You Shall Only Go Up and Not Down

Keswick Unconventional with
tyroneisaacstuart 
August 2021. Live Performance, 50 minutes
St John's Church, Keswick, Lake District

This work-in-progress performance is a development of Sarah's previous performance lecture, "Touch Me Not: The Stand-In, the Decoy and the Redeemer". The work is a semi-improvised performance, utilising a script written by Sarah, which is spoken whilst Sarah and Tyrone move. In this iteration of the work the dancers used radio mics to allow simultaneous movement and speech. The work also incorporated a sofa acting as a prop; and the piece was performed in the aisle, on the stage, and in the balcony of the church. The entire script was simultaneously projected onto the back of the stage area, as rolling text appearing in time with the performance. 

"Sarah collaborated with tyroneisaacstuart in the performance of an improvised narrated piece of dance that explored the ideas and experiences of the bodily separation and participation in each other and in the Body of Christ, with a special regard to the place that loss and distance have as an arena of encounter. The piece was a fine example of intercultural conversation that brought contemporary dance into the space of a traditional church building and to a new audience. It was also a deeply moving piece - at the conclusion, there was a sense that the audience had not just attended a performance, but had encountered something both human and transcendent. 

 

Rev. Pete Gunstone

Keswick 2021 3rd week_0714_edited.jpg
Keswick 2021 3rd week_0739_edited.jpg

Sarah’s work is at once visceral and intensely well observed. In a deeply personal, professional and accomplished performance in Keswick 2021, I and the audience experienced an arresting range of emotion, reflection and challenge: characterised through an alliance of intricate choreography and instinctive movement. The seamless and effective melding together of spoken word, soundscape and movement; the thoughtful use of space in the venue - all centred around the presence and heft of the sofa prop - brought to us a tangible sense of burden, wrestling, surrender, triumph and failure. This was a performance of vulnerability and gravitas that spoke of an artist committed to exploring her creative practice and sharing the heart and soul of her work.

 

Gareth Davies-Jones, Singer Songwriter