You can tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps and the films he watches. So the Place really have been granted access all areas as Hofesh Shechter became the second guest on Reel Lives last week and his Company had the chance to put their own choreographic stamp on the world with In Good Company on Saturday.
In Reel Lives Hofesh calmly admits a love of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Singing in the Rain and a whole host of si-fi movies, from 2001 A Space Odyssey to Spike Jonze’s Adaptation. He also tells interviewer John Ashford, former Director of the Place and current Director of Aerowaves, how film techniques − such as the use of inner monologues, rewind, juxtaposing music and action and physical jokes − have influenced him.
Interviews or Q&As with choreographers can often be difficult to sit through, with no new information offered and no interesting questions asked but the use of film as a starting point bridged the gap between choreographer and audience as we realised this bloke likes to kick back with a good movie too.
In Good Company, featuring work from five of Hofesh’s dancers, gave us that hallelujah moment when we were assured that more good contemporary choreographers are on their way! Look out for Jason Jacobs if you like a little physical comedy. His duet with violinist Andrew Maddick offers a musical play on movement and as any comedian will tell you it's all in the timing. Look out for Maeva Berthelot and Sita Ostheimer if you’re a fan of satire as both choreographers put on very serious pieces that with a mere scratch of the surface had us chuckling in our seats.
Hofesh Shechter will be at Sadler’s Wells in July with Political Mother: The Choreographers Cut and Reel Lives continues on the 8 November with Matthew Bourne, the dance-theatre guru who brought us the male swans.