Interview with New Jack Witch by Alkistis

I was recently interviewed by Vanessa Irena for New Jack Witch. Words on witchcraft, sabbatic dance and butoh, and Babalon. 

What is Sabbatic Dance?

It’s the dance of darkness, ankoku buto, as I practice it. With butoh one always strives towards a highly individual dance. I’m not concerned with belonging to butoh as a style or genre, but in rooting the philosophy and developing the methodologies of the art in a specific terrain. That terrain for me is connected to the witches’ sabbatic dance, which I understand as taking place in a physical landscape, that is at the same time imaginal, affective and mythic. Essentially, it a place of encounter, and of strangeness.

But importantly, the sabbat points to a submerged history and territory – ‘a dark continent’ – of repression and exploitation, that had begun to be explored by artists and poets as well as feminist and marxist intellectuals, confronting the accounts of demonologists, the historical records of witchcraft trials, and the graphically evocative iconography of the witch. All those elements were coalesced in time to form a ‘coherent’ other, an enemy. The formation of a witchcraft in the imaginative realm prefigures its baptism in flesh and action, and it is inevitably taken up by those marked as heretic (such as Jack Parsons and Marjorie Cameron). The mask is worn precisely because it affords - by virtue of its imaginative genesis and its very nature – freedom, license, and an ontological fluidity...

The full interview can be read on New Jack Witch.


The flesh of the world: workshop by Alkistis

On 19th February next year I will give a workshop at the Occult Conference in Glastonbury, the material for which has developed out of my ongoing research into the body and place/space, and references Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the ‘flesh of the world’ and the body as chiasm, as a crossing – both touched and touching, seen and seeing. The workshop will focus specifically on the feet and stepping, on developing sensitivity and awareness, of self and environment, through movement.

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The art of crossing over by Alkistis

I will be performing and giving a presentation at the Trans-States conference at the University of Northampton on 9th and 10th September. The organisers describe it as ‘a transdisciplinary conference that will explore representations in contemporary visual culture of boundary crossing, liminality and queerification with specific reference to occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices.’

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Towards an embodied psychedelic consciousness by Alkistis

After attending the first Breaking Convention international conference on psychedelic consciousness in 2011, I was delighted when the opportunity arose to present my work this year. Not only are aspects of my research and choreographic method informed by working with psychedelics, or entheogens, but I felt that too often the psychedelic state is associated solely with the head and the brain, and the body is rarely considered or recognised as the foundation of consciousness.

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Div Shir at Breaking Convention by Alkistis

I will perform Div Shir at Breaking Convention, the interdisciplinary conference on psychedelic consciousness which will be held at the University of Greenwich on 10th to 12th July 2015. Butoh, and dance generally, is the unfolding of consciousness in movement. As such, it is also a means to explore, transform and navigate consciousness as it unfolds.

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