• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

Rooster By Christopher Bruce Essay

With its soundtrack of vintage 1960s Rolling Stones hits, Rooster is one of Britain’s best loved contemporary dance works. It was the perfect choice for a summer festival gig at Latitude earlier this year, in the capable hands (and hips) of Rambert – and returns to Sadler’s Wells in London this week (3 – 7 Nov). We spoke to choreographer Christopher Bruce and rehearsal director Mikaela Polley about the creation of the work nearly 25 years ago and how it still resonates with audiences today…

“I walked into the studio with the first track Little Red Rooster, and I made a dance which was made up of gesture – little gestures, brushing the hair back, straightening the tie,” recalls Bruce of the beginnings of Rooster. “Just through these gestures I developed a dance, a strutting cockerel in the farmyard, a beautiful young man in his brightly-coloured about to go out for an evening. It reminds me of those days in my teens when I would go through the same process.”

Firmly set in the mid-1960s to a soundtrack of classic Rolling Stones songs, Rooster is a celebration of a very particular time and place. “It’s a celebration of the music, and it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at sort of the sexuality of the time, the battle of the sexes if you like.” says Bruce. The piece features preening men and gorgeous women, all costumed by Bruce’s wife Marian, competing playfully for one another’s attention with sinewy, club-inspired dance moves. “It reflects on how men and women react to each other, certainly at that time. You have to remember it was made such a long time ago, this piece – relationships with women have changed a great deal!” laughs Bruce.

The piece is also a love-letter to the Stones early heyday, featuring tracks recorded between 1964 and 1968. “I’ve grown up with this music as part of my teenage life and early 20s – I love the music,” explains Bruce. Around 1989, the choreographer started to think about putting together a suite of songs which might be used to structure a dance piece celebrating the music and spirit of the Swinging Sixties.

The work came to fruition with an invitation from Gradimir Pankov, Artistic Director of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, to create a new work for the company. “He asked me what I’d like to do, so I said I’d actually like to do a piece on the Rolling Stones, and he said Chris you’re crazy but go on!” The piece was premiered in Geneva in 1991, and was presented by Rambert for the first time in 1994.

The production hit a roadbump when former Stones manager Allen Klein’s company ABKCO initially refused the rights to use the music. Fortunately that situation was resolved and the piece has been performed worldwide by seventeen classical and contemporary companies including Rambert, Houston Ballet and London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Sir Mick Jagger has professed himself a fan of the work: “He came to opening night at Sadler’s Wells, and was very generous in his support of the piece,” says Bruce. “It was wonderful to have him come and see the production and meet the dancers.”

Has the piece evolved over the last quarter of a century? “When I start working with my dancers I respond to little nuances and I develop the dance according to the quality I see in the artists I’m working with,” says Bruce. “When another company, another set of dancers performs the work there will be certain details about the way a new dancer takes on the role that I will allow to develop too. So although the choreography is the same, each member of the cast will be a little bit ‘other’ – and every performance too. That’s what I love about live art, you can see a dance over and over again and you see something new in it every time you see it.” The Waterfront Stage has the added benefit of being open on all sides, giving the opportunity to see the work from new angles.

The dancers who are performing at Latitude are well practiced in their roles, as they’ve been touring the piece since its revival last year. “They have really got into their characters and master the technical challenges of the choreography,” says rehearsal director Mikaela Polley. “And any new dancers who join the company are always coached by Christopher Bruce. I work alongside him in all rehearsals so that I can continue to rehearse the work and help develop the dancers, keeping the work looking fresh and vibrant.”

Latitude’s open-air Waterfront Stage typically attracts a wide cross-section of arts lovers, some of whom will be new to contemporary dance. What does Bruce hope these new audiences might take away from the work? “With any audience with my work I hope they just engage with it, enjoy the movement, enjoy the spirit of the work,” he says. “I just hope they come and have fun and enjoy the piece, that’s what it’s about. And I hope the weather holds!”

Love, art and rock’n‘roll – Rambert at Sadler’s Wells, 3 – 7 Novemberwww.sadlerswells.com

Lise Smith is a dance manager and teacher who writes about dance for many publications, including Londonist & Arts Professional. Find her on Twitter: @lisekit

Photos: Tristram Kenton

Ghost Dances, By Christopher Bruce Essay

The work ‘Ghost Dances’ by Christopher Bruce was viewed on 26th August, 2011 to the Year 12 Dance class. The individual interpretation of the social/political or world issue/ comment the piece is attempting to make. Using direct examples from the performance, the use the choreographer has made of the movement and the non-movement components have been identified. Also the effectiveness of this piece has been evaluated.

After Christopher Bruce received a letter from a widow of a Chilean folk singer who had been murdered the very inspirational and symbolic ‘Ghost Dances’ work came about. In 1981 Bruce obtained Rambert’s trust and knowledge that he can create dance movements of a high quality and very symbolic to scenarios. Rambert asked Bruce to compile a work for the Chilean Human Rights Committee; who gave him South American styled music which he immediately adored. The tragic place in South America where dreadful situations affect the poor: father figures being pulled away from their loving families and tortured to death, friends murdered and the children taken away. Knowing of all these horrid acts stirred Bruce to be overwhelmingly sympathetic towards the causes and people who faced these unnecessary killings among their homes and neighborhood. Bruce incorporates many dance techniques and elements to portray and recognize the difference between good and evil, heaven and hell. A major aspect of this work is the characters involved and what they do to rule power and domination.

A major aspect within ‘Ghost Dances’ is the characters and how they reflect the meaning of the story and what they resemble. There are two different groups of characters within this work, the Ghost Dancers and the Peasant Villagers. Each group acts opposing to one another with diverse motives and idea of life or as it may, death. There are three Ghost Dancers that are painted grey with black lines of muscle and dark costumes. They are cruel dark dehumanized skeletal creatures that are figures of death. Their role within this work is very overwhelming. They are dominant, powerful and proudly on show and possess control of the Peasant Villagers lives. They watch their every move and attack suddenly, having full control these poor and innocent people. The Peasant Villagers carry on their everyday lives and try to be happy although they know of the constant death threat that may knock on their door at any time and take them away. As there are both male and female village dancers, they have the same concept to life and dance similarly uncontrollably and uncaring. However the male dancers are bold and predominant as they are stronger and strive to protect their loving partners. Although the females are strong they are over powered by the male figures in their lives, especially the Ghost Dancers whom have complete control of their existence. They feel helpless and uncontrolled every minute of each day. Various non-movement components help build the intensity within the...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad relationship with Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

881 words - 4 pages In 1995, Bruce Springsteen produced an album titled “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. Its title track brings out a lot of ideas from John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Migrant workers, as explained in chapter twenty three of The Grapes of Wrath, used music as a main source of entertainment. They would play the harmonica, the guitar, and the fiddle, while the other workers would dance and be jolly, despite how bad the...

Batman Begins With Henri Ducard Essay

1659 words - 7 pages At any given time, there may be as many as three Hollywood remakes playing in the cinema. A “remake” in this case is a movie that has been made before, usually in a previous generation. When a film is remade, it is very unusual for the director to keep every aspect of the remake the same as the original. The story is what stays the same and is what makes the film a remake, however it is never exactly the same, but the theme remains the same....

The Body of Christopher Creed

1319 words - 5 pages Elkork 1Israa ElkorkENG 1DIMs. KiddTuesday, June 12/12The Body of Christopher Creed Bullying is an ordinary problem among teenagers today. Different types of bullying...

Native American Dance

2378 words - 10 pages Native American Dance Thesis: Dance is important in the lives of Native American people. There is a large spiritual connection involved with Native American Dance. Dances are performed for many reasons, and there are a wide variety of styles. OUTLINE I.Why Do Native Americans Dance II.Powwows A. Powwow Facts III.History of Native American Dance A. European Settlers B. ...

Hamlet the Play and the Movie

553 words - 2 pages Hamlet the Play and the Movie Hamlet by William Shakespeare is a story about a king that was murdered by his brother and the prince has been asked by his father?s ghost to avenge his murder. The original story line has been altered a few times since it has been written. The original Hamlet the play and the altered Hamlet the movie are shown differently in many different ways. Hamlet the movie with Mel Gibson shows different things than the...

American Music History: Madonna and Eminem

1389 words - 6 pages Music is an important component in our lives, which is everywhere we turn to these days. Music has evolved and expanded from the 1960s to present day and we still have yet to discover the full potential and growth of music in the coming years due to skilled music artist in all music genres. One quality many people can share is their love from music regardless of what type of music is preferred by the individual. Music is powerful in itself...

"Beyond Therapy" Critique.

814 words - 3 pages Beyond Therapy is a hilarious comedy, written by Christopher Durang, that was performed in the Texas State Theatre Center studio. It was directed by Lucy Van Goethem. I enjoyed watching the play, and getting to know all the characters and their rather odd personalities. I loved the humor throughout the play about relationships and life, that still fit to the world...

The Ghost Dance Movement of 1890: Causes and Effects

1850 words - 7 pages It was a great time of despair for the Native American people as the defeat of their nations by the ever westward expanding United States and subsequent placement onto reservations disrupted their culture and way of life as it had existed for hundreds of years. The decade leading up to 1890, which was a main focal point in the history of Native Americans, saw the passing of the 1887 Dawes Severalty Act which called for the breaking up of...

Ballet: marriage between dynamic technique and dramatic storytelling

2067 words - 8 pages “The ballet is the supreme theatrical form of poetry”. The ballet Giselle successfully embodies common features of romantic poetry without the use of words, but appealing to the senses which ran high among the romantics during romanticism. As a matter of fact, romantics had a blind faith in their intuition, instincts, feelings, emotions and senses; they considered them to be a guide for wisdom and conduct as well as the route to salvation for...

Batman and the Mythology Behind the Story

1031 words - 4 pages After Batman Begins, Batman starts to raise the bar on defeating crime in Gotham. Lieutenant James Gordon and district attorney Harvey Dent help with convicting criminals within Gotham, but a new super villain comes into play, the Joker. With the new criminal mastermind, Batman is soon forced to question everything he believes in. The Joker will also take the first fully fledged supporter of Batman and make him question everything, especially...


570 words - 2 pages The Last War - Katherine Gallagher.There was only one war, and it was finishing any day soon. Ears keyed to the wireless, we waited. Then the news: Japan bombed, gigantic clouds curling, skies burnt scarlet - total destruction . . . We've won, we've won, a conga-chant round the school ground, beating tins, sticks: our...

One thought on “Rooster By Christopher Bruce Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *