One Dance UK Featured Choreographer – June 2019
Featured Choreographer of the month: Lindon Barr
What motivates you to pursue a career in choreography?
I have always felt the need to create from a young age. Watching and learning dance, I would constantly think how I could change the choreography. The main thought being, how would I put that onto the stage and make it more exciting. I wanted to learn and make the dance my own, and that’s how I came into choreography. I was choreographing without even knowing I was doing it; it was natural to me. For me choreography was about leaving a little part of yourself in the movement and having your very own creative stamp.
Can you share with us some highlights of your choreographic career and/or your current engagements?
My biggest achievement was getting the chance to choreograph a musical, Exposure – The Musical that played at St. James Theatre, London, that later went on to be nominated for a Broadway World Award for Best Choreography. The job really made me look at myself as a choreographer, rather than just a part-time job, I was given a title. That’s when I knew I could pursue choreography as a career.
Another huge achievement was setting up my own company, Elementz Entertainment. Recently creating a piece of work based on mental health in men, Perception, which won the Emerging Talent Award in Stockholm. This is a piece of work I was particularly proud of and gave me the space to explore my own choreographic motives and desires.
However, it is worth pointing out that I also enjoy working on corporate jobs. The pressure to fulfil the brief is exciting and I like taking on the challenge.
How has your choreographic process and work developed over time?
I have found that now there is a certain depth to my work. I take inspiration from what is happening around me and that is how Perception came about. Mental health was being talked about in my everyday life and I felt an urge to put my own thoughts into movement and show that to the world. It’s funny how you can create a piece about something everyone knows, but you can always find a way to make it unique to you. Now, my creativity comes from lots of places with the intention to leave a message of some capacity. I create to inspire others.
What do you think are some of the main challenges choreographers are faced with today?
No one really tells you how to transition from a dancer to a choreographer. You have to learn to source your own contacts and clients, there are no auditions that you can turn up to, only you can find the work. For every 20 dancer positions there is only 1 choreographer position. So, it can get challenging. My advice is to be careful about what work you put out there and how you promote yourself. This how people will see you as a choreographer, it’s your brand.
What advice would you give to emerging choreographers?
Stay true to yourself and create the work that inspire and fulfils you. Select work that makes you feel valued and that way you’ll always produce the work that reflects you and your creativity. Don’t compromise yourself. Let the right people come to you.
What kind of work are you currently interested in pursuing?
At the moment I want to create more work for my own company and keep developing what I have already done. Winning the Emerging Talent Award in Stockholm showed me that if you want to do something you just have to go and do it. I also want to collaborate more with other artists as I have had great experiences of working alongside lighting designer, Andrew Exeter, and film maker, James Essery.