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Author Topic:   AMP hit the headlines
Stuart Sweeney
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posted March 24, 2000 01:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message


'Highland Fling'


A remarkable double event for Adventures in Motion Pictures. Firstly, they have just completed a 5 week run of 'Swan Lake' to 75,000 people at the cavernous Dominion Theatre in London. As a wildguess this might have increased the number of attendances at modern dance in the UK by 50% this year.

Secondly, AMP have taken over the Old Vic Theatre as their base. When you remember that in the UK only the RB have their own base and that AMP no longer get any state subsidy, it becomes almost like a fairy story. Let's hope it all works out well for them. The article talks about them reviving their 'Nutcracker', the best production I have seen by about a million miles.

www.newsunlimited.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,150272,00.html

So what's the feeling about AMP and the various shows in the US and elsewhere?

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-24-2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted March 24, 2000 15:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
For the last 20 years the Old Vic has struggled. Despite its great tradition, its location, far removed from the West End, has weighed against it. About 10 years ago it was bought by a Canadian restaurateur and theatre-nut (I have a vague memory of the name Ed Berman), who had the dream of spending a lot of money on it to make it attractive to theatre goers. It still lost money and in the end he pulled out.

As far as I know it has only been used intermittantly since then. So this is good news for the theatre as well as AMP, who are taking on a theatre which shouldn't need much doing to it. It's a long time since I was there so I can't remember what the sight-lines are like. I'm all in favour of new dance venues for London.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-24-2000).]

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Azlan
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posted March 26, 2000 08:40     Click Here to See the Profile for Azlan   Click Here to Email Azlan     Edit/Delete Message
I think it is great that the AMP has attracted more people to dance. Their videos alone have converted many fans.

But two questions:
1. Are they ballet or modern?
2. Are they over-commercializing their productions and thus reducing their artistic value?

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted March 26, 2000 12:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
But two questions:
1. Are they ballet or modern?
2. Are they over-commercializing their productions and thus reducing their artistic value?

Well, I wouldn't want to get into a big fight over this, but in my view, the style is modern dance. Bourne studied at London's Laban Centre which teaches modern and the dancers associated with him in the early days were similarly modern trained. This is quite important as AMPs work is by far the most popular realisation of non-folk dance, seen in the UK and I'm keen that it is credited to the hard-pressed modern dance community.

He now uses a mix of ballet and modern dancers and it can be said that this reflects an approaching of the two forms indicated by Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen', reviewed elsewhere on the site.

I do not think that Bourne's work is over-commercialised. As evidence, I note that he chooses to work with tragic themes and does not sugar the pill,. Both the endings of 'Swan Lake' and 'Highland Fling' (based on 'La Sylphide') have great emotional power without resorting to sentimentality. In addition, his work has plenty of choreographic invention and interest, rather than the bland pap of over-commercialised work using some sort of lowest common denominator.

What he does manage to do is to pull off the trick of making his clever and rich work accessible, through super staging, wit and emotional power. It is a remarkable achievement in my view.

The original 'Cinderella', with circumstances restricting the time available for the creation of the work, did not receive the same level of enthusiastic support as the earlier works. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for his forthcoming 'Car-Men'.

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Azlan
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posted March 26, 2000 15:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Azlan   Click Here to Email Azlan     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
What he does manage to do is to pull off the trick of making his clever and rich work accessible, through super staging, wit and emotional power. It is a remarkable achievement in my view.

Stuart, is that all it is that has made his works successful? There must be more to it than that. Otherwise, why is it that other dance companies have not been able to pull in the same amount of interest among the populace?

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted March 26, 2000 15:47     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message


quote:
Stuart, is that all it is that has made his works successful?

Hmm... - '..clever and rich work,.... super staging, wit and emotional power...', that seems like quite a lot to me, Azlan.

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted March 29, 2000 02:43     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Photos of Matthew Bourne and Katherine Dore, the AMP Producer and business whizz

An article by Judith Mackrell about the AMP move to the Old Vic and their plans for the new venue. I have to say it allsound very exciting and as Bourne points out will be a way of putting something back into dance. Actually, he has always done this and next week AMP will perform extracts from 'Highland Fling' at a benefit for the wonderful 'Place' development plan.


www.newsunlimited.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,153236,00.html

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-29-2000).]

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