Dancing diffraction: many bodies make light work in Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton's 'everything that rises must dance' (2018)

McCormack, J (2021) 'Dancing diffraction: many bodies make light work in Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton's 'everything that rises must dance' (2018).' Performance Research, 25 (5). pp. 77-83. ISSN 1352-8165

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2020.1868847

Abstract

'everything that rises must dance' (2018) is a dance performance produced by Complicite, premiered as part of Dance Umbrella Festival and created by choreographer Sasha Milavic Davies, composer Lucy Railton, dance artists Antigone Avdi, Makiko Aoyama, Amanda Dufour, Valentina Formenti, Jennifer Irons, Camilla Isola, Ciara Lynch, Gabrielle Nimo, Claudia Palazzo and Inês Pinheiro and 200 volunteer performers. This article focuses on the collaborative choreographic processes used with the volunteer community cast of 200 women residents of London, as a way to think through the term diffraction as employed in the works of feminist theorists Karen Barad and Kathrin Thiele. Barad (2014:168) reminds us that 'Diffraction owes as much to a thick legacy of feminist theorizing about difference as it does to physics'. She argues that diffraction is a material-discursive practice that can be employed to trouble dichotomies, explaining that ‘Diffraction is not a set pattern, but rather an iterative (re)configuring of patterns of differentiating-entangling’ (ibid). With 'everything that rises must dance' (2018), Sasha Milavic Davies and Lucy Railton aimed to produce a response to the city of London, a ‘living archive of female movement’. This article examines the ways in which the volunteer performers involved in the project engaged in an iterative process of observation, embodiment and (re)configuring of patterns to create a complex dialogue between their bodies and performance site. I argue that the concept of diffraction allows for a critical reflection on how the choreographic strategies employed in everything that rises must dance might open up radical ways of being together, bringing our attention to others experiences, and of asking us to think about the dominant discourses that currently exist around how we share urban spaces and to invite us to think about ways to question, challenge or resist these.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Bath School of Music & Performing Arts
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2020.1868847
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 16:35
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 13:39
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