Mt Fuji

The video-work Mt Fuji is a choreography composed of falling shadow figures moving toward and away from Italian and Japanese voices. It begins with the voices reading individually, and develops until the voices become an overlapping cacophony. Shadow bodies overlap and reconfigure. Bodies of light merge and distil, sometimes one body, sometimes many. Their gestures begin with an evocation of writing that slowly expands out into choreographies of space and distance.

This film came into being because the space that we had intended to work in, a large black box theatre, was unavailable. Instead, Jeffrey Holdaway suggested we go for a white space – an empty lecture theatre at Elam art school, a space with a sunken stage and multiple stairways and levels. Our intention was to film the dancers working through improvisation scores, forming the Mt Fuji section of the live work. We expected that on reaching the location we’d work

in relation to the architecture of the space, factoring it in to all our decisions about time, perspective, dynamic, and framing. But when we begin, Jeffrey’s eye is drawn more to the shadows on the wall than to the material bodies of the dancers. So he does a couple of shadow-takes, the dancers out of shot, bodies literally formed by light and shade. When we come to reviewing and editing our material, this chance material turns out to be all the film needs although it forms just a fraction of the tape filmed that day and I was barely aware it was being filmed.

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