Miann

Soiled bodies writhe across across a primordial swamp in earthbound exploration, rising from time to time in contorted gestures. Gradually these develop into recognizable, repeated motifs and group sequences. Individuals begin to interact, approaching each other then falling apart while some come together, bodies clasped in intimate embrace. Sustained pauses are reignited until the energy and relentlessness of the search which dominates this work resumes in apparent moto perpetuo.

. The black uniformity of most of the costumes creates a semblance of group cohesion, yet each is different, accentuating the individuality of its members allowing other contrasting costumes to assume greater significance.

Coming together and falling apart are central themes in Miann, a Gaelic word signifying a strong melancholic desire; a craving or longing that can relate to the spiritual, in terms of a search for meaning, or the physical, as in sexual fulfilment. For Fleur Darkin, choreographer and artistic director of Scottish Dance Theatre, the falling apart came with a painful bereavement; the coming together was with the dancers on a visit to Callanish on the isle of Lewis. They rehearsed in woodlands, on beaches, up to their knees in lush grasses and grovelling in the ancient peat bogs. The work’s origins in these environs are vividly present throughout

The inherent tribal, ritualistic air and miann is supported by the original music from Glasgow based quartet The One Ensemble. It conjures up the words of the primitive Caliban:

……...the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again;

Haunting woodwind and strings create mysterious melodies. At times, songs accompany the dancers, posing questions and expressing the visions within while in contrasting sequences drums generate powerful, rhythmic sequences. An outstanding feature of this piece is the unity of mood and intent achieved the seamless interweaving of movement and music.

A centrally placed gnomen structure harks back to the astronomical significance of the Callanish stones, the passing of time and the cycles within which we exist. With its chain curtain it divides the performance area and provides a pivotal point around which dancers move, while serving as both a barrier and a gateway to the development of relationships. At times it seems to assume almost totemic significance and when its pinnacle is gazed upon lifts the dancers from the predominantly low-level movement into body extensions. It glistens in the sharp, clear- white lighting that only occasionally softens to an amber hue in response to changes in mood. The black uniformity of most of the costumes creates a semblance of group cohesion, yet each is different, accentuating the individuality of its members allowing other contrasting costumes to assume greater significance.

As the programme points out, “in the process and in the piece, a community is born. Relationships form, twist, blossom and fade. Love is made, and lost. There are moments of stillness, movement, remembering, imagining and longing.” Miann enables us to become part of that community and invites us to share the intimate space in which those elements exist.

Reviews by Richard Beck

The Space UK

Lockdown Drag-out

★★★★
The Space UK

The Plague Thing

★★★★
Finborough Theatre

Wind of Heaven

★★★★
Park Theatre Cafe Bar

Sydney & the Old Girl

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Miann is an intimate collaboration between visionary choreographer Fleur Darkin, Linbury prize winning designer Alexander Ruth and Glasgow four piece The One Ensemble. Performed by Scottish Dance Theatre's full company of exceptional dancers. A daring, sensual and ritualistic piece which will create an intimate space between audience and performers. Bodies, instruments and voices will seamlessly interweave experimental and folk music moving to full-bodied, full throated energy. www.madeinscotlandshowcase.com

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Only Fools and Horses - The Musical

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets