Lead Author:

Siobhan Davies




Unit of Assessment

33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

Output Category:

I - Performance

Printer-Friendly Version of this Output

Download PDF (text/images only)

Transparencies (performance)

Video documentation of full performance (40 minutes). Siobhan Davies with guest Octavia Reeve.* Performed at Siobhan Davies Studios on 21st October 2020.

Summary Statement (300 words)

Transparencies is research through practice in which the choreographic practice becomes a memory finder, uncovering and separating out former investigations as a way to renew and recognise the complexities of past interactions and to understand better what dance can include in current and future enquiries.

The practice is built from over 100 images printed on acetate paper, laid out and occasionally layered on a large white surface. The images are primarily single figures caught in a moment of movement, drawing upon visual art, dance, sports, photography, biology and science. Each of these disciplines offers a different enquiry into the qualities, materials and stories of the human figure.

The constellation of transparencies reflects the choreography of a long evolving practice. Laying them out in different iterations each day offers me fresh insights into the connections which thread through both my and others work.

Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas gave me a framework which encouraged the contemporary within me to meet the past, sometimes by simply concentrating on one gesture.

In Transparencies, I can choose one moment in a movement and then gather visual information from other practices which expands the idea of movement as more than one ephemeral moment in time. Occasionally visitors from other fields accompany me doing the practice and the visual stimulation creates a discussion about the distinct and shared qualities we see in both our disciplines through each other’s eyes.

I am not trying to design or make meaning when I choose different combinations of images, but to look and learn from the relationships which can occur between them. For an instant something other than what I might believe in or predict twists into another focus. A particular configuration is present and the practice I am evolving learns to trust, and share the particular intelligence of felt experiences.


Contextual Information

Transparencies Performance Series

Using the choreographic practice to create shared ground to stimulate conversation or provide other perspectives.

*Rescheduled from 31 March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic

List of others who have witnessed Transparencies: Anna Barribal, artist; Gareth Evans, Film curator Whitechapel Gallery; Kate Coyne, dancer and associate director Michael Clark Company; Ali MacGilip, curator; Katye Coe, dancer; Efrosini Protopapa, choreographer and scholar; Nicola Conibere, choreographer; Susan Hitch, academic, writer and actor; Webb-Ellis, artist filmmaker duo; Sam Williams, artist; Fernanda Munoz- Newsome, dance artist and choreographer; David Hinton, filmmaker; Caryl Churchill, playwright; Keira Greene, artist and filmmaker; Chris Darke, authority on Immemory by Chris Marker; Octavia Reeve, Head of Digital and Content Ada Lovelace Institute; Freddie Robbins, artist and Senior Tutor at Royal College of Art; Zowie Broach, Fashion MA Head of Programme Royal College of Art.

Transparencies Image Library
Related Events and Workshops

*Postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Additional Videos
Page Credits

* Octavia Reeve is Associate Director at the Ada Lovelace Institute

Transparencies Video Documentation: filmed and edited by Hugo Glendinning. Second Camera Tilly Shiner.

Photo Credit: Overhead shot of the images laid out on a white surface © Hugo Glendinning