New work: ‘Touch Tales’

Since November 2014 I have been collaborating with performer and dancer Katharina Arnold on a new devised theatre work, Touch Tales, which will soon have its first performances in Leeds and York.

The first performance is on Thursday 26th February, at 7.30pm, at NEWK, a platform in Leeds for sharing new live performance work, hosted by LAB (Live Art Bistro).

On Tuesday 3rd March we will give a Composer’s Seminar at the University of York Music Department. After performing the piece, we will lead a discussion on it and the collaborative process.

Katharina and I first connected through working together as artists-in-residence on the Impossible Lecture Retreat at Beacons Festival 2014 . Our collaboration grew from our mutual interest in making interdisciplinary work that challenges perceptions of our respective artistic disciplines. We started making Touch Tales after Katharina completed an MA in Performance at Leeds Beckett University.

Arnold & Whittle: Touch Tales

“If the cello had hands it would play itself. Since it has none, it has only one wish: to be played, to sound, to sing – to do what it is supposed to.”

What makes touch loving, embracing, manipulative, neglecting, abusive? Does the cello want to be played? Is it used without its permission – does it provoke with its curves?

In this piece blurring the typical roles of dancer and musician, interweaving stories examine different forms of touch to reflect on the consequences of actions.