Still from Nocturnes courtesy Trial and Eros.
Dunn uses six dancers to represent, simultaneously, the characters in Wuthering Heights and the members of the Brontë family. Rather than try to communicate the novel's plot through her choreography, she's chosen "rough-hewn, weight-bearing physicality" to embody the novel's web of relationships.
“Getting Bronte’s characters onto the stage proved to be very difficult,” Dunn says. “From specific people, they dissolved into generalized gothic archetypes. I just couldn’t get across the story. I was resorting to pantomime, and those scenes had to go. . . . The more research I did on Wuthering Heights, the more it became clear that it is a long prose poem rather than a novel, that the characters aren’t really characters but ideas. Bronte was playing with stereotypes and archetypes.”
Dunn's previous choreography has been based on T. S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "Four Quartets"; her next piece will draw on Virginia Woolf's Orlando. You can watch a clip of "Four Quartets" below. (Needless to say, Dunn is not the first person to approach Wuthering Heights through dance!)
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