Kylie Walters on her new work with David Hughes Dance
The Australian choreographer has worked with the company on The Chinaski Sessions
What was the starting point for your new work, The Chinaski Sessions?
I started out with two questions: Why is the rock world predominately male (and the dance world predominately female), and why do we dance nowadays? When we hear great music, when we’re pissed, when the only possible response is some serious bone shaking? I admire the frank expression and shameless inventiveness of rock, it has power and poetry. I like my music live and loud and my dance visceral, and my challenge for The Chinaski Sessions was to create a true hang-out on stage which allowed all sorts of possibilities, be they humorous or sinister.
What do you look for in a dancer performing your work?
I look for dancers who bring immediacy to the choreography, who are not slaves to ‘technique’, who can reveal the beauty and meaning of the vocabulary and wildly romp over the stale ground of contemporary dance. And I like dancers who are not afraid to give the dance world the finger.
Music is an important aspect of The Chinaski Sessions, what impact did it have on your work?
Live music is essential for me. There is no substitute for the energy and danger it brings to the party. I already knew the band (I Love Sarah) from my Belgian days and the muscularity and obsessive quality of their music inspired the choreography. Physically this manifests itself in the headbanging, ecstatic jumps and a visceral pulsing that unites the band and the dancers.
What was it about David Hughes Dance that made you say yes to this project?
I was impressed by their willingness to take risks. I like to work hard and quickly, but this is only possible if there is a creative dialogue. With DHD that was the case, we make a good team.
The Chinaski Sessions, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Sat 13 Oct, then touring