Review: Siobhan Davies: Table of Contents, Glasgow

AS ONE of the few dance companies in the world with its own digital archive, Siobhan Davies Dance has access to all manner of objects relating to previous works.

Siobhan Davies: Table of Contents. Picture: Pari Naderi
Siobhan Davies: Table of Contents. Picture: Pari Naderi

Siobhan Davies: Table of Contents

Tramway, Glasgow

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Star rating; * * *

But programmes and photographs can only capture so much of what dance is fundamentally about – movement.

Set in a gallery space – gloriously visible from the street outside through large windows – Table of Contents is a live installation which attempts to breathe life into the Davies archive.

Each day for seven hours, six dance artists – including Davies herself – gather in the room, with only a large table to punctuate the space. With a piece of chalk, they write their intentions on to the wooden surface, explain it to us, the viewer/audience, and off they go for 20 minutes at a time.

During the space of an hour, I saw six vastly different reflections on works gone by, the creative process and how dancers remember unfeasibly large amounts of movement material.

Notes to Self found Rachel Krische improvising to another dancer’s aide-memoir. In Repeat, Helka Kaski performed the same moves over and over to commit them to memory.

Working their way around the room during Recall, Charlie Morrissey and Andrea Buckley gave voice to each new physical sensation, while For Now saw Matthias Sperling select tiny moments from works in the archive dating back 30 years.

With no set, costumes, lighting, music or context, all that remains is the choreography and a rare chance for us to climb inside a dancer’s head.

Seen on 29.01.14 
Runs until 9 February