The agony of dance

I have been experimenting. Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry let me loose in the wax room. This new sculptural work-in-progress – Agony and Ecstasy – exudes the joy of dance yet the pain of pushing the body into such extremes. Three dancers are tumbling through space – they show agility, extraordinary flexibility, but when you get up close you can see their bodies are contorted, cracked and broken in order to achieve these extraordinary shapes.

Where did the inspiration come from? Partly it’s personal, reflecting the frustration with my own limited mobility when I dance – I live with the degenerative spinal condition Axial Spondyloarthritis (AS). Partly it’s political, I want to challenge narrow ideas of who can perform dance, ‘right’ ways of moving, ‘ideal’ body shapes. We must celebrate different physicalities. For inspiration, just watch Candoco Dance Company – the repertory company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.

My latest exploration is at the intersection of dance and sculpture, working with dancers with different physicalities and ways of moving. They are my dynamic modeling material.

I have a series of dancing figures in bronze (find out more in my short blog ‘The ecstasy of dance’).

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