Interview: choreographer Frank McConnell talks to us ahead of plan B's More Sky Than We Need
'Living in a technological age, we’re losing that ability to stop, look, listen, be intuitive'
As titles go, it’s pretty ambiguous. Does More Sky Than We Need suggest a happy abundance, or a negative overload? ‘There’s part irony in that title,’ says choreographer Frank McConnell, ‘because we don’t look at the sky as often as we should any more.’ Creating plan B’s new work has been an interesting experience for McConnell, bringing together thoughts from childhood right through to today’s technical advances.
‘I was brought up in Glasgow, but as a young child we would spend all our summer holidays on South Uist,’ he recalls. ‘And I remember being very conscious that there was no horizon – you couldn’t see where the sky was leading to. That has stayed with me for my entire life. But we’re now in an age where when we talk about putting things in a cloud, it refers to a technological feat.’
Featuring three dancers, live music, a soundscape and layered set design, More Sky Than We Need explores intuitive knowledge and our relationship with nature. McConnell’s aim, he says, is to ‘give the audience time to breathe’, and perhaps think about how we connect with our surroundings.
‘Crofters on South Uist used to read signs in the sky to determine weather patterns, and see if they were going to work outside during the following few days,’ says McConnell. ‘They used a very intuitive sense, and it occurred to me that living in a technological age, we’re losing that ability to stop, look, listen, be intuitive – and allow nature and the sky to influence what we do.’
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 5 Nov.