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The Choreographic Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

Title: Dance Work

Work: Sounding

Summary

Performed by six dancers, Sounding was first created for Rambert Dance Company in 1989 and then revived by them in 2001. In his work Okanagon (1968), composer Giacinto Scelsi combines harp, double bass and tam-tam, to evoke mystery in music of ritual and which is said to reflect 'the heartbeat of the earth'.

Analysis

‘Players use all manner of techniques, such as bowing with the wood of the bow rather than the hair, holding a metallic resonator against the harp strings, tapping the instruments with their fingers, and retuning certain strings. There is no improvisation: every sound is notated with detailed instructions’ (Paul Hoskins, Music Director, Rambert Dance Company programme, 2001).

'A large gauze seals the stage area making an enclosure. Much of the action springs from striking the air or floor, or the weight of movement pushing from one dancer to another' (Deborah Saxon, 2009).

Dance Work

  • Series Title: Sounding
  • Title: Dance Work
  • Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
  • Dancers: Amanda Britton, Jeremy James, Catherine Quinn, Steven Brett, Alexandra Dyer, Glenn Wilkinson
  • Music: Giacinto Scelsi
  • Music - comments: 'Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) was an Italian composer who believed that music had the power to act as a key to transcendental experience. Okanagon (1968), which Scelsi described as 'a Rite and, if one wishes, the heartbeat of the earth', is scored for tam-tam (a kind of gong), harp and double bass, all of which are amplified. It is set (loosely) in ABA form, the two A sections not being reiterations of each other but bearing the same qualitative values. The B section contrasts qualitatively with the A sections' (Sarah Rubidge, Study Notes, November 1989).
  • Musicians: The Mercury Ensemble
  • Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
  • Costume Designer - comments: The costumes were conceived by Siobhan Davies and Trevor Collins, who was responsible for realising the design.
  • Costume Maker: Trevor Collins
  • Costume Maker - comments: '[The costumes] comprise a knitted coverall made from silk. The colours are 'graded' in the knitting process, the base colour for some dancers being a deep midnight blue, with other toning colours knitted in to the body of the fabric, and for others a deep brown, also with toning colours knitted in to the fabric' (Sarah Rubidge, Study Notes, November 1989).
  • SDDO Creator: Paul Allender and Ross Varney
  • Summary: Performed by six dancers, Sounding was first created for Rambert Dance Company in 1989 and then revived by them in 2001. In his work Okanagon (1968), composer Giacinto Scelsi combines harp, double bass and tam-tam, to evoke mystery in music of ritual and which is said to reflect 'the heartbeat of the earth'.
  • Analysis: ‘Players use all manner of techniques, such as bowing with the wood of the bow rather than the hair, holding a metallic resonator against the harp strings, tapping the instruments with their fingers, and retuning certain strings. There is no improvisation: every sound is notated with detailed instructions’ (Paul Hoskins, Music Director, Rambert Dance Company programme, 2001). 'A large gauze seals the stage area making an enclosure. Much of the action springs from striking the air or floor, or the weight of movement pushing from one dancer to another' (Deborah Saxon, 2009).
  • Publisher: SDDO
  • Production Date - original: 1989
  • Production Date - SDDO: 2008-04-03
  • Media type: Profile
  • Source: SDDO
  • Relation: Profile
  • Word Count: 0
  • Tour: 12/05/89 - Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham (Premiere)
  • Subscription - only: Public
  • Permanenent URL: http://siobhandaviesarchive.com/record/27