advantage, whilst intermeshing their individual efforts.

As well as this it was vital that the subject matter 'The Life Cycle of Quartz' be interesting, approachable and communicative to a wide range of audiences in a wide range of venues.

By taking both of these major considerations into account, as the Director I sought to marry all the threads of the work into a cohesive and entertaining whole"

Graham Durant, Curator in Geology, Hunterian Museum:

"It is not easy to dance a landscape; it is not easy to dance geological processes; it is not easy to communicate the vast length of geological time. This has been an exciting project to work on.

I have always been interested in the communication of science to a wider audience. As a curator in a University Museum, exhibitions and lectures tend to be my main media but recently I have become increasingly interested in exploring what to me are new media for communication.

As a scientist it is very easy to become locked into the literal - dance and music allow one to perceive natural phenomena in a new light"