When Antonia Gore, the director of Lumière , asked me to collaborate with Alice Knox on a neo-fairy tale, I wasn’t sure how it would work. Our styles were so wildly different. Alice played a witch who casts a spell on me as a little mermaid, to give me legs. She invites me to trust her, and then turns on me. There is an uncanny, sinister thread to the dance drawing on our most primal psychical desires to belong and be accepted.
What made collaborating with Alice more straightforward is that she is one of those dancers with a distinct and self-assured artistic voice. Her craft lies in the sensuality and fluidity of her movement, and the precision in which she mingles it with more percussive and contemporary-esque shapes with her arms and turns. The way she interprets music and movement is enigmatic. Dancing with someone who I could only sense in glimpses, who I could not imagine on the inside, or imitate, had me full of wonder. She is a classical introvert. She hates her mobile phone. She moves and sits as if arranging a cloud. All of this was highly intriguing.
We both weren’t too interested in putting our dance to a count and worked more with imagery and conceptual storytelling. This was liberating! She was very generous, supportive and adventurous as a dance partner. From her I witnessed the beauty of restraint and finer detail. Her dry wit countered my juvenile sense of humour many times. Here are some examples (how I remembered anyway – you should be able to guess who was who):
‘If we don’t finish I’ll do a ton of spins and improvise you know’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll just be doing epic snake arms.’
‘I learnt some cool stuff on the weekend. I thought we could incorporate some of it.’
‘ yeah, I thought I could mount you.’
‘That’s not happening.’
‘So you didn’t think the mounting worked?
‘You mean besides the fact it doesn’t fit the story and looked… like you were mounting me?’
‘We should take a photo for Facebook.’
‘Because we’re both eating bananas.’
‘And that is exactly what’s wrong with the world right now.’
‘Making choreography with you is like riding a wild horse into a burning stable.’
To see more of Alice go to www.darknile.com
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