The anatomy of a storyteller

Brandstrup, Kim (2004) The anatomy of a storyteller. [Performance]


Full-length original choreographic composition and staging, commissioned to mark the anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen. First staged at the Royal Opera House, the piece was also commissioned by the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation, the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Bikuben Foundation, and toured internationally. Funded by the Arts Council England, the Garfield Weston Foundation, The Leche Trust, the Augustinus Founden, the Beckett Foundation, Dance East, DanceXchange and Dansevaerket. Reviewed internationally. A number of research questions drove the production: to reappraise the HCA dance tradition from the perspective of the writer himself as psychologically conflicted. The piece explored the means to render the staging itself visually complex: I collaborated with film-makers Brothers Quay, developing a filmic use of deep shadow and rear and fore-ground projections, creating a heightened visual dimensionality, appropriate to the exploration of psychological complexity. I sought to retain the choreographic tradition, exemplified in Balanchine's work with the tales, while aiming to bring classical dance into the 21C, through this complex sampling/ layering, combined with the thematics of pyschological complexity and authorial presence. I collaborated on the original sound design with Ian Dearden, including sampled work by Schubert, in a similarly complex and layered sound design. The staging became more complex, and more demanding of spectators, while including the simpler pleasures of recognition of the HCA tradition. The key research issue was how to communicate different narrative orders through coherent physical action in dance. Key to the exploration was the casting of virtuoso dancers, able to enable spectators, on the basis of minutely detailed and layered physical action, to juggle with different narrative orders.

Venue Details

    • Location: Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London, and touring nationally and internationally
    • Dates:

Item Type: Performance
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts > Dance group
Item ID: 734
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2008 13:42
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 14:33

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