Review: ‘Prelude’- Scottish Ensemble and Andersson Dance, Tramway

‘Prelude- Skydiving From A Dream’ : Scottish Ensemble and Andersson Dance, Tramway, Nov 9th, 2018


This latest collaboration between Scottish Ensemble and Andersson Dance has all the bizarre logic of a fever dream.

Using extracts from Lutoslawski’s ‘Preludes and Fugue for 13 Solo Strings’; Bach’s ‘ The Art of the Fugue’ and Beethoven’s glorious ‘Grosse Fugue’, the Ensemble are on fire, and move barefoot in, around, and with, the superb trio of dancers.


Gold-clad imp Ida Holmlund, and more moodily styled Clyde Emmanuel Archer and Hokuto Kodama, all solo off, creating modernist lines and ripples to the sinewy, elasticy string lines, before embarking on awkward, witty and playful characterisation. It’s sombre, or surreal, depending on the passage of music.

Then the musicians join in Orjan Andersson’s  witty choreography, and things get very strange indeed. It’s beautiful. They chatter and chase each other around the floor, yet still create a storm of sound.

In one of the loveliest sequences, Kodama performs a flexing solo between two fluorescent tubes, reacting as though the  Bo_Hb9QQstructures were sentient beings. Hands pop out, grab at him, and it’s almost Hitchcockian. Very menacing.

Hip-hop shapes are integrated into the routines, and the capricious eccentricity even extends to Scottish Ensemble’s artistic director Jonathan Morton getting in on the act.


Puckish, elegiac, or simply bordering on all- out entropy, whether tonally jarring or moving as marionettes, this rich collaboration feels alive and awake to all possibilities. A forward-thinking triumph.

(Lorna Irvine)



Photos by Louise Mather, with kind permission from Scottish Ensemble.





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