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What doe the dx Choreography Award mean to you and how will you use your time at dx?
Declan Whitaker
Photo by Christian Bang

For me, the Choreography Award is a chance to play freely and openly, to engage and experiment and interrogate a series of ideas that have existed in my head for some time but haven’t found their way out into the studio. It’s a pretty rare opportunity to work without the pressure of producing, to place the emphasis on trying and not worrying about failing, so I’m looking forward to that. I am interested in brevity: duration is dead. In a world of increased technological dependence and decreased attention span, is there space for profundity? I am also interested in the idea of ‘full-length work’ in dance. What does this mean and what problems does it create? With the support of DX and the mentoring that I will receive, I hope to gain new perspectives and advice from people involved in many of the different aspects of creating dance.

Tell us about you and your practice? 

As a dancer, I have worked with National Dance Company Wales where I performed works by Johan Inger and Stephen Shropshire. I have worked with Martin Forsberg (ForsWorks) in Denmark and am currently performing in Helena Waldmann’s newest production Good Passports Bad Passports. As a choreographer I have made work for NDCWales’ Alternative Routes season, the Royal Ballet’s Draftworks as well as Bloomsbury Festival, GOLive Festival and Cloud Dance Festival.

Dream collaboration?

Jon Rafman or Britney Spears circa 1998

First dance experience?

My mom recalls the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Dublin – we watched it on TV. The interval act was a performance by Riverdance which I was apparently completely hypnotised by. Transfixed, I tried to jig my way around the living room. For the next year, I begged my Mom to take me to Irish dance classes and so the following year, just before I turned 5, I started and I haven’t stopped dancing since!

Favourite dance video of all time?