Dance Ambassador Interview with Hofesh Shechter Since exploding onto the UK dance scene with Uprising/In
Your Rooms, Hofesh Shechter and his talented young company have quickly
established themselves as a leading force for exciting, cinematic dance.
Nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award 2011, his first full evening
Mother, brims with the raw physicality, atmospheric live music and
astonishing ensemble sequences that have earned his work acclaim around the
Political Mother will be on stage at The Lowry on Fri 27th and Sat 28th and the company will be running Youth and Pro-Level workshops during the day on Sat 28th.
Before the companys visit, The Lowry Youth Dance Ambassadors interviewed Hofesh Shechter himself to find out a bit more about the company and the show. Book onto the Youth workshop and have the opportunity to take part in a free Q&A with the company artists after the class, led by our Dance Ambassadors, and ask your own questions.
1)You have successfully combined your passion for music and dance in your
previous work. If you had to choose between the choreography and musicalcomposition as the starting point on your next
project which would you choose and why?
- Charlotte Williams
with music is simply more practical as I can do it at home, on my laptop/guitar/piano/voice,
and it can be an immediate part of my thought process and 'rolling' ideas in my
head. It's this initial part of creation where I collect ideas, jot down on
paper thoughts, emotions, images and sketches of sounds that interest me and
later on serve as base to making the work in the studio with the dancers.
2) Where did your inspiration for the show "Political Mother"
come from? I read about the show that "A Chinese puzzle of encounters
leads to amusing, sad and shocking events that confuse our values and challenge
our perceptions of what is normal".
inspiration for Political Mother came from my own confusion facing the various
realities around me. I wanted to create an experience for the audience that
resonates with this confusion.
b)What made you want to challenge the
perceptions of what is normal, what were the ideas behind this?
- Isabel Anderson
thing that made me want to challenge what is normal is that I simply don't know
what is normal.... other than we decide something is normal, I actually see
around me a lot of things that feel not-normal, or not natural, or twisted...
it's 'normal' to go to war and kill, it's acceptable and is part of our daily
reading in the newspapers. But pondering on it shortly will bring anyone to the
conclusion it's an absolute insanity that people kill each other over things
they decided are more important than life itself... what we wear, how we think,
the way we speak- all these are only normal because we were told they are.
Questioning these normalities is necessary for progress.
3)You have recently been appointed Artistic Director of the U.Dance
Ensemble; the UKs first youth dance company of its kind. You have chosen 19
dancers from across UK; how many dancers auditioned for this group?
b) Did you
start out looking for 19 dancers or did the group build itself from who you found?
was no precise number I was looking for- I was looking for interesting and
talented people to work with.
c) What is
it about the 19 you havechosen that makes them stand out from the rest
the level of connection to my work and the movement material that made me
choose these specific 19 dancers.
d) Have you
put them together because they have different talents or because they have a
lot of things the same?
- Chloe Tattum
question. I enjoy a rich cast of people, and even though all of them have a
natural connection to the movement material, they are all very different
individuals with different energy and character- I enjoy this richness of
personalities in the studio and in the work.
4)Who are what are your main
inspirations for your dance work?
Ohad Naharin, Wim Vanderkeybus, William Forsythe, Pina Bauch, Matz Ek, film
director Stanley Kubrick, writer Charlie Kaufman, a lot of music composers and
styles, films and many more...
5)What advice would you give to dance students who are soon to be
graduating and entering the dance world?
work that inspires you and devote yourself to it. You can only progress when
you do something you enjoy and believe in.
6)Ultimately your work is projected
through your excellent team of dancers, who obviously you highly trust.
Can you please tell us what audition process did they have to go through and
how long did it take you to find your fantastic team of dancers who work for
- Charlie Jones
auditions are fairly straight forward- a lot of dancing... the team I work with
now is built from dancers I found during different periods of my work- some are
with me for over 6 years, some 4 years, and some just a year or two, but the
idea is simple- when I find people that I feel connect with my work and can
potentially enrich it I ask them to join me, and if I'm lucky they agree!