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Stilled - Siobhan Davies Studios

Event preview

STILLED, an unusual performance work of distinction by Fevered Sleep, will be performed at Siobhan Davies Studios in London on Saturday, March 17, 2012, between the hours of 1pm and 8pm.

Fevered Sleep is one of the UK’s foremost independent theatre companies whose headquarters are at the Young Vic, and Stilled will be performed by Robin Dingemans, Valentina Formenti, Sachi Kimura and Petra Söör.

Stilled is simultaneously an absorbing, durational dance piece and an exhibition of pinhole camera photographs which are taken of the performers in action and then exhibited throughout. The pinhole cameras were designed and handmade by Fevered Sleep’s visionary artistic director, David Harradine.

During the performance, these cameras take long exposure photographs of the dances which are developed and then displayed as part of the event. While the audience witnesses the performance taking place, they can also see the strange, often abstract images that bear witness to earlier improvisations.

Says David Harradine: “Stilled is a meditation on the nature of perception…of taking time to become visible, taking time to be present, taking time to look and taking time to see.”

The audience at Siobhan Davies Studios will be invited to view the performance and photos at any time between 1pm and 8pm and will be encouraged to move around the performers or indeed just take time to sit and enjoy the entire experience.

Stilled features a live, improvised score by composer Jamie McCarthy, and a uniquely designed light score by lighting designer Hansjörg Schmidt.

Stilled was originally commissioned by the Wellcome Collection as part of From Atoms To Patterns, an exhibition celebrating the creations of the Festival Pattern Group, a unique project at the 1951 Festival of Britain involving collaborations between scientists, designers, and manufacturers.

The group used images from the scientific process of X-ray crystallography to inspire an eclectic array of patterns that appeared on fabrics, objects, and ceramics.

As David Harradine explains: “X-ray crystallography was one of the most exciting branches of post-war science…by directing X-ray light at crystal structures and studying the patterns created as this light falls on photographic paper, scientists could calculate the arrangement of atoms within molecules thereby allowing invisible structures at molecular level to be perceived for the first time.

“In making Stilled we’ve shifted focus onto other forms of perception: those involved in watching and recording live performance. Here, pinhole cameras absorb the light shining off dancing bodies to create images showing strange patterns of movement and stillness.

“Like the substances being examined in the crystallographer’s lab, the bodies under scrutiny here need to be held still in order to be visible; and like the scientists who had to interpret the patterns they saw on their photographic plates, the viewer examining the relationship between movement and image in Stilled has to look creatively, at portraits that hover between presence and absence.”

Admission: Free.

Stilled Exhibition: – March 17 to April 1, 2012 (Monday to Thursday from 10am – 8pm; Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm; Sunday from 10am to 2pm). Admission is free.

David Harradine in Conversation: Friday, March 30 at 7pm – book a free ticket on 020 7091 9650.

For more information, visit www.siobhandavies.com/stilled