RITUAL is an immersive dance and sonic performance, a ritual for letting go.
It is designed for two simultaneous audiences: a participatory group of eight people forming an intimate circle where the ritual takes place; and a public audience forming a ring around the space.
The repetition of primal expressions with the body creates a simple yet powerful experience. A rhythmic composition of body-centred reinterpretations of grief, happiness and exaltation capture and hypnotise the audience. With sand dripping from their nipples, the performers trace a circle around the participants in the ritual. Telepathic powers and spells provoke a catharsis and a new, liberating sensation of renewal in the audience around them.
We wanted to create a space for coming together, for collective grief and emotional liberation after the isolation we had to endure because of the pandemic and the massive loss we experienced as a society. This aim led us to explore professional practices of grief and lamentation in different cultures around the world. Female practices of public expression, such as grief, ritual dance and witchcraft, have traditionally been banned out of fear of the power they wield and the threat they represent to the rational narrative of modernity. These primal, physical manifestations emphasise the inability of language to express such guttural emotion. “Such practices have been left in the dustbin of history, disdainfully discarded with other forms of superstition and residues of the primitive, replaced by medicalised and professionalised responses to death [...] discreetly sequestered from everyday experience.” (Rebecca Saunders, 2007). In reclaiming these practices, this work challenges the heteronormative patriarchal pressures of rational individualism.
Unbaptised Infants is a collective formed by the artists Lorea Burge Badiola and Hannah Parsons. Their work has been supported in the United Kingdom by The Place, Yorkshire Dance, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Greenwich University, TripSpace, TRY! and Dance4, and in Spain by Dantzan Bilaka, the Basque government, Dantzagunea Srtutakoak18, MACBA and La Casa Encendida.
Both artists graduated with honours from Laban (United Kingdom) in 2014 and since then have worked as performers, choreographers and teachers. As a performer, Hannah Parsons has worked with Marina Abramovic, Martin Creed, Simone Mousset, Elinor Lewis and others in the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Spain, France, Luxembourg and China. Lorea Burge has performed in the United Kingdom and internationally for Seke Chimutengwende, Marina Abramovic, Ehryn Torrell, Joe Garbett, Janine Harrington, Laura Wilson, Charles Linehan and others.
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