Shut up and Open: Siobhan Davies Dance Company

Application to Access Information says the form. It’s 10am and I am sat on the fifth floor of the Royal Festival Hall with independent radio producer Jo Wheeler from Above The Title Productions. We are making a documentary for BBC Radio Four called Child of The State for which I am reclaiming the memory of my childhood.

For the first eighteen years of my life I was in care of The Social Services. The  Application to Access Information  is what I need to officially access the memory of my childhood. I fill in part A and part B and  it says to  include  identification of… myself.

We finish at noon and I am tired. It is an emotional tiredness. I know what it is and that is good. At 12.30pm Vicky Long and I are hurtling through The City of London on our bikes. We make it to the very swish labyrithine   Victoria Miro Gallery.   It is a breathtaking art gallery in north east London.  We have been invited to see an exclusive showing of Minutes 2009 by The Siobhan Davies Dance company.  

Of the dance I am revealed  to myriad moments of originality woven together near impossible to summarise in words in the way they were  in movement. Otherwise Sue Davies would be a Pulitzer winning journalist, a poet  laureate, a nobel prize winning novelist.    At the end I turned to Sue   the choreographer /dancer and said  “you have made me happy today”. There is nothing more enlivening than art. Shut up and listen. Shut up and watch. Shut up and experience. Shut up and open. We are so busy projecting that we forget to shut up and look at what is

I leave the gallery so disorientated by what I have  experienced that I can’t actually get the key in the lock  for my bike. I  stand upright and consider whether I am using the right key at all.  The world was not the same on leaving  the gallery as when I entered it.   Human beings made movements that I’d never seen before matched with reasons I hadn’t considered. I laugh at my own disorientation and  gingerly got on my bike.

Performance is what it was. And so it was an anti  performance.  It was  scream-splinters, each caught in   thousands of floating bubbles that  fill  a square minimalist house which on one more bubble  floats off the housing estate into outer space to orbit the earth and return.  More so it was a terrifying  flock pf origami swans midflight  dismantledin precise reversal with hundreds of  hands from the clouds. .

I cycle. I cycle and clycle beneath them.  At 4pm I meet Gill Lloyd at Toynbee Studios in East London. We go over my projects.  There’s a large offer from BBC, cross platform, radio and TV. I’m chuffed to bits. And then, it’s time for home. In my head dancers are flying impossibly.   At home Subathra, a dancer of Bharatnayam sends me a postcard from
The Divan of Hafez, it is an Iranian poem written in Farsi, the words fashioned into a lion and it is beautiful.

Tomorrow I leave for a few days in the country but I have already gone.

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