nomadland

James is laying his dolly down in my living room. It’s fifteen feet long: two white plastic plumber’s tubes, a couple of feet apart. On top sits a platform with skateboard wheels, cunningly set at 45° so it can glide smoothly along the rails. And on top of that, a video camera and tripod bolted down. James and Harriet are here to film Max and me – son and father, in our capacity as, well, son and father.

Hofesh Shechter is the Israeli choreographer whose work is ‘earthy and blunt, powered by action and raw energy’ (says The Guardian), and characterised by intense physicality and relentless, oppressive percussion. His dancers fight and struggle, and move low across the stage like animals. His production, Political Mother, was a big hit at the Brighton Festival three years ago. Now he is producing Nomad Land for the Festival: ten short films, ‘movement duets which choreographically and visually explore male behaviours’. One of them is exploring ours.

We don’t know how our film will turn out: actually we have a good close relationship. We rack our brains to think of conflict, rebellion, repression, but mostly, as we’re interviewed, we remember funny stories and poignant episodes, and lots of laughter in our little family. The formal dance pieces are not so much about struggle as parting, and now, here in the living room, we put on the disco classic Young Hearts Run Free, and dance crazily (and freely) over and in-between the dolly tracks while James, Harriet and the camera glide in and out of our male behaviours.

‘Nomad Land… In this collaborative dance and film project a group of men from across the generations come together with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival Resident Company, Hofesh Shechter Company, and student film makers to explore the energy and complexity of male relationships.’

University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Free, Sat 4 – Sat 18 May 10am – 5pm, Thurs late night opening until 8pm
Produced by Hofesh Shechter Company and Brighton Festival in collaboration with University of Brighton

‘Uprising’ by Hofesh Shechter Company

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