Choreographer Joe Moran and Dance Art Foundation present the World Premiere of On The Habit of Being Oneself in the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 September. The production is an arresting new work encouraging the audience to pay attention to what dancing does. Moran creates work concerned with dance’s potential as a contemporary art form and has worked extensively in the visual arts, in both in theatres and galleries, and is currently a Sadler’s Wells Summer University artist.
On The Habit of Being Oneself places full-bodied, unmediated dancing under the spotlight. On a stripped back stage, seven dancers perform relentless dancing over 50 minutes inviting audiences into a direct and accumulative performance encounter. Dancers engage in perceptual and conceptual puzzles in ways that problematize or complicate their subjectivities, making visible their thinking and practice of dancing. Whilst the dancing is complex, the relentless single activity unfolding on stage builds through time in a way that quietly and yet insistently provokes the audience’s attention.
The production was created and developed in residence at Delfina Foundation during Moran’s public performance exhibition, Live Creations, with research aided by guests including the sculptor Phyllida Barlow and writer and dramaturge Martin Hargreaves. The production also collaborates with BAFTA-award winning composer Kaffe Matthews and filmmaker Sam Williams, with costume design by theatre and opera designer Tom Rogers.
A film installation created in collaboration with Sam Williams and Indefinite Article, a new solo, open the evening. Indefinite Article offers a focused, witty and individual counterpoint to the multiple bodies and relentless motion of On The Habit of Being Oneself. The piece is performed by the acclaimed dancer Andrew Harwridge, who has previously collaborated with choreographers Tino Seghal and Boris Charmatz.
Joe Moran, Artistic Director of Dance Art Foundation, said: “My work is informed by a background in experimentation and improvisation that I marry with a fascination with formal choreographic composition and conceptually driven dance. I am interested in the critical significance of dance’s recognition as a contemporary art form, and the knowledge and discourse fostered by dance and its dialogue with other disciplines. Questioning of dancing as a redundant or exhausted medium saw my work explore choreography as a discipline distinct from dance and dancing; in turn, leading to return to dancing within a deconstructive choreographic frame, and choreography as perceptual practice. On The Habit of Being Oneself develops my use of perceptual inquiry as a generative choreographic devise within a frame relentless motion, moving to unmediated dancing as a strategy by which to question dance’s terms and potential.”
Joe Moran is a choreographer, dancer and Artistic Director of Dance Art Foundation, through which his performance and curatorial work is produced. A Dance4 Associate Artist, Sadler’s Wells Summer University artist (2015-18) and Delfina Foundation Associate (2016), He has a wide ranging practice incorporating touring theatre and gallery work, lecture-performance and curatorial projects tackling contemporary propositions in dance, performance and critical thought. Commissions and recent performances include Whitechapel Gallery (2017); New Art Gallery, Walsall (2017); Delfina Foundation (2016); Block Universe /fig-2 at the ICA (2015), the first step in an ambitious collaboration with sculptor Eva Rothschild; David Roberts Art Foundation (Frieze, 2014); Nottingham Contemporary (2014); Assembly (UK tour, 2014); and The Place Prize (2013). As a dancer, Moran has worked with many distinguished choreographers including Deborah Hay, Siobhan Davies, Florence Peake and Pontus Pettersson. He trained in theatre at Bristol University and in dance and choreography at London Contemporary Dance School.
Produced by Dance Art Foundation and supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation, and principal private patron, A summerday. Developed with support from Arts Council England, Delfina Foundation, Sadler’s Wells, The Place and TripSpace Projects.
Free post-show talk: Thursday 28 September
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com