Scottishdancetheatre_DOG (group image)
Half-arsed hokey-cokey
Image: Tilo Stengel

Scottish Dance Theatre: Be Challenged and Thrilled!

Under Janet Smith, the SDT have come from Dundee to thrill Edinburgh. Susanah Radford talks to dancer James MacGillivray
Event preview by Susannah Radford.
Published 06 August 2008

Edinburgh gets a chance to see a great double bill this August with Liv Lorent's tenderhook and Hofesh Shechter's DOG, two original works choreographed especially for the Scottish Dance Theatre.

Working with different choreographers during the creation of a work is a great opportunity for young dancers. 'One of the exciting things about working for a repertory company is that each new creative process can be totally different from the last' says James MacGillivray, a dancer with SDT. 'Each choreographer will bring to the studio their own set of creative tools, methods and approaches in order to best serve the needs of the work they have in their mind.'

He compares the different ways of working. 'Liv Lorent has an extraordinary way of drawing movement vocabulary from the dancers' bodies through image based tasks.' Shechter works in a different way. 'His movement language comes almost entirely from his own body and is then crafted onto the dancers as he structures and sculpts the work.'

Performing each piece brings different challenges. tenderhook combines complex choreography with props. The props 'had to become an extension of the dancers' bodies and not just a distracting 'effect'.' The end result is breathtaking. 'DOG is aerobic and intricately detailed!' says MacGillivray. 'As the dancers tire throughout the piece it becomes increasingly more difficult to push the energy into the space and retain the clean, sharp detail of Hofesh's movement.' It's a treat to watch this energetic piece explode onstage with a frenzied energy.

There's a real theatricality to SDT shows. 'An audience can expect to be challenged and thrilled!' MacGillivray exclaims. 'One of the fantastic things about watching SDT perform is that you'll be seeing some of Europe's finest dancers performing original works by internationally acclaimed choreographers all in one evening.' Bring on that evening.