News: Martin Lawrance - on 'Madcap'

Tuesday 2 October 2012 by Carmel Smith

For his latest work, Madcap , for Richard Alston Dance Company, choreographer Martin Lawrance has used two pieces of music by Julia Wolfe of the cult New York collective Bang On A Can All-Stars. So what is it about the music which inspired him? Read his words, listen to the music and see Martin’s work as part of a mixed bill at The Place this week…

I first heard Lick [clip above] quite a few years ago and fell in love with its energy and drive, but didn’t really know how to tackle it. It is very rhythmical at first with musical passages that sound like violent screams. It is quite dark but jazzy at the same time. I then heard Believing [clip below] and thought that it would be a great piece to use with Lick. At one point the musicians stop playing their instruments and start singing. It starts off as a hum or a buzzing and then increases to clearly audible singing.

It’s hard to talk about work when it’s so new…. Madcap has been made over the last six weeks. I’d been listening to the two pieces for some time, and felt it was the right time for me to make something to them. It has come from a darker side of my persona and I’m just letting what I feel inside come out. There are clear characters in the piece and there is a narrative element. The dancers have freedom and can be spontaneous with certain moments – Lick needs to have a raw edge to it. Believing is faster, frantic but much more structured choreographically. Two new characters emerge in Believing, taking the piece on a new journey but throughout Madcap there is also an outsider who clearly has a dark influence on the others.

Richard Alston Dance Company is at The Place, 3 – 6 October and then touring the UK until 16 December.
Full details:

Also catch Jula Wolfe at Southbank Centre:
Wolfe: Adventures in Sound, 7.30pm, Thursday 11 October
at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

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