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Eye on the Love Clock

Dance and theatre critic, curator and dramaturg Donald Hutera considers time and love thanks to an InTRANSIT Festival commission.
The clock is ticking for all of us these days, or so it seems, but maybe especially for me. The reason? Love Clock, the name of the latest project cooked up by the visual artist and thinker Lilia Pegado and me. We call ourselves Chelsea Arts Collective, aka CAC. In 2014 CAC presented a series of five performance events, plus an art exhibition, in a Chelsea church hall near to where Lilia lives. The following year CAC received a commission from InTRANSIT Festival to make Paradise on Earth – a two-hour ‘performance party’ involving 36 wonderfully disparate artistes and staged in a sunken garden on a local housing estate.
This year InTRANSIT has invited CAC to return with a new work. Not wishing to repeat ourselves, what we’ve come up with is a free, cyclical and durational outdoor performance ritual in Dovehouse Green, a former burial ground turned public garden just off the King’s Road and Sydney Street and near to Chelsea Old Town Hall. The Green has twenty benches, eleven lampposts, three tombs (one of which holds the remains of William Whitehead, a tradesman of the King who died 200 years ago this past May) and one obelisk. It’s handsomely and pleasingly laid out as a rectangle across which four pathways cross, meeting in a central quadrangle. Tall trees lend it a cathedral-like aspect.
Our plan is to kick off Love Clock on June 18 at high noon and finish four hours later. Each hour is to be divided into quarters, during which various members of the 13-strong cast will have encounters with each other and, very possibly, the public – and maybe even a few pigeons. These at least semi-improvisatory interactions will be in keeping with InTRANSIT’s 2016 theme of Strange Bedfellows: The Attraction of Opposites. The cast includes Jordan Ajadi, a young, vibrant free-lance dancer paired somewhat fraternally with the irrepressible Housni Houssan (‘DJ’), a long-standing member of one of my favourite companies, Corali. Tara Pilbrow, Dylan Elmore and Jane Solomon are a tasty, tempting tango-influenced trio, but they’re bound to treat that steamy Latin dance form loosely and stretch it wide. I, in my guise as the enigmatic yet friendly Doctor Tic Toc, am linked with the multi-talented Spanish performer Gloria Sanvicente Amor. (At press time she and I are, in truth, still figuring out who we are to each other and what we might get up to – but there’s still time!) Last but not least there’s Sarah Kent, a rule-breaking mainstay of all of the programming I’ve done under the banner GOlive Dance and Performance since 2013. Sarah will bounce off of Beatrice Bukantyte, fellow Lithuanians Kat Bumbul and Ruta Vitkauskaite and lone Brit Sara Evelyn Brown – all of whom are musicians and more. Lilia, meanwhile, will function pretty much as what she is – a gifted and exploratory working artist with a great sense of presence.  
Love Clock is a risky but frisky concept – a kind of human clock, love nest and playground rolled into one, and an event that might well ignite extra sparks of life in a place once associated with death. It is, in some essential sense, an invitation to slow down and observe. Frankly I don’t know quite how the performance will run until it actually unfolds on June 18, rain or shine. I trust, however, that together we’ll be able to spend our time wisely weaving moments of strange fun and thoughtful enchantment in the minds of those who come to watch us or are just passing by.

Love Clock
Saturday 18 June. 12 noon-4pm.
Dovehouse Green
Kings Road, SW3.
Info: rbkc.gov.uk

Part of InTRANSIT 2016 June 17-26 rbkc.gov.uk/intransit/


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