Ahead of the 2018 MoveMe Festival, Perth’s biennial showcase of contemporary dance, Nina Levy is talking to the program’s choreographers to find out more about the works that will be staged this September.
Here she catches up with local independent choreographer Kynan Hughes, to talk about his new work Love/Less. Featuring dancers Marlo Benjamin, Rachel Arianne Ogle and Alexander Perrozzi, Love/Less delves into the making and breaking of human connections.
Nina Levy: What is Love/Less about?
Kynan Hughes: Love/Less explores the universal human experiences of intimacy and loss.
Intimacy is defined as being “very personal; private”, it can refer “to or [be] indicative of one’s deepest nature” and reflects “close acquaintance, association, or familiarity” across all forms of relationships: from family ties to sexual flings. I believe intimacy and the sharing of our deepest emotions and thoughts with others is one of the most fundamental and basic desires of being human: we seek the comfort and understanding of others, be it from friends, family members or lovers. It is inevitable that at some point in our lifetimes we will lose some of these connections through various circumstances: such as loss (from death or distance), change or time.
This work has been driven and spurred on by the death of my father after a long series of illnesses in 2010. While being part of a close and loving family, my father was a solitary man and, after his passing there is still a lingering feeling that I did not really know him at all. Love/Less examines how we can be close but simultaneously so far apart.
NL: Talk us through the creative process of making Love/Less
KH: Choreographically the work is highly complex physically, with strong emotional and theatrical content. The material was created collaboratively with the entire creative team: it relies heavily on the interaction and trust between the cast members throughout the demanding partnering.
My goal, as a choreographer, is to make distinctive dance works that emotionally resonate with audiences, challenging them to examine and question the subject matter of the work in relation to their own lives.
NL: What excites you about sharing Love/Less with Perth audiences?
KH: Love/Less has been in development for around five years now, with two creative developments and many grant writing sessions! It’s incredibly exciting to get it to the stage and finally share it with people. Hopefully, it will offer an experience that moves people and gets them reflecting upon events in their own life around love, loss and grief in a way that is cathartic and beautiful.
NL: What appeals you about being involved in this festival?
KH: I’m excited about being a part of an event that showcases and celebrates West Australian dance – an industry that I’m really proud and honoured to be a part of. I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity to present and share my work in such a platform.
NL: What are you looking forward to seeing at MoveMe?
KH: Everything! There’s so much that’s so intriguing and interesting. The intergenerational and site-specific aspect of the “SeeME” really excites me, especially because I co-curated a site-specific dance program, “In Situ”, with Emma Fishwick, in 2016 and 2017. Cockfight is explosive dance theatre performed by two incredible performers. Co:3 are presenting a double bill of four (!) unique and powerful female choreographers’ work, which I can’t wait to see – it will be fantastic to see their work on the company. Dust on the Shortbread tackles an illness that is affecting my family right now, and I feel it will offer quite a revelatory experience.