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 Post subject: Charles Linehan - 'Number Stations'/'Speak, Memory'
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 3:00 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Image <BR><small>Charles Linehan Company in Dance Umbrella 2000</small><P><B>Charles Linehan - 'Number Stations'/'Speak, Memory'</B><P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details. <P>Here's a review by Debra Craine of the programme from <A HREF="http://www.times-archive.co.uk/news/pages/tim/99/03/02/timartdan01001.html?1376249" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella 1999</B></A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Charles Linehan - 'Number Stations'/'Speak, Memory'
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:49 am 
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WHO: CHARLES LINEHAN COMPANY<BR>WHEN: FRI 12 - SAT 13 OCTOBER <BR>WHERE: THE PLACE THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7837 0031<P><BR><B>CHARLES LINEHAN COMPANY: HUMAN EXPOSURE</B><P>The question put to choreographer Charles Linehan is simple: Why dance? <P>"Sometimes I wonder about it myself," he says. "But to see something that is truly great is beyond words. This might be rare, but there are times when the experience of dance has had a profound impact on my life. There is a directness and immediacy about it. It's unfiltered. I can believe in it in a way that I often can't believe in actors onstage."<P>After training at the Rambert School, the London-based Linehan worked with various companies throughout Europe. Returning to the UK to set up his own company in 1994, he subsequently became Choreographer in Residence at The Place Theatre. He has made work for Bi-Ma and Transitions dance companies, and in 1998 was the recipient of the major Jerwood Foundation Award for choreography.<P>Linehan has no little notion of what it takes to be a choreographer. "Artists need both passionate belief and an intelligent eye. You've got to be good and original. With a lot of the pieces I've seen, the good parts aren't original and the original parts aren't good. You've obviously got to have your own vision, a different take on things."<P>"Anyone can make steps," he continues. "But you've got to create your own world onstage, with its own rules."<P>Linehan is not alone in balking when asked to describe his choreography. "I tend to say what it is not - no text, no props, no funny costumes or people screaming around the stage or banging on about 'issues.'"<P>Yet he is wonderfully clear about what is contained in Number Stations, one of two works to be seen during Umbrella 2001. "It's set to shortwave recordings of espionage codes - streams of voices and phonetic letters or numbers in different languages. The snap, crackle and pop within the degraded soundtrack trigger powerful lighting states that give the impression of the environment being controlled by an exterior force. It has a kind of cold war feel to it. There's both precision and randomness in the way the light picks out the dancers. The nature of their movement appears mysterious and codified."<P>He is also highly articulate about what intrigues him onstage. "It's the human qualities of the dancers that fascinates me. The human exposure of people. Their visual inter-connectedness and inter-relationships. I'm interested in the emotional undercurrents of what's happening and its openness to interpretation, as opposed to something that is concrete and closed." The idea, he says, is to "play with degrees of ambiguity. The workings and processes of my choreography need to remain implicit."<P>When we spoke, Linehan had yet to enter the studio and begin the new piece to accompany Number Stations. "I'm working on the music right now with Julian Swales. There's a lot of space in it, which suits what I want choreographically. If I was doing music, I'd like to think I'd be doing music like his." This last comment refers to a question posed earlier: If he weren't choreographing, what might he be doing? "I'd try to make music or films. Or I might be living in the Kent countryside [where he was born] tending an orchard." Wendy Houstoun, who is providing film projection for the new work, coincidentally also hails from Kent.<P>Ultimately, all that Linehan can say about the new piece is that it will last about thirty minutes, and reflect his interest in "the mundane and the spectacular." The actual choreography will be determined by the collaborative elements of music, lighting and video. Yet Linehan professes a desire 'to remove extraneous elements in order to impress on the memory essentially simple, still images and situations. These "living images" keep re-emerging. The recognition of them plays a part in the piece's themes of memory and time passing. But, again, for him it is the dancers' qualities, as performers and people, that are paramount.<P>So what is likely to happen on the first day of rehearsal? "We'll work on things that won't exist in the final production. I begin with the music and a broad idea of what I want to do. If I come in with prescribed choreography, it will be subjected to a continuous process of change. There's a long way to go."<P>And what of Linehan's responsibility towards the audience? "I do feel responsible. I know that they haven't come to see Cats."<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

_________________
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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