12 July 2012
During May I drew during some of the rehearsals of Too Mortal, Shobana Jeyasingh‘s remarkable new dance work, created specifically for churches in European cities. The rehearsals took place in St Mary’s Old Church, a small atmospheric Elizabethan church in Stoke Newington, London.
Even during early rehearsals I found the movement mesmerizing and thought-provoking. I felt the sensation of the sea and the rhythmic pull of undulating waves while drawing and watching the flowing movement of the dancers which might come across in some of the drawings.
The whole dance takes place within the old wooden pews which are enclosed at both ends. Shobana Jeyasingh Dance opened Too Mortal in Venice at La Biennale di Venezia in June.
The performances in London took place in the church they had rehearsed in, St Marys Old Church, and in St Pancras Church, Euston which is where the following very small, fast sketches were made.
The dancers: Vanessa Abreu, Emily Absalom, Avatara Ayuso, Alejandra Lucrecia Bano Pelegrin, Noora Kela and Audrey Rogero are next performing at St Swithun’s Church in Worcester and then in September in Stockholm. With the addition of the atmospheric lighting by Yaron Abulafia and beautiful mix of music by Sound Artist, Cassiel the performance is incredibly powerful. Thank you to Shobana and the dancers for allowing me and welcoming me to the rehearsal space to draw.
As I left St Pancras church after the performance I felt I had been witness to something precious and spiritual, it felt like a gift.