We go on. We eat. We shit. We sleep. We do our best.

Until Our Hearts Stop is British actor Neil Callaghan´s first work with Meg Stuart. A work that fits him well, after all he wants to work with people not relying on old tricks and habits. 

Until Our Hearts Stop Portraits Iris Janke Neil

Neil Callaghan

Neil Callaghan, born in Portsmouth (England), studied at Dartington College of Arts. Since 2002, he has been making performances with various constellations of people, directed summer courses and taught in higher education institutions and professional contexts. Callaghan is involved in an on-going collaboration with Simone Kenyon, and is currently a member of the Sadlers Wells Summer University (2015-18). In 2012 he received a DanceWEB scholarship to attend the ImpulsTanz festival under the mentorship of Benoît Lachambre and Robin Poitras. Until Our Hearts Stop (2015) is his first collaboration with Meg Stuart.

Tell me what it was like to work with Meg Stuarts Until Our Hearts Stop
It was like glorious dream. It was about 3 months full of very different textures, flavours and impressions. We had many guests passing through and contributing and informing the process from different disciplines. Working with live musicians was also a real treat. The musicians were very much a part of the process, not just a musical accompaniment but joining in with our physical work too. 

In what way does Meg Stuarts work methods differ from other choreographers you´ve worked with?
Meg is super sharp, very intuitive and in the present moment. She is very good at curating an ensemble of people and diving into a real explorative process. I feel that each performance she makes is a genuine enquiry, a search for a new language. For me this is what being an artist is. I want to work with people who have this curiosity and hunger for discovery, not relying on old tricks and habits. 

What does the title Until Our Hearts Stop mean to you?
We go on. We eat. We shit. We sleep. We do our best. We mess up. We love. We argue. We try to understand. We try to make something meaningful of our life. We forget. We carry on, until a little piece of flesh inside our chest stops. 

The show is dealing with human borders, intimacy and issues a lot of private material, maybe taboo driven even. Can you say something about how the audiences have reacted and how the close encounters have been? 
Something I can say is that many people have a strong physical response. Some people want to be with us and wish they could join in. Some people don’t want to have anything to do with us. Some people choose to walk out. Some people have told me that they crave this kind of intimacy that it has somehow changed how they think about intimacy in their lives.

In three words- who are you?
Work in progress 

What´s your professional background?

I studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts. It was a very special place but the college no longer exists. It had a very open idea of what theatre is, and there was a lot of experimentation happening. It was the perfect place for me. I started out working for a lot of experimental theatre companies alongside making my own work. Until I started working for dance companies and I’ve tended to work mostly in dance the last 9 years. In the UK different performance disciplines are very divided, and dance seemed to me the place where I felt most at home.

What´s your definition to the word “dance”?
I have a very loose understanding of what dance is. It is about movement. Increasingly for me it is about framing or focusing attention. 

When is your job frustrating?
For me the most frustrating part of the job is hustling time and juggling dates. I enjoy working on different projects and am committed to the projects I take on, but then sometimes that means managing a clash of dates. I realise it is a very fortunate problem to have. 

How´s a typical work day for you?
I can’t say that there is a ‘typical’ day for me. During a process, I’ll be in the studio all day. When we have performances. I’ll try and have a good sleep, a long warm up and then the show and then a post-show come down after. Everyday usually begins with a shower and a double espresso; cleanliness and coffee are important whatever the agenda.

Until our hearts stop, 10.–12. March

icon-facebookicon-instagramsoek_3icon-searchicon-twitterDansens Hus