We use cookies on this website. By continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings, you agree that you are happy to accept our privacy policy and for us to access our cookies on your device.

Accept

The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

Title: Dance Work

Work: Plants and Ghosts

Summary

Davies' first work to tour non-theatre spaces it explores connections between performers and audiences in new ways. Made for eight dancers with sound installation by Max Eastley and a humorous accumulative text by Caryl Churchill. The non-theatre spaces to which it toured included a disused aircraft hangar in Oxfordshire, a church in Oslo, a woollen mill in Bradford and a tea warehouse in Bristol.

Analysis

’The body is a hybrid being, part flesh, part spirit. Plants and Ghosts is based on the reciprocal play between the finite world of blood, bone and tissue, and the unbounded realm of mind, intention and imagination.

The piece is seeded with different ideas, and threaded with the theme of growth. It opens with small, embryonic actions which swell and multiply like cells; later, scattered jigsaw fragments of movement gradually mesh into tighter wholes. Another section cycles around a single moment, accumulating movement and density with each repetition, and finally the body itself is extended, costumed
with projections like extrusions of bone and tendon.

In each case, the development is driven by contrary, dissonant forces, rooted in physical flesh but animated by a restless spirit’ (Sanjoy Roy, programme note, 2002).

'The dancers in the company have been major contributors to the making of Plants and Ghosts. I bring initial ideas, help evolve material as the dancers experiment with movement and finally, I edit and structure the whole. It is the dancers who make and remake the movement and contribute ideas and arguments that strengthen the final work’ (Siobhan Davies, 2002).

‘Another example of accumulation as structure returns in Plants and Ghosts (2002) although the accumulation here develops out of Caryl Churchill's imaginative accumulative text and is echoed in an accumulative sign language dance. By changing the principal medium of the accumulation Davies effectively draws further attention to its role in her choreography’ (Sarah Whatley, 2002).

Dance Work

  • Series Title: Plants and Ghosts
  • Title: Dance Work
  • Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
  • Dancers: Tammy Arjona, Laurent Cavanna, Catherine James, Henry Montes, Matthew Morris, Paul Old, Sasha Roubicek, Deborah Saxon, Sarah Warsop
  • Music: Max Eastley
  • Composer: Max Eastley
  • Composer - comments: Credited in original programme as Composed Sound Installation
  • Sound installation: Max Eastley
  • Writer: Caryl Churchill
  • Writer - comments: Credited in original programme as Text Contributor. 'She bit her tongue' recorded by Linda Bassett
  • Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
  • Sound Engineer: Andy Pink
  • Production Manager: Ollie Brown
  • Contributors: Lucy Bethune, Wendy Ebsworth, Desiree Kongerod
  • Contributors - comments: Lucy Bethune/Wendy Ebsworth: sign language, Desiree Kongerod: stilts instructor
  • SDDO Creator: Paul Allender and Ross Varney
  • Summary: Davies' first work to tour non-theatre spaces it explores connections between performers and audiences in new ways. Made for eight dancers with sound installation by Max Eastley and a humorous accumulative text by Caryl Churchill. The non-theatre spaces to which it toured included a disused aircraft hangar in Oxfordshire, a church in Oslo, a woollen mill in Bradford and a tea warehouse in Bristol.
  • Analysis: ’The body is a hybrid being, part flesh, part spirit. Plants and Ghosts is based on the reciprocal play between the finite world of blood, bone and tissue, and the unbounded realm of mind, intention and imagination. The piece is seeded with different ideas, and threaded with the theme of growth. It opens with small, embryonic actions which swell and multiply like cells; later, scattered jigsaw fragments of movement gradually mesh into tighter wholes. Another section cycles around a single moment, accumulating movement and density with each repetition, and finally the body itself is extended, costumed with projections like extrusions of bone and tendon. In each case, the development is driven by contrary, dissonant forces, rooted in physical flesh but animated by a restless spirit’ (Sanjoy Roy, programme note, 2002). 'The dancers in the company have been major contributors to the making of Plants and Ghosts. I bring initial ideas, help evolve material as the dancers experiment with movement and finally, I edit and structure the whole. It is the dancers who make and remake the movement and contribute ideas and arguments that strengthen the final work’ (Siobhan Davies, 2002). ‘Another example of accumulation as structure returns in Plants and Ghosts (2002) although the accumulation here develops out of Caryl Churchill's imaginative accumulative text and is echoed in an accumulative sign language dance. By changing the principal medium of the accumulation Davies effectively draws further attention to its role in her choreography’ (Sarah Whatley, 2002).
  • Publisher: SDDO
  • Production Date - original: 2002
  • Production Date - SDDO: 2008-04-02
  • Media type: Profile
  • Source: SDDO
  • Relation: Profile
  • Word Count: 0
  • Tour: 19/09/02 - 22/09/02 - Upper Heyford, Oxford (Premiere) 29/09/02 - 30/09/02 - Coda Festival, Oslo, Norway 10/10/02 - 18/10/02 - Victoria Miro Gallery, London (No Performance 14/10/02) 01/11/02 - 03/11/02 - Salts Mill, Saltaire 08/11/02 - 09/11/02 - Spike Island, Bristol 14/11/02 - 16/11/02 - Corn Exchange, Brighton 29/05/03 - 30/05/03 - Lighthouse, Poole 03/06/03 - 07/06/03 - Riverside Studios, London 12/06/03 - 14/06/03 - Tramway, Glasgow 26/06/03 - 28/06/03 - Boathouse No. 4, Portsmouth
  • Subscription - only: Public
  • Permanenent URL: http://siobhandaviesarchive.com/record/23