Catching up with Morgann Runacre-Temple – work for Scottish Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and more

Morgann Runacre-Temple.<br />© Robert Gravenor. (Click image for larger version)
Morgann Runacre-Temple.
© Robert Gravenor. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season – opens 16 May 2019
Stuttgart Ballet – 5/6 June 2019

A busy time for Morgann Runacre-Temple with work for Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season, Stuttgart Ballet’s Noverre Young Choreographers Evening, English National Ballet and also her recent Northern Ballet commission will be touring again. She stops to answer 5 questions…

You and Jessica Wright have been working on Tremble a film using 26 Scottish Ballet dancers and is part of the companies Digital Season. Tell us all about it and what we should expect…

After we made Curing Albrecht (for ENB) we became very interested in the idea of working with large numbers and accumulation.

Scottish Ballet dancers on set for <I>Tremble</I>, part of Scottish Ballet's Digital Season.<br />© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)
Scottish Ballet dancers on set for Tremble, part of Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season.
© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)

Jess and I were both listening a lot to Anna Meredith’s track Nautilius last summer and we decided to use it for the film. We imagined something visually epic to go with her surging, majestic track so we asked Chris (Hampson – SB AD) if we could work with a large cast (to which he agreed). We wanted to create something really ambitious for a short film that would have a sense of scale and punch to it. The most challenging thing was to get our ideas and material down to 3 mins as well as tell our story.

There’s a narrative to Tremble – it’s a bit dark – but very playful, and a visual feast (we think!).

Grace Horler on set for <I>Tremble</I>, part of Scottish Ballet's Digital Season.<br />© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)
Grace Horler on set for Tremble, part of Scottish Ballet’s Digital Season.
© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)

With Jess you’ve made a number of films now – what attracts you to this very different way of working?

We started making films over 10 years ago, probably to make each other laugh. What started as a late-night experiment on a camera phone turned in to a summer long project – borrowing editing equipment and taking it all very seriously. We had both just graduated from ballet school and were unemployed at the time, so it kept us busy – and we’ve not stopped collaborating since.

It’s the possibilities of dance on camera that gets us excited – and the story telling fluency of film. The collaborative aspect of filmmaking is also a big draw – the people you meet and work with have a fresh perspective on visual language and storytelling. Filmmaking is very choreographic, as is editing – it’s all about time and space. Also using dance within a different discipline makes you see the form differently.

Jess and Morgs (Jessica Wright & Morgann Runacre-Temple) on set for <I>Tremble</I>.<br />© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)
Jess and Morgs (Jessica Wright & Morgann Runacre-Temple) on set for Tremble.
© Rimbaud Patron. (Click image for larger version)

Do tell us all about your Stuttgart Ballet work, to be unveiled next month – what’s the commission and how are you responding?

It’s a short work for Stuttgart Ballet’s Noverre Evening. Noverre is a historical programme for new choreorgaphers – so I feel very honoured to be invited to create a piece. I am working with four dancers from the company. We’re making something very movement led and instinctive. No explicit narrative or characters this time – but some very sensitive dancing!

And after this summer’s premieres what have you got coming up?

Jess and I are working on two more projects – a new short film with English National Ballet Engagement department; a response to their forthcoming production of Cinderella which will be shown as a curtain raiser before the ballet. We also have our own film which we’re currently fundraising for and is scheduled to shoot this summer. It’s inspired by the true story of Marie Taglioni’s pointe shoes. After she retired, they were sold to a fan at auction, then cooked and eaten at a dinner party. I will also be doing some more movement direction for theatre in the Autumn.

And my last work for Northern Ballet – The Kingdom of Back – is going to be touring again (though all dates are not yet known).

Who are you choreographic heros and why?

I have to say that all choreographers are my heroes because it’s not easy! Every time before I am about to start a new project I think ‘wow how do people do this?’ I get nervous.

I suppose the choreographers I worked with when I was still dancing taught me a lot, because I got to be a part of their process, so Rosie Kay, Rui Lopes Gracia amongst others. I learned a lot about ways of making and was inspired for years after working with Wayne McGregor when I did DanceLines many years ago (a course for choreographers at the Royal Opera House).

Also: Forsythe, Pina, Busby Berkley, Pite, Macmillian. I’m really looking forward to the new premiere of Marion Motin’s new work for Rambert.

Bonus Question: Tell us a Joke!

What did one hat say to the other? You wait here, I’ll go on a head.

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