After that, Stephanie Schober & Dance Company performed at South Bank Centre in London on 24th February, then had the end of the touring at Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on 2nd March. The Sunday just after our last performance in this season, we found an awful review about our performance at South Bank Centre.
The Observer by Luke Jennings
I don't appreciate it at all.
I feel this person has some frustration generally about art that has the minimalist approach. How he describes the dance movement and John-Marc's music is offensive. At the same time I think he is brave enough to show his personal taste and opinion. Partly because he is a famous critic writing for the Observer. And I wish the readers of the Observer is wise enough to see the point that a review is just a personal opinion of a critic and there are more different ways of seeing art.
We know that not everyone likes our works, and they are not the mainstream anyway. So if we have a critic like him who does not understand this kind of works and hoping the art is going to a different way from a way you are going, it is just unlucky. Not right combination. But still it is worth showing a name on paper, and anyway it is good to have any kind of strong reaction: love or hate. I think art can be art because an artist explores their original way.
I also feel he has a prejudice about Stephanie's medicine background. The background might tell a bit about how the person thinks, but I don't think people should see a work from the artist's background, especially "medicine" does not give any idea other than a stereotypical image of medicine... For me it is a bit annoying that the critic said things on this article from some academic categorisation, perhaps preoccupied with medicine. This is not how I want to see things.
One thing I can look back ourselves, is that probably our performance at South Bank was too tense and too nervous. I see the point of "work" as the critic says. Depending on how we perform, your works look like labour, tasks, and that makes me wonder how these dancers are motivated or forced to move like this. Probably he saw that...
So anyway, in reality, we have got good reviews and bad ones, and the world is not rose-colour. I don't get disappointed by this review. And this is not too bad review in the end since it makes me think and it will be benefit of us.