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Friday, April 24, 2015 Follow us on Twitter @Argus_The Guide Step into author’s dark world

FROM the work of Wales’ “best hated man” comes a soaring debut for new chore- ographer Gwyn Emberton. Award-winning dance pro- duction My People inspired by one of Wales’ most con- troversial books by Caradoc Evans, tours South Wales this April to celebrate its cen- tenary. In 1915 one of Wales’s most

revered but feared writers, Caradoc Evans wrote My People, a collection of short stories that would divide opinion and cause outrage across Wales, lasting a cen- tury. In this centenary year of the book, acclaimed danc- er Gwyn Emberton and his company will perform the award-winning dance thea- tre production inspired by the stories at The Riverfront Theatre on April 30, 7.30pm. In what was considered by

one critic as “a soaring de- but” for a new company, this deeply affecting work sees the cast of six international dancers take on the haunt- ingly dark world of Evans’ fictional village Manteg. The lives of his most recognisable characters unravel as they collide between sexual and gender politics, and social and religious hierarchy. The work combines intri-

cate and dynamically cho- reographed narratives, with


an especially composed cin- ematic score by Benjamin Talbott and Tic Ashfield who have most recently composed for BBC Wales’ noir drama, Hinterland. The tour is part of a series

of events throughout the year that will commemorate the centenary of the book and also the life of one of Wales’ most important writers. Even though Evanswascon- sidered to be “the best hated man in Wales” at the time, he is now widely recognised as the father of Welsh writing in English and to have signifi- cantly influenced the early work of Dylan Thomas. My People will be featured in an S4C programme, to be aired in March, on Evans, with a discussion about this pro- duction between well-known Welsh presenter Beti George and Gwyn Emberton. My People won the Ann Sholem and Roy Campbell Moore Award at the 2014 Wales Dance Platform and was nominated for Best Dance Production in the 2015 Wales Theatre Awards.

Catch My People at New- port Riverfront on April 30. Call 01633 656679 for details.

In The Spotlight By GERAINT DAVIES No room for art in politics

YOU may have heard that in a few weeks’ time there is to be a general election. We will all have been bombarded with informa- tion about the economy, the NHS, immigration, education, Trident and much more besides. One of the areas that will receive little at- tention is the arts. However it has been quite illuminating to look be- yond the political parties’ outward stance on the arts at a few of the details lurking in their manifes- tos.

There has, in fact, been a pub-

lic debate involving the culture spokesmen for the main parties. They all uttered platitudes about how passionate their party was about the arts whilst admitting that, individually, they had little or no involvement in anything cre- ative ( though the UKIP guy had played in a pub band).Maybe most significant was that none of the main parties was prepared to halt the decline in funding for the arts. The Greens were the exception.

As in many other areas they are somehow going to find the enor- mous funds required to reverse all the local authority cuts made in the past five years to libraries, theatres and museums .

Most parties tend towards vague promises with little that is new. Most typical of this is Labour’s ‘universal entitlement to a crea- tive education’. Lacking in detail, though apparently there is to be a committee that will bring issues of concern to Prime Minister Mil- liband’s attention. That’s alright then. The words that most caught my

eye were those of UKIP. Caught my eye for all the wrong reasons. ‘’We reject multiculturalism, the doctrine whereby different ethnic and religious groups are encour- aged to maintain all aspects of their culture instead of integrat- ing into our majority culture’’. It is that term ‘our majority cul- ture’ that resonates jarringly. Didn’t Hitler have similar ideas ? – a culture that included Wagner, Beethoven and Strauss whilst ex- cluding Mendelssohn, jazz,the art of Kandinsky , the plays of Brecht and anything else that did not conform to his idea of a majority culture. Many of Russia’s greatest

writers,artists and musicians were imprisoned or forced into exile for their allegedly subver- sive ideas. Maybe the most pub-

licised case was that of the great composer Dmitri Shostakovitch who composed every note in fear of his life were he to upset Stalin. The authorities in China dur-

ing the Cultural Revolution went to even greater lengths to achieve a ‘majority culture’ by creating committees of composers who collaboratively composed music ,such as the famous ‘YellowRiver’ concerto, that would be deemed suitable for the masses. UKIP also plans to exclude stu- dents of the arts from their pledge to cut tuition fees. Ouch. The Conservatives have the

most detailed set of plans. These include a new world-class concert hall for London, some tax relief for theatres and orchestras and free wi-fi for all local libraries (those that remain). It is their ap- proach to arts subjects in schools that is more worrying. The em- phasis is all clearly on ‘zero toler- ance’ of any failure in the areas of numeracy , literacy and sci- ence. All very laudable but the word ‘creativity’ does not appear once. One wonders whether in the future we will have any musicians capable of playing in Mr. Camer- on’s super new concert hall.

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PERFORMANCE: My People Picture: Keith Morris

TENOR: Noah Stewart

CRITICALLY acclaimed Ameri- can Tenor, Noah Stewart brings his sensational new show So In Love to Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on Monday. Critically acclaimed among

his Opera peers (he made a critically lauded debut at Cov- ent Garden as Hassan in Judith Wier’s Miss Fortune), Noah pos- sesses that rare gift of bring- ing the technical brilliance demanded by the world’s most prestigious opera houses. For 2015, Noah has announced

that his sensational new show, So In Love, will come to the UK. Performing some of opera’s best-loved arias, music from Broadway, as well as paying homage to music that inspired him as a young boy, growing up in Harlem, this will be a rare opportunity to see the most ex- citing tenors in the world today. Tickets are available from

venue box offices or on the web- site at

5 Culture

Tenor star to perform

Indian Chinese

Fish & Chip


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