Hofesh Shechter – Computer

When I was young, fear was ruling a big part of my life. Still today, of course, to one degree or another it casts a shadow… But the transition from being in the clutches of fear into creativity was a meaningful one.

My greatest fear was- to create. To reveal what’s inside, to come out of my comfortable hiding place… To make something out of the nothing, to act, make a decision, put a stamp, a mark, and then have it out there as an undebatable reality and truth- a truth to be assessed, judged, and my biggest fear was, that this that will come out of me and my creation, will appear to be all that I am. And even that last sentence, my mind would doubt that ‘I am’ is nothing more than a collection of information, energies and emotions, that are not exactly mine. So how could I be held responsible for whatever may come out of my creation?

Image Hofesh Shechter

This may seem a complex, illogical line of thought- but it was mine… I needed a way to unlock my creativity. Weirdly I began to believe, that the key to my creation, the gate opener that will release me and free me, was nothing more than- a computer. More specifically, one where I can organise my complex musical ideas and explore them fully. A kingdom of virtual possibilities, endless sounds, ocean of ample virtual manipulations, where I can become and create EVERYTHING, and it’s all not really there, not really real… Plug it into loudspeakers – and even then it’s not really here… it’s a vibration, it’s a manipulation on the ear, on the heart, a digital translation of things I felt when I recorded them, edited, effected and EQ’ed, and that digital brain, that machine, this grey metal box was used to crush and mush all my emotions and sensations into a mass of sounds. These, in their ethereal existence, gave me more solid ground than I could have ever hoped for. They gave me direction, security, warmth. I was safe following these sounds into the dance studio, letting something come out of the nothing, letting the silent ocean of the body reveal its wisdom step by step. This grey metal matter saved me.

I take my laptop with me everywhere. Always. My own personal internal translator, that digital motherboard that expansion of my knowledge emotions and abilities comes with me wherever I go. 

It is my tool, my weapon, my guard. It is the illusion of what I am, of what I can be. 

It is a way of replacing fear with love, with generosity and exchange with the world around me.

Take it away from me, and I’m only some body…

Choreographer Hofesh Shechter OBE is recognised as one of the most exciting artists making stage work today, renowned for composing atmospheric musical scores to compliment the unique physicality of his movement. He is Artistic Director of the UK-based Hofesh Shechter Company, formed in 2008.  The company are resident at Brighton Dome and Shechter is an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells.

Hofesh Shechter’s repertoire for the company includes Uprising (2006), In your rooms (2007), The Art of Not Looking Back (2009), Political Mother (2010), Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut (2011), Sun (2013), barbarians (2015), Grand Finale (2017) and SHOW (2018) with his apprentice company, Shechter II.

Shechter has also staged and choreographed works on leading international dance companies including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva Ensemble, Candoco Dance Company, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 1, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet Flanders.

He has choreographed for theatre, television and opera, notably at the Metropolitan Opera (New York) for Nico Mulhy’s Two Boys, the Royal Court on Motortown and The Arsonists, the National Theatre on Saint Joan and for the Channel 4 series Skins.  As part of #HOFEST, a 4 week festival celebrating Shechter’s work across 4 iconic London venues, he co-directed Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with John Fulljames at the Royal Opera House.  In 2016 he received a Tony Award nomination for his choreography for the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

Grand Finale is the latest full-length work in his canon, which premiered at La Villette with Théâtre de la Ville in Paris on June 14th, 2017 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.