WHAT DOES THE dx CHOREOGRAPHY AWARD MEAN TO YOU AND HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR TIME AT dx?
I am very honoured and excited to be a recipient of the inaugural DX Choreography Award and look forward to the opportunity to develop my portfolio career in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond. The award will allow me to place the art at the forefront of my working practice without the additional worries related to time, space and funds which many independent choreographers frequently encounter. Courtesy of the award, access to studio space and support from DanceXchange will allow me to develop my solo ONE. An honest autobiographical solo which delves into my suppressed childhood memories of identifying as gay whilst residing in a hostile environment. The work investigates and highlights the experiences of a young working class male trying to rid the oppressive thoughts of shame whilst living in the UK under a Conservative Government and their infamous Section 28 clause during the 80’s and 90’s.
TELL US ABOUT YOU AND YOUR COMPANY
I’m an international award winning choreographer, performer and Artistic Director of both Rutherford Dance Company (RDC) and multi award winning Rutherford Dance Company Youth (RDC Youth). I have a wealth of experience in performance, choreography and rehearsal/artistic direction around the world, working with Henri Oguike, Ben Wright, Luca Silvestrini, Matthew Bourne, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Hofesh Schecter, Enrique Cabrera, Rosie Kay, Gary Clarke, Wayne Sables and Helen Parlor. I’ve been commissioned to choreograph for numerous organisations nationally and internationally such as Trinity Laban, caraBdanza (Madrid) and Accademia Internazionale Coreutica (Italy). Choreographically I am exploring Global Equality with choreographic projects spanning Europe; Never Going Home Again (RDC), What Sexuality is Love? (RDC Youth), #PDA (caraBdanza, Spain), #TWO (Accademia Internazionale Coruetica, Italy), #3REE (Trinity Laban, London). In 2016 I was appointed International Resident Choreographer at Accademia Internazionale Coreutica and re-appointed as Rehearsal Director at 2Faced Dance Company for their 2016/17 tour ‘Run’.
Dance: If I could collaborate with any artist at all in the world right now my top choice would be New York based choreographer Reggie Wilson of Fist & Heel Performance Group. Described as a cultural anthropologist, I admire his ability to seamlessly blend movement with a political message through his choreography. He doesn’t specifically set out to make political work but he equally doesn’t shy away from the politics either. He has said: “the personal is the political” which is a quote that resonates with me and my current practice. Non- Dance: Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds. I frequently use his scores to improvise to which help me turn the studio into a much needed sanctuary.
Non- Dance: Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds. I frequently use his scores to improvise to which help me turn the studio into a much needed sanctuary.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE EXPERIENCE
One of my earliest memories of dancing is when I was at middle school back in my hometown of Portsmouth. It was a compulsory Morris dance which the entire school had to perform for parents and guardians, I can’t say I was a fan of the costume!
FAVOURITE DANCE VIDEO OF ALL TIME?
Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be Amelia (2002) by the Québécois contemporary dance company La La La Human Steps (1980 – 2015). Édouard Lock’s exploration of the human gesture combined with the interplay of speed and extremes is second to none. I love the entire work, which was created for nine dancers, but I particularly like the following duet section and Lock’s use of the point technique and cinematic images.