Night of Radiant Darkness

In my dance I am interested to explore the connections between dance as sorcery and the history of Benevento as a place where witches met and danced around the walnut tree. Hijikata’s danced philosophy of ‘becoming’ and transformation, the body mirroring the natural world, continually inspires my approach to dance. I would like to participate in En Chair et en Son because I am interested in the ways we interact with place, and the way movement as dance or sound creates space. I have watched videos of previous festivals and am aware of the ideas motivating these gatherings, the fruitful encounters that arise from experiment and exchange. Below is a short piece I wrote explaining some of the background to the dance in the video link:
“I conceived the choreography in response to the immersive environment created by the Metamorphic Earth exhibition at BPS22, specifically the sense I had of the space as a cave whose walls and ground were alive with rippling, pulsing movement. I am inspired by the cave as a space animated by ritual performance, where dance, music and voice combines in the flickering light thrown by torches with the movement of animals across expanses of living rock. The importance of shadows, their unpredictable dance of light and dark, to the creation and appreciation of parietal art in the paleolithic, was key to choreographing a dance that would fuse with the video projections and music to create a poietic act as ’topical event’.
The role of chance in the interplay of images and sound against the dancing body, subjecting it to random distortions and occultations, heightens impressions of deformation and transformation, and traces a line from the present sorcerous art to the preshamanic sorcery of the paleolithic.
To further bind the video projections, music and body, I looked to the geometric signs of European Upper Paleolithic rock art, particularly as elucidated by James B. Harrod, as ‘gesture-movement-forms.’ These signs can be interpreted as descriptions of things and processes within the environment, as well as dance forms, and reveal an underlying metaphysics. I understand this metaphysics as existing equally in the present moment as in the deep past, being grounded in the elemental substrate of luminosity, sonority and terrestriality; the sensuous medium from which life – an art – emerges.”


Tags: Butoh 17

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