Tom Pritchard: As Yet Untitled
The Arches' associate artist-in-residence looks forward to a new improvisational collaboration
For most performers it’s the stuff of nightmares – finding yourself centre stage with no knowledge of script or steps. For dancer and choreographer Tom Pritchard, however, it’s the ideal scenario. Currently associate artist at The Arches, Pritchard is exploring cross-artform improvisation, working alongside dancers, actors, musicians and visual artists. What is it about making work up as you go along that appeals to Pritchard?
‘The fact that it’s such a vulnerable place to be,’ he says. ‘When you watch improvisation on stage, there’s nothing hidden because it’s all happening in front of you. You see the performers in their real place of creation, the panic and struggle, and for me that’s fascinating. It feels like much more of a live event than to watch a set choreography – there’s a risk to it, and that’s beautiful.’
Having put out a call for other artists to join him, Pritchard was keen to ensure that dance didn’t become the dominant artform on stage. ‘It’s not about bringing people into a dance improvisation,’ he says, ‘it’s about taking dance improvisation into all the artforms, and how those different artforms can offer information to one another.’
Pritchard’s residency at The Arches will run until August, with a wide variety of artists joining him on stage for monthly performances. Time spent talking builds up a mutual trust, but no score, script or choreography is created. ‘The aim is that we step on stage with absolutely nothing,’ explains Pritchard, ‘and the first moment that anyone does anything defines the opening of the performance, and everything runs from there.’
The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 28 May & Fri 24 Jun.