Essays, presentations, texts
In this presentation, given at the Trans-States conference at the University of Northampton, I explored the liminality of performer and performance space, and their relationship in presencing the invisible reality – the other, sacred or daimonic.
This work examines the restrictions placed upon women’s bodies and voices, particularly in public but extending to the private sphere and inner life; restrictions which have shaped not only women’s experience but that of men too. This is as true of our interactions with the spirit world as it is in the social and political worlds we also inhabit.
"...to dance is to to initiate myself into the body’s mysteries, again and again; to know myself in the process of becoming and to know the world in its becoming, through an intertwined corporeal consciousness. Here is the ‘place of enquiry,’ the repository of ancestral knowledge and accumulated individual experience."
I invoke this woman, the woman in flight, by the names she has been given: Ecstatic! Demoniac! Witch! And by her voice: the thorned cries at dawn; noon transfixed in stillness; dusk’s fire of birdsong; the great storm at the hilt of night. The woman in flight, the first dancer, whose art was to ride the breath, the subtle breath; who caught the hidden world in her body and made it visible. For the body, like the voice, amplifies breath; and it is breath which forges the living body.