I am a straight, white, middle class, British-born male and in that sense, in this society, completely uninteresting. Gender, ethnicity and sexuality do not play a conscious role in my work. People are people and that’s about that.
Information about background, tick.
I am not sure I have a driving force as an artist or that I am struggling to consider myself an artist. If I am, then I am a pretty terrible artist. Or I am, at best, no better than anyone else. I think I have a personal issue with the title of artist and the responsibilities it carries.
With this in mind, a text detailing my artistic drive feels slightly redundant and I would not be offended if you did not read past this point. Be that as it may, I have been asked to write a text of a certain length about myself, as cringe-worthy as that sounds. So I apologise if the next few paragraphs are just stating the obvious. I have a quota to fill.
General discomfort in my role and responsibilities communicated, undermining anyone’s expectation of me after reading this text, tick.
What’s important to me about dance as a form is the innate ability to communicate something that cannot be defined by words. Something that is more basic than language. I am not thinking about this in a romantic sense or with respect to theatrical representation. Dance can be a very practical expression of emotion, and the emotion can be very banal, but dance as a form has the capacity to express this.
As an audience I find that dance can be confusing and unintelligible. I enjoy this because it pushes me into a state of cogitation. I think there are fewer and fewer places that actively force you to think about something without consequence or demand for action. Much of current life could be considered as an escape of active thought, and society pivots on the constant presentation of products that do not require us as consumers to actively think about the decision we are making.
Dance is ambiguous in this way. It can hit you so hard when you do not realise it or even understand it. Like a car accident or a burglary, but more ambiguous and usually enjoyable. This is what excites me about the potential of this art form.
I think dance as praxis is available to anyone and has the potential to be non-discriminatory. All you need is a body and a willingness to let yourself go there.
Dance is ephemeral so it cannot be anything more or less than it is in that moment. It forces both spectator and performer to be present in that time. That is pretty cool.
Generalised comments about dance as an art form, tick.
Now if I have something to say it is that I think laziness is an underrated quality. We are conditioned to think laziness is a negative trait. I am not so sure. Being lazy makes you efficient; it makes you think about how you work, what you do, how you use your energy. Being lazy makes you question your way of living. I think we live in a time where there is a constant production of things.
A pressure to be productive and earn money and buy stuff. I think if you are lazy you know how much you need and you know how much to do to get it, and the rest is just living. There should be a part of life that is not driven by functionalism. Not driven by the need to produce something of practical monetary importance. This reflective/thinking/writing process for instance is a product of my laziness. Laziness and disengagement should not be considered the same thing.
A stolen idea that I think to be true, re-written in my own words, tick.
And that’s that. Essay 1.0 about my views as a dancer over.
Timothy John Bartlett (1987) is originally from Winchester, England. He studied at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, gaining a first class Hons degree (2006-2008). After graduating, he completed a postgraduate diploma with London Contemporary Dance School that took the form of an apprenticeship with Hofesh Shechter Company (2008-2009). Since completing his studies, he has worked professionally with, among others, Sir Matthew Bourne, Dam Van Huynh, James Cousins and Dane Hurst.
Tim joined Carte Blanche in 2011. Here he has had the opportunity to work with Alan Lucien Øyen, Ina Christel Johannessen, Hooman Sharifi, Marcos Morau, Sang Jijia, Siri Jøntvedt and Snelle Ingrid Hall, Lina Majdalanie, Marcelo Evelin, Mia Habib, Sharon Eyal, Hofesh Shechter, Rui Horta and Crystal Pite.