Suture: performance 2006


Upward mobility, by Francesca Horsley In Dance – NZ Listener Magazine


…. An introverted exposition into subtle nuance and women’s obsession, Suture reached back into the heart of 19th-century feminine artistry and reworked it for a contemporary audience. The work was a collaboration involving fashion designer Rachelle Pedersen, Alys Longley’s dance direction and poetry, lighting by Sean Curham and music by cellist Claire Cowan.

Pedersen’s self-sacrificing discipline of constructing superbly detailed and embroidered garments from fragments of materials had an addictive fascination, like Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Longley’s finely wrought movement and quizzical poetry complemented the intense language of women’s relationships. Tamara Blackburn-Kennedy, Cat Gwynne and Valerie Smith wrapped and encased each other in the garments, partnering with restrained bodies, curving arms and a mirror-like self- awareness. It was mesmeric.