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Daniel Linehan
Dance Tutor

Born in 1982 in Seattle. Daniel Linehan’s choreographic work is intent on softly obscuring the line that separates dance from everything else. He approaches performance-making from the point of view of a curious amateur, testing various interactions between dance and non-dance forms, searching for unlikely conjunctions, juxtapositions and parallels between texts, movements, images, songs, videos and rhythms.
Linehan first studied dance in Seattle and then moved to New York City in 2004. In 2007, he premiered the solo Not About Everything, which has since been presented in over 75 venues internationally. In 2008, Linehan moved to Brussels where he completed the Research Cycle at P.A.R.T.S. His most recent works include Un Sacre du Printemps (2015), dbddbb (2015) and Flood (2017). From 2017 to 2021, Daniel Linehan is Creative Associate at deSingel International Arts Campus.

How important is the context, in which you perform, to you?

I notice that my work is always to some degree adaptable and flexible, changing according to the public and according to the space, in ways that I can try to foresee but cannot completely control. Of course, the context changes everything, but it is also difficult to define the limit of the context. The context can mean this particular day, or this year, or this decade that we’re living in. What is it to perform in this country, in this city or this particular venue? I can think of it as a political or a social or an artistic context.
So, what can I say about the context? Contextual ways of thinking about performance tend to zoom in on specific details of this space, this day, this specific artistic field. Zooming in on details is important, thinking about the contemporary moment is important, but we shouldn’t be afraid to also zoom out and try to consider the work we make in larger contexts as well.

Which skill, that you’ve learned by performing, helps you in everyday life?

I’ve realized through performing that I have much less control over things than I think you do. Remaining open to the unexpected is definitely an important skill that I’ve learned through performing.

What makes artistic collaboration work?

First of all: listen to each other. Never immediately say no. Ask many questions. Give ideas time to develop. Allow ideas to change shapes, be rejected, be replaced, be transformed. Allow for tangents. Allow yourselves to imagine something impossible and figure out later how to make it possible.

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© ️Peggy Jarell Kaplan