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Shifts between the mirror



by Michelle St Anne

Presented by The Lock Up, Newcastle

A sound work without a score, a dance piece without steps, theatre without words.

the foul of the airtravels north to Newcastle’s The Lock Up. Inside this 1800S Police Station reimagined as a contemporary arts space. My work responds to space – using the architectures, temperature and rhythm to weave into the narrative of the work. The site response moves beyond the literal into a philosophical approach as I find myself deeply agitated by the current social climate.

This presentation of the foul of the air shifts between the mirror of the author, the theatre maker,  characters and audience.

Responding to the space as a place of incarceration the four walls becomes the prison of my artistic expression and my characters.

the foul of the air premiered in March Dance 2021 after three years in the making. Inspired by the novel The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood, the performance shook off a need for a narrative and language and instead became what was described as:

“This was a very real performance; for want of a fancier word (but not really!), real is the only way to describe it.”
– Linda Badger

Wood described the performance as the feeling of writing the book. I have used that as my inspiration for this reiteration folding between Woods exploration of the artistic process in The Luminous Solution and the characters in The Natural Way of Things.

What do I hope to leave the audience?

A sense of how easily we have become immune to the suffering of others.

This October we have this enormous opportunity to say no to that suffering and pave new pathways for respect and dignity beyond acknowledgements. 

Removal of dignity is the best way to keep someone captive. It is what my father did to my mother and myself It is what social systems do. The crawl to restore dignity is a long stony road. As individuals we do have the power to change that. 

Do not turn away, do not victim blame but stand in the headwind of change.