Into The Mountain
Summer on the high plateau can be as delectable as honey; it can also be a roaring scourge. To those who love the place, both are good, since both are part of its essential nature. And it is to know its essential nature that I am seeking here.
Exploring our relationships to place through our physical and emotional landscapes and researching the ways in which women encounter the Cairngorms environment. This project attempts to collect and connect women’s stories; from the bold ascents to the delicate details and sensing of going into the mountains. She hopes this research will highlight the often-overlooked stories and voices of women in the outdoors as well as offering inspiration for the future development of a performance/dance work.
With the idea of following on in the footsteps of Nan Shepherds writing in her book, The Living Mountain, this project is an attempt to glean and encourage the telling of how and why women engage in the Cairngorms Mountain range. The project celebrates and explores specifically women’s embodied experiences in the region of the Cairngorms Massif. Through speaking to other women and working with dancers and specialists to develop themes and ideas a series of dance and performance work for and in the Cairngorms Mountains range.
Shepherd’s writing presents her sensory and embodied experiences as a mountaineer and suggests, that the boundaries of body and mountain and the links between them are permeable, when she writes, “I have walked out of the body and into the mountain” (1974,106). The artistic research will explore the possibilities afforded by the shifting of the perceptions of the embodied dancer and women walker in the mountains for discourses around landscape, bodily practices and site sensitive performance making.
The first research phase was funded by Creative Scotland and supported by Body Surf Scotland.
In August 2016 the project continues to develop through the Jerwood Foundation funded residency at Cove Park in Scotland.
The project will culminate in a performance works over the next few years.
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