A Pandora’s box of energies
From the Netherlands, MAGPIE Music Dance Company provided a rare and fantastic chance to share an evening with four magnificent talents.
A Pandora’s box of energies and specifics with the most satisfying attention to the smallest moment in space and every movement considered, articulated and made part of the big picture. The challenges, intrigues, energies and peace that we shared at this unique performance were personal and of the moment.
25 February 2004 / Wellington New Zealand / Reviewer: Deidre Tarrant
…exciting dialectic between freedom and necessity.
Ballet International/Tanz Aktuell
The company has dedicated itself exclusively to improvisation and has attained a high level of mastery in it. MAGPIE is a perfect example for one to grasp the extent to which the engendering of the magical moment, of the fantastic, coincidental encounter, may, or perhaps must, rest on familiarity, mutual trust and being attuned to one another…A large share of its success was contributed by the fantastic musicians, who literally laid the ground for movement, with the erection of an electrifying frame of sound. MAGPIE was convincing by the virtue of the improvised having a choreographed effect, an exciting dialectic between freedom and necessity.
Bettina Schulte / Ballet International/Tanz Aktuell / April 2000
Their mutual intimacy blurs the borders between dancers and musicians.
…They react so evidently and fluently to each impulse that one wants to consider the improvisation as set choreography. Their mutual intimacy blurs the borders between dancers and musicians…
Paola Pitton / Basel, Switzerland
…astonishing and technically of highest caliber
Their performance appears so homogenous that one tends to look for pre-fixed choreographic patterns. The fact that indeed there are none, makes their way to dance astonishing and technically of highest caliber. The improvisation of MAGPIE flows like a river, sometimes jumping over stones, sometimes being dammed, sometimes plunging over a barrier. When this happens something comical may slip into the performance. Such intermezzi continuously burst open the pure esthetical, the beauty of pure movement one can enjoy with MAGPIE on a high scale. MAGPIE playfully opens the Art of dance towards life just as the samplings and the casual talk on stage. A memorable evening. Who else could succeed in bridging casualness with such virtuosity?
Bettina Schulte / Badusche Zeitung / Freiburg, Germany
MAGPIE – The work:
MMDC works and performs exclusively within the genre of dance and music improvisation = choice. Performers and audience are experiencing the moment of creation and product simultaneously not a repetition of pervious work, never repeated. MMDC performances create an interactive potential between the artist who are practicing music and dance and between the artists and the public. The public views a performance in the same way they would view a set choreography and/or a set piece of music composition. As the artists begin to interact in the space, time and public relationship it becomes obvious that the performance could not be pre set. The public becomes aware that what they are seeing and hearing would not be created if they were not there participating
The aim of the MMDC is to use the fact that they are improvising in order to increase this interactive potential. They do not use structures or mechanisms as a means for placing order in their performances or rehearsals. They have stayed with individual choice. Their monthly series in Amsterdam and international tours have informed the rehearsal processes which accompany this work. They have used their experiences critically into how the use of choice can create a cohesive choreographic and compositional performance (music and dance) and how this can be released into an interactive potential with each other and the public.
MMDC have chosen to peruse interactive live events because they would like to show that communication can be vital and real in an artistic setting. They would like for the public to be fundamental in the way the performance unfolds and how the content is finally understood and felt. They hope that this can generate a deeper appreciation and understanding about how important it is today to present an unpretentiousness vernacular that is open, pure and frugal in an artistic setting. This openness is intended to make the artists and their work accessible to the public in relationship to the space, the place and the people.
Beyond the already understood meaning that choice implies, “feeling” is an aspect MMDC would like to emphasize; A sense of emotion, susceptibilities, sensitive, sympathetic and heartfelt consideration for others. Artistically, MMDC is aimed at giving attention to feelings by translating them immediately into the reality of the performance.
MAGPIE has performed in a range of venues (site specific, artist’s initiated spaces, squats, black box theaters, and opera houses) in order to reach a range of public groups. MAGPIE have had and will continue to have the opportunity to place their work in an international perspective. All of the individual artists involved with MAGPIE have their own careers where they travel around the world experiencing a diversity of social and cultural contexts. These experiences have taught them that there is a global aspect of the human condition that does not resist communication in artistic situations when it is offered in a real and compassionate way and when the artists acknowledges the public’s choice to be there.
In the performances by MMDC they would like for the public to understand that collaboration with choice is a real option in whatever social context they choose to see and that the artists are there because of the public’s choice to be there. The artists are invited to the venue or platform to create a social environment out of what the public group has already chosen it to be.
We show live performance that has been emancipated from one culture, one generation, one gender, one body type or look. We are free of fetishistic and destructive processes involving faulty aesthetic theories which limit the eye and close the ear. We are an International group of performers working together successfully, on going for 10 years plus. We are multi-generational representing 4 generations. We are of different genders and sexual orientations working together democratically.