Theatre in Wales

Plays and dance productions in Wales since 1982...

Jo Shapland

 

We have information on 11 plays by Jo Shapland . Click on the play name to access any reviews in out archive. Click on the company's name to read their details on this web site

 

(In)scape Residency First presented in 2005
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, 2005- 2007

Spilt Milk First presented in 2002
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
A requiem to a vacated milking parlour, a memorial to a life lived. Installation performance  in memory of a dairy business and of mother's milk

Part of the  Experimentica 2002 festival at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff. October 2002

Mammalien First presented in 2001
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
‘Ointment’ event at Parc-y-Pratt farm, Ceredigion, west Wales February 2001; the weekend the foot & mouth outbreak was announced and farms and farmland started to close.

1997 death of a mother of a condition treated years before with a mastectomy.
1997 closure of Parc-y Pratt dairy farm.


Mammalien  was an installation and performance with milk and milk products and large porcelain pots.

The gravitational movement of cracking, spreading, collapsing blancmanges placed inside the oldest part of the farm in neglected recesses made of traditional lime.

Bra – placing of blancmanges in the cups. The slow descent of blancmange sinking into and through the fabric

Blancmanges in two spherical glass light fittings, one that is damaged, the pieces in the shape of a tear. Placed on the ground, bedded in straw.

Outside- mother’s pots, made in moulds from porcelain slip

Action – at a speed pertaining to the glacial movement of the spreading blancmanges, carrying and leaving offerings of saucers of milk in the building where the cows used to wait to be milked. The blancmanges were left for a month. They were eaten by the farm cats and wild animals. Some were left and grew into mould.

.



Milk... not for adults, giver of life, nurturer, allergen
Milk... growth, hormones, antibodies
Alien growth
Curdled mammiaries,udders.
Life bringer/death giver

Soluna First presented in 2001
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
Dance piece using the 5000 year old Soluna scale investigating the unification of opposites and alignment to cosmic prionciples.

QUIVERING AUREOLA First presented in 2000
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
A hypnotic loop of performancetraces – 3 figures, superimposed to form one figure, dance an eternal cycle, always moving, always rooted to the same spot – central to the screen: centrestage.
Rough, glitchy and tatty; by being processed from original super 8 through to repeated digital the film has almost lost touch with its origins as performance documentation.

Soluna First presented in 2000
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
The roots of theatre in many ancient cultures reach back to ritual and offering in sacred spaces. Addressing this in a contemporary way, Soluna is an invitation to a highly charged,emotive and unusual merging of polarities. With an original score by Robin Heath and sound processing by David Handford.

A solo dance piece using geometry, body proportions, floor patterns and motion based on circles, curves and irregular rhythms. Visually and thematically resonating with the work of women surrealist artists.

Performances so far have been site and time specific, using appropriate materials depending on time of year and place. This had its origins in an earlier embodiment conceived at Avebury stone circle, Wiltshire and other versions were performed in three other theatre spaces in Wales.


Background:
  ‘Soluna’ is the name given to, among other things, a musical scale which resonates to solar/lunar cycles around the Earth. It is possibly 5,000 years old and has been (re?) constructed from research by writer and mathematician Robin Heath, continuing the invaluable work of Professor Alex Thom. The scale fits the ideas of professor Earnest McClain, who, in ‘The Myth of Invariants’ explains the Rg Veda (the oldest greek hindu religious text) in terms of musical scales and sun/moon cycles. Through sacred geometry and astronomical alignments it can be linked to ancient sites (eg stone circles such as Stone Henge and Avebury in Wiltshire and sites in Pembrokeshire – there are many throughout the western British Isles).
The music for Soluna is made using the Soluna scale.
Symbolically the piece is about the marriage of the sun and moon, the turning of the year. Drawing from the work of women surrealists in the last century, it addresses themes of the unification of opposites, male and female archetypes, alchemy and alignment to cosmic principles. The work also links to my home, Pembrokeshire, where there are numerous stories of the otherworld from celtic faery shamanism and from where the blue stones at Stone Henge are found to have originated. I find the Preseli landscape, where the stones are from, a powerful sourcing point for my work.

See the Woods through the Trees First presented in 2000
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
collaboration with Dave Handford 2001)
12 Days of Risk Festival, Chapter, Cardiff.
Installation and performance at tactileBOSCH, Cardiff

Zeitlupe First presented in 2000
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
A journey through the head of one characters attempts to bridge a gap between her inner, subjective self and a bigger harder world. A choreographed theatre/dance piece which uses elements of Dada, sound collage, musique concrete, live electronics, poetry and dodgy charity shop clothes.

Zeitlupe First presented in 1999
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
Zeitlupe:(time magnified)

Through cut-up choreography, strange sonic abstraction, dada inspired text and dodgy charity shop clothes this highly expressive solo dance theatre collage takes the audience through an absurd, tragi-comic, disturbing and beautiful journey.

Zeitlupe First presented in 1999
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
Zeitlupe:(time magnified)

Through cut-up choreography, strange sonic abstraction, dada inspired text and dodgy charity shop clothes this highly expressive solo dance theatre collage takes the audience through an absurd, tragi-comic, disturbing and beautiful journey.

Pedestal First presented in 1999
by Jo Shapland

synopsis:
1999-2002

2 objects in a room
A human body and an electronic wave-form generator
2 voices collide... and merge

JO verses H.A.R.R.Y.

‘See the woods through the trees’ is a dialogue of manipulation between a performer, an electronic sound generator, the sound generator’s maker and a live video screen display of merging waveforms made by this action.

The Picture: Two three-foot high white plinths, two feet away from each other.
Poised upon them and facing each other are the sound generator (H.A.R.R.Y.) and the performer (JO), connected up to the off-stage sound/vision desk, mixed by the sound generator’s maker. Framing this picture, and acting as a kind of backdrop, is the vivid green video projection of waveforms. Also ‘off-stage’, somewhere in the room (depending on the arrangement in the space) is a shrine to positive and negative energy incorporating arcane electronic symbols. The overall picture gives a strong colour contrast of bright red and bright green.

The Action: The performer sets her body and voice into minimal movement with delicacy and sensitivity, manipulating and responding to her own heartbeat, the sound generator and the shifting wave displays. The piece builds, with added interactions from the sound generator’s maker, to a wall of enveloping sound, ending with the performer cutting and leaving the loop she has become part of.  

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