A posthumous premiere

A tribute to the late Nigel Charnock by presenting his final piece, ‘Haunted by the Future.’

August 9, 2012 13:19
2 minute read.
Nigel Charnock's 'Haunted by the Future'

Nigel Charnock's 'Haunted by the Future' 521. (photo credit: Tomer Applebaum))


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Earlier this week, British performer and choreographer Nigel Charnock lost his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed in June of this year. Hearing the news of his death, the international dance community reached out across countries to collectively mourn the loss of one of the greatest performers the stage has ever known.

Charnock was a founding member of London’s DV8 Physical Theater, a troupe that has remained on the cutting edge of dance theater for more than 25 years.

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Upon leaving the company, Charnock struck off on his own, founding an independent ensemble. Over the years, Charnock coined his own style, which included pedestrian movement combined with deeply physical interludes often set to pop music. His work was witty, charming, poignant and deeply personal.

On August 19, the Suzanne Dellal Center will host a one-time only posthumous premiere of Charnock’s Haunted by the Future. The performance will mark his last new work, made just months before his death at the age of 52.

The project was initiated in late 2011 by dancer Talia Paz and the Machol Shalem Production House of Jerusalem.

The original plan was for Charnock to create two new works using Israeli dancers. One piece was to be a group work, with a cast of local dancers. The second, Haunted by the Future, was to be danced by Paz and British dancer Michael Winter. Charnock visited Israel several times in the past months to audition dancers and to meet with Paz and the directors of Machol Shalem.

Then, in early summer, he informed them that he would not be able to choreograph the group piece.


However, Haunted by the Future was already complete and waiting to be performed. There was still talk that he would travel to Israel to see the premiere. However, sadly, he could not.

In Haunted by the Future, Paz and Winter portray a long-standing couple, dealing with the animosity, love and hope built throughout many years together. In this work, Charnock employed many of the tactics that set him apart from his contemporaries. His presentation of vulnerability, of sheer rage between two people who supposedly love each other and the overall honesty conveyed by this work are clear signs of Charnock’s handiwork.

Paz and Winter are both seasoned performers who bring endless hours on stage with them into the limelight.

Winter is the calm match to Paz’s hysterics at times, while at odd moments Paz soothes and eases him. The piece uses text, music, props and movement to depict the couple’s complex relationship.

The evening will include two additional pieces: Higher Power by Ofra Eidel and Off-Line by Nadar Rosano. Higher Power is a duet danced by two women that was created in memory of Tamar Natan, who passed away during a trip to South America. The piece is a journey through the memories of Natan’s last days, far from home, far from her love.

Off-Line is about the walls put up and taken down by strangers, neighbors, friends and lovers. The piece is danced by Rosano and Adi Weinberg.

Haunted by the Future and the two pieces Higher Power and Off-Line will be performed at the Suzanne Dellal Center on August 19 at 9 p.m. For tickets, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.

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