IT’S the last few days of this year’s Arches Live! festival of new performance, and the event remains divided – as last week – between the fiercely political and the sweetly, almost wistfully, personal.
So the first two shows of my final evening at the Arches offered a sweetly matched pair of meditations on the chosen art-forms of the artists involved, and on their inward relationship with them. Greg Sinclair’s I Do, Do I is a delightful 45-minute show about music, in which he produces a playful and sometimes intriguing series of fragments of performance, involving the production of sound; it might be a few verses of Frere Jacques played on his beloved cello, or the click when a pen cap settles into place.
He’s The Greatest Dancer, by contrast, offers a reflection on the idea of dance, inspired by Ian Johnston, a Glasgow performance artist with various learning disorders, who has nonetheles become a much-admired dancer. Jointly created by Johnston with co-performer Gary Gardiner and Adrian Howells, He’s The Greatest Dancer is a tentative yet complex and sometimes beautiful show, in which Gardiner’s dominance of the show’s verbal exchanges is deconstructed and interrogated, while Johnston takes centre stage in the dance sequences.
As I crept away from the Arches, though, Buzzcut impresario and performer Rosana Cade and her sister Amy – who has spent the last decade working in the sex industry – were presenting a first draft of their new show Sister. The performance fairly bristles with politics, as the two begin to ask whether feminists can simply turn their backs on the porn industry, or should be trying to invade and transform it.