PASSION IN MOISTURE - RIVERSIDE
Original Broadcast Date: 31/01/1983
Dancers: Sue Menhenick & Ikky Maas
Link: http://www.oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=1992 ____________________________________________________________________________________
We have arrived at the 31/01/1983. It Is just over a year since Sue made her final appearance on TOTP. Now she is back, appearing on BBC2’s arts programme, Riverside.
Riverside was an early evening show broadcast on BBC2. It was similar to The Southbank Show but lighter in tone and aimed at a younger audience.
Mick Karn, previously of the band Japan, provides the music, Passion In Moisture, which features on his debut solo album, ‘Titles’
Sue’s dance partner is Ikky Maas who is from Holland. He came to London to dance for the Ballet Rambert Dance Company. Also at the Ballet Rambert at this time was Michael Ho who choreographed this performance. The aim was to interpret two mannequins dancing together which is why both dancers remain expressionless throughout.
Commenting on this very forum way back in 2011, Sue remarked : "Having been classically trained, it was "refreshing" to do something so contemporary and different from the more commercial styles I am normally associated with"
Both Maas and Ho remain involved in the dance world, teaching to a new generation of aspiring performers.
I imagine that this may not be too popular with many of you. The cold and impersonal nature of the dance is far removed from anything that Sue did on TOTP. But I have to say that this is a dance that I enjoy watching. I find the music quite hypnotic and the choreography is perfectly pitched to it. The performances of both dancers are immaculate, it is as though they are dancing as one. I would think that it must have been quite difficult for them to keep such straight faces throughout the performance. I wouldn't want all dances to be like this but I think that this makes for a refreshing change and so I am scoring quite high at 8.75 out of 10. I am very interested though to see what you make of it.
An interesting performance to say the least. I have to say that this is one of those dance pieces which I find highly skillful and excellently presented but ultimately just not quite to my taste. Both dancers stay completely in character and the dance fits the music perfectly but I am not quite able to find enjoyment beyond the admiration I feel. It is certainly good to have the chance to see Sue in a completely new light but I think 7/10 is a good reflection of my reaction to this artistic dance. I think it's more of a disc decorating the wall than a 45 regularly on the turntable honestly
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
You know its funny but the Sue solo from just over a year before this scored extremely highly, no doubt sentiment played a part and also i got the impression folk were marking Sue's whole career on that final TOTPs dance of hers. Hey, add me to the list as i laid down my maximum too. But this dance performance is far more difficult to perform. Due to the mood of the dance, everything has to be precise and any error however small would be noticeable.
Make no mistake, this is a technically challenging dance but is executed crisply and without fault. Of course equal credit goes to the male half here also. But what a wonderfully talented and versatile dancer Sue was, and im sure still is. For me this just underlines the fact that she was the most naturally gifted of all our dancers.
Never seen this before, but what an utterly amazing performance. Totally brilliant. A technically challenging contemporary dance sequence of the very highest order, and executed beautifully by both Sue and her partner.
Sue is an amazing dancer and she is totally outstanding in everything she does. Here, in particular, when it's one on one, she's flawless, conveying subliminal dramatic expression and movement to Mick Karn's musical composition.
Its technically very accomplished and for that both dancers deserve a commendation, and doubtless it was an interesting challenge to try something so different. But does it float my boat? In a word, no. Technical merit 10/Artistic interest 3/Overall 6.5.
Having checked out a few clips of this show it definitely offered a highly alternative musical selection, so this piece of leftfield electronic weirdness obviously fits right in with ethos of the show. I'm not sure i truly 'get it' (as in enjoy it) but its certainly worth a few views to catch all the little nuances they sequenced to this cold and brooding piece. The idea of making the movements somewhat rigid and jerky goes against what you normally associate with dance that of a smooth and flowing movement, so a bold and interesting piece that would probably lack any maas appeal (sorry, couldn't resist). To showcase the wider world of the dancers is exactly what this area of the forum is about and its a worthy edition, i'll give it 8/10
Here's a version of the dance that has Mick Karn introduce it and discuss his, err artwork.
I'm scoring it 10/10 too. The music is not at all to my taste and by and large I could take or leave Japan too back in the day, so there is no sentiment there, but the dance is immaculate to behold. I love seeing Sue in more formal dancing mode and would have liked to see her in a full ballet mode performance.
The two work so well together and this routine accentuates Sue's precision and indeed the meticulous way the dancers must have prepared together. Brilliant,
This week, I are mostly be watching ToTP and drinking coffee
Sue goes all art-house on us. Could this really be the same lady who painted herself smurf-blue, or buzzed as a bee amongst the pretty pettals!?
Back in the early 80s there was a definite revival of pre-war Nazi-Berlin decadence going on embodied by hit singles such as I'm in Love With A German Film Star (Passions) and Drowning in Berlin (Mobiles), possibly influenced by the New Romantic era, Bowie's Berlin Trilogy and the Cabaret movie of ten years earlier. And I get the same vibe from this number. Strange and unsettling...as it's meant to be. Oh hell, I'm going to have to watch Mah Na Mah Na now as a counter-balance.
Marks: I can be a little pretentious myself on occasion so I'll give this an eight for not once does the lady's face crack!
Thanks for all the ratings so far. Good to see Coffee Thing making his debut on here. Hopefully he will stick around and rate some other dances. I thought this performance might split opinion and it has really, but generally the feedback has been favourable so far. Still looking for some more words of wisdom though so we can reach our minimum target of 10 reviews.
I wonder how much time that Sue and Ikky had to prepare for this dance compared to a TOTP performance? Perhaps if Sue reads this she will be able to enlighten us on that.
Sue looks stunning in this routine! Its very modern and definately has that alternative feel that works well with the routine. Its a shame all of the girls weren't hired, but I guess that would steal the spotlight off Sue. Sue is just amazing in this, it just leaves me speechless!
Thanks for your review Legsfan and it is good that this performance has racked up another maximum.
We find ourselves stuck on 9 reviews again. We always seem to get stuck on nine and every time that nine is made up of a different combination of people! Anyway, some of the forum's biggest hitters are still to review this so I am hopeful that we will get to ten and beyond soon.
In order to get up to the 10 scores required I'll add mine. It's very arty, highly skillful and no doubt pulled off to a level that few dancers could have achieved. But there's not much I like about it so 2/10. Sorry.
The first 90 seconds seem like an unedited 'intro' during which each side of the partnership analyzes the other, reticent to make a move. Were this curtailed by half, my enjoyment, which includes the remarkable (and much more difficult to maintain than can be imagined) posture holds and the classical 'Evita' embodiment in Sue, would have been considerably greater. The music is a touch too excessive in the range of underlying menace to hear regularly. In portraying no hint of emotion whatsoever, the mask-like expressions are more fascinating than they perhaps ought to be - what's whirring away beneath?
Funnily enough, a clip of Riverside featuring Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey with Zoo / Hot Gossip dancer Dominique Wood was glimpsed on one of those sneery 1980's clips shows last night.
Thanks to Pans Legs and AC/PD for their reviews. We certainly have a varied set of scores so far. I think most people would probably agree that technically this is an accomplished piece of art, but then so is the Mona Lisa but I wouldn't particularly want it hanging on my lounge room wall.
I'm fairly well-disposed towards the avant garde - austere soundscapes are less than scarce among my CD collection - but even I find this hard to adjust to after years encompassing hundreds of routines on TOTP with nothing remotely similar. No such problem for Sue making the transition though, and having demonstrated her versatility so many times that's not really surprising. And, after all, switching to a side away from light entertainment was putting her closer to the road intended by her ballet-trained roots.
In Mr Maas she finds her perfect equal, he proves to be her most wooden bedfellow since Gavin. They perform marvelously as two halves of a whole with the sort of understanding one would expect from a long-term partnership. But does it delight? Sadly, no. If this is passion then bring on the drought. In its icy emotional monotony and length my attention begins to wander guiltily in the face of such flawless technical prowess. Perhaps no other routine occasions the tension between objectivity and subjectivity quite like this stark tour de force. I respect it. I salute it. I even like it to an extent. I'm spreading the Vegemite as is my preference, if not as liberally as some yeast lovers.
Thanks GD. I would love to spread the vegemite but it seems to have disappeared from the shops up here. It seems we can only get Marmite which is vastly inferior. I am starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms! We must sort out a trade deal with Australia ASAP.