The Listening Room, is an exuberant and experimental piece that Clinkard designed and choreographed for twenty dancers of the renowned Danza Contemporanea de Cuba.
Funded by British Council as part of ‘Islas Creativas’ (Creative Islands) initiative between British Council and DCC to support the development of new choreography, the creation premiered in Havana's recebtyl refurbished Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso in May 2016.
Set to Steve Reich’s driving score, ‘Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings’, The Listening Room is a celebration of expressive and instinctive dancing. As the performers in headphones respond to an alternate soundtrack of wildly diverse music and text, the piece invites the audience to create their own relationships between what they hear and what they see.
The work toured across the UK in 2017 with Dance Consortium.
'...warm, quirky charm from the British dancemaker Theo Clinkard, whose likeable work allows the dancers to show unexpected sides of their collective personality.' The Times
'The work’s charm lies in its seeming spontaneity. It is rather like watching the weather as we see the dancers drift into a quietly private headspace or clump into riotous choruses whose music we can only imagine.'
'The dancers throw interpretative shapes in silence or plunge through loose-limbed ribbons of motion in beautifully-crafted, ever-changing formations. ' The Stage
'One minute we’re watching twenty young people in colour-coded long shorts and t-shirts random dancing, iPods plugged into ears, some with eyes closed, the next Reich’s music changes our perceptions. The same moves look different. John Cagean silences sharpen our eyes.
Now and then, dancers come forward, try to be inclusive, get a high five from the front row, grin and peel off into their own realm. Whatever they do, they are fabulous to watch, as they throw shapes, hunch and stoop, freeze poses. Some dance solos, some hook up with others. Headspace triggers, free form improvisation, and Pina Bauschian synchronicities determine the dynamic.'
British Theatre Guide