Billy Cowie’s work had already been well known at The Wapping Project before this exhibition (13 July – 26 August 2012) but mostly as a composer of breathtaking ability who created scores for exhibitions, including Shiny Nylon (1994) Death Drive (2009); To have, To hold (2009); A French Picture Show (2010); and Yohji Making Waves (2011). The Revery Alone introduced Billy Cowie the choreographer to our audience.
In The Revery Alone, featuring a 3D-projection of a solo dance performance by Eleonore Ansari, Billy Cowie transformed the experience of lying in a hospital bed into a sensual pleasure. With the aid of 3D glasses, he took the audience through the rusty roof of the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station into the centre of his meditative and lyrical choreography. The boundaries between the performer and the viewer became blurred in the journey through the virtual world. The naked body of the dancer came into close yet unreachable contact with ‘the patient’.
Billy Cowie is a Scottish choreographer, composer, writer and artist. He has choreographed over twenty live performance pieces for the company Divas Dance Theatre and has completed five dance-screen projects including Motion Control and Beethoven in Love for BBC2. A book about this body of work titled Anarchic Dance was published by Routledge in 2006. He creates a series of dance installations which toured worldwide: In the Flesh (winner of the IMZ Delegates Award 2008); The Revery Alone; Ghosts in the Machine; t’es pas la seule; Jenseits and Tango de Soledad. His novel Passenger was published by Old Street in 2009. Billy Cowie has composed music performed by Marie McLaughlin, Nicola Hall, Gerard McChrystal, Daphne Scott-Sawyer, Juliet Russell, Rowan Godel, Pammjit Pammi and Naomi Itami. He has composed music for three BBC Radio projects: The Tempest and Dark Materials Trilogy (both dir by David Hunter); and Thinking Earth (dir Pam Marshall). He has also composed music for film directors Tony Palmer, Chris Rodley, Stephen Frears and Bob Bentley.