Meet the Artists: Bill Coleman and Gordon Monahan, DOLLHOUSE

Bill Coleman Blog

Contemporary dance master and choreographer Bill Coleman, with avant-garde composer Gordon Monahan, presents DOLLHOUSE at the Dance Base Festival 17.

Both eye-popping spectacle and unique score, DOLLHOUSE encompasses tap dancing and performance art while mechanical and electronic objects, both handmade and found, deliver disrupting and surprising rhythms for the ears and eyes.

We talked to Bill Coleman, who is featured on this Dance Base Festival 17 brochure, to tell us more about the show which opens 15 – 27 Aug.

1. What was it that inspired your show or performance?
I was inspired by the American actor Buster Keaton. A basic inspiration for his work was interacting with things breaking and falling so that became a basis to the show.
The process itself became the inspiration but, like any creative journey in the studio, we wandered far from Buster and the silent comedies in which he starred.

2. Can you describe your devising process, and how did you find inspiration for creating your work?
Unbridled exploration played a large part in the creation.

3. What was it that inspired you in becoming a performer, or setting up your company?
I started tap dancing at 15, which was basically a case of making noise while moving around in front of people. I had shown glimmers of creativity at school with a play and some funny dances at Dance School but it wasn’t until I had encountered contemporary dance and its  ‘you can pretty much do anything’ appeal, that I became interested in making performance.

4. What was your favourite part of the rehearsal or devising process in creating your performance?
Working with composer, Gordon Monahan.

5. Do you have a routine or pre-show ritual that you have to do before you perform?
As a dancer I warm up, but for this show I fill my pants with brittle objects and set mousetraps.

6. What is your favourite dance performance you’ve seen, and why?
Appalachian Spring by Martha Graham I think is my favourite, it’s so clear and simple.
I was lucky to dance in it at the 50th anniversary performance in Washington.

7. If you could describe your show in 3 words, what would they be?
Aural, kinetic mayhem.

8. What are you most looking forward to in bringing your show to the festival?
The audiences.

9. If you’ve visited the festival before, what’s your favourite Edinburgh haunt?
Edinburgh's Botanical Gardens.

You can find out more about DOLLHOUSE, and book tickets here.
Tickets can also be booked via the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Box Office on 0131 226 0000.

Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council
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