Spinner Light | Interview mit Charles Washington

Classic question. Have you been interested in the connection between colour and interpersonal relationships for some time or how did you come to this topic? 

I have always been interested in colour in relation to listening to and perceiving music and the proprioception of my body movement, which creates patterns of undulating changing colours and textures. I later discovered this perception to be called synaesthesia. Even though I was not directly aware that colour had an emotional effect on me, I came to realise it represented a state of homeostasis – I was relaxed enough to experience my body.  

What makes Kandinsky’s theory of colour different from others? 

What grabbed my attention about Kandinsky was his inquiry into a non-secular spiritual experience that was created by an external artefact composed of smaller objects that are in a sort of composed harmony. This led me to read some of his books. In his books Concerning the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane, in great detail, he lays out a system in which he describes how placing different objects, that have different shapes and colours beside each other can change the viewer’s internal emotional experience. As a choreographer, these books resonated with me as choreography is initially composing a space temporally, that is filled with performers that are creating evolving forms in relationship with the space of the stage and others in that space.  When I was reading these books, I felt as if I was reading a type of choreographic handbook. 

Spinner Light was to be premiered in April in HELLERAU. Unfortunately you had to interrupt rehearsals because of Corona, and now the premiere in December has to be cancelled, so you decided to show a film. How did the situation influence your further rehearsals and the play? 

Honestly, I think it has helped it has given me more limitation. My feeling before the interruption of Corona was that there were too many possibilities even though the work does aim to reach an experience of internal harmony that Ross Mckim calls the numinous in his book In the Shadow of the Dancing Shamen. Dramaturgically speaking there were far more possibilities than limitations on how to reach that experience. Now because of the Hygiene rules, Romy Rexheuser, the costume and stage designer, came up with a stage design that allows the maximum amount of public with four dancers in the Nancy Spero room, which has created limitations. I feel these limitations have helped me imagine how to go forward and how to use what we created in the one week that we worked from our own homes in lockdown. 

Did you learn something about colours and people that impressed you the most? 

I feel like I clarified something that possibly has been at play in my sensory world for a while, that being the impact of the colour blue. When talking with one of the dancers in the time of the lockdown yellow was very present in her life and she was considering why I found this a very satisfying and curious experience. 

What exactly can the audience* expect when they watch Spinner Light? 

An energetic work that interweaves and combines the stories of four individual’s exploration and expressions of intricate dance movement and compositional rhythms that is set in an atmospheric environment that slips between the actual space and another. 

Which colour do you like to be surrounded by most? 

I like to be surrounded by a mixture of colours and textures; however, I am drawn more towards richer and darker themes contrasted with a few sparks of vivid turquoises and pinks. 

Sat 19.12. 8 pm Filmpremiere 
Spinner Light 
Charles Washington/Pinkmetalpetal Productions (GB/DE)