Archive for November 30th, 2010


The Yvonne Rainer Project at the BFI

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

Dance on Film – until 23 January 2011

From the Yvonne Rainer Project

It was a bitterly cold night on the Embankment, a kind of night that reminded me of that old cigarette advertisement, the one that concluded: ‘You’re never alone with a Strand.’ Struggling across Hungerford bridge with the wind tugging at my hat, while an oily brown Thames slid by beneath wasn’t at all appropriate as a precursor of what was to follow, beyond the freezing stallholders of the South Bank’s Christmas Fair and of no interest whatever to the skateboarding show-offs beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

I was on my way to the preview of the Yvonne Rainer Project, an exhibit (free to enter and it’s on now) at the BFI’s Gallery – that space right at the back, to the left of the ticket desk, where arty things get shown to the real aficionados of film, and the darkness means often that health and safety is a concept of the past.

Yvonne Rainer is a giant of dance (if you believe the press releases), a legendary American dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, whose example is amongst the most influential on today’s generation of video makers and choreographers alike. This exhibition features three of Rainer’s works in the BFI Gallery and is accompanied by screenings of her seven feature films to be shown in the BFI cinemas. There is also a curated programme of the artist’s works taking place in December.

Watch out for the film in the little round gallery (the first space you are confronted with). There’s only comfortable space for four inside – the reason being that the BFI probably can’t afford any more chairs on casters, and that’s what you’ll need to watch this element of the exhibition, because the video projection moves round that circular wall – to watch it, you have to be permanently on the move. All this is fine if you are sitting on one of those special chairs. If not, best to don your shin pads immediately, and prepare to leap as that projection swings around.

The Yvonne Rainer Project is curated by Chantal Pontbriand, and concentrates on the transformation of ideas in her work, such as those of choreographers Vaslav Nijinsky and George Balanchine, composer Igor Stravinsky, thinkers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud, and filmmaker Georg Wilhelm Pabst.

Names like those are redolent of my time at university and my pal Danny McLagan dozing peacefully on my shoulder. He always said that ideas made him sleepy. Perhaps that’s why he left to become a banker.

Among those attending is Alexis Stevens from Dance UK, choreographer Maddy Wynne-Jones, Lynsey Winship from Time Out, Denise Horsley and student Catherine Wood. I wish I had more time to watch. There’s a lot of substance here. The two main auditoriums have screenings lasting 45 minutes each, and there’s another space, the Atrium, showing her first feature film, Lives of Performers, from 1972.

(c) Brent Crude 2010


Fringe Report Awards – Nominate Now!

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

What better way to contemplate the season of goodwill than by thinking of all those performers, technicians, comedians and other fringe participants who have given you a particular thrill during the year. Then, when you’ve pencilled them into your final list (watch out for mince-pie stains and that you don’t spill the mulled wine), you can send them off to Fringe Report as your individual nominations for a Fringe Report Award.

The FR Awards are one of the few ways that the achievements of Fringe performers are ever recognised, and of course the night itself is also the excuse for a big party too.

You don’t have to think about categories or specific types of performance either – if you know a fireating sword-swallower whose act has gone down a storm, then let us know. Just tell us a bit about why you think your nominee should be receiving some special recognition. Click this link for more.

Party Night! The Fringe Report Awards

And of course if you’re a PR person looking after a youth brand or a charity that’s looking to recognise and reward the special demands of Fringe performance, then let us know too. We’ll show you how you can get involved for an outlay that makes sense to your situation.

In either case (to nominate someone or donate or sponsor an award or the party!) please get in touch with John. Nominations to; you can email him at or you can click this link for more information. We’d love to hear from you!


My Handbag, Dominique Oliver

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

Dominique Oliver's Handbag

Many ladies might prefer a dainty, sophisticated neutral handbag to accompany them to work each day. However I prefer to change my handbag with my mood! I will match my clothes to the job I am going to do that day and the handbag will similarly reflect the mood I need to be in to get through the day. So today I have by beloved blue asnd pink hearted ‘travel-bag’. This bag is only usually used for special occasions, like travelling away for a weekend or taking on-board a plane as hand luggage when I leave the country. I associate the bag with taking a day off and the potential of doing NO work. It has a


colourful print all over and is made by one of my favourite clothes brands ‘Animal’ – who make surfing and ski-ing wear, which I love to wear eventhough I can’t surf or ski! The bag has a secreted vanity mirror in the top pocket. and opens-up like a mini suitcase – with a zip all the way around. There’s something satisfiying about opening-up the ‘lid’ to reveal the bright pink interior with sectioned pockets for my pens, ipod, psp and other fun accessories that I only ever have time to use on holiday. So recently, as I have been less able to take time-off from running around at work to go on holiday, I have taken to using the bag when I have an afternoon off to meet new people or relax a little. It’s a bag I love, but it mustn’t be over-used or its magic will disappear and it might become just a regular ‘work-bag’ like the other ten in my cupboard!

(c) Dominque Oliver 2010


Dominique Oliver’s ‘Zasar’

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

Zasar, by Dominique Oliver

Zasar is what I call Mauritian Piccallilly. As my Mother was born in Mauritius, Mauritian food has been a big part of my life. I like to eat zasar in a nice big cheese sanwich on thick white bread, but it is really intended for use as a salad or chutney to accompany rice dishes. All the chopping of vegetables involved, put me off until recently – when I finally started to make the dish myself, rather than nag my poor Mother to make it!

2 large carrots
1 handful of green beans
1/4 of a red or white cabbage
1 small red onion
2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
2 tablespoons of chillis (dried or freshly chopped)
1  tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric poweder
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil


Chop all the vegetables into thin strips.
Put all the mustard seeds, chillis, fenugreek seeds, turneric powder, garlic and half the oil into a pestle and mortar and make a thick paste.
Heat the remaining oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan or wok.
Add the onions and paste and fry gently until the onions become soft.
Add all the vegetables and stir into the paste.
Warm the vegetables through, ensuring they are all covered by the paste.
Remove from the heat before the vegetables become soft.
The vegetables should remain crunchy.
Then pour everything out into a large Tupperware container.
Eat some warm, but leave the remainder out to cool down for about 2 hours , before placing in the fridge to use as a pickle for up to a week.

(c) Dominque Oliver 2010