To Be Straight With You, DV8
Lets get ready for a thrilling
experience of dance, theatre and sociological discoveries: British physical
theatre company DV8 is coming to meet the US audience of Los Angeles,
San Francisco and Santa Barbara in November! Their American tour starts
at the prominent Royce Hall on UCLA campus as a part of LA’s cherished
UCLA LIVE series, on Nov. 6th and will bring us the 2007 production by
Lloyd Newson , “To Be Straight With You”, the verbatim, interview-based
exploration of tolerance/intolerance, culture, religion and homosexuality.
For a number of reasons it was challenging to find people to interview — says Newsom in one of the interviews -- often simply because they were too frightened to tell their stories. He employed a full-time researcher who found many of his interviewees through word of mouth, asylum organizations, human rights groups, youth groups and religious and political organizations advertised in the press, leafleted in bars and clubs and went to anti-gay protest gatherings. That gave him a total of 85 audio interviews with people living in the UK; men and women, some who are both religious and gay, some who have given up on one for the other, members of the clergy, human rights organizations and people opposed to homosexuality due to their religious beliefs.
DV8 (Dance and Video 8) Physical Theatre was formed in 1986 by an independent collective of dancers who, they claim, had become frustrated and disillusioned with the preoccupation and direction of most dance. The company has produced 15 dance pieces, which have toured internationally, and 5 award-winning films for television. Their work is about taking risks, aesthetically and physically, about breaking down the barriers between dance, theatre and personal politics and, above all, communicating ideas and feelings clearly and unpretentiously. It is determined to be radical yet accessible, and to take its work to as wide an audience as possible.
DV8 is motivated by artistic inspiration and creative need: these, rather than financial, organizational and touring demands dictate the creation of new works. Great emphasis is placed on the process by which new work is created. The company has fought successfully for funding to cover lengthy research and development periods in order to maintain rigorous artistic integrity and quality in each new project. For every one of its works since 1987, DV8 has commissioned set designers and living composes to help investigate the relationship between body, architecture and music. The focus of the creative approach is on reinvesting dance with meaning, particularly where this has been lost through formalised techniques.
Lloyd Newson's work since 1986 as the Director of DV8 Physical Theatre has had a dynamic impact on contemporary dance by challenging the traditional aesthetics and forms which pervade most modern and classical dance. An important aspect of this challenge is his personal rejection of abstraction in dance with his concentration on connecting meaning to movement and in addressing current social issues.
His stage and film work with DV8 has consistently received major international awards. His recent film, The Cost of Living, won a Prix Italia and a Rose D'or. Newson's interest in dance arose while studying psychology and social work at Melbourne University, an interest that led to a full scholarship at London Contemporary Dance School.
The company's reputation relies on pushing its own boundaries and on the constant re-examination of the roles and relationships of men and women in our society. Its policy insists on the importance of challenging our preconceptions of what dance can, and should, address.
Lloyd Newson have always been well ahead of the game. Now, just at a point when others are catching up, Newson reinvents the rules with “To Be Straight With You”. Lets hear from Lyn Gardner, The Guardian:
“To Be Straight With You” is a hard-hitting and passionate 80 minutes that expresses what is often left unsaid. There are problems. For the first 10 minutes, the dialogue is hard to hear. It is also visually over-busy; the monologue form is limiting; and, like a great deal of verbatim theatre, it preaches to the already converted. But when it starts really getting physical, the gloves are off, both politically and creatively”, and from the master of ceremony, Lloyd Newsom: “I hope that through this work audiences will become more aware of the lives of people hidden under the veneer of a liberal and a supposedly tolerant society.”
“To Be Straight With You” comes to UCLA Royce Hall November 6 & 7, 2009.