Performed at Full Bloom festival, Bristol 2019.
We used a voice recording (probably from 1953) of W.H. Auden reading his poem ‘As I Walked Out One Evening’, written in 1937, and J. S. Bach’s piano Prelude in B Minor.
The work focuses on an ever-present sense of time rushing on, our inability to stop it and the possible dangers that lie in store for us within our time on this earth – an underlying anxiety as shown in the verse below.
In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or today.
The movement image I choreographed for this was a tapping together of the fingers as the performers walked with their head down – thinking.
We used paintings from Ferdinand Hodler (1853 – 1918) as starting points. Hodler developed a style known as Parallelism – his own version of Symbolism – in which figures are symmetrically arranged in a linear way that suggest dance or ritual. Some of these paintings – Emotion, The Day, Gazing Into Infinity, The Truth and The Sacred Hour – provided inspiration for starting positions for the dancers. We then linked these into a travelling and interweaving chain as a representation of Auden’s ‘threaded dancers’.
Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver’s brilliant bow.
The lighting for the work was first in a dark blue, then red and then back to blue and interestingly, I discovered later that colour was very important to Hodler. Blue = the spirit and red = passion and love. This made a kind of sense within the structure of the work.
Director/Choreographer – Caroline Lamb
Rehearsal Assistant – Janet Fieldsend
Dancers – Carol Brown, Liz Harris, Olivia Jones, Lynne Lewis, Diana Milbank, Shirley Stansfield, Linda Sugarman