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Alys Longley, pavleheidler

first performed on April 22, 2020
performed 0 times in 2020


Stockholm, Sweden & Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Brackets that were avenues and then you move it and then you charge it and then it has weight and volume somehow.”

Aotearoa New Zealand initiated its first lockdown in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 just a couple of days before Alys was going to fly out to join me in Stockholm for the studio residency we’ve been awarded by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Our original plan included developing a critical study of the notion of “expression” via the metaphor articulated in the question, “What decides green from blue?” We were to document our experiments using the mediums of dancing and writing, which we intended to share with the public at the closing of the residency. Instead (!) we met online once a week between April 22nd and November 4th and documented our experiences in an artists’ (e)book that was itself never not understood not to be (a performance of) a dance.

We describe this (e)book as evidencing dancing, as evidencing embodied knowledge, as evidencing what it is that we know beyond what is at present intellectually (academically) affirmable and communicable through speaking and writing alone.

“Mummy, what is there more of in the world, bones or blood?”

Enter photographs, drawings, and fragments of text. Enter the intense drama of weather and loss. Enter dreams of seasons, simultaneous but opposite; Alys takes her sweater off as pavle puts theirs on. The evidence of “earthly survival.” The experience makes its own weather in dancing detail of line and listening, what is a choreographic play with words and spatiality. The density of colour reveals the felt, the remembered, the anticipated in the groomed relationship between absence and form.

This (e)book, this performance, this dance is imagined as a container for continuation activated with each new encounter. This body of pixels makes a somatic attunement with its audience: its aim to move without moving, its to touch without touching. The (e)book, this performance, this dance remains a suggestive beacon of hope in these tiring times.

“What permissions do I need/ Right now/ To still be practicing/ With what?/ In public?”