Loic Lalande and Tom Pritchard Double Bill

Contemporary dancer Tom Pritchard discusses the stress and excitement of performing new works

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Loic Lalande and Tom Pritchard Double Bill

The idea of dancing alone on stage is, for most of us, the stuff of stress dreams. For Tom Pritchard, however, leaving out the advance planning, choreography and a soundtrack is the most exciting way to perform.

‘It’s very raw and present,’ he says between rehearsals for another production – he does conventional, preplanned dance pieces as well as solo improvisations. ‘I can carry the audience with me, rather than showing them something that’s been pre-decided. To get into that headspace as a performer and see and create the moments around me – that’s very exciting.’

Pritchard’s piece, I’m glad you’re here, for a minute there I lost myself, is on an Arches double bill with French improvisational dancer Loic Lalande. Pritchard is currently working on a new piece with Dundee-based company smallpetitklein and goes on tour with their award-wreathed festival show Falling Man in the spring.

But when he is dancing solo, it is all about the moment. He spends the day of the performance on his own, ‘building into physical awareness, digging into imaginative space. It’s like warming up the imagination, speeding up the brain so the ideas come through.’ He will write down ideas and narrative structures. Then, before he starts, he empties them all out again.

‘I walk onto the stage with nothing at all, to allow the imaginative energy to open up in the first moment. You need a lot of presence and faith that things will work out. But it sounds more terrifying than it really is.’

Arches Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 28 Jan.

Loic Lalande and Tom Pritchard Double Bill

Pritchard presents an improvised solo piece about the moment, the here and the now, while Lalande debuts Alterraxis: A Thousand Dreams, a multidisciplinary piece using a fixed narrative to provide a framework for improvised dance.

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