//a double bill of performances with Gillie Kleiman

Dog Years by Greg Wohead, performed by Gillie Kleiman
Study in Significant Otherness by Gillie Kleiman, performed by Greg Wohead

’There cannot be just one companion species; there have to be at least two to make one. It is in the syntax; it is in the flesh.’
The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People and Significant Otherness, Donna Haraway

‘Cooper: You spoke to me in my dream. About BOB.
Mike: Mmm. He was my familiar. I am similar to BOB. We once were partners.’
Twin Peaks, Season 2, Episode 6

We began this project with a mutual affinity for each other’s work and an instinct towards one another, but did not know each other very well personally. We are friends now; the works have come out of this friendship.

“Familiar” can suggest a relationship between two beings in which one is at the service of the other: we think of a witch’s familiar as an animal who is cared for by the witch but who is necessary for her magic in a way that maybe only the two of them know. The term points to a family relation, given or chosen. Familiar is also about being kinda sorta recognisable, belonging to memory in a hazy way, or being ungraspably similar to something known.

The works in Familiar play out what it means to be significant others – ways of being together in which the relationship of two is complicated by thinking about distance and presence, connection and separation, service and care and power and intimacy – where we think we know everything about each other whilst facing the fact that we can’t.

‘Aided by two animatronic dogs, it’s a neat conceptual conceit, with both works to-ing and fro-ing around the impossibility of knowing everything about another person.’
Gareth Llŷr Evans, The Guardian

Familiar is currently available for touring.

Design – Tim Spooner
Lighting Design – Nao Nagai
Original Music – Sammy Metcalfe
Producer – Beckie Darlington
Outside Eye – Wendy Houstoun
Production Manager – Simon Henderson
Promo and Production Photos – Manuel Vason
Studio Photos – Snappy Snaps

Co-commissioned by Dance City and Fierce Festival. Supported by, ARC Stockton, Wainsgate Chapel, Shoreditch Town Hall, Northern Stage, Northumbria University and Roehampton University. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Dates/Performance History

12 March 20 // Familiar, Dance City, Newcastle, UK

17-19 October 19 // Familiar, Fierce Festival, Birmingham, UK