Choreography Martin Lawrance
Music Julia Wolfe Stronghold (for 8 double basses)
Music by arrangement with Chester Music Limited trading as G Schirmer, on behalf of G Schirmer inc.
Lighting Karl Oskar Sørdal
Costumes coordinated by
Inca Jaakson & Martin Lawrance

Julia Wolfe talks about her Stronghold, composed for 8 double basses, as having ‘webs of rolling harmonics’ at the beginning, I’ve used this to create a collage of movement interspersed with sharper moments. The music is vibrant but pares down to almost nothing, which gave me the freedom to create my own rhythmic tension.

At a certain point in Stronghold, the sound deepens and becomes much richer than anything heard earlier. At the same time the dance changes and focuses more on the individuals. I wanted each dancer to stand out as an individual but also have a strong group identity. The ending of Wolfe’s music is just one intense long note, impossible to tell where one bass begins and another ends – it’s one mega bass.

A fortress,
A protected place,
An area dominated by a particular group,
A place of survival or refuge.

I would like to dedicate Stronghold to my dear friend Bloom (Sue Rosenbloom) who passed away this year. Bloom started my journey in dance and without her drive, passion and belief in me, I wouldn’t be here making this piece. – Martin Lawrance

First performed by Richard Alston Dance Company at Theatre Royal Brighton on 15 October 2015.