12. the adagio

Hi friends,

I’ve not blogged for a while, it’s the first thing I let slip when I’m in deadline mode. Which I shouldn’t do because lot’s of interesting learning is happening that I forget to put words to. But I’m not judging myself too harshly…

I think I also sometimes struggle to separate the reflective writing in my blogs and in my essays, I know they’re very different but in principle I feel like I try and be honest and critical in both - so it feels a little like the same overworked muscle?

Anyway I wanted to write about interest, I was thinking about it within our ecosystem - I love when I’m super fascinated with something one of you is working with when your practice on paper is just so different to mine. I also recognise the value in trying to be specific in my interests, maybe it will be too insular to be applicable to what you do - but I think that’s okay. Not everything is a universally applicable idea, even if I can boil it down to that in some way- so I try and be okay with difference, and recognise it’s not the same thing as tension.

However, I also realise how much I enjoy when we share resources within our group - Caileigh sent me a series of essays containing Adler’s From Autism to the Discipline of Authentic Movement and it was exactly what I needed. 

So - in the spirit of sharing I’m going to be slightly bold and try and find something for all my classmates who I engage with in the blogs, if you like you could send me something back (I would love that!). I’m going to put my metaphorical personal shopper hat on and of course potentially I will find an outfit that you just feel an intense hatred for - that’s okay you don’t have to buy it.

For Lea:

I was thinking about the animalistic form, and my favourite artwork that uses that in some way, I wondered if you have seen any of Jan Švankmajer’s work. It has this strong imagery of instinct and sensuality, the body becomes so passionate in its inhumanity. I also love how physically we can see the work of the sculptur, his finger prints are sometimes delicate and geometrical, other times they are ripping violently into the fabricated flesh - the unseen artist as animal?

For honor: 

I just really feel like if Sara Ahmed had written about Kneehigh’s work it would just be so interesting for you - but sadly that’s not a thing. The best thing I could find was this quote below, taken from an adaptation of My Body Is a Prison of Pain so I Want to Leave It Like a Mystic But I which I found on bgroupdance, who found it on theloveartist, who found it on leftist_peer on Instagram:

For Caleigh:

I don’t know why I thought about this but I wondered if you’ve come across James Turrell’s Roden Crater - which is a huge artwork in a volcanic crater in the U.S, it’s been in creation since 1974 and it’s not open to the public yet. I watched an interview (now I’m paraphrasing) where Turrell is asked if it’s his life work and he says just because he’s been working on it most of his life doesn’t mean it’s his life’s work. There are works in the gallery created which will only form every 18.61 years - there’s just something about patience and all the work we do which goes into one moment but is so much more than that, it made me think about your practice.

Just in case you haven’t seen it Jerome Bel made this beautiful work on Veronique Doisneau, from the corps of the Paris Opera. The entire performance is in sections of youtube. Earlier, she sings and dances a solo from Giselle that she always wanted to perform. This is my favourite moment, she stands and shows the discipline of stillness that goes on behind the soloist - I just think it’s a beautiful portrayal of the work we do.

For Ann:

I thought you might find the below interesting, it’s a report on artist residencies which were initiated in care homes, I think I thought it could be interesting against your work with The Ballet Pod. Especially in the sections What Artists and The Arts can offer Care Homes? And also Questions and Challenges Raised by the Artists.

For Olga:

I don’t know if you’ve seen Sleep No More Shanghai, but even if not I wondered if you’ve come across Machon’s (Syn)aesthetics: Redefining Visceral Performance - it’s maybe very specific to my interest in immersion but I just thought about your writing around kinaesthesia and proprioception… 

(syn)aesthetics is an aesthetic potential within performance which embraces the sensory experience, in both the process and the means of production, insofar as it consists of a blending of disciplines and techniques to create an interdisciplinary, inter-textual and multi-sensational work, coupled with a sensorial mode of appreciation affected within the audience resulting from exposure to such work. (Machon, 2020)

There is an online paper about it here:



The Adagio - I Love Lucy, Season 1, Episode 12


  1. Thank you so much Matthew!! This is generous and kind! I had never heard about his work - it did make me feel really weird. I think the texture of the bodies when they dissolve probably. Thanks a lot!!!

    1. No worries Léa - glad I could offer some weirdness to your day!


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