Volant in the language of the blazon signifies in flight; in the language of war, capable of rapid movement; also: mercurial, or swift, as of a wind; fleeting.
Volant is the woman in flight: the ecstatic or witch whose art is to ride the breath and the winds; who catches the hidden world in her body and makes it visible. The choreography traces the path of this flight, from the earth and the mundane realm to the otherworld of memory and dream, to the realm of the dead. Volant draws on the figure and myth of Medea, the archetypal witch in whom desire and death are fatally bound, and returns to her the attributes of a shamanic origin still preserved in her name whose Semitic root translates as ‘flying’ and ‘bird of prey.’ The myth reconnects us to an archaic yet enduring belief in the bird forms assumed by spirits of death and the dead, an iconography that the witch also partakes of, and that is universally attested. The dance explores this intersecting of the realms of eros and thanatos in the body of a woman, and the physical process/journey by which the otherworld is attained and given form by becoming bird and taking flight.
Photographs Víðarr Schiefloe