Dorothy and Klaus 1989

Cast: Liz Aggiss, Jane Bassett, Maria Burton, Ellie Curtis, Virginia Farman, Sian Thomas, Ralf Higgins, Barnaby O’Rourke. Costume and Lighting: Christina Ure

Dorothy and Klaus is a forty-five minute cock-eyed, crazy dance opera. The narrative follows the tale of the obsessive composer Klaus, his rich wife Dorothy, whom he exploits and leaves once he has achieved success, and his three composer friends. The entire performance is lip synced to pre recorded and synthetically treated voice.

Premiere12th October 1989 The Zap Brighton

‘Divas under the direction of Cowie and Aggiss is certainly breaking new ground while paying homage to the flowering of Weimar culture and fearlessly looting from Imperial Russia’

Julia Pascal The Guardian

‘Five off beat characters who could have been the creations of Frank Wedekind and George Grosz, looked at German expressionism with British eyes. There was a strong hint of depravity, however, the method employed but the group, the furious staccato of Billy Cowie’s music, gave shape to the chopped hard movements of the grotesque group, conveying cunning wit and technical exactness.’
Linda Zamponi Die Press (Vienna)

'Written as an opera for speaking voice, the dance characters, just like Pina Bausch, give the audience a context with which to relate. The performance is a collage of many different dance and music styles; from’ Spitzen’ (classical pointe work) to ‘Ausdruckstanz’, from early jazz to minimal music'
Mies Portier Dagblad Tubantia Enschede Netherlands

References for Dorothy and Klaus
Aggiss, L. Cowie, B. Bramley,I. (2006) Anarchic Dance Routledge
Grant, B. (1989 March 24). Divas The Place. Hampstead and Highgate Express
Konegen, H. (1990 September 11). Orchidee im Plastikkarton Hannoversche. Allgemeine Zeitung
Kurzeck, M. (1990 October 30) Frauen, nichts als Frauen (Women, Women Nothing but Women) Arbeits Zeitung (Vienna)
Loblich, E. (1990 December) Tanz und Theater International ’90 in Hannover. Ballet International, 37
Loblich, E. (1990 September 11). Frohlicher Anarchismus, komische Hasslichkeit (Happy anarchism, peculiar ugliness). Braunschweiger Zeitung, 9
Pascal, J. (1989 July 3). Cockpit Divas. Guardian, 35
Portier, M.(1989 October 2). Duitsland, gezien door Britse Divas (Germany, as seen by the British Divas). Dagblad Tubantica Enschede Netherlands
Studer, C. (1990 May 24). Les Divas…Mitsouko! Dernieres Nouvelles D’Alsace.
Sylvie Sueron, S. (1990 December 3). Mimetheatropera….Wow! Liberte de L’est.
Zamponi, L. (1990 October 29). Das Gute kommt von auben (Good comes from the Outside). Die Press (Vienna), 13
Falter 42 (Vienna) Rotzige Anti-ladies und Tradition im deutschen Raum Nov 90
Freiburger Zeitung : Tanz quicklebendig by Oct 90
Standard (Vienna) Tanzfestival, Image, Vitalitat und Witz 29/10/90

Extracts available of the live performance, on DVD, in the book ‘Anarchic Dance by Liz Aggiss, Billy Cowie with Ian Bramley (Routledge)

Full DVD studio version available from