Possession, faceless-ness, magic, ritual body


Dear Meryem,

A little portrait from rehearsal. A faceless selfie.  Playing, sketching, stretching out to sense you, sending messages, receive transmissions.  Thinking about what is a ritual body?  What is a magic body?  How are we vessels that remain open and responsive?  How do we challenge conventions of performance, of body, of space, of making?  How do we enter each other through possession?  What is state and trance in performance?  What is it when we use these spaces to create performance out side of normal linearity? What is ghosting and residue: from our bodies, from all the impressions of our minds, from past performances? From dreams and visions?  How are we landscapes slowly eroding and shifting over time?

In my rehearsals I have been continuing to work with the Walking practice, adapting and exploring it from Bruce Nauman’s proposal.  Forwards, backwards, shifting through the body, feeling like I am proving my sobriety for a police officer, hands raising slowly: hands up don’t shoot, a fashion runway, in bare feet, in heels, advancing while retreating, retreating while advancing, fingers as antennae slowly morphing to mudras: Abhaya and bhūmisparśa… the hands responding to and slowing pulling out the alchemy of magnetic lines in the body.  Spending time in the space between earth and sky, playing with all the ways we can literally hang on: hands, arms, knees, feet, folding, neck.  Dangling in space.  Lost women, missing women, faceless women are haunting my rehearsals.

I have been automatic writing for 3 min after each exploration.  Here are two pieces form the same rehearsal day.

1. 3 min automatic writing after 8 min exploration

Fur, heels, walking the line.  I am sober but how can I walk the line in heels, it is impossible.  Head awareness, soles of the feet, coming forward while receding.  Walking the line, walking the runway.  Hands up, don’t shoot.  Advancing while retreating, caught in threads, holding on by the toes, hanging, hanging on arms, neck, elbows. body listening, breathing, learning.

2. 3 min automatic writing after 10 min exploration

Feeling the ghost of the soul of my foot as it leaves the space behind me and takes the space in front.  The ricochet of weight shift, the slight pain in my right foot.  The me, not me, not not me watching the figure measure out her steps by the length of each foot.  Advancing and retreating at the same time.  Hands up, don’t shoot gives way to abhaya mudra, have no fear.

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