Dog Kennel Hill Project (DKHP) is the coming together of Ben Ash, Henrietta Hale and Rachel Lopez de la Nieta as a collective, to collaborate, support and challenge each other towards a vision that is greater than the sum of its parts.
DKHP’s ongoing research concerns the relationships between dance/performance and the environment it sits within, and is particularly interested in addressing the absurd politics that underpin the assumed normal culture.
Based in Hertfordshire, UK, DKHP is an associate artist with Dance4, Nottingham. Formed in 2004, the collective's work has included several commissions, including new work for Scottish Dance Theatre, a Whitechapel Gallery commission to respond to the work of Claire Barclay and five commissions for The Place Prize sponsored by Bloomberg. A series of residencies exploring ways of engaging an audience entitled People Working Project, drew further development support from Dance4 and UK East Region partners, Colchester Arts Centre, Lakeside Theatre and The Junction.
Recent credits include work shown at the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2011, The Barbican UK, Brighton Festival, Aerowaves Festival Slovenia, Nottdance 2011 UK, Springdance Utrecht, Holland and OperaEstate Festival Veneto, Italy.
DKHP is currently developing a new work for presentation on a floating canal barge in waterway settings.
The Devil and the Details shows that less is more, more or less. Taking minimalism to a darkly comical place, it reveals harsh truths in the sinister working relationship between choreographer and dancer. Restrained and outrageous, the work fuses its World War I and II references with a live beat box score.
Hinterview is a wry solo quest that seeks to address notions of progress and collapse through the mystical medium of dance. A lone figure creates a multi-layered physical landscape battling to move forward to an obscure goal. The work pinpoints a very contemporary angst and laughs at it gently.
Each member of DKHP has choreographic experience in a range of contexts: visual arts, collaboration, commercials, opera, and education and community. With long experience of collaborative practice and an understanding of the role of dramaturge or ‘outside eye’, they are especially skilled at offering very considered and rigorous feedback and dialogue to other artists work at any level of experience. Workshops can be delivered for ages 16+ and can be tailor-made for any experience level from professionals to students to adults with little or no experience. For the latter the workshop will focus on enjoyment of physical experience, and the connection with imagination and thinking.
Workshops/masterclasses – group size 24 max.
These give an experiential insight into some for the company’s working processes involving a mixture of taught material, improvisation structures and creative tasks. Drawing on DKHP’s taste for merging precision and functionality with absurdity and wildness, these workshops explore relationships of movement, sound, text and rhythmic interplay.
Adapting to the experience and needs of any given group, space is offered for individual participant's own investigations to emerge. Simple materials found in the present situation such as objects, words and participants’ physical energy will become starting points from which to construct performance events.
Longer workshops and residencies – group size 20 max.
DKHP is particularly interested in delivering residences that involve working through a creative process for a period ( i.e. 2 days – 1 week) with groups, with the option of leading to a performance opportunity. This would involve sharing the company’s practice of:
- tuning the body and mind and our listening/sensing skills and presence
- sourcing, developing and refining material from a variety of different starting points, i.e. pure physical tasks or text or objects
- questioning intentions, observing decision making and facilitating discussions.
Post performance discussion – added value to performance fee. Usually chaired by a host organisation these events unravel the ideas, processes and, in particular, DKHP's unique collaborative methodologies that form the work and create broader questions around authorship and democracy. We are happy to engage in questions and feedback sessions.
"The choreography was subtle and surprising, understated yet theatrical. Dog Kennel Hill Project (DKHP) has a manner of performing that is fresh and nuanced."
Flora Wellesly Wesley, Bellyflop
"The trio are exactly the sort of malcontent motley crew which epitomises the fragmented, unstable and hilariously frantic nature of dance making."
Charlie Ashwell, Bellyflop
"Rachel Lopez de la Nieta overlaps themes, styles and images, in a complex whirlwind voyage where things seem to go from mad to pure bonkers."