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Runner, Chisenhale Artists' Programme, 2004

'Performing or being? Can a state of mere being become a performance?'


I have been fascinated by the body’s presence for a long time.  A powerful presence in both strong and vulnerable state and its changes, which are directly connected to an inner experience not mere physical strength.


Having worked with choreographers and dance artists whose work have been informed by different disciplines e.g contact improvisation, release based contemporary, authentic movement, physical theatre and Butoh I have come to the dilemma of two different approaches – ‘theatricality’ and ‘authenticity’, namely performing and being.


Performers are supposed to express a required presence, externalised inner space including emotional state within the structure of themes and time in choreography.  They are often supported by sound and lighting in order to enhance the effect to a viewer.  And it is very audience orientated – I call this ‘performing’.  On the contrary I have been valuing a method of authentic movement as a process of my artistic development.  The aim of this is to connect to the self – no structure, no audience, non-judgemental, only presence of assertiveness which brings more individuality and is self-orientated – I call this ‘being’.


I started researching on ways to bridge ‘performance’ and ‘being’ at Clarence Mews.  The deeper I connected the less motion/movement came.  As a way to combine meditative state and motion I started running on the spot.  After sometime I realised that different colours, visions, moods came and went and finally I was struck by the strong sensation of freedom. 


‘How can I share this experience with an audience as a performance, ‘authenticity’ without theatrical context?’



In 2004 the research further developed at Chisenhale Dance Space with five collaborators. We aimed to work directly on a body’s intuitive level - simple repetitive motion (running on the spot) was the primary method of working rather than through the thought process of memory and imageries. 


Special thanks to;

Chisenhale Dance Space

Morag Wightman

Jade Maravala

Clair Keating

Andrea Molnar

Alkistis Dimech

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