SHORT SOLOS: 1984 – 1985
For You I Would Do Anything For Your Love My Heart Cries
Yolande Snaith made her debut to the London new dance scene in 1984 with these three solos, featured in the Dance Umbrella Festival. They were also performed in a variety of venues in the UK from art centers and theatres, to alternative cabarets and dance festivals, which launched her career as a young dancer and choreographer.
“She revealed a wonderfully lose and sinewy quality in her dancing”
Sophie Constanti, Dance Theatre Journal
“She is a droll performer if ever I saw one, and she confirmed her individuality in three solos at The Place which made “situations” out of the most mundane things……That she could also dance with athletic flexibility was proved in later capers, which had a raw gutsy feeling to make the maximum out of the minimalism.”
Ann Nugent, The Stage
For You I Would Do Anything . . . / Photo: Chris Nash
Blue Whiteness Rhapsody / Photo:Chris Nash
Scared Shirtless / Photo:Chris Nash
Can Baby Jane Can Can? / Photo:Chris Nash
Can Baby Jane Can Can? / Photo:Chris Nash
Germs/ Photo:Chris Nash
Germs/ Photo:Chris Nash
BLUE WHITENESS RHAPSODY (1985-1987)
Blue Whiteness Rhapsody explores the ambiguities within our images of feminine ideals, from “every woman’s dream of unadulterated beauty” to “ the mean low down blues of domestic labor.The image of a pure, white Greek caryatid is stripped down to a woman in her corset, scrubbing the floor. Like the deconstruction of the sections of a Russian doll, costume metaphors are removed layer by layer. At the core, the real and vibrant woman is exposed, with all her scars and imperfections. Blue Whiteness Rhapsody seeks to reveal the neuroses behind female obsessions and the striving for perfection, masked behind an idealized cliché.
One of those pieces that many young women created during the mid 80’s in one form or another. Both a personal statement and a catharsis for like- minded young women of my time.
Blue Whiteness Rhapsody was a solo performance, funded by the Arts Council Of England. The piece was featured in The Dance Umbrella Festival, 1985, and toured throughout the UK to both theater and Art Gallery Spaces. This piece was also performed in Vienna, Copenhagen and the former Yugoslavia.
“Snaith’s is a finely paced and multi-faceted work, abrupt punctuation giving way to pleasant flow, sharpened by wit and appropriately chaste in color and accompaniment. Hers is the most distinct choreographic voice, one which knows exactly how to channel a point of view into a cogent act”
“Razor-sharp intelligence welded to a highly original movement vocabulary”
“This young woman created such magic at Premises that I can hardly describe the feelings her performance gave me – her work is so original, so visually stunning and mentally affecting that everyone who sees her must want to see more”
Naomi Koston, Daily Express
“Snaith infuses her idiosyncratic creations with a flair for design and unusual visual images”
SCARED SHIRTLESS 1986-1987
Scared Shirtless was inspired by events and characters from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred years Of Solitude. Images, related to love tragedies, obsessed, bereft and solitary women, morph from one into the next through the transformations of a giant shirt, and the solo performer’s changing relationship to it.
Scared Shirtless was funded by the Arts Council of England and Commissioned by the Institute Of Contemporary Art, London. The work toured in the UK, often as a double bill with Blue Whiteness Rhapsody.
“It is a visually stunning opening to a solo show that is at its best in creating images of striking clarity, force and unexpected beauty – images that linger in the mind ….it is not that she reflects specific situations in the book, more a mood, an emotional landscape of magical intensity, full of surprising transformations. At its best, the piece resembles the novel, too, in its scope, its strangeness, its intensely vivid and personal individuality” John Clifford, The Scotsman
“It’s a wise and witty piece, full of inventive ideas as well as Snaith’s sturdy, athletic movement. She has a splendid awareness of how juxtaposition of various elements – music, dance and design – can offer subtle comments on social situations. Her dance is, even when expansive whirling, quite contained and precise especially the finicky little hand movements that punctuate the work with a bolshy femininity."
Mary Brennan, The Glasgow Herald
“As a dancer, Yolande Snaith moves, fast, hard and dangerously, a solid blaze of energy governed by iron control….Snaith has a brilliant visual sense – her ideas are funny, incongruous and moving and she executes them with a fierce attention to detail.”Judith Mackrell, The Independent
“Brimful with inventive movement, a ready wit and a sharp eye for the imbalance of male/female relationships – being wrapped up in love (or in this case a Goliathesque Shirt)- can be as smothering as it is comforting.” Keith Watson, Hampstead & Highgate Express
CAN BABY JANE CAN CAN? (1988 - 89)
Through the associative use of costume, props and movement, the work presents multi-leveled metaphors, taking the audience on a journey, which considers not only the nature of friendship, but also the changing lives of women in 20th century Britain and the roles they have to play.
"A journey through the imagined path of our mother’s generation. The young girls of World War II, the daughters of the British Army, the boarding schools, the orphanages, the land girls, the secret agents, the housewives with their ration books, the endless tin cans, the identification with ‘keeping your pecker up”, the need to keep soldiering on."
CAN BABY JANE CAN CAN? was funded by the Arts Council Of England, and featured in the Spring Loaded Festival at The Place theatre, London. The piece toured extensively throughout the UK, as well as tours to Holland, Vienna and Germany 1987 – 89, with support from the British Council.
“Yolande Snaith and Kathy Crick stomped about in sensible shoes and good tweed suits; two manly British ladies enrolled, it seemed, as war time secret agents, whose grapplings with suitcases and cans of food became transformed into an absurd battlefield”
Nadine Meisner, The Sunday Times.
“Their phrasings and patterns build up to become dramatically evocative as well a intellectually stimulating. Yolande Snaith’s work sparkles with intelligence, invention and a great warmth of spirit.”
Lesley-Anne Sayers, Dance Theatre Journal
“By far the most interesting examination of female behavior (and the most interesting choreography) in the festival has been Yolande Snaith’s Can Baby Jane Can Can. …Snaith makes the ordinary (tin cans, chairs, clothes) seem extraordinary. She and Kathy Crick are funny, moving, powerful performers.”
Jann Parry, The Observer
GERMS: ADVANCED LESSONS IN SOLIAL SKILLS(1989 - 1990)
Germs delves into the taboos and contradictions within Victorian values. Extracts from ‘The Young Ladies Journal Of 1866’ provide the ingredients for a concoction of surrealist recipes, absurd demonstrations and moral sermons on matters such as; vice and virtue, purity, domestic education, etiquette and acceptable social behavior. Choreography, film, text and sound design join forces to create a montage of pathways through the secret thoughts of two women, where their subversive mischief runs riot. The intriguing transformations of costume and employment of objects with their multiple meanings and associations, creates a pallet of visual references that inform the movement and choreography.
“The Young Ladies Journal of 1866 proved to be a minefield of gauche, puritanical notions about the training of young children. Our twin roles as alternate matriarchs and patriarchs led us into a land of unlimited misdemeanors, rudeness, wild dancing and absurd humor: Victorian ladies with Brueghelian headgear, corseted bustles, batons and tin pots armed us for our ritualized preaching: “to the pure, all things are pure”
Germs was funded by the Arts Council Of England, Greater London Arts and a 1989 Digital Dance Award. The work featured in both the Spring Loaded festival, Dance Umbrella, the British Art Show, and toured throughout the UK as well as performances in France, Spain, Germany and Holland, with support from the British Council.
“The whole work is superbly crafted and brilliantly performed. It reaffirms Snaith’s standing as one of the most significant choreographers of our day” Mark Harris, The Express
“Yolande has used her subversive imagination and almost vicious wit to create a montage of surrealist recipes, absurd demonstrations and moral sermons together with 15 chamber pots, a lot of vegetables and film projection” Everywoman
“The program’s greatest event was Yolande Snaith’s Germs…..I have seen no new British choreography this year more strange, original, funny, disturbing or excellent than this.” Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times
“Snaith is an absurdist, a clever and theatrical absurdist, with wit, precision, a sense of history, craftsmanship and a flair for gesture….What made all of this so marvelous was the dance sense that informed the most ordinary moves – the precision and variety of timing, the harmony of line from head to toe, even in the most drolly angled poses, the sense of movement developing organically through each episode”
Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times
“Yolande snaith, a maverick choreographer who can turn a chamber pot into a wildly eccentric tool of creative genius…..Germs is dance theatre at its most witty and engaging for those who enjoy a send-up to end all send-ups.” The Sandard
“It seems to me that Snaith composes her works with the eye of a painter while at the same time she has a strikingly original and inspiring movement range. Each movement and image resounds with associations. It is wonderfully eccentric, and has been composed with a boldness of creative freedom that is inspiring.”
Lesley-Anne Sacks. Dance Theatre Journal
“they stride purposefully about the stage, intoning the text with strict precision like nursery drill sergeants. Their movements are swift and sure, and Snaith’s offbeat timing is so meticulously observed that even the simplest gesture becomes fresh and surprising” Christopher Bowen, The Scotsman