In Square Out (1998)

Duration: 7’
For solo piano.
Choreography: Didy Veldman 
Lighting Design: John MacKenzie
First performed at the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford as part of the 1998 Ballet Central National tour

Following her successful ballet, Somna, to a score by Schnittke, for the 1997 Ballet Central National Tour, Didy Veldman was commissioned to create a new piece for the 1998 programme. It was an enigmatic and intense quartet for four girls set to a haunting score composed and performed by Philip Feeney. During the piece, the dancers outline the performance area by mapping out a square on stage with pvc tape, and in so doing create an inside/outside space, the ‘in-square-out’ of the title.

In Square Out was Feeney’s second collaboration with Veldman. In the previous autumn he had composed Greymatter for Rambert Dance Company, a work scored for string orchestra, piano, harpsichord and tuned percussion. In Square Out is a much more concentrated and intimate work, which the simple scoring for solo piano might suggest. The lonely piano sonority evokes an indoors, slightly claustrophobic, feel, one that permeates the entire piece, leaving an overriding sense of uneasiness.

Six years later Feeney and Veldman were to travel similar ground with their one-act ballet for Scottish Dance Theatre, Track. A much brighter and wittier work, it too deals with the young person’s perceived need to ‘belong’.