Stéphane’s visit to London has allowed me some precious time in the studio and a chance to open myself to the thoughts that movement stirs in me. It has also left me with precious material to look over in video form and sensations to process of watching him dance that already nudge me a step closer to the new piece.
I taught him material from the Mo Mhórchoir Féin solo as the starting point for a deconstruction of that movement as sacred text. It makes particular sense with Stéphane since he was with me during my residency at the Red Gate Gallery in Beijing last year, when that material first emerged (who knew it would end up in a church in Dolphin’s Barn and on RTÉ?). I also asked him to recall whatever physical memories remained for him of our improvisations in Beijing – something he did with evocative attention to quality and detail.
Seeing the result has made me think, as I often do, about what wasn’t there – what had been, who isn’t – and how that absence is palpable in the presence of what and who is.