sspeciess (2020)


For his new creation sspeciess – a production for 5 performers – Daniel Linehan draws inspiration from the writing of the British philosopher Timothy Morton. Following Morton’s theories on ecology, Linehan would like to question the status of human as a special species apart from the rest. Instead of thinking of living beings in a hierarchical way, with humanity at the top, it is more ecological to consider how humans co-exist with other living beings as part of a continuum. Human beings are surrounded and permeated by other beings (such as the bacteria in our gut and the large percentage of virus DNA that composes our genetic code). The desire to give humans a special status that separates them from the rest of living beings is exactly what has led to the ecological disasters we are facing today.

Linehan will allow this ecological line of thought to motivate his choreographic choices. The costumes of the dancers will blend in with the surrounding scenery, so that instead of humans standing out against the background, the dancers will blend in with the surrounding stage environment. Dance and music will approach one another in a mutually sustaining association, thinking not only of the music as the environment that supports seeing the dance, but also the dance as an environment that supports hearing the music. The dance will be built up of gestures that emphasize fragile balance, reflecting the tenuous equilibrium that makes co-existence among species possible. The choreography will aim to find the balance between fluid movement and grounded stillness, the balance between the openness of improvisation and the rigidness of written choreography, the balance between solidarity and solitude. The goal is to generate porous borders between these dichotomies, in the way that an ecosystem is not a list of organisms that are separated from one another, but rather a space of interaction and symbiotic mixing among organisms.

Musically sspeciess will be composed using different recorded excerpts from 20th century concert music. Following their collaboration for Un Sacre du Printemps (2015), Alain Franco – with a deep knowledge and background in classical music – will accompany Daniel with the musical selection and musical analysis, as well as providing dramaturgical and musical/choreographic advice during the rehearsal process.


Concept & choreography Daniel Linehan
Performance Gorka Gurrutxaga Arruti, Anneleen Keppens, Daniel Linehan, Victor Perez Armero, Louise Tanoto & Michael Schmid
Dramaturgy Alain Franco
Scenography 88888
Costume design Frédéric Denis
Lighting design tbc
Sound design tbc

Production Hiatus (Brussels, BE)
Coproduction deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp, BE), La Filature Scène Nationale de Mulhouse (FR) and others tbc
Residencies deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp, BE) and others tbc
International tour planning Damien Valette (Paris, FR)

Daniel Linehan, Hiatus is Creative Associate at deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp, BE) and supported by the Flemish authorities 2017-2021.



  • sspeciess 13 June 2020, 20:30 Kaaitheater - Brussels, Belgium
  • sspeciess 12 June 2020, 20:30 Kaaitheater - Brussels, Belgium
  • sspeciess 4 February 2020 Théâtre de Liège - Liège, Belgium
  • sspeciess 25 January 2020, 20:00 deSingel - Antwerpen, Belgium
  • sspeciess 24 January 2020, 20:00 deSingel - Antwerpen, Belgium