Garden of Joy and Sorrows

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7 February 1997 at The Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe

Creative Team


Arc Dance Company


Kim Brandstrup


Sophia Gubaidulina

Set Design

Kandis Cook


Tina MacHugh

Scenic Artist

Liz Reed

Costume Design

Sasha Keir


Mark Ashman
Joy Constantinides
Marcus Green
Fearghus O’Conchuir
Joanna O’Keeffe
Jonathan Poole
Kenneth Tharp
Andrew Titcombe
Souli Yates

Garden of Joy and Sorrows

Arc Dance Company
Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, February 1997

review Extracts

“Images redolent of Persian miniatures inform steps and groupings associated with Bacchus and his entourage. There is a flicking delicacy in his movements with fleet, goatish running steps and falls for his satyrs.”

The Stage

"Garden of Joys and Sorrows used the 1980 score by Sofia Gubaidulina, a spare and melancholic piece of writing which provides the austere aural landscape for the island of Naxos, where Ariadne is abandoned by her beloved Theseus and is consoled by Bacchus. The garden evoked by Brandstrup's choreography, and particularly by the Maenads and Satyrs who inhabit it, is a creepy place: soothing one minute, and disturbing the next"

Debra Craine, The Times, Tuesday February 4 1997

"Brandstrup's dance fixes on a moment in the story of Ariadne, where, abandoned by Theseus, she longs to die, but is consoled by Bacchus. His choreography is thus full of swooning falls, of movement infused with a heady longing for oblivion contrasted with the sharp-footed jumps of satyrs and the deftly oriental dance of Bacchus himself"

Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, Monday February 3 1997

"Brandstrup's forte is the revelation of subtle feeling. Garden uses a fascinatingly resonant score by Sophia Gubaidulina as basis on which to study the theme of Ariadne abandoned on Naxon by Theseus, and then comforted by Bacchus. The force of Ariadne's passion is clear, as is the reluctance of Theseus (that most boring of classic heroes) to respond to it, and Brandstrup makes choreographic capital from the contrast with Bacchus's warm and loving acceptance of Ariadne's love. It is a work of psychological optimism and pertinent imagery"

Clement Crisp, Financial Times, April 16 1997