Orographic is a new outdoor performance from leading physical theatre performance troupe Oceanallover fusing otherworldly choreography, live music and sculptural costume design inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s landscape paintings and humankind’s relationship to mountains.
Why do mountains trigger in us such an emotional response? What gives us that jolt of inspiration and transcendence when we see a mountain? How can I as an individual show what it is that I feel at such a moment?
Oceanallover’s Artistic Director, Alex Rigg, has a long time interest in the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and in particular his lesser known landscape paintings. By the early 1920s, Mackintosh had abandoned his architectural practice entirely and moved to the south of France where he indulged his passion for watercolour landscape painting around the Vermilion coast and river valleys snaking into the high Pyrenees. The starting point for this project can be found in the abstract lines, shapes and cartography that Mackintosh used to communicate the orography of mountains and hillsides.
Orographic is a performance work inspired by radical landscape and in particular inspirational landforms. The term itself was coined to describe the study of the formation and geographic features of mountains. The piece will take direct inspiration from spectacular land masses in Scotland such as Rackwick, Criffel, Cathkin Braes, Merrick, Ben Nevis, Ben Lomond, Arrochar Alps and the Campsie Fells.
Thematically the piece will consider the awe we experience when faced with a mountainous structure and the human desire throughout history to conquer such edifices. Oceanallover’s composers Ritchie Merchant and Joey Sanderson will compose a score which echoes these themes using rustic percussion, earthy brass tones and voice to create a live soundscape.
Orographic supported by the European Championships Cultural Programme 2018, Upland, Slovak Wildlife Society, Golden Eagles Project and produced by Feral Arts
Orographic premiered at Festival 2018 - European Championships, Glasgow in August across the city
// Sea Hames
Nominated for Best Music and Sound 2018 CATS (Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland)
In 1984 two Clydesdale horses jumped the gate of their field and charged down to the beach at Bilia Croo on Orkney. Standing up on their hind hooves they danced and strutted in the low mid-summer sun. Using this striking image as inspiration, the rituals of horse, land and sea inspire the visual and aural poetry of Sea Hames, its choreography and ritual responding to the power and permanence of Scotland’s natural heritage and folkloric identity.
Sea Hames is a celebration of Orkney’s Festival of the Horse ancient traditions of ploughing contests and arcane rural ritual. This innovative multi-disciplinary performance fuses eclectic sonic composition, compelling performance and intricate costume to explore the mythology and iconography of the horse, the earth and the sea.
Sea Hames Toured across the UK in 2017/18 to:
Dance International Glasgow -Tramway, Crawick Multiverse, Dance Base, Dalkeith Country Park, Threave Gardens, Sanctury - The Dark Outside, Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Earls Palace, St Margaret's Hope - The Boys Ploughing Match, Barrhead Waterworks, Neilston Community Trust and Manipulate Festival.
Supported by Creative Scotland, Buccleuch Estates and Crawick Artland Trust
"The effect of Sea Hames on children and adults alike was instantly exhilarating, like a sudden magical visitation from a fantastical world."
★★★★ The Times
"Alex Rigg and his collaborators into a strange but inviting and beautiful event that’s a top photo opportunity."
★★★★ Edinburgh Guide
"Oceanallover has created a strange and compelling world that steps at its own singular pace with the ensemble at once moving in unison yet remaining utterly in their own individual zones."
//Not To Scale
Not To Scale is an outdoor performance spectacle which is inspired by and can respond to sources of natural power such as wind and water turbine sites. Oceanallover utilise the backdrop of these soaring turbines and hydro-electric dams as stimulus to frame this performance.
Not To Scale is based loosely on a story by Eleanor Farjeon called “The Giant and the Mite”. It is an allegory examining self-awareness and responsibility for actions. The smallest of creatures with the biggest of minds enters through the ear and into the head of a thoughtless giant. Viewers are invited to draw parallels between this allegory and giant structures of human construction or engineered edifices that extend well beyond the capabilities of one person to make.
Not to Scale has been performed as part of Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Melrose Book Festival, Festival Mirabilia and at Charles Jencks sculpture park ‘Crawick
Supported by Creative Scotland