In early 2006, after a period of research at the Jerwood Space, London, I asked Anthony Minghella – friend of 35 years and long-term collaborator – to write a short piece to which I could choreograph a duet. I imagined it would form part of the full-length work I was working towards. Anthony supplied the original text of Self Assembly, and together we developed its musical structure, recording and layering translations of his text into Japanese, Cantonese, French, and Portuguese to follow the English version, which Anthony narrated himself. Self Assembly – thanks to The Place Prize – has become the cornerstone of this project.
Reading Room draws together a series of events and situations, which explore the ways we connect to and disconnect from each other and ourselves. I have used specific texts both as a starting point and an accompaniment to choreography, weaving together a world where people communicate in more ways than words.
Anthony’s enormous achievements don’t need to be listed here by me. His ability to cross over and excel in the worlds of film, theatre, opera, literature is well known. But his passionate love of dance, nurtured through his marriage to dancer and choreographer Carolyn Choa, meant he was always ready and eager, when time permitted, to come to any rehearsal or performance of mine wherever in the world it might be taking place.
Unbearably now, time doesn’t permit. His narration, though, of Self Assembly, means that his voice can still be heard.
This performance of Reading Room is dedicated to Anthony Minghella.
Choreography and Artistic Direction – Jonathan Lunn
Writer and Artistic Collaborator – Anthony Minghella
Lighting and Set Designer – Peter Mumford
Costume Design – Tina Bicat
Music Supervision – Gary Yershon
Rehearsal Director - Rachel Krische
Assistant Choreographers – Disassembly – Shahla Tarrant (Bury St Edmunds, Macrobert, Bodysoc) and Gareth Green (Oxford)
Readers: Dexter Fletcher, Miranda Richardson, Alan Rickman, Juliet Stevenson
Dancers: Carly Best, Chris Evans, Rachel Krische, Lilou Robert, Chris Rook