***** Audience members at Dance City
In these times of nationalism and global racial tension, South African born poet Toni Stuart and British born dancer Ella Mesma create a discourse using poetry and dance to question what it means to be a ‘citizen of the world.’
Papyllon is a deeply personal piece for Toni Stuart and I and takes the form of the heroine’s journey to speak about our mixed heritages, our experiences as ‘white passing’, what we, as women, learn and don’t learn from our mothers; and how we step into our own lives.
Papyllon was inspired by the four stages of transformation in the lifecycle of the butterfly.
Papyllon is still in R&D phase, but sharings have taken place in Bristol (Circomedia as part of Collabo), Bournemouth (Breakin’ Convention as part of Open Art Surgery), Newcastle (Dance City as part of a double bill as associate artists), Capetown, South Africa (ICA Live Art Festival and Open Book Festival). Funded by an Artist International Development Fund, Toni Stuart and Ella Mesma spent two weeks creating and performing the work in Capetown, South Africa before premiering the work as a duet at the ICA Live Art Festival.
THEMES: Race, Gender, Identity, Love, Mothers, Transformation, Colonialism, History, Herstory, Nature, Nurture, Orixás, Mythology, Healing, Shamanism, Butterfly, Alchemy, Sheroes journey.
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“Original use of silks and fabrics – loved the sensory rolling on the fabric on the floor. Soundtrack supportive and rich I got lost in the piece – the lights, the membrane like fabric, the braids” Audience member, Dance City
“A beautiful collage raw and honest physicality which holds you from beginning to end.” Alice Henry, Choreographer
“You have made a very intelligent piece – you lifted your very personal work into the realm of provocative and meaningful call-and-response: vital and timely thoughts and concerns. It became political, personal, emotional, sensual, positive and strong” Tim Rubidge, Choreographer