WIG III at CCA- A Critical Response


Stephanie Arsoska, picture by Carlos Hernan

The third Weekend Of Improvisation In Glasgow sees disparate groups of improvisers in sound and dance gathering together. It’s fascinating to see the development of ideas through the years.

Nicolette Macleod has the most angelic voice, and she opens the evening with a looped session of percussion, sighs and harmonies. It’s ingenious, but as with all of the finest composers, she makes it all seem utterly effortless.

Molly Danter is a dancer who seems to be testing out her limbs’ limitations. She bends her body as though made of rubber. Extremely feline, she is an instinctive and playful presence, turning the space into a liminal space.

Speaking of playful, Something Smashing are an ever-revolving and evolving collective who vacillate between mood and meaning. Dancer Tess Letham curves around short bursts of sound from musicians Graeme Wilson and Rus Wimbish. Nerea Gurrutxaga Arruti is carried on Letham’s back at one point, and to the Mancini slinks of improvised jagged jazz, they become jittery, pugnacious and surreal; zombies, animals or statues.  There’s even a parody of the creative process itself.


Vonnegut Collective, photo by Carlos Hernan.

Vonnegut Collective seem like an interrogation of not only the limitations of music, but of human interactions. Experiments in  musical breathing and techniques extend to movement. It’s as though the force of trumpeter Gary Farr’s sounds propel violinist Gemma Bass around the space.

Stephanie Arsoska  (see main image) brings a kind of comic exaggeration to representations of romance , using pies as an extended metaphor for ‘things you shouldn’t do in public’ and moves to her own internal logic. She weaves absurdist humour with languid movement choreography, and then it all gets a bit self-reflexive. A riot, as ever.

Iceberg get increasingly experimental with time. There’s a definite nod to Merce Cunningham in some of their process. Walls and clothes can be considered percussion, as much as musical instruments.  Penny Chivas and Zoe Katsilerou mirror each other like half-sisters with graceful, dreamlike movements, and Eilon Morris plays kalimba and cowbell, before meditating in a whimsical way on cultural clichés, referencing keeping a kangaroo under his sink and “feeding it hand lotion”. As you do. Tim Minchin would be proud.





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