Woven threads: Recounting the creative process of ‘Penelope: Dust in our awakened dreams’

A collection of writings and reflections analysing the collaborative process in performance making.

Writer, editor and illustrator

Publisher: the rubberbodies collective (2012)

Extract from the book

The Artist and the Technician

In the space she represents the psychology of the dancer. Moments of humanity, then she snaps back into dancer mode. It is interesting what years of training do to the body and the mind. Her soul is embedded in an intelligent body. Her body is nourished with a rich nervous system which is activating every cell of her body. I place my hand on her shoulder. I can feel her heart beat. She is alive till the moment she sheds the dancer’s coat and she turns to face and embrace her audience. She intensifies her emotions by a thousand by which time I start seeing her in a body which is not hers.

There are different methods of analysing the performance, the dance. Choreography is like science. There are different formulas, different molecules which can be combined together to create a product. I refuse to see her as a product.

As much as the revolutionary dancer attempts to create new dance, the dance remains the dance of social movement. Isadora Duncan, the queen of modern dance, rejected the rigidness of ballet, creating free natural movements which formed an unconventional pattern and a revolutionary dance. Her dance lived through the inspiration of the Russian revolution. And so did the postmodernist tendencies which attempted to break away from conventions, from training, from shoes, from form, created roots which still nourish today’s dance philosophy.

Her movement material is highly technical and the energy she inputs into every action is captivating in its intricacy and articulation. She is a product of society. She is a product of dance. Her name will always be there amongst the many others who form part of the legacy of dance.

She forgets that she is real. He reminds her that under her epidermis there is a whole network which is who she is.

J: Do you want it to be real?
A: Yes.