Archives for posts with tag: Max Munday


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

I sit, drawing, on a slab of millstone grit in the Peak District, while Max demonstrates a hand-hold for dealing with the peculiar nature of this sandstone. The rocks here make amazing shapes, weathered, in places, into particularly stupid-looking faces, and at the bottom of the outcrops, you can see the actual millstones carved out of the cliffs. These are, I guess, the less-than-perfect ones, discarded by their makers long ago, merged back into the landscape. I clamber about, my daredevil youth fighting with my fearful age. The horizontal cracks in the grit are weathered smooth on the top edge: in fact they’re not really edges, more curves, so are hard to grip. You have to wedge your hand into them, jam it in hard. I love the feeling of rock under my feet and hands, so solid… Walking up towards the outcrops are people with brightly-coloured folded mattresses on their backs, that they’ll put under their climbs, to fall on. Smart.

Joan Miró at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park! In the underground gallery, his smooth black anthropomorphs just beg to be stroked rubbed and polished. (Don’t worry, gallery attendant, I won’t. I know the rules). The massive characters face big bright lithographs, and constructions of found objects – a mannequin’s legs topped by a crude yellow head with a red tap-hat, a chair with shoes jutting out, coat-hangers and towels cast in bronze… a ‘phantasmagoric world of living monsters’ . And they do seem to live – they’re personalities. Scary and comic, sexy and serious, but playful and joyful. I bloody love Miró!