- Dance - PerformanceCreation 2014 (2014)
Première 13.05.2014 Opéra de Lille (FR)
Tragedy is individual; comedy is multiple. In Creation 2014, choreographer Daniel Linehan works with a team of seven dancers, taking excerpts from various classics of literature and philosophy and turning them into a much more serious art form: a choreographed comedy.
Linehan aims to look at the contemporary concept of “the tragedy of the commons” from the point of view of dramatic tragedy. In the tragedy of the commons, a group of people share a common resource, and each person benefits individually if they exploit this resource but experiences only a fraction of the damages caused by his actions. The rational pursuit of one's individual interest leads to a collective devastation of the environment. This situation is “tragic,” proceeding in a way that must lead toward an inevitable downfall.
In tragic drama, we admire the protagonist's unique subjectivity, but there is something in his individuality that also leads to an inevitable downfall. How to resolve this tragic dilemma? If there is no resolution, can't we at least imagine it as a comedy, revealing the personality traits of the hero to be ridiculous and idiotic, rather than tragic?
Linehan proposes to double, triple, and quadruple the tragic figure, putting identical protagonists side-by-side, reciting their lines and gesticulating in choreographic unison. The word “choreography” comes from the Greek word for chorus, a group of people who speak and move in unison. Nowadays, this device seems old-fashioned, but Linehan would like to reclaim the chorus aspect of choreography, in order to address urgent questions about what it means to be an individual in a group, what we gain and what we lose by participating in common forms of action.