Kally Lloyd-Jones: 'As much as it's come from a very personal place in me, I want it to be for and about everybody'
- Kelly Apter
- 19 July 2019
This article is from 2019
The acclaimed choreographer talks about how she turned sadness into another uplifting dance work for Company Chordelia
'I reeled from one loss to the next and lived in a grey fog for quite a while,' says Kally Lloyd-Jones, recalling the difficult year she had in 2017. 'I lost four people who were very close to me, and all younger than me, including my best friend.' Out of the midst of grief, however, came a desire to share not just the sadness of bereavement but the joy of life, in new work The Chosen.
As a choreographer with Company Chordelia, Lloyd-Jones has become synonymous with deeply emotive narrative dance, including the award-winning Nijinsky's Last Jump, Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here and Dance Derby. But although her new show's title comes from a story, the work itself heads in a different direction.
'The Chosen is a reference to the Chosen One in The Rite of Spring, somebody who was chosen to be sacrificed, but also considered special,' explains Lloyd-Jones. 'So I'm trying to look at that idea of knowing you're going to die – or knowing that someone you love is going to die – and how you choose to spend that time. But it's probably the most abstract thing I've ever made. Loosely, there's a journey from life to death, but it isn't completely linear. The only set is a blue floor and some mirrored boxes, because if the space is abstract then the people become real.'
Keen to open the experience out, and not just reflect her own losses, Lloyd-Jones worked closely with the six dancers to capture some universal aspects of dying. 'I want it to feel like anybody can watch the show and see aspects of themselves or people they know,' says Lloyd-Jones. 'And I think if you leave enough space, people can take what they need from it. Because as much as it's come from a very personal place in me, I want it to be for and about everybody.'
Company Chordelia: The Chosen, Dance Base, Grassmarket, 6–25 Aug (not 12, 19), 5pm; Previews 2–4 Aug.