Antony Hamilton joins forces
Antony Hamilton is a choreographer whose work is hard to pin down in that it unhinges the traditional cultural narrative of western dance as an art form. He has created works for the likes of The Lyon Opera Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, Stompin and Rogue. At the Sugar Mountain festival this January, Hamilton will collaborate with Melbourne-based synth outfit Forces. The result? A must-see one-off performance, curated just for Sugar Mountain. Claire Christou spoke to Antony for Something You Said:
How did the collaboration between yourself and Forces come about?
It was entirely a curatorial concept, from craetive director Pete Keen.
How much of an influence is the music on your own choreography?
In all honesty, I don’t know yet! I haven’t started making anything. But usually when working with music I respond directly to it in a kind of synaesthetic manner. I draw my own parallels.
Did you work collaboratively alongside the musicians or did you introduce the music at a later date?
The music will come first for the most part. We have some improvisational structures we want to explore with this performance too.
What is the most important part of your choreographic process? Do you have a clear vision of the outcome or does it develop into the finished product? Are you flexible throughout the process?
I try to be very flexible, and allow the work to reveal itself to me through the process of making it. I rarely have a vision of the final outcome, although some situations come with a clear brief that I then work to. I find working that way harder to make something I like, but it’s possible.
You have said in previous interviews that you are quite performance-led throughout your choreographies. Is this a theme which continues into the piece for Sugar Mountain? Do you collaborate with your dancers to create new material?
Collaborate would be a strong way of putting it. I will sometimes give some structures for the dancers to develop material with, but the structures are usually so restrictive, that I would consider myself to still be very much the author of the material, if that makes sense.
How important is the relationship between yourself, musicians and other choreographers/dancers? What kind of role do you find yourself taking?
It’s definitely usually a larger role than choreographer. It’s often more artistic direction of all the creative elements. In this situation I am taking cues much more readily from Forces, as we need to arrive at something that has a common vision, rather than my vision supported by sound content.
Is there more pressure knowing that Sugar Mountain is a one-off performance rather than a tour?
Interview by Claire Christou
Sugar Mountain Festival takes place on Saturday 19 January 2013 at The Forum Theatre, Melbourne and there are satellite events for a few days either side of it. Tickets are available here.
MUSIC: DIRTY PROJECTORS | ESG | PEANUT BUTTER WOLF | ACTION BRONSON | BOOMGATES | BROTHERS HAND MIRROR | COLLARBONES | FORCES X ANTONY HAMILTON | HTRK |HUNX AND HIS PUNX | JONTI | KIRIN J CALLINAN X KRIS MOYES | LAUREL HALO | LOWER PLENTY | NAYSAYER AND GILSUN | WOODS
VISUAL ARTS: KRIS MOYES | HAMISHI | ANTONY HAMILTON | MISHA HOLLENBACH | KIT WEBSTER | MARKUS HOFKO | KEITH DEVERELL | THOMAS RUSSELL | PANTôSCOPIA | JEREMY EARL