works: 1996 - 2000
Gorgeous Creatures/ Photo: Chris Nash
Gorgeous Creatures (1997)
A Girl-King is born into a world of hypocrisy and folly. Mannered rituals mask the savage playground of her court as she schemes to reveal the vanity and greed surrounding her. Stuffy conventions transform into wild, explosive dancing in an irreverent pageant of color, movement and hilarity.
“A romp through the imagined dreams of a fictitious Queen Elizabeth I in a post-modern vaudevillian pantomime.”
Gorgeous Creatures was funded by the Arts Council Of England, presented in the Dance Umbrella Festival, and toured throughout the UK in 1996 – 1997.
“A visually sumptuous spectacle” Keith Watson, Ham an High, London
“Snaith is an arch-manipulator of scale, a shape shifter, a theatre poet. She and her collaborators create extraordinary sounds and images, established through movement” Jan Parry, the Observer
“Gorgeous Creatures is a modern contemplation of the ambiguities of a bygone gender, roles and power structures, it is a true work of art made and performed with an eloquence rare in the theatre.”Alistair Macauley, Financial Times
Bilind Faith (1998 - 1999)
Inspired by the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, a banqueting table mutates into a surgeon’s slab, a sacred shrine and the scene of a pagan rave. Colorful tableaux melt, flow and tumble from one to the next, bursting into demonic or ecstatic dance, sensual, ritualistic, possessed.
In a world continuously transformed by sumptuous light, color and Graeme Miller’s compelling sound-scape, the performers embark on a dramatic and blackly funny journey through lust, litany and levitation.
“An excavation of the dark and light faces of humanity: on the one hand, a delving into our primitive, animal instincts, our fascination with mortality and our physical bodies, the underworlds of the human psyche: on the other hand, a sensual dance with the lighter side of our spiritual nature, our higher intelligence, our existential questioning, our striving for transcendence of the human condition.”
Blind Faith was funded by the Arts Council of England, with support from the London Arts Board, The Leche Trust, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the British Council. This piece was featured in the Spring Loaded festival, London, and won the Prix D’auteur du Conceil Generale de la Seine-Saint-Denise in 1998. The piece toured extensively throughout the UK 1998-99, as well as performances in France, Israel, Greece, Romania, Lithuania, and Germany. watch video
“This is a fascinating piece of theatre which had me spellbound” Dance Express
“Sequences reminiscent of exultant shamanistic rites, with dancers flung across the floor, sliding atop the table and tumbling into each others arms. The sense of unfettered joy is palpable, but so too is a more wry, knowing humor” Christopher Bowen, The Scotsman
“Theatrical acumen is a part of Yolande Snaith’s make-up which was given full reign in her Blind Faith. This was a stunningly beautiful presentation, every aspect being perfectly judged and paced” Dance Now
Maximum Machine (2000)
Maximum Machine is an archaic gymnasium for human experimentation, a measuring chamber for physical effort and psychological endurance. Trapped, the performers seek respite, ways to cheat the system, short cuts, tactics to confuse and escape routes into fantasy. The madness of their predicament induces a kind of neurosis that swings between absurd humor and almost unbearable tension.
"A visit to the world of 18th century scientific invention at the London Science Museum provided me with the object of fascination, which inspired this piece: The Maximum Machine, designed by Desaguliers, was a device to measure the maximum amount of physical work a man could do. A scaffold structure in the shape of a simple house provided the apparatus for experimentation on a human guinea pig, which performed a strenuous physical routine repeatedly until he reached the Maximum! So what would define maximum? Total collapse? Death? The absurdity of this primitive device launched me into a fantasy where the world of the stage would be a re-invention of the maximum machine, a testing chamber for physical experimentation and banal scientific rituals, where the performers would be both scientist and subject. “
Maximum Machine was funded by the Arts Council Of England, featured in the Spring Loaded season at The Place Theatre, London and toured throughout the UK in 2000 – 2001, as well as performances at the Lausanne summer festival, Switzerland 2001, with support from the British Council.
“Maximum Machine dances cunningly from one sector to another, often with a joky humor that belies the toughness, invention and sheer craft of the choreography”
Mary Brennon, The Herald, Scotland
“Snaith is an original. Her sets (conceived with Barnaby Stone) are works of art, ingeniously put in motion by her dancers and her ideas are both clever and magical” The Guardian, London
“Gravity and productivity are tested. Activities are painstakingly measured. Soon the pace escalates into frantic physical comedy. Snaith observes the absurdly strenuous, even joyless, rhythms with an underlying mixture of admiration and humor” Donald Hutera, Dance Europe
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