Oona Doherty in Collaboration with Aoife McGrath – Magma Essay One - research paper
 

The below document is the product of a meeting and email correspondence between Oona and Aoife between August and October 2018. Oona’s research essay on Lady Magma makes up the main body of text, and Aoife’s responses are in italics.

 

MOVEMENT LANGUAGE

 

I’m trying to make a female dance piece that’s inspired by Dionysus, tribal ecstatic rituals, and female sexuality.

A piece where we go back to animalistic basics, where you’re dying to get off your seat.  scream and move. 

Sexy.

Dirty.

Pervy.

 

I want to mix it with a 1970s aesthetic. I found images from advertisements such as those for Cadbury’s Flake, Carpets and Perfume.

 

This time period and these adverts have an anti-feminist message and aesthetic. Female sexuality is used to endorse and sell a product. I want to mix this with a sincere feminist, Pagan, sexual movement language. Female dancers as wild, untamed beasts.

Re-owning a raw power in an Iggy Pop kind of way. And in turn, re-owning the beauty of the fashion of the 70s.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b6q27j/a-girls-guide-to-tv  

 BBC light-hearted program looking at Anti-Feminist TV.

 

https://dotsub.com/view/3ea2b3da-b321-441c-b605-61721e8f8338    

Footage of the Ashram in Pooner under leadership of Osho - Sexual Healing Practice.

 

I’m trying to develop movement material based around the different rhythms of the female sexual orgasm. Shaking, trembling and heaving. Working with Crescendo in the body. Jazz Drummers such as Max Roach work well to support this.

 

I think now in 2018/19 there’s a new wave of feminism, I’m riffing on

Neo feminism: Neofeminism describes an emerging view of women as becoming empowered through the celebration of attributes perceived to be conventionally feminine, that is, it glorifies a womanly essence.[AM1] -Definition from Google.com

 

Aoife:

There are examples in social dance history of a link between orgasm and healing in ritual social dance practices like tarantism. Here’s Judith Hanna talking about tarantism in her article on ‘Dance and Sexuality’ (Judith Hanna, ‘Dance and Sexuality: Many Moves’, in The Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 47, No. 2/3, Annual Review of Sex Research (March-June 2010), pp. 212-241):

 

Rather than being a precursor to sexual intimacy, dance may be physical and psychological sexual sublimation. Orgasmic gratification may come from actual or empathic dance involvement, given its excitement, release, and exhaustion characteristic of sexual climax. […] Tarantism, in which dancing for days on end plays a key role in expurgating the venom and curing the bite (real or imaginary) of the tarantula spider, is a hysterical phenomenon related to dancing mania of the late 19th century. It had essentially disappeared only to reemerge revitalized in the 1990s. There are various interpretations of tarantism (de Martino, 1966; Hanna, 2006; Ludtke, 2009; Rouget, 1985). As in other forms of possession, it involves entrancement during which the dancer indulges in extravagant, often erotic behavior. The tarantism provided a woman with a way to release tension from inner misfortune and relief from hard work, childbearing, an overbearing husband, and restrained sexuality. Cases of tarantism were often linked to forbidden or lost love or homosexuality; sexual taboos and conventions were transgressed. The pizzica music accompanying the tarantella dance begins slowly, increases, and reaches the "orgasmic," followed by a cooling-off period, thus mirroring coital activity. The spasmic contractions in the dance are analogous to the vibrations of a spider in its web at times of crisis or death. A spider bite, sometimes in response to socioeconomic or natural calamities, snaps the relational threads that link a healthy individual to her or his body, community, and environment. The healing ritual with its music and dance fulfills a need for attention and social support. Usually, the afflicted lies prostrate on a white sheet placed on the ground surrounded by a circle of a small group of musicians and dancers until a musical note moves her into action. (Hanna, p.229).

 

This connects with my research on the Rave and Acid house cultures of the 1990s (see Ben Malbon’s Clubbing: Dancing, ecstasy, vitality, London: Routledge, 2002). The Clubbers seemed to experience liberation in what might be termed ‘Hyper-sexualisation’

 

I am building a score to lead the dancers through to a full and wild movement language.

A ritual score to dance with your shadow self. To transcend from flesh, into energy, old and new. To cleanse wounds, your own and historic, to Cultivate fresh new power.

To do this I am working with ideas such as trying to depict physically a Jackson Pollock Painting. 

 

A physical state I call 'Freedom or Chaos state.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwyUZZmvmsQ

My first chaos state improvisation

 

The Jackson Pollock inspiration came from my learning from Choreographer Nascera Baleza. She was the first to introduce me to a new image to help with the release of responsibility in Movement. To expand through body rather than cognitive intent. The submission of sporadic rhythm resulting in a chaotic aesthetic, but only achieved through a diligent focus intent.

Nascera is very powerful and important to Dance. I’m dead lucky to have met a women like this.

 

Aoife:

Some thoughts on Pollock and the connections with your work…

Taking inspiration from Pollock for a piece about female sexuality is a little surprising, but also fascinating. I’ve known him to be most often associated with an expression of “virile masculinity”, as described by critic Clement Greenberg who championed his work, using it, along with work by other US male artists, to define his theories of a US modern art of abstract expressionism (Greenberg’s also known for ignoring contemporaneous female artists and artists of colour). Greenberg’s formalist approach to critiquing and defining art works has been challenged by thinkers like Rosalind Kraus, who argue that a focus on formalism (i.e. concentrating on an analysis on form, shape, line etc.) excludes other important qualities of physicality, messiness, sexuality, emotion and social connection. To view Pollock’s work purely from a formalist perspective is a reductive exercise; I think there is so much physicality and emotion in his work (especially his post-drip-painting figurative works made during his struggle with depression that he did with turkey basters). But very significantly, Pollock famously said of the perceived chaos in his work, “no chaos! Dammit!”; he had a controlled and highly developed method, and had an image in his mind in advance of beginning a work of what he wanted a painting to look like. And although he struggled with alcoholism, he tried never to paint while drunk. Extracting Pollock’s work from the cage of Greenberg’s analysis allows some intriguing connections to be made with your aims for this piece: the links with physical excess and trance (in terms of execution of movement, application of paint to canvas, explosive creation, a highly physical, performance-art method of painting, achieving a state of creative exuberance/ecstasy); with sex (the paint splatters as reminiscent of ejaculate); and, of course, with horizontality (Pollock’s famous flatness and method of working for the drip paintings and your use of carpets!). Also, I think the entrance into any intentional, chaos state in an artistic context requires an application of rigorous methodological structuring and soulful preparation and purpose. So the links between your rehabilitation/repurposing/taking back control of female expressions of sexuality from within “anti-feminist” depictions of women in 1970s advertisements connects with an acknowledgement of the emotional/social reading of drip-painting-era-Pollock that can be excluded by formalist readings of his work.

 

I also think that pollock was more influenced by jazz than was maybe critically written about with his work, or admitted by himself in interview. Jazz was such a strong improvisational scene happening at the time and was being played everywhear, I think maybe pollock platyed Jazz when he was painting.

 

There have been interesting artistic responses to Pollock in the context of feminism, like Mike Parr’s Pollock the Female (2016):

http://theconversation.com/heres-looking-at-mike-parrs-jackson-pollock-the-female-65096

 

What I though most cool about this Article was this bit:

 

For his opening night action, Parr had imagined “draining the body of blood”. On the night, a sufficient quantity of blood was extracted to enable a generous amount of material for painting; also enough that Parr would feel on the verge of fainting. In such a moment, rational and ego-driven functions of the human animal are overridden by the basic mechanical forces of the body. For many artists, this is a treasured reservoir of authentic expression. (Edward Scheer, ‘Here’s Looking at Mike Parr’s Jackson Pollock the Female’)

The Chaos state is a struggle to let go, as you can see from the research video above my legs are still quiet trapped in a ballet form.

Taking from Edward Scheer’s article on Mike Parr’s Jackson Pollock the Female, maybe some Ego is still limiting the rhythm perhaps? The freedom induced by a trance or Flow like state has not yet been reached?

 

From Csíkszentmihályi’s book Finding Flow (1990): ‘the mental state of flow involves being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz’.[AM2] 

 

Or also like Pollock drip painting….

Or also like freedom Chaos state….

 

And by freedom I think I mean new and unusual movement patterns.

Which is very difficult to achieve in trained dancer’s legs. I have found that the legs fight to perform within the known pattern.

  1. Because the muscle memory holds so much known rhythm and pattern.

  2. Training provides patterns for safety against dis-alignment to avoid injury.

A challenge of this state for me as a choreographer is to create a safe place for the dancers to find a place of trance-like flow, while also sharing the space with other bodies. Doing this as a solo is one thing, but 10 arms waving in space is another!

I wonder how the dancers of the 1518 dancing plague dealt with space? Maybe it was like a round robin, dancing in a circle with people in peak flow moving into the centre to let loose. Just like in a breaking battle?

 

The dancing plague (or dance epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in StrasbourgAlsace, in the Holy Roman Empire in July 1518. Around 400 people took to dancing for days without rest and, over the period of about one month, some of those affected collapsed or even died of heart attackstroke, or exhaustion.[AM3]  This is from Wikipeidia

 

The show’s only an hour lads…. will be ok….

 

It will take effort and work. I’m very excited to chew on this with the dancers.

 

Effort and struggle for an intent raises emotions of success and failure, moment by moment in the 'doing' of the work. Sometimes this is useful and sometimes it needs to be turned off, like in a Zen way, to be free. I'm interested in working with both. Allowing emotion to overtake and be the primary to form the body. As well as working with complex body forms and rhythms as the primary, with a calm, non-attachment passenger inside. In the movement language it is a microcosm microcosm of Giving and Receiving, which is vital in love making. It’s a branch of Ying and Yang, which is the whole cosmos. 

The whole shebang.

Working with Torque and release, to clench and open.

Playing in a place where pleasure and pain are very close together. Where either one is present.

Building to a crescendo, where a flow state of sincere openness and listening to emotions must take place in order for the movement to cascade out sporadically from the soul into the space.

This is my aim for the Arc, the structure of the work. For freedom and chaos to slowly and steadily rise. For the energy to build. like an orgasm.

 

And by chaos I mean Chaos theory from mathematics. It looks at certain systems that are very sensitive. Such as the human body and soul. A very small change may make the system behave completely differently. Which is why level one and two of the choreographic score is so important. Very small changes in the starting position of a chaotic system make a big difference after a while. I’m hoping that level one of the choreographic score will help and encourage a freedom chaos state. A planned flow.

 

https://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-is-chaos-theory/

 

I’m trying to make a show that when you have a look at it, it looks like the birth of a cult. A ritual takes hold. Part of you wants to join in and part of you wants to turn away.

So then I was mooching around to see where I can steal more movement inspiration from. So I started looking at Hedonic visions of community.

 

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

 

The cult of Bachus and Dionysus. Ancient African rituals, voodoo. Planned, organised, hard-working escapism. Sweating, Drinking, letting your hair down, shaking muscles from the bone, orgasms, singing, screaming. To enter a new realm. To become a God. Or as I like to view it, to become deeper connected to your natural spirit - the one you were before you were born, the one you will go back to after you die.

Sensuous, blood-filled, pulsating meat. 

I also started to look at more modern visions of such rituals and this led me to Cults such as

The Source Family and Osho –The Rajneesh Movement (wild wild country documentary) which Emma Jordon put me on to.

And it seemed to me that all these communities had something I really dig. A physical quest for freedom, but eventually were all unsuccessful. In the case of Osho, the movement became a  cult; their own city, a colonised group with the politics and hierarchies which exist in all western cultures, and there for fell into the neglect and trouble that running a society has. Class structure and stuff like that where people aren't equal. Most of these Cults were run by men and they all seemed at a certain point to find it important to have polyamorous relationships. This 'free love' as it were, I’m still not sure about. I'm not sure if this is to do with my own repressions, or that I'm untrusting that the women were really being empowered by this, it seems that female sexuality was again sold as a commodity.

 

The beginning, however, of a group, the ritual, the chaos of it, anti-hierarchy I’m in to.

Chaos (in conceptual terms here rather than movement language terms) is a tasty place. A tonic, if you will, for the modern age. But a dangerous one to the building blocks of society. I don’t think we could survive with out order. I guess this rule applies even for the Magma World, a one-hour society. Structure of some sort will still be needed.

I hope this will reveal itself in the choreographic score. The Scaffolding for the dancers, from A to B to C. But I hope within A,B,C can be found existentialism and moments of pure Chaos, Anti-Responsibility.

Herein lies the elemental choreographic problem of the work. I think unison is needed. To represent the tribal ritual, it also provides the audience with an overwhelming sonic and visual rhythm in the room. To watch Unison is like to feel union. But, to perform Unison is to sacrifice personal drives and desires for the sake of the group shape and rhythm, it feels like Communism form the inside. This is a juxtaposition for the work. Unison versus chaos freedom state.

I found this guy Frank Lentricchia – Criticism and Social Change

A community of feelings, of pleasures shared and binding. A fully socialised romanticism.

Such a community is not grounded in truth eternal, but in agreement. But to imply that, that agreement that binds the community can have Hedonic sources. Seems to me overly restrictive and possibly dangerous. Since the Hedonic in itself, fully given into, as a mode of satisfaction, tends to cut out other kinds of satisfaction. Especially those witch might be found in efforts at political intervention. Rorty’s vision of culture is the leisured vision of liberalism (Lentricchia, p,19)[AM4] 

 

So then I was thinking why am I doing Lady Magma?

Why am I trying to stage a ritual and harness the female chi energy?

Of course yeah, great craic for me and the dancers but why share it? The simple fact that it is for display injures the very essence of the thing. The energy you have inside you that you rarely meet, often only in orgasm. It’s a sacred thing and to have an audience is almost to steal it. To sell it.

The fact I am 'selling' a show about it, is the danger I think. White girls dancing to other white middle/upper class people in the theatre. Maybe this whole thing is Leisured Liberalism? Maybe I’m actually the director of the bloody 1970s flake advert?

I needed to find a way to make myself believe again that it’s ok to make a dance show. Maybe even a reason for it?

 

My own privileged Guilt.

So who’s this Rorty guy!? that Frank Lentricchia is chatting about?

 

Richard Rorty – Humanity after selfish Prometheus

Rorty believed it possible to ‘wake up’ good sentiment that leads to a solidarity attitude and actions. According to him it’s possible to do that without reference to transcendence, God or Truth (Lentricchia, 33)[AM5] 

(Damn it they were all the choreographic things I was riffing on! Transcendence and stuff....orgasmic movement, voodoo trance etc.)

Rorty: We can achieve this through proper education, Art, Stories by empathy. By making people imagine being in the position of the suffering other.

Yes!

Something I can desperately clutch on to, to make myself believe it’s ok to make dance shows and not a complete waste of money when people don’t have homes or food and stuff.

 

Aoife:

This connects with ideas about kinaesthetic empathy in dance scholarship. Dee Reynolds explains, ‘[i]n its strongest form, empathy involves embodied simulation and imagined substitution of one agent for another: for a fleeting moment, perhaps, I simulate your action, and in so doing I imagine that I occupy your place, that I am the vicarious agent of your movement , your experience, your utterance’ (Reynolds and Reason, Kinaesthetic Empathy, p.125). Reynolds talks about the renewed interest in connecting kinaesthetic empathy with discussions in neuroscience about mirror neurons. She also connects with older thought on the subject like German philosopher Theodor Lipps’ idea of Einfühlung, which translates as “empathy” in English. Lipps talks about our process of “inner mimesis” (Nachahmung) when we are watching other people move. He says that a visual stimulus can give us pleasure. So when watching an acrobat: “‘I carry out the movements…I am therefore up there. I have been moved up there. Not beside the acrobat, but right up there, where he is. […] This leads to a feeling of one’s own ‘striving and inner performing, inner activity’ [Lipps 1923: 131), which induces pleasure. ‘My pleasure in architectonic forms is without doubt above all a pleasure in my inner expansion and concentration, in the whole inner movement which I perform while contemplating the forms.’” (Lipps in Reynolds and Reason, p.127).

 

 

Maybe if some of the audience were empathetic to the dancers 'in the position of the suffering other' but in this case 'in the position of the pleasure animalistic trance other'

If people understood in a physical sense, the feelings of the dancers, they would go into their ‘inner’ place. Their body, and look at their relationship with pleasure.

Rorty: We do not change people and achieve society of solidarity by referring to something transcendent, external to people. But by changing people internally. Subjecting them to the inner force of their sentiments.

Yes, maybe this.... because I think in Ireland, and well lots of places people are Re- pressed

And repression doesn’t have to be full blown movie style stuff, like a virgin nun and stuff like that. But even tiny repressions.

I know I am repressed, in lots of things,

I can’t always say what I want to a lover or friend as eloquently as I’d like.

In fact I think the things I'm discovering as a sexual being and lover, physical feelings and behaviours during love making, also have their counter parts in my ‘outside / community life’

Communication issues, self confidence, body image, bravery. Stuff like that.

So yeah would be great if an audience member felt connected and empowered by the work. Felt a physical understanding of repression, and freedom, torque and release, closed and open, yin and yang and hopefully through it felt opened by it.

But how do I encourage the audience to connect to the movement onstage. To listen to their own body and rejoice their own groove?

It may be difficult when I’ve chosen five very sexy, highly trained dancers. This can be alienating to people. As dancers have bodies different from most folk, beauty can also be very intimidating and result in energetic closing rather than opening and yielding. It’s connected to your own confidence and body confidence.

So I run the risk of alienating people. Men and women feeling intimidated, turned on and uncomfortable all at the same time!

How to make pleasure, pleasurable and moving to watch? Is a choreographic problem for myself.

SET DESIGN

I think being close to flesh of the dancer can help. I think being able to see the sweat, the effort, smell their hair, will help ignite physical and emotional reactions in the audience and between the dancers themselves. This is where the act of being in a proscenium arch theatre disturbs the attempt. Sitting in rows in the dark with the performers in front of you, is almost cinematic. It’s voyeuristic.

So I decided to concentrate on building a set design witch would encourage a closeness, an inclusiveness. In the round, hinting at the Greek amphitheatres, the womb, a voodoo gathering, a party. I hope it will feel like an invitation rather than a voyeur salon.

 

In magma the architecture of the theatre, rowed dark silent seating. A Black Solitary square, is the Pentheus to the Dionysian stage. And I feel it greatly endangers the sensitivity of the work. I hope a Round womb-like space can be created to protect the vibes.

 

David Wiles, A short History of Western Performance Space: ‘The cosmic order is also embodied in the Roman auditorium, striving to contain the violent emotions and social tensions of the pulsating audience….The virtual half circle which incorporates the stage is completed by the actual half circle of the audience. The Greek audience sat in judgement around the magical circle, but the Roman audience sat within it.’

 

This made me think that actually in section four when we build into unison, that actually a full dancing on stage may isolate the audience and encourage a Grecian judgement on the dance. Possibly making the unison sections open ended like a lucky horseshoe, a half circle which the audience themselves complete, may aid a more inclusive feeling in the room, and promote Kinaesthetic empathy.

 

Aoife:

Your use of a womb space and feminine vibrations reminds me of Bracha Ettinger’s concept of the “matrixial borderspace” – a space where art can forge connections of togetherness. Ettinger’s notion of the matrix, the latin term for the womb, functions in a metaphorical capacity as a challenge to the Freudian structuring of subjectivity in Western societies, in terms of relations to the phallus and the necessary repression of the maternal in order to enter the symbolic realm. The matrixial sphere is feminine, but is accessible by both men and women, as the intra-uterine experience is shared by all - it’s a space of connection, sharing and trans-subjectivity. Ettinger explains that we come into contact with the time and space of the matrixial sphere, through ‘compassionate joining-in-difference with others in transference relations, and via art-objects, art-actions, art-gestures, such as music, painting and dance’ (Ettinger, 2006, p.143). Although both males and females can be in contact with the matrixial in these ways, Ettinger suggests that the matrixial as ‘an aesthetic-artistic filter’ has, ‘a special resonance for women when they treasure, echo, and screen the sensorial resonances connected to their affected bodily vibrations’ (Ettinger, 2006, p.143).

 

 

 

 

MUSIC

 

The main musical inspiration for the work is Triptych Prayer by Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln.  A lot of the young Abbey Lincoln's performances for me have both pleasure, pain and femininity.

I’m going to collaborate with David Holmes and Aoife MacAtamney to make our own Triptych Prayer.

I feel the sound score structure will work like this:

 

Subtle groove - The Preacher in bar

Subtle groove builds for audience to enter the space and meet the dancers

A moment of silence - breath

Slow build of groove – start of the show

Building into - chaos

Calm chant breath

Aoife Song

 

 

THE PREACHER

 

The 'Arch Angel Preacher' will be a performance monologue, a Poem. An attack almost on the audience in the theatre bar, before the audience enter 'the sacred space' of the theatre. A Shake up and Wake up speech. To drag them out of the conditioned behaviour of the theatre frame. Of cognitive silence. Working with slogans, tag lines, rhythm, call and response and a whole lot of charisma and a drink, I hope to steer the show with a direct personal question into the sternum of the audience about pleasure and about Groove.

So I was riffing on who should be the Preacher? A woman? A man? A woman dressed as A man? A man dressed as woman? etc. etc....

'Those women who do manage to get their voice heard very often adopt some version of Maesia in the forum or 'Elizebeth' at Tilbury, consciously aping aspects of male rhetoric'.....Margret Thatcher took voice training to lower her voice, to add a tone of authority' (Beard, p.39).

 ‘The culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech making' [AM6] (Beard, p.39).

 

Most of the motivational powerful speeches I found on youtube were men. All the cult leaders I found were also men.  Even the female black gospel preachers I found had deep,  husky almost Lucifer-like voices.

​So I’m trying to decide on the Artist for the role. I had initially thought of the poet Emmet Kerwin, because I think he can move well, I think his ownership and understanding of Rhythm is great, and I think he could be a young Dionysis type figure, charming, standing on top of the bar and getting the crowed to trust and go with him.

​But bringing a man in I’m very wary of, what it means to the dancers who later perform....'Is that their leader?' the audience may think, then we run the risk of replicating a cult for the theatre, rather than stealing the best bits of it to release female energy on a chosen night.

​So then the legend- Emma Jordon was like, Olwyn Fouéré? And I was like omg of course. What other woman has the charisma of Nick Cave and looks like a God. Brilliant Emma. so now I need to try and write some kind of a script. To lead the speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olywn Fouéré Enters theatre bar - Negroni in hand, dressed like Nick Cave

(Enters the bar chanting and greeting people in a pervy way. Finds center.)

NEGRONI SPEECH

 

Right so lads

Welcome

I’m glad you made it here

You came

You came here

For this

(looks around 

giggles with the people)

 

For what

What did you come here for?

What are you looking for?

Eh?

 

(Touches an audience member)

What’s your name?

-example Carol

What did you come here for Carol?

-example curious to see the dance

The Dance!

The Curiosity!

The search in the dark, the unknown and yet the known, exactly Carol

 

(work for an audience response)

Chant the response with the audience getting louder and louder

The unknown is known!

Audience- the unknown is known!

The unknown is known

Audience- the unknown is known!

 

YEEEHHAAAAAA YOU FEEL THAT!

Blood pumping round your veins the heat rising.

Yes!

Open

Loud

Anti passive

Time to work Carol

 

(looks around at the people)

 

Your work

Your choice to feel

To open

To (the audience response) the unknown known

 

It’s your job to decide enjoyment

You’re in control of your own pleasure

 

Don’t come in here in your mind, your cognitive

Coming in here to judge

To pick apart meaning, structure

Nah to that

Nah to cartesian dualism

Nah to the bougies order, to stifling manners, to silence in the body.

Let go of Logos

 

NAH!

Audience – NAH

NAH

Audience -NAH

 

Everybody deep breath in, chin to chest and release

Olywn gets everybody to join in an active exhale.

 

(get audience to hold hands together)

 

Adapted quote from-  Foucault History of Sexuality

 

We cannot free ourselves from this repression simply by means of theory.

We must learn to be more open….to enjoy it. A discourse on ‘magma’, seen as a revolt against a repressive system, becomes a matter of political liberation rather than intellectual analysis….our discourse on ‘magma’, in its promise for a better freer way of life, is a form of preaching.

 

Holds glass up to crowd, To Monoism Eros (takes a shot)

Gets crowed to cheer

 

(climbs on to theatre bar)

 

You take charge now

You decide now it’s your decision to enjoy, to be moved, to shake, to wake up.

 

Wake up

(audience – wake up)

C’mon now, Wake up!

(audience -  wake up)

 

Yeeeaaaaa groove with it

(get them moving / swaying music creeps in subtle)

 

Your flesh and bone with all your thoughts and dreams and pains and groove

Let your groove out

Why the fuck not

Why not here, here’s safe for you

Here you can shake and tremble and wake and scream

 

Every body scream

(audience scream)

Every body scream

(audience scream)

 

Climbs down from bar and hugs someone

 

Yeaaaaaaa that’s it feel the heat rising under the skin ,ya feel that heart of yours thumping blood pumping

Bring that with you

Listen to that

That’s the bloody show in their (touching somebody’s sternum)

 

You in in the seat thump thumping away.

(Olwyn lowers her head and stamps to the beat loving her own groove)

Follow your desires here

Get up leave

March off proud if you want

Shout

Cry

Get turned on

 

(Walks to the theatre door and opens it, welcomes them in)

(deep breath in, chin to chest, exhale)

 

Welcome to Lady Magma lads

Lets get the groove on

In here

Together

Music from the auditorium rises and people enter the space dancers are moving.

 

I think that a unanimous ecstatic ritual holds with in it a lot very powerful chi energy.

I think it would make a great show. I am not yet clear on what the possible energetic after effect of this show could be on an audience. On the performers. I hope that the performers will enjoy reaching a new plateau with in their metaphysical consciousness, maybe even a new relationship with their own soul….can I say that?

But I don’t know what it means to be a viewer of this?

I also remember that a long time ago a conversation I had with Emma Martin about the difficulty of working with Joy and lightness for choreographer. Not comedy but joy…

This is not so far from pleasure. And this memory gave me some solace to continue looking for inspiration for the Lady Magma piece. The Magma show. Female pleasure, ritual, dancers bodies, audience and all.

Now, What I need to do is fully concentrate on the pleasurable existential Journey of the dancers. And decide for now to trust that the sincerity in their performance will drag the audience with them to a new place.

​What is the new place? How do we get there?

 

Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Street – A History of Collective Joy. 2007

This book is just class Janie Doherty gave it to me. Fed me a lot.

In the two centuries leading up to the twentieth, audiences had been successfully tamed. If you went back to seventeenth and early eighteenth-century France or England, you would have found theatre audiences, for example, that were disruptively rowdy, interrupting the actors with their own comments, milling around during the performance. By the end of the eighteenth century aristocratic ideas of decorum – along with innovation of reserved seating - brought, according to sociologist Richard Sennet ‘a curtain deadness to the theatre’. There were no more shouts and the back of the hall, no more eating food while they stood watching the play. ‘Silence in the theatre seemed to diminish the enjoyment of watching the play’[AM7] 

 

This is still true today. Music concerts and hip hop battles get the ‘crowed’ the all-encompassing atmosphere wear everyone. Performer and audience go together somewhere else from the ‘now’ but in Contemporary dance, Theatre audiences, silent, motionless. Cognitive analysis.

 

The motionless perception required of an audience takes effort, especially when the performance involves the rhythmic motions of others. Recent Neuroscience suggests that the neuronal mechanisms underlying the perception of motion by another person are closely linked to the execution of that motion by the perceiver. -To ready ones self to join in. (Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Street, p. 211)

 

 

So the well-behaved audience member-who does not snap fingers, nod a head or sway or clench or lean-is not really at rest; she is performing a kind of work-the silent, internal work of muscular inhibition. (Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Street, p. 212)

 

 

So to my Magma audience - G’wan I dare ya.

 

Barbara goes on to eloquently explain how throughout the 20th century, 50’s onwards, this is a complete repression of all motion not only in audiences. But with the arrival of the car, the television. Machines replacing Labour at work. Only sports was left as field for human motion and even here, many sports were unavailable to women or altered to minimize their motion.

It is sexual inhibition that rock n roll of the late 50’s early 60’s is usually credited or blamed for challenging. As one writer explains ‘the unleashing of generations of repressed sexuality.’

 

The rhythm and the music brought it back a bit. Kids screaming in the aisles, Beatle mania and all that jazz, a wee touch of Dionysus coming back. Which of course was labelled as madness and supressed by the law – but yes it could get a bit dangerous. The old freedom chaos state lads.

But it was a needed release.

For females even sex was meant to be motionless and passive. The leading marital advice book of mid twentieth century America warned against female ‘movements’ during sex. Insofar as sexual activity was described at all, it was in terms of static positions.

Fuck that.

Also I doubt anyone followed the book, but also if this is 20th century America can you imagine Ireland in the 50’s jeese louise!

Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver

white rock fans were simply trying to reclaim ‘their bodies again after generation of alienation and disembodied existence’

I think even now dance can be a bit disembodied.

To attain extremes in the body such as ballet or athletics a process of cartesian dualism must appear in training. To overcome tiredness and pain. To separate leg muscles for example for a higher battement, from the emotional feeling of lifting your leg. This philosophy to the body I feel is deeply entrenched in many dance training institutions.

Also on the stage, I wonder about the energetic consequences of this and of art movements which support it. Such as the abstract movement, and I’m gonna say it, Merce Cunningham.

A generalisation I know, but still rife with in the dance world are Calm thin white people with pointy limbs. Shifting around with little to no emotion in the aim of an abstract concept.

In a strange way and I’m out on a limb here, I think even in a dance show you can be watching a form of disembodiment.

In the 1950’s was also the birth of advertising and the consumerist culture. With images of women as soft, sexy but usually a bit weak and timid.

These adverts may seem tame to nowadays media with hyper sexuality at use but just as greatly disembodied. To the point where porn doesn’t show a face, simply body parts. Fashion disembodies women all the time and now music videos have dragged in its wake.

Honest depictions of real female emotion, power, pleasure and pain are still now today, treated, doctored and manipulated to fit in to an extreme version of 50s pin up girls.

Western  ideas of beauty and truth is a strange tasting cocktail.

We hunch over phones, swipe tablets, drive cars and sit motionless in cinemas and theatres.

It would be a great leap to go back to the body. The road there is as long as the generations who took us from it.

Ehrenreich writes : The passivity engendered by constant spectatorship, announcing that ‘the spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep’ (author, book title, p.250).

 

Is that why it’s easier to make ‘dark art’ with trauma and pain more directly understood by the viewer than collective joy?

 

You know I read once that it used to be kinda all grand. Music and dance were kinda the same thing. People moved for pleasure and people moved for work. And then in the 13th century some crazy Catholics decided the soul was separate from the body and no dancing is to be done. – I need to find out who this guy is and check out what base he had for this? I’m raging!

I think it has something to do with 'The age of enlightenment' and the development of western philosophy. The anatomists where breaking ground in the first post mortems of the world. Discovering more about biology and the inside of the body. And Descartes, Voltaire and those lads.

My guess is that a new wave of philosophy was spreading that the soul is separate from the mortal flesh. And so why waste time on developing the flesh which will eventually rot.

The mind is where it’s at, the soul is what will last. And so disengagement with the soulful consequence’s and importance of movement and your body began. Decade by decade until we are where we are at now. With disembodiment as a fuel for advertisement.

 

Aoife:

This brings to mind Francis Barker’s argument that modernity creates the idea of two different kinds of bodies: one that’s “dead flesh”, merely an “extraneous shell” of consciousness, and the other that operates in the world and is ‘an object of disciplinary interventions’ (following Foucault) by various state apparatuses. I’ve found this idea really interesting when considering the dancing body in an Irish context. Corporeal articulacy and agency, especially when connected with anything to do with sexual expression, were quashed during Ireland’s postcolonial struggles for autonomous identity, and relegated to a state of “dead flesh” (see McGrath, Dance Theatre in Ireland: Revolutionary Moves, p.29).

 

I truly believe that if we combine the two (soul and body) and live as one being mind soul and flesh, we’d have a better chance at happiness. Leaning towards Zen, Buddhism and Holistic Philosophies.

 

Aoife:

Arguably, this separation has contributed to the legacy of abuse and oppression in Ireland of corporealities that don’t fit the desired norm.

 

Like Lucia Joyce!

Lucia Anna Joyce was a professional dancer and the daughter of Irish writer James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. Once treated by Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Joyce was diagnosed as schizophrenic in the mid 1930s and institutionalized at the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic in Zurich. [AM8]  -wikipedia

 

And then their is the whole Witch idea connected to women’s rights and feminism and dancing in circles too….So I had a nosey about here too,

 

Here’s a story about a witch it came just after the 1700 wear in Scotland  3,800 Women were burned.

Here’s the last one Ireland. Thank fuck this got out of fashion.

 

Bridget Cleary, Ireland’s ‘last witch’[AM9]  - Dean Ruxton The Irish Times 24/11/16

 

In 1895, 26-year-old Bridget Cleary – a beautiful, independent-minded woman – disappeared from her home in Ballyvadlea, near Clonmel in Co Tipperary. It was claimed the fairies had taken her, but when her charred remains were discovered, her husband, father, aunt and four cousins were arrested and charged with her murder.

The truth that emerged subsequently was a toxic mix of fairy folklore, illness, superstition, social mores and the ever-present suspicion of women with a mind and means of their own.

Cleary was a self-employed dressmaker, one of the first women in the town to own a Singer sewing machine. She enjoyed lots of male attention, and a reputation as a bit high and mighty. There were rumours of an affair with a married Protestant, but to the surprise of many, she married Michael Cleary, a sullen man 10 years older than herself.

When she was struck down with what might have been pneumonia in March 1895, her husband and family were so shocked by her changed appearance, they convinced themselves she had been taken away and swapped for a “changeling”. In the course of trying to determine if the sickly Bridget in his bed was really his robust, strong-willed wife, Michael Cleary exploded into a rage – and held her over the fire until she burnt to death.

 

This really shocked me. The image is so strong. To be held over an open fire by a loved one in your own home. There’s a movement in that. Or even to just tell the dancers this story. Can feed some fight in them.

An amazing woman I once knew called Ursula Laeubli – she was a dancer and director of Echo Echo dance company in Derry. She was like a wolf. She told me what can help your dancing is when you dedicate the performance the task to someone or something. Who is not in the room with you now. Send out the energy to them. It gives extra power. And release some responsibility in the movement. Bridget Cleary is one to be dancing for.

 

I’m trying to find different inspirations for the dancers.

I want to be able to allow the dancers to open into pleasure to fight through pain for a reason. To be powerful. To be for something.

 

Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Street – A History of Collective Joy. 2007

Pg 61 – Ecstatic rite  ‘to lose oneself’ to let go of one’s physical and temporal boundaries is to glimpse, however briefly, the prospect of eternity.

Dionysian – In which music and the muscular synchrony of dance are employed to induce a state of trance. Interpreted as possession by or transcended unity with God.

I don’t believe in any particular God or Religion. And I actually think organised religions can be harmful to open mindedness, empathy, and society at times. But I have got a lot out of life from my dancing, and from dancing with music. I’ve had a lot of cathartic moments, lots of release and clarity brought to me through dancing and listening and responding to my own body.

 

 It would be cool if more people could experience some type of self-healing through motion. To love and to trust their bodies.

We’ve come far

But not far enough.

The beauty of sexual movement. The freedom to dance and groove and shake. With out insecurity, to practice pleasure. Class-less, Race-less, Gender-less

This is starting to sound like a cult.


 

 

Lady Magma Essay 2 – Process Paper

 

Introduction

 

Here’s where I really think the process started.

Its November, I’m in Geneva I’m five Hope Hunts deep. Body feeling like a little Ironing board.

Me and Luca Truffarelli are sitting in a little white Gallery space. We’ve hung a white net curtain up. There’s an old rug on the floor, a 70’s chair in the corner and  incense sticks in a box on the floor.

We’re looking at the Lady Magma research film, projected big on a wall.

I’ve seen it before, but for some reason all of a sudden looking at my own image as Magma. I say ‘’Jesus I look like my Granny their!’’ shocked I turn to Luca and say ‘My Granny’s name was Olive O’Hara’ proud as punch at her fancy name.

I feel a whiff of scent or perfume. We decide it must be the box of Incense sticks.

I remember when My granny died, either my mum or one of my aunties saying they could smell granny’s perfume in the house. I remember that Parma Violet sweets makes my Mum think about her mum.

Or at least in my undependable memory mixed with my mad imagination iv mixed two things together and built my own memory….who knows, most of the inside of my head is like that. A mixture of truth and self-made film.

 

We went off to the theatre and did another Hope Hunt, it was a good show, I was surprised how grand my body was feeling after so many in a row.

 

When I came off stage I had a text message from my Mum, she said:

It’s your Granny’s anniversary today.

Olive O’Hara 27 years dead today.

 

OMG I couldn’t believe it! I don’t really believe in God and Heaven and religion and stuff. But I do believe in energy, maybe even re-incarnation a bit….not sure…..

But I really feel like my Granny passed through in some way that day. Said hello, said she could see me dancing.

 

My mum on the phone was explaining to me how I got my dancing from the Walls side of the family. That granny had relatives on Broadway, and that it definitely didn’t come from the Doherty side anyway.  (Irish Ma’s)

 

So the next day I had one last Hope Hunt to do. The last show of 2018. The last masculine Solo of 2018. I couldn’t wait to get it over with, so done with it after seven in a row.

 

I’m finding it hard to build energy all the time for Hope hunt its three years old now, I get much more energy and excitement for Magma theses days, it feels brand new.

 

That day in the hotel room I had the best Orgasm. A really full one, I was laughing and crying after woulds. I think my body knew the year touring was coming to a close and it was releasing loads of built up energy. I had a wee dance to the Magma music in the hotel room and felt really good. Grounded. Calm. Maybe a bit too calm, I had a wobble on the way to the theatre, and my warm up was a bit all over the place.

 

So I did the last Hope Hunt like I’d done so many times before.

And in the show I strained my neck, I’ve had it before years ago in TRASH company. Its like whip lash from dancing, your upper spine locks.

 

It locked on the right side. The right side is the feminine side. I was open. Ready to be soft and deep. Hope hunt is not what the body needed right then.

 

That’s when I knew it had started. The process had begun.

 

Love is a concept which runs through all religion’s.

Lennon ‘Love is good’

Welcome to the House of Love.

How to really push the dancers this week, to take them out of their comfort zone?

You have to make them love the push, you have to push them with love.

To dance for and with the things you love, in honour and in service of them.

 

What are the most important loves for me?

-my family

-Harrison and Thomas

-My dad in the wild North Sea

-Openness and bravery

- white light that is pure and honest and beams through the nonsense

-My hope to not be alone.

 

What needs to die in you, in your either. What Deaths do you need to commit in this act?

What survives death? What lives on in the space you have created. In the calm, exhaustion after your clearing storm?

 

Further Research juice : Stephen Fry – Methos

 

The beginning : Out of Chaos A great yown.Yawning chasim Yawning void

The first order of Greek Diaeties, Erigos – darkness, Nix – night, Coupled and their children were, Emera – day, Ether – night, Gia- the earth and Tarturss – the depths and caves beneath the earth – Magma

 

Useful for days when the emotion is too much. To go back to the science of it. Elements.

Blood, Water, The earth, light and dark and rhythem.

 

 

The Magma Letters

 

Tony Pertchuli- Louise Tanoto

 

Dear Lady Magma,

My deepest well. Low rumbling, ever present, magnitude.

I just need to drop 10 feet, below this manmade cacophony to remember you're there. To remember I'm there with you. We all are.

You grow as I grow.  

If I throw myself into you, will you burn me? Melt away the additives. So the fats of inertia, fear, repression, patriarchy and worthlessness fall from body, pooling in your intense heat.

Can we stop controlling the uncontrollable.

We are wild and uncontrollable, we are form and formlessness. You create and destroy. You allow your fire to be cooled for something yet to come. You are yet to come again.

Rasping, back of the throat nonsense, like a tube, something wants to come forth. 

It's the back and forth, it's the trust and the renegade within. It's beyond. And when we reach beyond, anything comes. It doesn't belong to anyone and that's true liberation. 

Like a shell. 

The shell of women long worn, the many faces of women are the masks we wear. We peel this off, sticky and tacky from the sweat of the effort it takes to play these roles. It lays inert and disgusting on the floor. I leave my shell like a used condom on the floor and give it back to its essence, the one who came inside it. Fuck it, or don't fuck it. It's not mine. I don't want it anymore, keep your latex love for yourself. I've got bigger things to worry about and for.

So, I dance a dance of my own sadness, the sadness of girls and women from times, from spaces, from real space, fucked space and fucked off space. Anger and submission. I want to believe it will get better, even if it isn't in my lifetime. What is better?

I watched a documentary. They tore him apart, those chimpanzees, their alpha, their image, they had it coming. He picked himself up, and covered his wounds in macho heroism, they had it coming. I willed him back to dominance. I am the narrative hook, I am the perpetual, please I want to stop. Stop myself. Stories on loop. The women were the side story. Let's live on the sides. Who wants the centre anyway? Except that, the centre is killing everything. Can we slowly move in, from the sides and strangle the middle, squeeze the air out of it; or absorb it, process it and shit it out, fertiliser.

Am I toxic?

 

 

 J.Dog -Janie Doherty

 

Dear Lady Magma, 

I will try not to be cliche or too official, but then why not, you deserve it. It's hard to know what to say? I hope you have enough strength to share with all of us. Sometime I loose you when I think I'm not enough in the world, i turn my back on you to hurt myself. Intentionally or Unintentionally. 

I can find it difficult to step into myself at times and own my own individual beauty. Life can feel like pushing through treacle at times. I'm glad i'm 30 and seem to be getting over the trivial dramas now though. Now there's a new set of rules and things to achieve. 

Bind us together to share the collective ebb and flow of poetic joy and disaster. Keep giving Oona unblinding faith to continue on her path and give all the girls the freedom they need. 

 

How is your heat rising?

What is the thing that is firing up your groin?

Where do you find collective joy and disaster?

What does your flesh ache to say?

 

I feel like everything I said is cheesey.

I was writing to you as if you were an unknown entity above me- or something I was asking or needing strength from. 

But you aren't.

Its me. and us and oona and all the girls I've shared mascara with in crap toilets over the years. Sometimes I hear a woman's story and I wonder how she is still standing? 

I think of my Granny Annie, my auntie Maureen and my mother.. 

Unbounding strength..

I wonder what performing this piece can share and if  it will vibrate people the way we are collectively aiming for? Like Justine said on the plane- Can we bypass our own neurosis in order to serve something bigger. If we can liberate ourselves, we can liberate others who are receiving it. 

Can the audience feel poetic joy and disaster in a female body onstage? What does it shake in your flesh to witness that!!!!

Life can feel like treacle sometimes, it's so bloody hard and we beat ourselves up all the time about all sorts of shite... being pulled into suffering as if its enjoyable. Do we like suffering?

Engulf pain from the underworld. 

Connection through eyes.

Vulnerable children.

Wholesome warriors 

No narrative

An unfaithful sin to commit

Bribe glory shit

Bring your stuff to the table- how much she said- Everything said everyone and dived into the deep black whole. 

When do i become liberated?

Slander Queen Rock and Roll

Legs like fleshy pancakes 

Bums are fun looking 

I feel weak and then sometimes very powerful.Your experience lives on your skin in one big FLESH MESH! 

 

Billy-Tilly Webber

 

My dearest Lady Magma,
Well, I here I am writing to YOU. A million things to say but nothing at all. The irony. Oh ,the irony. 
I always feel I am at the beginning  with you. 
Never quite sure where I stand or what you will give to me.
All I truly want you to do is hold me tight. Hold me so tight , I am breathless. 
Am I who I say I am? 
Hold me, let me go. 
I don’t know? 
But here we are. face to face , soul to soul and all I can do is surrender to you. Surrender to all I've ever known. All that history we hold. Wow. 
Searching, seeking. I don’t know? You terrify me. The love that surrounds me when you are near is insatiable but I've never felt more clear. 
And I breathe. I breathe into you . I allow all to just be. All to flow,  all that allows me to be present . Fully with you and all that you can give to me.
I am sorry though. I am sorry if I push you away and give you a hard time. I guess its easier in some ways. I don’t know? 
I am here. I promise. My truth is with you, my truth is always fully with you and I trust this. Do you trust me? I trust you. 
Push me , push me into your throbbing pulse. I need it. I need pushing - like I said when I need holding. Push me. Hold me tight. Push me again. 
I guess it all just takes time eh? 
The power that I hold when you are with me is real and I am now realising I am real. This is me. 
Thank you for your light, you love, your magma

Billy x

Lady Lavneder-Justine Cooper

 

Dear Lady Magma, 

Think I might of been afraid to know you truly my whole life~

So this letter feels a little like a coming home from a self imposed banishment of sorts~

Where to start, how to begin...

Lets lift the lid off this ceiling and start by raising a glass to the LIBERATION of the HOWL and the PURR and the union of the Great Sun and Moon inside~

The great work! 

The deep bow!

The ancient starlit road~

 

Kali,Quan Yin,Sun,Moon,Wolf,Child,Woman,Crone 

 

What needs to die to allow life to not be in pain any more~~~••••~~~

The shadows have their dance too dear Magma, they also have the right to say their piece, sing their song and Pheonix their ashes.

Don’t be afraid of the animal or the PLEASURE!

Let the grotesque of ye be witnessed with loving eyes and listen to hear but don’t be afraid to roar the guts of your animal into the hemisphere.

This is no place to feel shy.

 What ever need’s to be said, say it God damit Say it!!!

Let me ask you....if you could stand in the bliss body

 of your She/He/Animal/Star and radio it through all time space and dimensions what frequency would sound •••~~~~•~~~

Remember you are the one that writes this life true!

Its your party dear Magma, its your party!

Dare to be powerful!

This serves as a soul gift to all that came before and all that will come after.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

 

Love, gratitude and respect alway’s,, Justine 

 

Pink Breath -Aoife MacAtamney

 

Dear Lady Magma,

Firstly, How are you? Up in here, Up in there? On the streets of Berlin, in the metro area, in the coins I’m holding.
Who taught you warmth? 
Do you have an email address that I can contact the core on...?
What does the Lady in your name mean? Does it mean Respect? Observation? Approachable? I have never had a Lady in front of my name before.
Lady McAtamney.
When I think of you I see you well dressed, together, but breaking apart, in the cracks it’s red and orange and you can’t help but ooze, all the time. Do you have a soft core? 
In your belly? What’s your bones like? Do you speak?? 
I imagine you pour, you touch, you cave. I’ve been thinking about you. Longingly. 
I can’t say God anymore. Only because I’ve witnessed, experienced pain in the name of God. 
I’ve heard of abuse and violence in the name of God. As I grow, I’m more aware of Magma, of the world around me. Scale, matter, environment, water. The Other. The Other as real as real. Some people call the other God. They have named the unknown and I am envious because each time I say God, I remember where I come from and it doesn’t do the other unknown justice. I heard of you Lady Magma, and I’ve watched you pour. I’m so many of the women I have met there is Lava is of want and excitement, belief and emotion. Impulsive and beautiful. I’ve had blood on my body that they have bled. I have not yet met Gentleman Magma. The semen I’ve seen seems of the sky, fluid and clear, full of space and clouds. I have not met a Gentleman that oozes yet. Where the cracks are orange and red. The cracks seem to be blues and blacks. 
Lady Magma, what is it to be seen? With the bubbles? What is it to let the head and mouth pour out of the core? 
What do I do with the word god? 
And, how do I hold men’s hand as an equal, as earth and sky? Please reply soon as my heart is aching to know. 
Love Lady McAtamney aka Pink Breath. 

 

 

 Negroni – Oona Doherty

 

Dear Magma, look how you have grown, The daughter of the Sugar Army. Born out of A comradery.

Blood linage.

Your density is testing.

I straddle you, across your tectonic plate of pleasure and pain, pride and insecurity.

You bring out the best and the worst in me and they dance together. All my ugly desires to be loved to have stained the carpet.

Your electric guitar distortion signals out. A beast on heat.

I really really want to open, to heal the wounds, clean out the back of the heart chakra.

But I got trapped on a plateau. Known leg kicks, muscle contortions hold me back from the cosmic giggle. The orgasmic jiggle.

I’ll keep drinking you. Hoping that this is just a stage, in your pyroclastic flow onwards and deep.

I wanted to open into a fully formed confident woman.

I feel like I am mutating into funky genderless ball of emotional juice.

You stand tall old Mag’s like a great mountain inside me.

I’ll keep erupting until all the inside have turn out.

Love Oona

 

 Aoife McGrath

 

In August I meet Oona on the steps outside a theatre in Belfast to hear about Lady Magma for the first time. I’m in the middle of the final rehearsals for a dance about women’s silenced experiences of the maternal, and listening to Oona, it strikes me that we are working on deeply connected issues/connected tissues. The traumas that lurk in the darkest corners of my rehearsal process in many ways originate from our attempts to disconnect from the source that Oona is trying to awaken, to embody wholeheartedly. We walk and talk and agree a writing plan. It might seem contradictory that two women committed to dancing and moving buried stories of corporeal experience would embark on an idea-exchange through words. But distilling choreographic concepts, research and choices into words on a page can be an essential part of the creative process. Articulating ever-shifting feelings and speaking the intensities of affect can seem so impossible in the midst of dance creation; yet it makes space for reflection, for assemblage, for appraisal, and for necessary, on-going acts of demolition and reconstruction. It can ignite new impulses to keep us moving. This glimpse inside the Lady Magma process is a rare gift and one that, for me, sparks gratitude and a deep curiosity to experience the finished work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Magma Choreographic Score

 

(Opening Section Welcome to the Party Negroni bleeds their heart, in exchange for heart)

 

From the Floor Up

Rest your spine on the carpet.

Breath deep and breath wide allowing the meat of you to fall away. For the weight of you to crease into the Rug. One pattern Seeping into another.

 

Breath out, Contract your Perineum.

Pulling yourself inward, to your true centre. Your axis point of Soul, your pin point wear all selves meet.

Breath in, Release your perineum.

Feel the soul gentle emanate out and wide, your centre self-reaching out to the perimeters of your kinesphere.

A gentle slow pulse, she gathers energy, slow waves like a radio to mother earth, like a light house to the cosmos.

 

Allow yourself to be affected.

She turns the volume up.

The pulse, clench and release become more intense. Dragging in its orbit the belly of the palm, the belly of the foot, the forehead chakra.

This tiny cosmos which is your body and your kinesphere, pulsating in and out, clench release, ying and yang.

Allow yourself to be affected, allow the deep clench to squeeze out historic juice from the most primal of Fasca, Allow the deep widening and releasing to let go, to let, old pleasure, old wounds emanate out to the surface of the skin, the edge of your cosmos. Your kinesphere.

Trust the circle of women, the pattern of the carpet to hold theses for you, to evaporate them like steam. Like the sun.

Allow the perineum to start its journey. Moving to different places in the body. Allowing your pulse, your clench and release, your kneading of fascia, to become more

360.

 

 

Open into feeling.

The back of the face, the meat over the bones of the face.

Under the finger nails.

Under the toe nails.

Behind the heart.

To be a puddle of opium.

Allow the movement. Submit. Thick honey room.

Cutting through butter. The Meat of you, your cosmos plays in and out of the carpet, the Guitar sonar 1,2,3 lifts you to your feet. Dragging the form out of the carpet bed. Delivering effort up and out of the room. Whatever came up tonight you allow it to be lived fully. You can not choose your ancestors, they will come forward to evaporate when they need to. You just need to hold the strength to carry who comes forward.

 

Allow your cosmos to become the whole circle of women. They are rhythm elements within your cosmos and sources of planetary feeding. From standing we descend back into the pattern.

 

Second speedy track leaks in, a rhythm high hat speeds up this cosmic pyroclastic flow.

Open your kinesphere eye to the rhythm of the room. While maintaining an inward eye to your axis point of Soul, your pin point wear all selves meet.

 

Three guitars open a black hole in the top right of the circle.

Black hole drags the patterned fleshy women in, on their way contorting into melting wax statues of Media images of ‘Femininity’ barbies on fire, dripping.

 

In ode to suspiria, in ode to Damien Jalett, in ode to totem pole of virility, in ode to all our past, in ode to the sugar army fight. We build a statue. A monument to the let go, fearless beast.

The statue melts away back to the edges of the carpet like a wax Mary on a mantel piece.

Boulders of splashing Jaxson pollock speed. Releases tension in pockets of unexpected rhythm.

Wash off the effort

Walk off the…..

Have a drink of red wine

Fuck it.

Groove.

Sexy confident grown women. Take a dander to the carpet wall. A funkadelice pevic grind, an invitation to the pleasure dome people.

Look don’t worry will show you how to do it.

Go in, deep to the tiny movement of the pelvis dome, the holy roof of women.

A creepy David lynch top of the pops group emerges from the carpet wall.

Lady MacAtemney pink breath leaks out into the sound. Bravely sharing with the audience the possibilities of pleasure if you just tune in to the flesh and sonic.

The group blends.

Samurai Webber shakes out like a max roach high hat. Becoming the sound. Burning off like white heat.

The group blends.

The women tighten in back to centre pivot point.

Union.

A gift.

Splatters out into flocking.

The pleasure groove spills out to the people of the room, edges of the carpet. The pleasure dome opens its doors and expands its horizon.

Here is the invitation to the cult, and you know you want it.

Rhythm is shared on the clock face with the audience.

The clock face turns, the caldron of pleasure.

Creating a perfume wind in the room.

Like a plug hole into caring. Rhythm is opened.

Cosmos is created.

Sporadic stars are born.

 

Strings

Janie-Aoife-Louise-Tilly-Justine.

 Say yes to everything.

Out. Out. Out

Paint splashes everywhere. Like a Jaxson pollock.

Soul juice Explodes.

Through submission to movement and rhythm are ego can disappears, the death of whatever needs to die that night, is shaken out of your Kinosphere through movement.

Its like all the hands are on you. Guiding you in multiple direction at the same time.

A cleaning Sesh.

A clearing.

Out. Out. Out.

To your limit and beyond.

You our at the mercy of the rhythms of your limit, you are moving far and past your limit. Out into space.

This is clearing. Be gone. For you and your mothers.

The women of the circle hold the space, while keeping the groove, supporting the funk.

The clearing peppers off.

A calm plateau.

 

Song

Section one Aoife. Section two screams, girls receive. Section three joy. Girls join in. A group song, light fade on the women. They leave this space.

final essay three in collaboration with Eve beauvallet- liberte and aiofe mcgrath

coming soon