1. Charlie Morrissey

        • Line

          LineLine was co-commissioned by Dance 4 and Arnolfini.

          The piece was an exploration of the past in the present – of how our lives are intertwined with the lives of others via our histories. The piece was performed in Brighton, Nottingham, Bristol and London.

          The first seed of this piece came into my head while I was working on another show – Absolute Zero, which was a bit of a monster of a show for me – a huge and unwieldy production. My Grandmother died while I was making that piece in which we worked with ropes that had slings on the end of them. When my Grandmother died, there was an image came to me of looking behind myself and seeing footsteps in the sand – those furthest being my Grandmothers, and then my mothers and then my own. With my Grandmother dying, her footsteps would disappear, as at some point would my mothers and then I’d be left with only my own and then at some point my own child might be watching my footsteps fade. I was interested in the idea that the further back you go, the fewer people there are – that one great great great grandparent is responsible for many now and that as the years go on the spread becomes wider and wider. I liked this connection between the rope I was hanging off in absolute Zero and this fact. That the rope had it’s source in one point and yet the longer it was, the further i could move, though always in some way bound by the fact of that connection. It felt like a perfect and simple metaphor that could exist for itself, while I could get on with the physical business of working with the movement potentials of being attached to that rope – that it offered freedom and restriction in equal measure, in much the same way that our own relationships to our personal histories can.

          Why work like this? My thoughts were – they are changing all the time – that I wanted to make work which addresssed my experience of life, and that my experience is carried as much in my body, as it is in my mind; that as much might be revealed through an examination and exploration of my physical interactions with the physical world, as it might through my intellectual and emotional approach to relationships asn so on. (of course, these things are intertwined, but I’m not going to get into that now). So I could know that my attachment to the rope was both a metaphor for my attachment to my own history, and a physical exploration of the physics of mving while attached to a rope.

          There is something so clear about being able to explore the movement possibilities of working with the rope with no intention of trying to make it mean anything, but simply allowing the movement to exist within this frame which talked about our histories – how they liberate and bind us. I wanted to leave room for grey areas. The other elements – the sound and video created layers which fed into a sort of landscape which conjured ideas of memory, of what we remember and forget. The sound included extracts of interviews I carried out with people of all ages – people talking about their childhoods, their first memories, their dreams, the part that their past plays in their present. The video played more with projecting the live action – sometimes just after it had happened, or pre – recorded footage from the rehearsal process as well as images of flocking birds and water as symbols of memory.