At the end of break, St Andrews transforms from a coastal town with an empty castle to one where students flood the streets and (too soon) the library. Yet all the bustle of plane rides and train trips and those few blissful days before classes begin are a minor stir compared to the ten-day long creative frenzy of On The Rocks. And this year, the committee is looking for eager volunteers to help make the festival better than ever.
An art historian could quote you an essay by Harold Rosenberg. A budding philosopher could counter with a line from Plato’s Aesthetics. And who can say that one is right and one is wrong? Art—something that is simultaneously obvious and indefinable—connotes a different meaning to each who considers it. And as the deadline for applying to On The Rocks 2018 approaches, it is an idea you should consider in earnest.
Chances are that you’re laden down with a whole host of freebies and emails from the societies you expressed an interest in at Freshers’ Fayre. Although you may soon realise that your schedule might not allow space for all of them, you won’t want to miss out on being involved in On The Rocks Arts Festival!
It’s very rare that I can honestly recommend a show to anyone and everyone, but rare things have a habit of happening on occasion. This is one of those occasions. As far as I know the plan is to take this show to the Edinburgh Fringe festival this August. If you find yourself in Edinburgh for the festival, you should absolutely see this show.
Hosted in conjunction with the Lumsden Club in St. Andrews’ Byre Theatre, the evening brought to a close the vast range of events which took place in the annual week of On the Rocks festivities. The evening began with a wine reception and a chance to chat to not only the ladies of the Lumsden Club, but also the members of the acts who would be performing later on in the evening as well as regular guests.
A venue as small as the Barron was not an obvious choice for a dance show. In spite of spatial limits, The Phrase was a thoroughly enjoyable On The Rocks performance with ambitious choreography and talented dancers, even if some floor routines were occasionally difficult to see.
On the Rocks did well to include this intelligent and provocative dance piece into their exciting showcase of the best of St Andrews talent. Fate: In Three Parts reached into our fascination with what could have been, what is, and what might be, this obsession with destiny articulated by seven incredibly talented dancers. On entering what is usually Club 601, the audience was immediately struck by the unconventionality of the set design, brilliantly curated by Amy Seaman, which did not have a definite front or back. Arranged in a square around eight metal pillars to which vibrant red cord was attached, the audience was confronted with an unexpected decision that saw the stage marked by the viewers themselves. This gave the audience agency, we too were curators of the space in which the dance unfurled, growing and changing with each dancer as they moved in a distinctly contemporary style.
If I were to describe the performance in the most basic terms, I might tell you that Cloth was essentially half an hour of a young woman playing with, wearing, dancing around and rolling around in a bed sheet to a soundtrack of upbeat accordion, pared-down vocal tracks and lingering silences. However, to do so would be to sell the piece short on its emotional intensity and its brilliant ability to narrate a story through evocative physical theatre.