Saturday, 28 March 2009


confluence (in honor of gaston bachelard)
by Jeanne Figueira Grossetti

Now that there are 10 days to complete the outside / inside experience - at least the first stage of this piece, as it does look as though it will have a life / a being beyond the 7, 8, 9 April - it is worth taking stock and trying to articulate, over the next couple of posts, all that we have defined / not defined / achieved this year and part of the last.

The starting point was the Gaston Bachelard chapter in The Poetics of Space (1958): with an exploration of notions, philosophies and experiences of:

  • being / non-being
  • positive / negative
  • yes / no
  • this side / beyond
  • here / there
  • noise / silence
  • the conscious / the sub-conscious
  • the ordinary / the essential
  • the rehearsed / the spontaneous
  • body / voice / thought
  • music / sounds / effects
  • breathing / movement / dance
  • language / poetics / space
Members of the company, in their approach, have been relaxed, thoughtful (meditative even), exploratory and totally engaged; it may even have been the most relaxing - even therapeutic - (rehearsal) process I have been a part of in terms of putting something together / telling stories / making a piece of theatre.

The atmospheres, ideas and fun that have been created with the playing of music have been hugely progressive. The contributions, offerings, ideas of the group have allowed for a piece that has had a natural development.

Some people write more, some play more; some laugh a lot, some think a lot.

The mixtures have been fruitful and there has been much confidence in body, self and ideas; in imagination, in creativity; in exploring, in being: in making.

The confluence of the experience - of the outside and of the inside - is still uniting individuals, the scoops, the spaces and will continue to do so at each of the performances in 10 days' time...

[Our thanks to Jeanne Grossetti for the use of the above image here: it captures a sense of the dialectics of the piece...]

Saturday, 21 March 2009

inside me

inside me there is

inside me there is
my secrets
other people's secrets…

inside me there is
a famous actor…

inside me there is
chewing gum
bitten nails
cigarette ash and smoke…

inside me there is
a library
my mum and dad and friends…

inside me there is
an old man
dead people…

inside me there is
a template
my unborn children
the unborn children of my unborn children…

inside me there is
a snake charmer
a shaman
a faith healer
a rhymer
a pied piper

a plain speaker
a layman
a messenger
a muse

a joker
an angel
a ballerina
a soothsayer
a dragon slayer

a potholer
a rock climber
a salt miner
a plate spinner
a fire starter

inside me there is
a creel of fish
a cathedral
a tunnel
the future
a field of red tulips
the stars
the Louvre
the planets
the stars…

Photo: Keith Pomakis

inside me by J.M.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

i died today

Image: Glen Van Etten
Sugar skulls and marigold flowers on:
The Day of the Dead, Mexico

Actually, I was meant to have died yesterday! Or the weekend. But, nonetheless, I was - apparently - dead.

I spent the weekend away with family, catching up with friends, writing and planning.

When I got off the plane at midday I received a call from an old work colleague who had heard that I had died: that I was dead. If I was dead, why were they phoning me? I wouldn't have been able to answer! But I wasn't dead, so, perhaps this was, actually, quite a good thing: to be calling...

We caught up, and laughed a lot at the rumour that had spread that I was dead. But I wasn't! How did this happen? Who first thought that I was dead and then said that I was dead.

I received another call later in the afternoon, from another colleague, wanting to talk to the dead. But there was no dead. I wasn't dead!

I had fantasies throughout the day about being on the front cover of the paper with a 'dead' headline; and then another headline the following day with a 'live' one; it could have resulted in a national / international story!

I am posting about it because the experience throughout the day was a very curious one: as a consequence, I spent most of the day outside my body; I couldn't be in it because I - it - was supposed to be dead / in-active. It all relates very directly to our outside / inside theatre piece we have been working on.

I had a great day, really: I wasn't dead any more...

I made a great peace in the day: and am very happy at having made that peace.

But it's not so much the being dead but the dying - the process of dying - that perhaps holds fear.

I am not dead.

This blog entry would take on profound significance were I to die - and be dead - in the next couple of days.

I am not dead.

But: a starting point for a new piece of theatre on body and dead: i died today...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Breathing with Bare Bones

'Breathing' with BareBones on Monday evening with both Robert Bell, Robert Clark (pictured above) and members of the JAC youtheatre was an inspiration re: outside / inside. As, indeed, was their BareBones6 performances these past two evenings. I went twice - it was that 'on the edge': on the edge, even, for contemporary dance.

Talking with David Massingham about the company's work, and theatre, these past two days has now so informed the next four weeks' approach to outside / inside.

Wanting to dance at the end of this week seems to supersede the want to act.

We spent two hours on Monday evening:
  • moving
  • dancing
  • breathing
  • t'ai chi - ing
  • watching
  • listening
  • moving chairs
I could never have imagined that moving 16 chairs: in a space, across a space, for a space - could be so poignant, relevant, watchable, so moving - until Monday.

Checkout BareBones6 at:

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

the body system

The digestive process begins in the mouth. Food is partly broken down by the process of chewing and by the chemical action of amylase (these enzymes are produced by the salivary glands and break down starches into smaller molecules).

The food then enters the oesophagus which is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rhythmic, wave-like muscle movements (called peristalsis) to force food from the throat into the stomach.

When the food reaches the stomach, the stomach does three things. Firstly, it crushes the food; secondly, the glands in the stomach wall release acid so that it is the right pH for lipase to break down protein; thirdly, it expands so that it can hold the food for up to four hours. Bile then emulsifies the fats to increase surface area so that more nutrients can be absorbed in the intestine.

The small intestine runs from the pyloric sphincter to the caecum of the large intestine. This is where most of the digestion and absorption takes place. It has a large surface area due to villi so that more nutrients can be absorbed.

The large intestine is 1.5 metres long and water is absorbed there. Fibre, dead cells and other nutrients then make solid waste which is stored in the rectum until it is excreted out of the body via the anus.

my body

my body is…

an object
a casket
a shell

a treasure chest
an ornament
a sarcophagus

a puppet
a mannequin
a ventriloquist's dummy

a casing
a container
a carapace

a column
a sentinel
a statue

a golem
a cyborg
a dalek

a pod
a larva
a cocoon

a chrysalis
a ghost town
a labyrinth

my body is temporary
it is now
it moves
it shouts
gets angry
it loves
it holds
it will die

my body is a blueprint
I am a ticking clock

I am a seed pod