Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance launch Rep Studios
6 April 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber
Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre's Rep Studios is a new digital platform for theatre, dance, and music. The first season features the Dundee Rep Ensemble and Scottish Dance Theatre’s company of international dancers with 84 Scottish and Scottish-based freelance arts professionals.
Marking the opening of Rep Studios is the return of the 80th anniversary season’s Smile (16 April to 16 May), written by Philip Differ, directed by Sally Reid and with Rep Ensemble’s Barrie Hunter reprising the title role, filmed on the Rep stage and focusing on the controversial and highly respected figure of Jim McLean, a Scottish footballing legend who took Dundee United to new heights.
Scottish Dance Theatre will also create new works specifically for the digital medium, one of them live-streamed from the venue. Dundee Rep will collaborate with Eden Court and Helen Milne Productions to present Islander with music and lyrics by Finn Anderson.
Scottish Dance Theatre is celebrating this year’s International Dance Day with the digital première on 29 April of Thin h/as h/air choreographed by Pauline Torzuoli, a solo work inspired by two natural phenomena: “Itla-okla”, the long hanging moss growing on South American tress, and “hair ice”, the ephemeral ice formations that appear on dead wood in Scotland and at other northern latitudes.
In May, This is for you Dundee is a free to access mini-festival of new work created by 26 Scottish-based freelance artists featuring six new pieces of performance designed to engage directly with the city and provide an opportunity to connect with people and place.
The Dundee Rep Ensemble will present the première of Sinder, a digital verbatim piece from Associate Directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore, Molly Taylor and film-maker Kim Beveridge Sinder resulting from a direct creative conversation with women from across Dundee on the impact of a global pandemic on local lives.
Dawn Sievewright and John McLarnon will collaborate with Andrew Panton to present 3M Mixtape (part one), a lockdown project that brings together Scottish music talents to collaborate on a variety of duets, featuring Reuben Joseph, Eleanor Kane, Christina Modestou, Sally Clay, and Martin Quinn.
The full ensemble of Scottish Dance Theatre return to Dundee Rep for The Life and Times (17–18 June), which will be broadcasted live in a single, continuous shot by Edinburgh-based video artist Tao-Anas Le Thanh.
Area of a Circle (28 May) is a live-streamed event in which Kathryn Joseph will be joined on stage by fellow Dundee musicians Su Shaw (SHHE), Andrew Wasylyk and Sion Parkinson.
In Every Map Has A Scale (chapter 2), each dancer from Scottish Dance Theatre invites an individual from across the city to create a new duet in a project led by Associate Directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore with creative practitioner Amanda Lowson and film maker Genevieve Reeves.
Dundee Rep's Artistic Director and Joint-Chief Executive Andrew Panton said, “when an arts organisation is forced to close its doors but needs to continue to talk to audiences, then digital platforms are the only way. It is that very necessity however, that has given rise to innovation, allowing us to now reach wider and more diverse audiences, offer more accessible content, and explore a range of hybrid artistic forms of output that we simply wouldn’t have considered 12 months ago. Rep Studios therefore gives us the chance to share stories which are firmly rooted in our fantastic, creative city but which speak to the wider world.”