Text used in Dance Interrogations 2016

Text used in Dance Interrogations 2016

The following is text used in the video or audio of Dance Interrogations 2016 by Dianne Reid and Melinda Smith.



Journey to Emma’s House

(by Dianne Reid, 2008)


They are climbing a snowy slope.

Their feet scrape, slip.

Breath in little clouds in front of their faces.

…women climbing, pioneers, no footprints before them…

Gloved hand catches a rock, knee thuds to earth, eyes squint upward.

Some song in their ears keeps them climbing 2 3…



They are standing on the edge of it.

A blue vastness.

an unapologetic arrival.

And they begin to throw it all over—all of it.

It careers, dives, spills, plunges, shatters, gets what’s coming to it.


They are descending.

In an acceleration of fur and feathers.

Gathering speed and sparks,

Igniting and alighting,

Devolving into a snowball of smiling snarls.

Into legend…




(Melinda Smith, 2014)


words come to my head when I move.

Feeling words,

Action words,

Words about places, names,

People words,

Animal words,

Words about love,

Words about uncertainty,


Words meet,

Need time to articulate,

Words on my brain, move with me.

I am words, made up of letters.



White Salt Stag

(Dianne Reid, 2016)

There’s galloping beneath the earth,

But she sways in slow motion above it.

Her head’s in the clouds.

The birds are circling her,

And picking her thoughts like twigs.

Building nests out of fearful notions.

The ground is rising as she is taking root.

The undergrowth climbing and clothing her.

Devoured by bush…


And flayed open,

Into a horizon.


(Reid & Smith, 2013–2016)

Dance Spasm Warrior

Don’t Stop Working

Dynamic Strong Women

Different Same Wonderful

Doing Something Wrong

Dizzy Sickening Waning

Determined Simple Wants

Drifting Subtle Whimsy

Dangerous Stunt Wheelchair

Distant Sleeping World

Difficult Singing Whispers

Definitely Standing Wobbly

Deft Succinct Writing

Does Some Wishing

Dancing Starry Window

Deliberate Slippery Weasel

Durational Sensation Washing

Dancing Stick Woman


Unpack the legends laying in the ligaments

(Dianne Reid, 2008)


Release the fables fixed in the fascia

Expose the manifestos making up each muscle

Magnify the cellular

Quantify the complex

Illuminate the microscopic

Animate the monstrous

Unravel the riddles riding in the nervous system

Decant the sentiments swimming in the bloodstream

Separate the enquiries erupting in the grey matter

Amplify the singular

Liquefy the substantial

Investigate the invisible

Infiltrate the inevitable

And then with your keen tool of enquiry

Tap out the tunes singing in her bones

The words lodged in her teeth

The inventions building under her fingernails

The ideas running through her hair

The dreams drowned in the lens of her eye

The questions rolling around in her eardrums

The answers beached on her lips

And when it has become dust

Breathe out


Wooden Box

(Melinda Smith, 2015)


Each day, I had to stand for 2 hours in a standing box…

It was a wooden upright closed in box on castor wheels.

There was a flat tray in front for my school books.

There was a lock on the door for security…

my legs, feet would ache terribly after 30 minutes of standing. I could barely concentrate on anything, other than trying to relieve the pain by lifting my feet, by pushing down on my hands, when the teacher was turning the other way.

I wore bulky hand splints to keep my wrists straight. But this would make my hands spasm more frequently and my fingertips would dig into the fibreglass.

The long full length callipers with lots of straps held my legs firmly in place, but I walked like a robot.

I hated them.

When I went to the toilet because the tops of the callipers came up to the top of my thighs, and I would always end up wee-ieng on my pants, because they weren’t pulled down far enough.


Darker places

(Dianne Reid, 2003)


There’s a noise in the hallway, and he leaves the room for a minute…

She pulls her hands free, pulls the tape off, runs out of the room…

into the front room,

into the corner.


She has picked up the stick he brought with him.

She’s pressing herself into the corner,

trying to press herself wafer thin, to slide behind the cupboard,

trying to melt into the wall, into the darkness.


Her mind is running fast away but her body is frozen.


There’s a flashlight on her.


she was next to the door…

she was right next to the door…


Xena conversation with Mel.

(Melinda Smith, 2016)

 Hey, Mel!

Just thinking… I’m a bit tired of sitting here, while you have all the fun…without me.

I mean, it’s great. Watching. Listening.

Seeing you move, from floor to wall, to floor.

Suddenly, I’m not needed.

Which is kinda good, isn’t it.

Our relationship has shifted.

From me lugging you around, supporting you not to fall.

Ha! You’ve thrown yourself into me, and expected me to be there, and of course, when I’ve rolled back, you’ve cracked it with me!

It’s also been annoying me lately.

While I’ve been sitting, waiting for you.

I have realised how much people underestimate you, what you can do, without me.

It seems like they think you’re silly, and can’t think for yourself.

Come on, this is ridiculous. We need to separate a bit more.

I want you to be in control from now on.

I will be there, of course… when you need me.


Stepping out of the way (excerpt)

(Dianne Reid, 2014)


I’m pulling myself from beneath the fallen building.

I am inside the horror of 9/11.

I am under the earthquake rubble.

I am sucked into the tsunami.

I am careering out of control into the world trade centre.

I am beheaded on the news.

Flesh is torn from my bones and my skeleton is showing.



Love poem to red rattler (part 2)

(Dianne Reid, 2014)


My life is running through me like a film.

a stream of postcards and blurred impressions,

merging into a melancholic rhythm.

possibilities flashing past us and within us,

like air rushing past bodies plummeting to earth…

and we are dropped into each others’ arms,

with a gasp, a jolt.


(where am I?)

An almost death, a pleasurable preview of another place.

beyond the confines of this carcass,

outside the adolescent fumblings of flesh.

But no, we’re not there yet.

This is not truth but transience.

We are derailed, marooned, in our fragile shells…

drawing a promise in the misted window, and opening a can of worms.




It’s always further than you thought…


And over before you know it.



Flying is a woman’s gesture…

(from Cixous, H. (1975). The Laugh of the Medusa)

we’ve lived in flight, stealing away, finding, when desired, narrow passageways, hidden crossovers.

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Nothing But Bones In The Way - Trailer :: Dianne Reid and Melinda Smith 2018