Brocade is a poetic response to historical and contemporary notions of craft and physical work and a celebration of alchemy between female dance and music artists. Nominated for the Total Theatre Dance Award 2018. Presented at Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase, Sadler’s Wells, Tanzmesse in Düsseldorf, Tramway, for Dance International Glasgow and at Nottdance, International Centre for Choreography in Nottingham amongst others.
***** British Theatre Guide
‘This is women’s work. Generous, committed, connected, giving unstintingly.’
Audiences on Brocade
‘Brocade, is a powerful example of the best of British dance’.
Gillie Kleiman, Dance Artist
‘This shook and wowed audiences at Nottdance, completely brilliant’.
Paul Russ on Brocade, Director of Dance4, International Centre for Choreography
‘Brocade by @Roberta__Jean was WOW In awe of everyone involved. Not seen anything as strong in an absolute age.’
'Your work was absolutely stunning. There was something so beautifully simple about it, yet it built to a place of great depth and clarity.'
'I feel grateful and alive to have witnessed such embodied beings for that time, to have been taken back to myself.'
Directed and choreographed by Roberta Jean, performed and made in collaboration with a rotating ensemble of female dancers and musicians that includes Stephanie McMann, Helka Kaski, Angharad Davies, Laura Dannequin, Kirsty Arnold, Martha Pasakopoulou, Charlotte Baker, Carys Staton, Airen Koopmans and Morrighan MacGillivray.
Lighting design by Grant Anderson, filmed by David Stewart. Supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Dance4, Dance Limerick, The Work Room, Dance East, Dartington and Dance Base.
Impression of Brocade at Tramway in Glasgow by Victoria Kent Gray.
‘I think there is a loom of glosses somewhere, where their weaver weaves them into a tissue that signifies and is real, that contains its own explications. The corridor, where centuries meet, the reverse nipple like a dimple in time. Depression into which certain irreplaceable musks collect. They are from elsewhere'. (Ariana Reines)
Brocade, contains its own explications. Extrasensory, it is a loom of movement glosses that, when woven, makes a numinous tissue. Sitting on either side of a traverse performance space, we witness women's bodies skip and skim down a corridor. With the quality of silk-moths, their immeasurably tender and at times, stampede-like sounds and movements, seem to pick up and unpick centuries (and centuries) of embodied, psycho- kinesthetic memory.
Brocade, demands that we both puncture and reverse the surface of the real, over and under, under and over, to explicate that musky underside where our cellular-spiritual elsewhere collects – where our stitches (and our spirits) show. The performers are woven from the fabric of that elsewhere. So whilst on the surface they move with the delicate quality of silk, I read them as five women braiding their energies, so as to unpick the butterfly stitches suturing old wounds. In this way, the performance of Brocade folds into itself the possibility of healing; the choreographic loom reversing those misrepresentations and missed representations brocaded on patriarchies violent surface.