Accepted paper:

Breath-Body-Self

Authors:

Sara Matchett (University of Cape Town)

Paper short abstract:

This paper interrogates the relationship between breath, emotion and image in an attempt to make theatre and performance that is inspired by a biography of the body. The potential of breath as impulse as well as thread that connects imagination, memory, body and expression is investigated.

Paper long abstract:

This paper interrogates the relationship between breath and emotion, and breath and image, in an attempt to make theatre and performance that is inspired by a biography of the body. It investigates the body as a site for generating images for the purpose of performance-making. It is a methodological study that draws from various traditions, methods and somatic practices, such as yoga, Fitzmaurice Voicework®, the Sanskrit system of rasa, body mapping and free writing. It explores the relationship between body, breath and feeling and how this impacts on the imagination in processes of generating images for performance-making. It further investigates whether breath can be experienced as an embodied element that is sensed somatically by performers, and in so doing act as a catalyst for activating memories, stories, and experiences held in the body of the performer. It draws on my experience as a lecturer of theatre in the Department of Drama at the University of Cape Town as well as on my experience as a maker of performance with The Mothertongue Project, a women's arts collective I co-founded in South Africa in 2000. In summary, this paper explores the relationship between a particular kind of performance-making process for a particular kind of work within a particular kind of context. It seeks to provide women with the tools and space to speak back to the social context they inhabit. The potential of breath as impulse as well as thread that connects imagination, memory, body, and expression, is investigated.

panel P01
Exposure: interdisciplinary perspectives on breath, air and atmospheres