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Roehampton choreographers contribute to major new film installation

Dr Simon Ellis and Dr Efrosini Protopapa, both of the Department of Dance, have collaborated with renowned choreographer Siobhan Davies and filmmaker David Hinton on a new film installation, The Running Tongue.

Posted: 29 May 2015

image for news story Roehampton choreographers contribute to major new film installation
A still from Dr Simon Ellis’s contribution to The Running Tongue, a new film installation by Siobhan Davies and David Hinton.
For the film, Ms Davies and Mr Hinton commissioned 21 dance artists to create 10-second movement scenes, which Ms Davies calls ‘visions’. Dr Ellis, a Reader, and Dr Protopapa, a Senior Lecturer, created two visions each. The film will premiere on 18 June at Carriageworks, a large contemporary arts centre in Eveleigh, Australia, as part of 24 Frames Per Second, a major exhibition of new screen-based work.

The Running Tongue’s unifying feature is dancer Helka Kaski, who appears running throughout the film, freezing at random intervals to reveal one of the visions. Each vision was inspired by a proverb about women, which the participating dance artists chose from a published collection of proverbs from around the world.

For one of his two contributions, Dr Ellis created a witty response to the proverb that whatever happens, it is the woman’s fault. Filmed in Richmond Park (see picture), it has an unexpected ending. For one of her visions, Dr Protopapa chose the proverb that a single woman's work is better than a hundred men's discourses. Set in an Escher-like library (pictured below), the scene shows Dr Protopapa throwing books to the floor as others fall off the shelves in a downpour of books.

Dr Protopapa said: “Working with Siobhan and David was inspiring. I’ve never worked in film before, and it was fascinating to see how they responded to my imagination and translated my idea in practical terms. At the preview of the full work, I was impressed at how they had found an overall structure to accommodate so many different artistic visions and make them into a complete work.

‘I admire how Siobhan Davies has turned in her work from being a solo authoring choreographer to leading interdisciplinary collaborative projects like The Running Tongue and the Station to Station residency at the Barbican this summer, in which she has invited me to participate alongside a visual artist, a neurologist, and four other dance artists.’

The Running Tongue is one of 24 screen-based works commissioned by Carriageworks for their new exhibition, which runs from 18 June to 2 August. Also in the exhibition is a dance-related film by Alison Currie, an MRes Choreography and Performance student in Roehampton’s Department of Dance. She created her film, I Can Relate, as part of her final-year portfolio project. Made in Australia, I Can Relate will be shown on a sculpted screen that warps the image.

Find out more about The Running Tongue.
Read Dr Ellis’s interview with Ms Davies and Mr Hinton about The Running Tongue.

Efrosini in film installation

A still from Dr Efrosini Protopapa’s contribution to The Running Tongue, a new film installation by Siobhan Davies and David Hinton.

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