- Title: White Man Sleeps
- Summary: Made for five dancers, White Man Sleeps was originally choreographed as part of the first programme for her new company in 1988, and set to the string quartet version of Kevin Volans' music. The dance has been revised several times since so it exists in a number of different versions. It was filmed in 1989 and first reworked in 1997 using the original score for two African-tuned harpsichords, viola da gamba and a rattle. This score reveals more accurately the rythmical structure and the connectivity between the musicians, and therefore had an impact on the dancers' movement. Several sections of the dance were adapted because of the new music and dancers. The piece was reworked again in 2000 and 2005, Davies aiming to get ever closer to how she wanted the piece to feel and look.
- Work: 1988
- Choreographer: Siobhan Davies
- Choreographer Comments: choreographed for Siobhan Davies Dance.
- Dancer: Tammy Arjona, Laurent Cavanna, Scott Clark, Gill Clarke, Paul Douglas, Sean Feldman, Michael Fulwell, David Hughes, Matthew Morris, Pari Naderi, Paul Old, Lauren Potter, Catherine Quinn, Mariusz Raczynski, Sasha Roubicek, Lizie Saunderson, Deborah Saxon, Sarah Warsop
- Dancer Comments: 1988 - The string quartett version. Scott Clark, Paul Douglas, Michael Fulwell, Lauren Potter, Catherine Quinn (replacing Lizie Saunderson through injury).
Catherine Quinn subsequently joined Rambert Dance Company and was replaced by Gill Clarke for the 1989/90 tours.
1997 - Remade using the original orchestration for two harpsichords, viola da gamba, and percussion played to African tuning. Gill Clarke, Sean Feldman, David Hughes, Paul Old, Deborah Saxon/Sarah Warsop
2000 - Gill Clarke, Matthew Morris, Paul Old, Sasha Roubicek, Deborah Saxon
2005 - Tammy Arjona, Laurent Cavanna, Pari Naderi, Mariusz Raczynski, Sasha Roubicek
- Music: Kevin Volans
- Sound Score: White Man Sleeps (1982) written for two harpsichords, viola da gamba, percussion; later revised for string quartet, 1986, by kind permission of Chester Music Ltd. Carole Cerasi, James Johnston/Vincent Ranger, harpsichords, Reiko Ichise, viola da gamba, Matteo Fargion, percussion played to African tuning, perform the original 1982 score for the 1997 & 2005 tours of White Man Sleeps. String quartet: Steven Smith, Clive Hughes, Nic Pendlebury, Sophie Harris/Tanya Smith perform as the Degas Quartet (1988), and renamed Smith Quartet (1990).
- Musicians: Carole Cerasi (harpsichord)
- Designer: David Buckland
- Lighting Design: Peter Mumford
- Costume Designer: David Buckland
- Costume Maker: Penny Thompson - 1988 Sasha Keir - 1997
- Painter: Scenic Painting - John Campbell
- Analysis: ‘The most interesting aspect of the different versions is perhaps the dialogue between music and dance. In the first version, set to the western tuning (equal temperament) of the string instruments, which produces a more homogenous sound, ‘motion’ rather than ‘position’ is emphasised, contributing to the perception of fluidity in the dance. Davies reflects the legato of the strings with movement that has a sinuous, relaxed and gentle dynamic. The revival is edgier and more percussive. The change to instruments that are plucked, struck and shaken, and which preserves the separate identity of each instrument, produces a different timbre, a rougher, raw dynamic, which increases the immediacy of the rhythmic complications of both the music and movement’ (Sarah Whatley, 2005).
'Davies and the dancers tried to place the rhythmical score inside the body. Notes appeared from movement that was generated within the centre of the body, emerging out through the skin and joints into the space. An image of the hands encircling the head, extending the human face forward into a muzzle finished off many phrases. Both the choreography and performance were informed by images of the length of human and animal paces and the broken patterning of Shoowa cloth design painted on the floor' (Deborah Saxon, 2009).
- Production Date Original: 1988
- Tour: with Wyoming (1988):
09/11/88 - 13/11/88 - Riverside Studios, London (Premiere)
11/05/89 - 13/05/89 - Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton
19/05/89 - 20/05/89 - Scottish Ballet Studio Theatre, Glasgow
02/06/89 - Northcott Theatre, Exeter
with Different Trains (1990):
08/11/90 - 10/11/90 - Sadler's Wells, London
16/11/90 - 17/11/90 - Arnolfini, Bristol
19/11/90 - Northcott Theatre, Exeter
21/11/90 - Connaught Theatre, Worthing
26/11/90 - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
30/11/90 - 01/12/90 - Playhouse, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
06/12/90 - 07/12/90 - University of Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
with Bank (1997):
09/05/97 - 10/05/97 - Grand Theatre, Blackpool
15/05/97 - 17/05/97 - Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton
30/05/97 - 31/05/97 - Arts Theatre, Cambridge
03/06/97 - 04/06/97 - Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
with Bank (1997) & The Art of Touch (1995)
09/10/97 - 10/10/97 - Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
17/10/97 - 18/10/97 - RNCM, Manchester
24/10/97 - Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
28/10/97 - 30/10/97 - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
04/11/97 - 09/11/97 - Joyce Theater, New York City, USA
04/02/00 Studio Event - The Linbury Theatre, London
23/06/00 Studio Event - The Lowry, Salford
with Bird Song (2004):
09/06/05 - 10/06/05 - Salisbury Playhouse
26/09/05 - 28/09/05 - Sadler's Wells, London