Put On Your Red Shoes

‘Put On Your Red Shoes’ was an interactive installation for ‘Constructing the Self: David Bowie’ which was a show celebrating the life and work of David Bowie. The show was led by the Black Hole Club, of which i am a member, for Vivid Projects in June 2016 and also served as a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK.

David Bowie’s constant re-creation of his onstage identity is something i share, using costume and personas to re-create myself in my performance work. This was an invitation to dance, in a communal celebration of the man who raised the bar, and brought true strangeness and experimentation into the mainstream in a way few ever achieve. 150 pairs of red shoes were available to dance in.

Thanks to Birmingham Opera Company and friends for the loan of shoes.

Strike A Pose

Strike a pose was a solo performance commissioned by Vivid Projects for their Queer Traces programme in May 2015. It was performed at mac Birmingham in a night that included performance and Q&A with Harold Offeh.

Strike a pose is half an hour long. I worked with photographer Timothy James Pratt (Open Aperture UK) to create still images of a choreographed selection of poses in advance of the performance. During the live performance the images play on the projection behind me at a rate of one minute per image. I attempt to hold each pose for a minute, the continued effort in my body making the perfection behind me impossible to recreate and maintain in real life.

This performance shows the impossibility of maintaining, or even attaining, an image and the effort we go to to try despite that impossibility.

 

 

Photographs by Timothy James Pratt

 

 

“We all, at one time or another, have lusted to walk a ballroom floor”. Queer Traces. Exploring image, identity and voguing.

Great write up of Queer Traces: Harold Offeh Covers night held by Vivid Projects with mac Birmingham. For my performance in the event I worked with Open Aperture UK to create a film/visual piece behind my performance.

‘From Visions’ SPILL Festival of Performance 2014

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions’, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, photo by Tom Mountford

‘From Visions’

Welcome to the temple of the Goddess and the Whore.

Join the congregation. There will be rites of passage, meetings with the Goddess in an exchange of the ultimate height of love. As either participant or onlooker we welcome you.

The Whore dances the motions of life, lost in repetition. The Goddess on a higher mantel looks over to her muse and consort, as the time of the Whore is only how the Goddess achieves all her lessons, learns of life and woes.

This is a ritualistic performance by Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, distant Sisters who work collaboratively from intuition based on visions.

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford
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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions’, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, photo by Tom Mountford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford
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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford
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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford
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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford
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Priya Saujani and Kate Spence, ‘From Visions, SPILL Festival of Performance 2014, Photo by Tom Mountford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 31st October 2014 Priya and I performed ‘From Visions’ at SPILL Festival of Performance, 2014. SPILL is a fantastic festival and it was incredible to be included in its program this year. We not only had the opportunity to present this work but also to see many performance pieces that challenged, delighted and left us exhausted but enthused.

We feel this work is very important in the feminist dialogue and Spill gave us this opportunity to speak.

We are continuing to evolve our work together and hope to bring you more in 2015!

See a short clip of footage of our performance on SPILL TV (we start at 2:14 into the clip National Platform 1)

http://spillfestival.com/spill-tv/ 

Fem Fresh

 

 

 

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Image by Martyna Lisiewicz

Recently artist Priya Saujani and I were selected to perform at Fem Fresh – Feminism, Age and Live Art run by Live Art Development Agency (LADA) at Queen Marys University.

This was a fantastic event and we also received mentoring from the wonderful artist Anne Bean.

The day included performances, talks and a feedback meal, and we were both incredibly excited to be part of it.

Priya and i have exchanged, supported each other and collaborated distantly for a while but this was our first physical performance together! It was incredibly intense. The performance is a ritual that includes one to one’s and spectacle simultaneously.

We are continuing work on this piece and this was a very strong beginning, and we shall be performing it again, in its evolved state, later this year.

We were honoured to be included in the line up of such fantastic artists who also performed and gave presentations on the day. This was a truly rewarding experience that explored and discussed current issues in Feminism, Age and Live Art in an incredibly supportive environment.

 

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Me and Priya

Fem Fresh

Priya Saujani

 

 

 

 

Fierce FWD

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Image by Nick Hynan

I was recently awarded a bursary from Fierce Festival as part of their Fierce FWD artist development program.

This money and support has enabled me to further develop my work surrounding the pole.

Throughout this time i was able to hire space at Vivid Projects to trial my work in progress in front of an invited audience in order to test the technical aspects and to receive invaluable feedback and documentation.

This work is more physical and stripped back than anything i have done before and it is still very much in the development stages but i have, as a result of this trial performance, joined up with a sound artist to collaborate with and i now have a much stronger idea of some of the technical issues i need to address.

Through talking to the Fierce Directors i have also ventured down new routes of research to inform this work, some of which has included working at a pole dancing club, to achieve a better understanding of what is driving my desire to make this work, and also what is not.

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Image by Nick Hynan

Fierce FWD

Vivid Projects

Nick Hynan

 

 

 

Distant Collaboration, Close Connection

 

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Photo by Ray Spence

I met Priya Saujani at Spots in London, 2012. We were both performing intimate one to ones. She came and danced with me in ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’. We finished and she looked at me and i knew. She got it! She understood on a deep level exactly what i wasn’t trying to give away. The secret part to the performance. The bit only i knew.

Ever since we have kept in touch, supported each other from a distance. We live no where near each other and yet we intuitively connect. I began work with the pole, unbeknownst that so had she! She talks my language.

We each make our own work but the currents flow side by side.

Recently we began a distant collaboration and the image above is the first performative manifestation of this.

Priya reworked her sound piece ‘Love Tunnel’ to be in the Home For Waifs And Strays February show ‘Four Letter Word’. This immediately reminded me of a film installation i had made at a particularly tough time called ‘Ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?’ which i showed at TROVE in 2011.

I reworked this film piece and added Priyas voice. The old sound still remained but slowed down to a growl.

It felt right to display the work through a performance, i thought of her when i made it, her physical absence not inmportant, i acted as a vessel, representing both of us.

Here is the video/sound piece.