Guy Dartnell, The Solo Trilogy: Bottle, Would Say Something & Consuming Songs

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

These three shows consist of a wonderful stylistic journey, and a very absorbing personal one. Guy Dartnell is an extraordinary everyman. From the first abstract dance composition to a more narrative-led story, the audience is introduced to his obsessions, delights and fears. The linking element is Dartnell’s joy in the power of sound and movement. This can be ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, sung as he advances, sung backwards as he backs away, a goal scoring circuit of delight, or a singer’s single note stretched into a movement. Musicians accompany him to create characters drawn from a sound his own mouth starts, and in Would Say Something, these characters then expound their natures.

He deals here with sketches of people trapped within a single outlook. At the end of the piece he moves into yoga, and the step of belief into seeing the oneness of everything. He then simply and beautifully takes a step. All the shows deal with dreams, and his own positive experience. But he also touches on those people who, curled up within themselves, can only envisage nightmares. His empathy seems to come from an incident he recalls in Consuming Songs where, led to seek help with a bad back, he encounters a German counsellor. Lying on his back a single note induces within him a strong and powerful emotional release

But all this may make him sound too worthy. The man presents his stories with humour, a blackboard, an ironic inner commentary from a bored audience member, a small dancing doll. He is a lad, an adolescent music encyclopedia, and a reluctant admirer of Stars in their Eyes. He is also a very talented performer, who communicates with an ease and charm that belies the profundity of his questions. I came away after three nights with an inner warmth, having spent some time with a very exceptional man.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 24