I am a dancer, choreographer and writer, whose practice is principally grounded in the ankoku butō of Hijikata Tatsumi, a discipline I have trained in and performed since 2002. I work as a solo performer, blending choreography with improvisation. During a hiatus from public performance between 2007 and 2011, my work was focused on closed actions and rituals, working with the land, elements and spirits of place.
I spent my early years in rural isolation, where the sun sets, in the Algarve; a formative experience that imprinted my psyche with a desire for wild, unbound spaces, solitude and the sea. Here I was first made aware of the otherworld, and the power of dreaming, imagination and rupture.
I studied Arabic and the History of Art and Music of Asia and Africa at SOAS, University of London, with a particular interest in the dance and theatre forms of South East Asia and Japan. Since leaving formal education, I have continued my investigations into the body and performance, studying diverse dramatic, dance, martial and healing arts. Of these my encounter with buto was epiphanic, pivotal.
In 2008 I began to advance a personal interpretation of the ‘dance of darkness’ – sabbatic dance – in which the mythos of the medieval witches’ dance is the central motif in a conception of performance and performer that fuses the original radical and subversive impulse of butō with suppressed and neglected aspects of the culture and history of the West. The sabbat as the ‘reverse spectacle, the celebration, in which everyone participates, in which no one is voyeur’ (Cixous/Clément, 1975) is the principle at the heart of the dance, which seeks to dissolve the distance between performer and audience, and between inner world and outer environment. The sabbatic dance aims to manifest the sacred, the moment of communion, by means of the dancing body – carnal, in flux, becoming, present.
I am currently based in the United Kingdom where I also run the occult publishing house Scarlet Imprint with Peter Grey. I have performed in the UK and Europe, solo and in collaboration with other dancers and musicians, and spoken on my work at conferences and events in the UK, Europe and the United States.