News: Charles Linehan 'Nothing but Time is starkly atmospheric and choreographically playful; it was fun to make.'

Thursday 1 June 2017

Nothing but Time - James Keates

We speak to choreographer Charles Linehan as his work Nothing but Time is performed by Transitions Dance Company as part of their 35th anniversary.

Tell us about your piece Nothing but Time:

Nothing but Time is set in a barely shifting lighting state with a soundscape created by Jonathan Clark and is about 13 minutes long. I am interested in the simplicity of seeing people on stage and in relationship to one another. There is a level of exposure within people’s interactivity that I am attracted to which avoids the trappings of extravagance and general theatricality. Nothing but Time is starkly atmospheric and choreographically playful; it was fun to make.
 
You worked with drones during the creation of the piece, what got you interested in them?

I have been working on a film in collaboration with Lithuanian aerial photographer Karolis Janulis and have been filming planned and unplanned physical activity in a variety of outdoor environments. It was the aerial perspective of this drone footage that influenced the choreographic arrangement in Nothing but Time and which forms the basis of The Shadow Drone Project.

There is a potential to film excerpts of this work to include in our final film. Legally it’s quite difficult to get permission to do aerial filming in London exterior locations. Filming independently, and in other countries, it has been a case of shoot and run, an artistic principle adopted through necessity by many other artists but one that remains integral to its existence.

In this piece I feature a single and powerful directional light that casts shadows much in the way that I filmed footage for the Shadow Drone Project in the late afternoon sunlight. There have been direct and subliminal influences of the film on the physical work for Transitions.

The piece has been made for Transitions Dance Company, how did you come to choreograph for them?

I was invited by the Company. It’s just great to see what a new generation of artists are up to, what they can contribute to the work, and where they will go in the future. I have created two previous works for Transitions, the first piece I made included Protein’s Luca Silvestrini and Stina Nielson as dancers – Stina went on to be artistic director at Candoco Dance Company.

How does working with students differ from professionals?

The students in Transitions work in the same way as professionals. It takes time to work up to an understanding of certain physical and aesthetic principles which is the case when working as guest choreographer with any performer in a company. In my own company there is a shorthand and a history of collaboration which makes the process more personal. There are certainly performers in Transitions who I could work with in the future.

This is Transitions 30th anniversary, how has contemporary dance in London changed in this time?

As a performer I spent my professional contemporary dance career working in different countries in continental Europe. The only British choreographer I have worked with was Rosemary Butcher.

Due to the lack of dance job opportunities I think that a lot of young artists are staying together, making their own work, performing in each other’s work, finding new ways to get their work seen and seeking out alternative and unusual venues. It’s a fertile ground and they are foregoing traditional trajectories to find and create their own – and bringing in new audiences.

Transitions Dance Company perform Nothing but Time as part of a triple bill at Laban Theatre until the 02 June.

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