Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie, known collectively as Divas Dance Theatre, are renowned for their highly visual, interdisciplinary brand of dance performance that incorporates elements of theatre, film, opera, poetry and vaudevillian humour. Anarchic Dance, consisting of a book and downloadable resources, is a visual and textual record of their boundary-shattering performance work. The downloadable resources feature extracts from Aggiss and Cowie's work, including the highly-acclaimed dance film Motion Control (premiered on BBC2 in 2002), rare video footage of their punk-comic live performances as The Wild Wigglers and reconstructions of Aggiss's solo performance in Grotesque Dancer.
These films are cross-referenced in the book, allowing readers to match performance and commentary as Aggiss and Cowie invite a broad range of writers to examine their live performance and dance screen practice through analysis, theory, discussion and personal response. Extensively illustrated with black and white and colour photographs Anarchic Dance, provides a comprehensive investigation into Cowie and Aggiss’s collaborative partnership and demonstrates a range of exciting approaches through which dance performance can be engaged critically.
Foreword Donald Hutera Notes on contributors Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: Navigating the known Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie 2. The aesthetics of smash and grab Carol Brown 3. Writing dance Deborah Levy 4. Liz Aggiss and ‘Authentick’ grotesque expressionism Marion Kant 5. Choreographic vocabulary 1: Visual metaphor Billy Cowie 6. Outsider Performance: A raw vision: Dance and learning difficulties Liz Aggiss 7. Deconstruction in Die Orchidee: Mischievous plays in the spaces between language and meanings Valerie A Briginshaw 8. Hilde Holger, spirit and maracas Claudia Kappenberg and Liz Aggiss 9. Choreographic vocabulary 2: Time and rhythm Billy Cowie 10. The impossibility of the review in the mind of the critic Ian Bramley 11. Deconstructing Heidi Sondra Fraleigh 12. Choreographic vocabulary 3: Space Billy Cowie 13. Screen Divas: A filmic expression of the grotesque aesthetic Sherril Dodds 14. Reconstruction: Or why you can never step into the same river twice Liz Aggiss 15. Anarchic dance Billy Cowie Afterword Liz Aggiss and Billy Cowie Work Bibliography Index
'An excellent document of the work of Liz Aggiss & Billy Cowie.' – Lea Anderson