Tha-at’s right [2018]
16mm film

Commissioned by An Assembly for a UK in 2018 alongside pieces by composers Louis D’Heudieres and Charlie Usher.
Tha-at's right is a film in which three dancers and a small crew attempt to choreograph a dance from a dance review, written in 1957 by critic and poet Edwin Denby titled Three Sides of Agon. Denby’s review articulates Stravinsky’s final ballet Agon via an idiosyncratic stream of metaphors. Tha-at's right takes Denby at his word, translating his imagery back into the language of dance.

George Balanchine choreographed Agon from images taken from a manual of French mid-17th-Century society dances, interpreting them without provision for narrative, scenery or ‘context’. Rather than the interior world of ‘characters’, he was interested in the energies of forms and surfaces in and of themselves. Via Denby, Tha-at’s right attempts to raise questions about translation, the role of criticism and the living body as a perpetual signifier — ‘an image as an expression’ as filmmaker Harun Farocki calls it in his film The Expression of Hands.

Watch the trailer below and the full video here

‘...a seemingly disconnected parade of musical and choreographic gestures that swing - like Denby’s prose - between baroque grace and withering bathos. It’s funny - but more than that, it raises questions about translation, the fitness of words to sounds or movements, the role of criticism, and the authority of the score.’
- The Wire, December 2018

‘There’s a sly humour throughout the piece, made all the more subversive by never letting the audience relax into certainty over what, or who, is being made fun of from one moment to the next...The dancers bring a discipline and dignity to the ridiculousness. Like in a Robert Ashley piece, only with movement instead of words, the music does its work while the audience is distracted, a deadpan “No comment” while slipping a diffuse, brittle collage of chamber music past our ears.’
- Boring Like a Drill, October 2018

Screenings and exhibitions:

2022  UK New Artists - Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester
2021   No-body’s room x LUX - The Room Projects, Paris
2020  Correspondance / Correspondence - Videographé, Montreal
2020  Visions in the Nunnery - Bow Arts, London             
2020  Hold On - The Koppel Project, London
2019   Fracto Film Encounter - ACUD, Berlin
2019   6X6 Project - artist moving image online streaming platform
2019   Bankley Open Call - Bankley Gallery, Manchester
2019   neo:art prize exhibition - Bolton Museum and Art Gallery
2018   An assembly - 3 part UK film screening 

Svenja Bühl
Regina Laasmäe
Danielle Summers

Rowland Hill
Svenja Bühl
Regina Laasmäe
Danielle Summers

Rowland Hill

Scout Stuart

Paul Daly

Rowland Hill
Rowland Hill
with Jack Sheen

Paul Daly

additional editing
Ralph Pritchard