I am a dancer and choreographer, whose practice is grounded in butô, a discipline I have practised since 2002. I studied Arabic and the History of Art and Music of Asia and Africa at SOAS, University of London, with a special interest in the dance and theatre forms of South East Asia and Japan. I continue my investigations into the body, movement, ritual and performance, my explorations influenced by the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Luc Nancy, Chris Knight, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Alphonso Lingis, Alain Berthoz and many others.
In 2008 I began to evolve a personal interpretation of butô – which translates as the ‘dark dance’ or ‘dance of darkness’ – inspired by the mythos of the sabbat, or witches’ dance. The sabbat was the central motif in a project that employed the radical methodologies of butô to shed light on neglected and suppressed histories of the body, sexuality, the sacred and the feminine divine in the West. The sabbatic dances were born of my search for a butô rooted in the West, immerged in the mythic, psychic and physical terrains we inhabit, and which possess us. The dances explore a boundless, shifting territory, yet one marked by certain features – metamorphic, liminal, erotic – which transfigures the body that traverses it, and from which a sensual, corporeal language emerges, de novo.
My current work is an exploration of female mysteries through the nymph (as elemental divinity; the one who is veiled; the bride; the clitoris) , articulated in a projected cycle of dances, Apocalypteria. The first of these dances, The decollation of flowers, revisions the dance of Salomé, in the light of modern scholarship, as the bloody flowering of the erotic and sexual body. I am currently developing the choreography for the second dance in the cycle, Pater.
I have performed in the UK, Europe and the United States, solo and in collaboration with other dancers, musicians and artists; and have spoken on my work, and given workshops, at conferences and events in the UK, Europe and the United States. Alongside my performance work, I run the occult publishing house Scarlet Imprint, which I founded with Peter Grey in 2007.