Die Orchidee im Plastik Karton 1989

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

A language lesson in nine interludes, taking as its starting point the study of a foreign language, in this case German. The instructor is on blackboard and the pupils are swathed in red lederhosen. Both the sampled words and the connected movements are cut up, collaged and repeated. The choreography deconstructs and explores the subversive nature of language from a feminist perspective.

Preview in 1988 by thirteen students of West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, now University College, Chichester. Divas premiere 12th October 1989 The Zap Brighton. Reconstruction 9th April 1999 The Purcell Room London

‘Movement is staccato, grotesque and funny. Dann Geht sie Einkaufen – Hausfrau und Mutter (then she goes shopping housewife and mother) is a woman in a crab position walking backwards and forwards on palms and feet; the endless repetitive work action delivered dead pan was answered with female laughs of recognition’

Julia Pascal the Guardian

‘Liz Aggiss, the post modern primadonna’ from Brighton puts her finger exactly on the nerve of the spirit of the times with her androgenous show ‘Die Orchidee’ a send up of the rigid thoroughness of German bourgeois values. Sturdy robust and always a little dishevelled.’
Falter 42 (Vienna) Nov 90

‘a daring trapeze act indeed, very close to the edge of the ridiculous, which just manages to stay within the boundaries of the acceptable’
Linda Zamponi Die Press (Vienna)

‘As a statement, the music and dance are inter-related; the movements become formal and puctual like the music, whilst the dance seems also to create the music.’

Mies Portier Dagblad Tubantia Enschede Netherlands

References for Die Orchidee im Plastik Karton
Aggiss, L. Cowie, B. Bramley,I. (2006) Anarchic Dance Routledge
Briginshaw, V. (2006) Deconstruction in Die Orchidee : Mischievous plays in the spaces between language and meaning. In Anarchic Dance (Aggiss/Cowie/Bramley) Routledge Chapter 7.
Konegen, H. (1990 Spetember 11). Orchidee im Plastikkarton Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
Kurzeck, M. (1990 October 30) Frauen, nichts als Frauen (Women, Women Nothing but Women) Arbeits Zeitung (Vienna)
Grant, B. (1989 March 24). Divas The Place. Hampstead and Highgate Express
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
Marigny, C de. (1991) Liz Aggiss et Billy Cowie.
La Danse dans le monde XXes Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales de Bagnolet (pub Armand Colin) Standard (Vienna) 50-51.
Otte, L. Les Divas a l’opera Quoi, la danse? Montpelier France
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.
Sacks, A. (1999 April 8). : Divas Purcell Room Evening Standard, 55
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 (snotty nosed anti –ladies) Nov 90
Freiburger Zeitung : Tanz quicklebendig by Oct 90
Tanzfestival, Image, Vitalitat und Witz 29/10/90

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