Transformations Reviews

 

Festival Times|| The List

Venue: The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

Transformations is a unique dance project. It steps beyond preconceived ideas about the structural musical restrictions of dance.

It is not a show rehearsed for a three-week period before opening on the Edinburgh Fringe. It is a spontaneous performance in which musician, dancer and technicians meet. It is an unfolding of ideas and highly sensitive reactions between sound, texture, movement and colour. Ideally the show could be performed with a moment's notice at any point during the year.

It is a spontaneous, highly original and powerful creation.

The strength of this work lies in the continuous development of ideas and methods between musician, dancer and technicians. During a performance they work together with an exraordinary understanding and interaction with the other, so they become a single entity, no longer separate performers.

Dance is often thought to be a solely physical experience exploring simply the limitations of the body. Transformations is unique because it develops philosophical teachings through the body. The principles of T'ai chi philosophical teaching are explored in a physical way. Illnesses of the body are restored through an expansion of the elemental side of the mind, in the form of dance. It is thus used as a purifying and cleansing medium. This is closely related to the elemental qualities of nature, its circular state of flux and creation of energy.

Lyn described how she removes the limitations of thought, and develops a sense of natural energy and impulse. So the restrictions of the mind and body previously associated with dance as an artistic medium, in western culture, are transcended.

Lyn stressed it was a positive expression in a worid threatened by ecological imbalance. "Each artist involved is working from the same basic premiss and inspiration but through developing and interpreting their own individual medium, an action is formed, which is responded to. This response then becomes a reaction and the process repeats, reflecting the circular processes of reaction and energy in nature."

I asked Lyn to describe how she prepares for a performance mentally, how she directs her movement.
"We are constantly moving. Taking air in and out of our bodies. We ue equipped with an amazing system of nerve and sensory facilities, so that we are constantly receiving and transmitting impulses. The body becomes the eye. I am drawn to natureÑ something that is constant, yet ever changing. Form and formless."

The performers as individual artists unite to create a whole new medium: "I am interested in the process of working. How we arrive at a point of performance. I see this as a conversation or communication between the artists, their mediums, and the audience."

Loveday Ingram - Festival Times

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Venue: Scottish Ballet Studios, Glasgow

A study rather than a performance, Transformations is an exploratory voyage through a series of vital environments. Each stage is beautifully initiated by huge slide projections and atmospheric percussion. From its embryonic beginning, where the first stirrings of amoebic life struggle to break out of a suffocating membrane, through to the emergence of limbed vertebra.

The five solo artists collaborating on the piece have created a feast of colour, texture and sound, drawing on elements of dance form, which is reflected in exacting movement, the chalked body of Lyn Denton and the strong elemental theme of the work.

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