Dance: Greenwich's Gwyn Emberton
Three of the most exciting emerging artists on the contemporary dance scene come together for one night only at The Place on Saturday.
Greenwich-based Gwyn Emberton; Lîla Dance - an associate of leading contemporary dance centre The Point at Eastleigh; and Victor Fung Dance will perform as part of Resolution! - the new year short dance festival.
Emberton presents new contemporary work The Seamless Art Of Being. Inspired by the play La Ronde, the duet sees Emberton and Berlin-based dancer Johanna Devi "move between cohesion and conflict, torsion, tension and manipulation".
How did the piece emerge?
I was in a dance version of the play La Ronde years ago and I have always wanted to do something with it.
During last summer I spent time in the studio with Johanna playing around with ideas and discussing the play and the characters. My original intention was to create a literal retelling of the dialogue but after the research I felt I needed more freedom and wanted to create a new dance piece.
What do you want audiences to take away with them?
I have left the work open enough so that the audience can make up their own narrative, come up with their own ideas about what the work is about, or so that they can just sit back and watch a good piece of dance.
How accessible is the piece; does it need explanation?
It shouldn't need an explanation more than the programme notes and the audience to let themselves be taken away by the work.
Why do you think contemporary dance speaks to you in a way that other forms perhaps do not?
Contemporary dance can draw inspiration from all sorts of other dance forms ballet, hip-hop, salsa, and also from other art forms.
It will then create something else that is new and exciting. CD isn't codified like ballet or hip hop so there is more opportunity for exploration into new territory.
I believe that because of this there is no right or wrong way to approach contemporary dance. It can be taken on any level whether it is conceptual, emotional, physical.
What was your path into dance?
Performing has always been a huge part of my life. Initially I wanted to be an actor but because of a lack of boys on the course I was given dancer's parts in college shows. If it wasn't for a dancer called Jem who convinced me to go on to train as a dancer I would never have gone to Middlesex University.
At Middlesex I was very fortunate to have some very inspirational teachers, Anne Went, Tammy McLorg and Chris Bannerman to name but a few. They encouraged my ambitions and gave me a lot of guidance and support.
Which contemporary dancers excite you and which dancers inspired you?
Julie Guibert performed a solo several years ago in Tel Aviv and it is the performance that stands out for me. She transformed herself from an elegant and beautiful dancer to a creature from another world with such ease and command of her body and of the stage. I was transfixed.
Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant are both hugely inspiring, as performers but even more so as choreographers. They have taken other dance styles and languages and developed their own.
- Resolution! at The Place, London WC1 on January 21 from 8pm. Tickets are £14 (£12conc) on 020 7121 1100 or theplace.org.uk