• Geoffrey Burgon
  • Mass for Man (Ballet for TV) (1984)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Director: Bob Cohan
Unavailable for performance.

Programme Note

A Mass for Man

A Mass for Man Robert Cohan’s major choreographic project in 1985, will be transmitted on BBC2 on Saturday 30th November 1985 at 8.40pm.

It is the BBC’s first major dance commission for over ten years and is a highlight of the autumn season. It is directed by Bob Lockyer, has a specially created score by Geoffrey Burgon and has been choreographed by Robert Cohan for his own company, London Contemporary Dance Theatre. The work includes the company’s co-director, Siobhan Davies, and her young baby, Piera.

A special sculpture made by Philip King forms the basis of the setting, which is designed by Barbara Gosnold. Glenn Carwithen has created the series of graphic images using photographs and archive film

"Looking at the news every night with film of starving children, earthquakes and the possibility of nuclear war, the problems of the world seemed beyond our control. So, thinking about this commission, Geoffrey and I chose the idea of a Mass, A Mass For Man.

"I wanted to make something that would only work on television; that I couldn’t do on the stage. People sometimes worry when they see legs and arms cut off int eh televising of a staged ballet as they long to see what the rest of the body is doing. I have to make the viewer realise that I want to be selective. Then, of course, I also use magic entrances and exits, people appearing and disappearing. You cannot have that on stage."

"I have choreographed every move expressively for the television camera and if I only show a face or hands then that is what I want the viewer to see."