No Man’s Land (1993)

ksienga mych marzen sung by juliet russell

Cast: Marilu Achille, Bianca Adefarakan (singer), Liz Aggiss, Liesje Cole, Tig Evans, Hazel Finnis, Leonora Green, Lisa Haight, Siou Hannam, Doris Harman, China King, Mim King, Soile Lahdenpera, Nusara Mai-Ngarm, Pauline Rennison, Emily Shaw, Lois Underwood.

Live Music: Juliet Russell (lead singer) cellists: Marjorie Ashenden, Anna Copley, Lucy East, Gret Hopkins, Emma Stevens.

Costume Christina Ure.

Commissioned by the Gardner Arts Centre Brighton, No Man’s Land is a performance for seventeen women and one main singer, aged 9 – 60 and accompanied by Polish poems set to music, sung live and accompanied by cellos. The piece is a celebration of difference and diversity, and the collective and individual presence.

Premiere 28th October 1993 Gardner Arts Centre.

‘A stageful of women dancers dressed in white is a not uncommon vision in ballet. Swan maidens, ghostly bayaderes, vengeful wilis – they all embody a (male) choreographer’s fantasy of perfect beauty and perfect form. In Divas unmissably titled ‘No Man’s Land’ the small stage at the Lilian Baylis Theatre is crammed with four cellists, one singer and 18 dancers – all of them women, and all in white frocks. But it is the images of choreographer Liz Aggiss they are dancing and, in their sleek assortment of size and shape they are not adapting to anyone’s idea of perfection except perhaps their own’

Judith Mackrell The Independent

‘Anyone who saw Divas dance company in its infancy will remember Liz Aggiss and her crew of besuited, stiletto wearing Brighton women, whose otherwise unconventionl appearance was intensified by the scowling, hard-edge non-confromity of Aggiss’s brand of movement theatre. These days, Divas is a more relaxed creature, as likely to make fun of itself as to challenge ideas of who and what belongs on the dance stage.’

Sophie Constanti the Guardian


References for No Man's Land

Aggiss, L, Cowie B Bramley, I (2006) Anarchic Dance : Chapter by Carol Brown. Routledge
Constanti, S. (1993 December 17). Divas Lilian Baylis. The Guardian
Mackrell, J. (1993 December 18) Domestic Science. Independent
Meisner, N (Dec 1993) All the Wrong Moves The Times
Parry, J. (1993 December 19). Dance. Observer
Whitehead, J. (1993 December 9). Fresh, unpredictable and probably addictive. The Stage

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