The flesh of the world: workshop / by Alkistis

Where are we to put the limit between the body and the world, since the world is flesh?
– Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible

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.

‘...a practical study of the sole of the foot would be interesting... it is a major part of the body, because it is one of the meanings of the Chinese characters designating Butô. Putting one's foot down is not easy. Personally I try my best on stage in order to fell my foot soles and to grasp the relationship with the audience through this only part of me that has a real contact with the stage.’ ( Carlotta Ikeda, from Laurencine Lot's Carlotta Ikeda: Danse Butô et au-delà)

The work of the feet is of primary importance; the sole of the foot is what connects us to the world, bringing our flesh into a sensuous rapport with the flesh of the world, bridging the inner or subjective world to the outer. Dance, drama, ritual all begin with this step, which is the initial point of re-membering and transformation of the butô dancer.