Some time ago, my best friend Kat allowed me to throw bread at her on the street. I cried laughing. Tonight, I went to see New Art Club in their new show, Quiet Act of Destruction. If you enjoy throwing bread at people and having bread thrown at you, then go see it.
I also managed to pick their brains a little. This is what happened;
PS: Where does your understanding of contemporary dance come from?
NAC: For the past twenty years we have both worked as dancers, choreographers, choreographic mentors, teachers of dance and choreography and every point in-between. We each have an odd relationship with dance, we use it as an inspiration and a starting point but also feel frustrated sometimes by it’s ability to be an inward facing art form.
PS: How does it feel to be able to both insult and enlighten our contemporary dance expert Phillip Adams?
NAC: We like the thought of doing that, I think he was only pretending to be insulted. We want the shows to work on lots of levels.
PS: At what stage did you decide that there is comedic value in contemporary dance?
NAC: We’ve always enjoyed the comedic elements of dance and physical performance. From hugely popular things like Monty Python to the outer reaches of the conceptual dance world, there seems to be a rich vein of comedy to be inspired and influenced by. Our work takes our own choreographic practice and mines it for things that are funny, or conceptual or just good old silly. Or it used to, this current show doesn’t have much dance in it, instead it uses the audience to create an imaginative world of movement to help tell a story.
PS: How were you inspired by the English countryside for this show?
NAC: I (Tom) live in a small village in England and we thought a show based around the village would be unusual and interesting. It’s a blank canvas to create comic situations, characters and narratives. We draw on the audiences natural desires to compete to help us tell a story about petty village rivalry.
PS: Will this dynamic duo be doing comedic dance for long?
NAC: This is our 14th year of making shows together and we have a new show in the pipeline waiting to get out. We let each show take a different form, as yet we don’t know what the future holds but at the moment we can’t see any reason to stop.
PS: If you had to choose between comedy and dance, which would it be?
NAC: I would let the Nazis kill me before I made such an impossible choice. Meryl Streep!!!
PS: What do your mothers think of the fact that you’re making a living by being prancing idiots?
NAC: They are immensely proud of our international standing as comedians of high repute but Pete’s mum thinks we should swear less and make less casual reference to sodomy, and my mum thinks we should do more material about losing your shoes whilst decorating ceramic pottery with paint brush mice.