'Every so often the Dudendance folk - Clea Wallis and Paul Rous - turn up at The Arches to give their followers a taste of what they get up to in their own base of Huntly.
This showing, not so much a work-in-progress as a selection of ideas that are bubbling under their work, picked up on themes that emerged during a recent summer project with local young people. Three of those Young Dudes – Deborah May, Cathi Sell and Gordon Black – are now immersed in a melting pot of text, movement and film sequences which play around with aspects of characterisation and behaviour.
The mood is film noir, but given the Dudendance penchant for skewing familiar icons and introducing some shape-shifting and an element of animalistic behaviour, the cinematic genre gets an intriguing upheaval. There’s a degree of physical distortion: torsos are grotesquely puffed up with cotton wadding that cuts across any glimmers of glamour in gun-toting gangster, moll or law-man. Movement, too, alters the imagery. Black and Sell, lip-synching as no-goodniks on the run (Bonnie and Clyde, perhaps) wriggle and squirm like snakes, albeit through clumps of white wadding. Rous, padded and hatted, like a Desperate Dan look-alike, is the tippy-toed predator-gumshoe who subsequently interrogates the wonderfully fragile, butterfly flittery creature (Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard?) portrayed by Deborah May.
As a starting point, it could go anywhere. What shows already, however, is the value of what Dudendance achieves in Huntly through a bold and ambitious programme of workshops and site-specific community pieces.' Mary Brennan, The Glasgow Herald, 21st of October.
This Side of Paradise The Arches, Glasgow