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Author Topic:   AMP's 'Car Man' opens
Stuart Sweeney
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posted May 22, 2000 01:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Here's a link to the AMP website

Adventures in Motion Picture's latest show opens in Plymouth. Three of the London critics took the train down to the West Country to see the event. Donald Hutera and Judith Mackrell were impressed, but Ismene Brown only thought it good in parts. There's more sex and grittiness than in his earlier works. One male ballet dancer who won a part thought it was going to be 'Swan Lake' Part II and opted out when he realised it was modern dance based rather than a hybrid.

I saw part of a rehearsal in a London theatre which did look interesting, although like the critics I was a bit puzzled why two crucial props in this saga of small town America are a couple of aged UK cars including a Morris Minor like the one I used to own. It's a little known fact that Aaron Copland owned a Morris Minor when he was working in Italy, but I suspect that this is a rather weak US link.

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4020793,00.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269
&rtmo=qXLuJxd9&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/5/22/btcar22.html


http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/00/05/22/timartdan01002.html

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 31, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 20, 2001).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted June 11, 2000 08:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Here is another review from the Sunday Times (May 28), by David Dougill:

http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/00/05/28/sticuldnc01003.html

[This link has been moved from Ballet]

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mairead
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posted June 17, 2000 13:39     Click Here to See the Profile for mairead   Click Here to Email mairead     Edit/Delete Message
In my opinion Bourne, who is doubtlessly a talented choreographer created his masterpice too early on in his career. Comparisons will always be made to Swan Lake which is work that I feel will prove to stand the test of time.

Hopefully when AMP become resident at the Vic here in London we will see the beginning of a new era in Bourne's choreographic career which I feel has a lot more to offer

Mairead

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Michael Montgomery
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posted June 17, 2000 13:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Montgomery   Click Here to Email Michael Montgomery     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Mairead.

I haven't seen you here before - welcome!
Is your name some exotic celtic name or does it mean you are Mary-ed?
It's funny you mention creating the masterworks at the beginning of the career, it can often be the case, take Roland Petit and Maurice Bejart for example.

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mairead
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posted June 17, 2000 15:01     Click Here to See the Profile for mairead   Click Here to Email mairead     Edit/Delete Message
Michael,
My name means Margaret in Irish. My first name is actually Sarah, but try logging such a common name into anything!!!

Yes I agree with you about Bejart and Petit. Its interresting to compare these choreographers with the like of Cunningham who seems to grow with each new work, no one piece is called his 'greatest', or maybe with Ek who does not appear to have become labelled with his works such as Giselle etc...Wet Woman, reviews, for example, did not seem to compare to his other works. Such comparisons as with bejart, as you pointed out are more often made after the death of the choreographer.
Sarah/mairead!!

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Michael Montgomery
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posted June 17, 2000 17:12     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Montgomery   Click Here to Email Michael Montgomery     Edit/Delete Message
Mairead, are you Irish?

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mairead
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posted June 17, 2000 23:20     Click Here to See the Profile for mairead   Click Here to Email mairead     Edit/Delete Message
No, I am of Irish descendant though!
I am very interested in the work of Merce Cunningham and finding a meaning within the works. I would be interested to know if anyone shares my view that Cunningham's dances are packed full of meaning. He is the most fascinating choreographer.
Mairead

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Michael Montgomery
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posted June 18, 2000 06:36     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Montgomery   Click Here to Email Michael Montgomery     Edit/Delete Message
That's funny, so am I ; although I'm many generations Australian on both sides of my family. Actually, on my mothers side; my Great Great Grandfather was Daniel O'Connell.

I too love Cunningham technique and I think on a training level, that and Graham are very complimentary and doing both gives a solid base.

[This message has been edited by Michael Montgomery (edited June 18, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted June 18, 2000 10:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Welcome from me too Mairead. I'm on holiday and only have intermittant access to a computer, which explains my (unusual and some would say blissful) silence.

Bourne has some fine work under his belt apart from 'Swan Lake'. I recently saw 'Spitfire' a very funny 15 minute pastiche on macho male dancing; the around 70? minute 'Highland Fling' an update of 'La Sylphide' to present day slum Glasgow with a heart-breaking ending; a contemporary version of 'The Nutcracker', which has lots to commend it.

So, although 'Swan Lake' is his most complete and successful work to date, these other pieces show that he has already created a fine body of work. One of the treats in store at the Old Vic will be to see again the dozen or so works of varying length from his back catalogue and this was one of the reasons for AMP taking on the theatre.

Of his more recent work, 'Cinderella', which I didn't see, was not as well received and some felt that there was not enough dance. I understand that the revised version has a lot more dance in it.

'Car Man' has pleased several critics already and is probably still being developed, given the changes still being made in a rehearsal I saw 2 weeks before the opening.

Will 'Swan Lake' turn out to be the career high spot? We'll have to wait and see, but even if he 'merely' produces work of the quality of his earlier pieces, then the dance world will be a much richer place.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 31, 2000).]

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mairead
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posted June 19, 2000 23:14     Click Here to See the Profile for mairead   Click Here to Email mairead     Edit/Delete Message
Stuart, I agree with you. I hope there will be lots of oportunities to take workshops and an educational programme when AMP become resident at the Vic.

Michael, if you are from England and are a Cunningham fan you may be interested to know that there is a Cunningham conference day on October 14th at the Barbican here in London. This is followed by a performance of Summerspace and Byped Cunningham's latest work.

Kind Regards
Mairead

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 03, 2000 14:05     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
A good preview article about AMP as 'The Car Man' comes to London's Old Vic.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/People/Profiles/2000-09/profile030900.shtml

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 04, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 06, 2000 02:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
An interview with Will Kemp who alternates two of the leads in 'The Car Man'. The interviewer doesn't seem to know enough about dance to make it really successful - talking about the 'gay' Swan Lake and whether AMP is no longer about dance!!!! I would have preferred the interview to be with Ismene Brown. But it's interesting to learn a bit more about Kemp.

quote:
Now one of AMP's principal dancers - the most famous was Adam Cooper, who was feted for his performances in Swan Lake but who has now left the company - Kemp first joined AMP six years ago and has seen the company expand from 16 core members to about 30. "I think I was lucky to get in at the beginning," he says. "There was so much excitement. It was very fresh and very ambitious. That's one of the most encouraging things about working with Matthew. He surrounds himself with incredibly creative people. It was on a knife edge, whether Swan Lake would succeed."

Now read on

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 12, 2000 12:12     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message

Alan Vincent and Saranne Curtin: pushing back the boundaries


Nadine Meisner reviews the AMP phenomenon and previews 'The Car Man':

quote:
Matthew Bourne has invented an entirely new theatrical genre, with the production values of musicals, but with dance instead of songs. His latest, The Car Man, is his most ambitious yet

http://www.independent.co.uk/enjoyment/Theatre/Dance/2000-09/carmen120900.shtml

And so does Maureen Paton:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/review.html?in _review_id=312483&in_review_text_id=258911

The show is currently previewing in London and 'opens' on Wednesday.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 12, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 15, 2000 01:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
The London opening of a new AMP production is a big event in the capital and all the national broad-sheets have made room for reviews.

I'll start with Judith Mackrell, partly because she is one of my favourites and also that she is the critic most appreciated by the modern dance community in London. Matthew Bourne and others have said that 'The Car Man' is more influenced by modern dance than ballet.

quote:

With Lez Brotherston's set defining a brilliantly louche and period atmosphere, The Car Man drives with an urgency that at moments has our nerves and hearts at full stretch.


Judith Mackrell's review

John Percival thinks the dance drama is good in parts, but that the choreography is the most disappointing element.

John Percival's review

And the others did not enjoy it:

Debra Craine is unimpressed in The Times. Interestingly, Donald Hutera the other Times critic, and a modern dance fan primarily, wrote a mostly positive review of the touring version in the most recent 'Dance Now'.

Debra Craine's review

Ismene Brown laments the days when Matthew Bourne made small scale, inventive work,

Ismene Brown's review


I think it's fair to say that Mr Crisp is not a big fan of AMP in general or 'The Car Man' in particular,

quote:
In a world where opera and dance are under constant siege and in ever- present danger of erosion, Bourne's parasitic stagings flourish: and under their astute marketing they are debased, and debasing.

Oh dear!

Clement Crisp's diatribe


Reading the views on ballet.co.uk of those who have seen it on its pre-London tour, dance fans love it and it will be a big success.

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 16, 2000).]

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 15, 2000 22:42     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
An extended interview with Matthew Bourne. But, as is par for the course in the UK, by a generalist rather than a dance specialist. As a result we get a lot about his background, but we do get various comments from those who have worked with him and the fascinating tit-bit that Adam Cooper was offerred the lead in 'The Car Man', but declined it.

http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4064237,00.html

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted September 16, 2000 23:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Jann Parry lines up with the majority of her colleagues and finds 'The Car Man' overlong and overblown. Although she does try to end on an upbeat note:

quote:
That said, Car Man is far better value than a limp West End musical. Let's hope that the Old Vic proves a safe house for Bourne to try out ideas without too much commercial pressure.

Also covered is Sheron Wray's 'Jazz Exchange'. Sheron is an ex Rambert dancer and one of her themes is improvising dance to improvised music. I'll try to fit it in next week.

http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,369218,00.html


But David Dougill gives 'The Car Man' the thumbs up with a couple of caveats:

quote:
So how does all this sensationalism work out in dance terms? The big ensembles are done with gusto: butch "wrenching" numbers for the corps of car mechanics (one of them female); a strutting-stuff scene for cowboy-hatted dudes and gals in the club. Bourne is a slick choreo-grapher in this showbiz manner, although his formulas have grown familiar. The mass-orgy scene is rather ridiculous. There is a cabaret number that is a wickedly funny send-up of Martha Graham, but scarcely justified.

For the leading characters, the dances are subtly expressive and inventively detailed; and AMP's practised artistes are wholly committed in their performances.



However, Dougill does not get much out of 'La Danse du Temps' by Ballet Atlantique.

http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2000/09/17/sticuldnc02001.html

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 16, 2000).]

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Tuk
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posted September 21, 2000 11:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Tuk   Click Here to Email Tuk     Edit/Delete Message
Coming on in leaps and bounds A Guardian Profile of Matthew Bourne by John Cunningham http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4064237,00.html

Driven with urgency The Car Man at The Old Vic, London by Judith Mackrell Friday September 15, 2000 http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,368603,00.html

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted November 29, 2000 01:05     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
'The Car Man' has won 'Best Musical Event' in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In previous years the category has been 'Best Musical'.
http://www.albemarle-london.com/es9600.html

Matthew Bourne always seems a bit puzzled when he wins 'Best Musical' awards. AS he points out there aren't any songs!

Well done to all the team involved. As the Nutcracker season descends on us, this will be a good time to go and see it.

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trina
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posted November 29, 2000 10:12     Click Here to See the Profile for trina   Click Here to Email trina     Edit/Delete Message
This may be redundant (I didn't have time to read this entire thread), but at the end of the movie "Billy Elliot", was that Swan Lake the Matthew Bourne version--I'm assuming it was...since it appeared to be "all male". I thought that ending scene was SO great!! I wish they had shown more of it!!!

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Stuart Sweeney
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posted November 29, 2000 10:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Stuart Sweeney   Click Here to Email Stuart Sweeney     Edit/Delete Message
Yes, trina it was the AMP 'Swan Lake'. It should be available on video in the US, so perhaps you can beg, borrow or steal a copy.

Most people, including me think that it is great. I have heard some muttering about no pointe work and the hilarious scene sending up a Romantic ballet offended others. Finally there are those who say that it is too populist.

Enough, already! It was the hottest theatre ticket in London earlier this year and a lot of folk saw some quality modern/hybrid choreography for the first time.

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trina
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posted December 03, 2000 14:54     Click Here to See the Profile for trina   Click Here to Email trina     Edit/Delete Message
I think it's cool-the Matthew Bourne version of Swan Lake. Every generation gets to comment, revise and contribute to great artistic masterpieces. I refer to the many "revisonist" versions of Shakespeare's plays---ie. set in various time periods, different period costumes, etc. This only serves to heighten our understanding of the works, their timelessness and universality.

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Azlan
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posted April 24, 2001 12:07     Click Here to See the Profile for Azlan   Click Here to Email Azlan     Edit/Delete Message
Good news:

quote:
TRIO Acquires Matthew Bourne's 'The Car Man'

Nando Media

TRIO Acquires Matthew Bourne's 'The Car Man'

London's Dance Sensation Slated for American Television Premiere in Fall 2001


More

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