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States of Possession
September 2022 London

Butoh often plays with the notion that the body is inhabited by other selves or unseen forces. For both Hijikata and Ohno this manifested in finding and embodying the spirits of their dead relatives, sister, mother, as well as ghosts and demons.


In this  research workshop I looked specifically at the body giving itself over to unconscious movement. I  referred to the  choreographic stagings of possession as found in the 19th Century documentation or 'invention'  of Hysteria by Charcot. I drew upon my own original methods generated in my solo practice (Mythic and Black Mirror)  and  imagery and techniques from Butoh such as a puppetry of the body via strings, or the idea of energy or forces moving through the body as well as from outside the body.

I related this back too Charcot's iconic images to examine possession as a 'performance' and in contrast to possession as a deeply embodied and uncanny process. (Rotie, 2022)

Dancers in Videos: Regula Voegelin, Rika Fujimoto, Stephen Moynihan, Kristin Winters. 

Live improvised Sound: Nick Parkin 

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