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Prud'hon: Photography and Dance at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, October 2015

This October I shall be involved in the capacities of composer and photographer in an exciting new project at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Conceived of by Dane Hurst, the evening will feature a set of dance pieces in the gallery space inspired by the 17th century French artist Prud'hon. I shall be photographing the dancers as they perform and the resulting images will be projected live on to screens in the gallery space. The audience will be able to move around the dancers, immersing themselves in the performance from any position. There is the opportunity for audience members to take sketches, with the gallery's life-drawing tutor on hand.

Musically, I shall have several pieces being performed, including the 'Breaking Through' duet from Finding Freedom, and a new piece entitled 'Goodbye in the Night'.

 The event will take place over two evenings on 16th and 17th October this year. Details below:

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/special-events/2015/october/prud’hon-the-moving-body/

'Finding Freedom' - Some New Rehearsal Shots and the Duet Music - 'Breaking Through'

'Finding Freedom' Behind the Scenes

Here is a clip of Dane Hurst and Amy Thake working on a duet for 'Finding Freedom' in the rehearsal studios of Rambert.

'Finding Freedom' Rehearsal©2014 Tom Rowland / Dane Hurst Choreography by Dane Hurst. Music and Film by Tom Rowland. Performed by Dane Hurst and Amy Thake

The piece is about a man locked in prison, separated from the woman he loves. He is tortured by being unable to reach her. He holds on to the slender thread of hope of being reunited with her, but ever struggles with the fear she will leave him while he is helpless in prison.

When Dane was creating the choreography, he conceived of a section where the man and woman dance a heart-rending, intimate duet where the couple move together so intimately, but without actually making physical contact. This tension of restraint builds until it is finally released in a beautifully tender lift at the end.

The music to which they are dancing is from a piece which I composed for the performance. It is called 'Breaking Through' and forms the musical centrepiece of 'Finding Freedom'. It accompanies this encounter between the prisoner and his love as she tries desperately to reach him through the armour he has donned to protect himself from fear.

This fear is represented elsewhere in the piece as a daemon aggressor, an incubus who comes to torture the prisoner in his dreams, threatening to steal his love while he lies incarcerated and helpless.

The piece is about a struggle. It feels like a struggle with an external adversary, but really it’s a struggle within yourself. Inside the heart of every artist - every person- if you look deep enough you find your greatest enemy and your greatest love. Carl Jung described them as archetypes: the Shadow and the Anima. Finding these cut off parts of our souls and rejoining with them, Jung thought, is the great journey of opening up to all our potentialities as a human individual. It’s the barriers in the mind between them which form our prison. The key, the way to break down these walls is creativity.

'Finding Freedom' will be performed this coming Saturday night (27th September 2014). Tickets are in short supply but you can watch the performance streamed live to all the billions of people across the internet by following the link on the Wilton's Music Hall webpage.

'Finding Freedom' Rehearsal

I have written the music for a new dance piece choreographed by Dane Hurst called 'Finding Freedom'.The piece is going to be performed at Wilton's Music Hall on Saturday night (27th September 2014).

As a sneak preview, here are some shots I took at a rehearsal in the Rambert studios.

Due to Dane's heavy schedule, I stood in for him at the technical rehearsal last night working on the lighting and so on, and I have to say that Dane's choreography is looking beautiful. Wilton's Music Hall is a stunning venue - an authentic 19th century hall with a magical atmosphere, embellished with ornate details in every boss and column, and a tangible sense of East End theatrical history which you feel the moment you walk into the hall.

'Finding Freedom' features performances by Dane Hurst, Amy Thake, and Owen Ridley-Demonick, and will be streamed live worldwide via the internet. You can find out details about tickets and a streaming link on the Wilton's webpage. I'm supposed to be interviewed in the interval too, so please tune in to see me drunk, incoherent, happy, and mumbling something about Jung.