Writing a biography—Yesterday’s Skeleton

Writing a biography—Yesterday’s Skeleton

As I have mentioned in earlier posts (about my Mind The Gap and Dance Hub SA residencies), I’m working on the bio-pic “Yesterday’s Skeleton.”

I’m trawling through my dance history to keep hold of it, to acknowledge the breadth and diversity of it and the community of bodies, my dance kin, that resonate within it.

There are practical issues with archival material, especially before I started taking hold of the camera to dissuade its disappearance, and aesthetic issues on how to pin down the elusive without making it a literal labour. After all, its traces are all still here in this current skeleton. I want it to be a lateral, lived telling.

So I have been taking fragments of its memorabilia into the studio, into locations, and letting today’s body summon up the past. See what rises to the surface physically.

Then I move into the contemplative space of the screen—the video edit—and let threads connect across and in spite of time.

Now I am stepping back to regard through the lens of language, let the play of the poetic offer another perspective, a way in to solving the screenplay.


Today’s play was my A–Z of dance:

Dance alchemises the anatomy, builds bridges, crafts creative thinking, delivers discipline, elevates effort. Dance is a forerunner, guides across generations, hones humility, invites inquiry into the interpersonal. It is joyful. It is kin. It is love, lyric and lunacy. Dance moulds the mathematical, nurtures nuance, honours openness. It pushes, primes, plays, persists. It questions and quietens. Dance is radical thinking and resourcefulness. It is a source of stamina, strength (physical, mental, imaginative) and sensitivity. Dance is touch. It upholds the unique and understands the value of the invisible. Dance wants me to both wait and refuse to wait. It is the x-ray of our emotional interior, the yearning and the zeal.

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in the moment
I'm noticing
I'm working with what I'm noticing
a form emerges

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