Saturday, 27 November 2010


This image came from a conversation with a friend about striving for perfection, and the multiple ways in which that can be a trap...Striving is a powerful thing, but a fixed notion of perfection, being the best (rather than the best you can be), seems to me a good way to loose the joy one had in any craft to begin with.
My friend compared it to collecting butterflies; catching something, presenting it, preserving it, only to see, with dismay, how one has destroyed the thing which made it beautiful.

(Once again, I'm sorry about the dark of my uploads, I don't have a scanner and have to use a rather arcane camera!)
In other news; I've been working on a rope routine I can do from a rather low beam in the space I've found in Oxford. It still strike me as silly that in such a city of vaulted ceilings I cannot find a higher space willing to let me rig...But it is a start! I've been really enjoying training in Brighton with Hazel (in between lectures) and her class. I am delighted to report that I can now do four long arm straddle climbs - that may not mean much to most of you, but if I tell you that I kissed my own biceps when I landed, you'll understand how happy I was. I'll try and get a video up to demonstrate...

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Looking Glass

Tarn is off on an adventure to find Kangaroos and sunshine, but luckily for me I was able to see her before she leaves and have some time rope-dancing. So here is a video of the routine I've called Looking Glass, unfortunately without the skip drop which finishes it. I had an attack of air-born self-doubt demons which meant I had to come back to earth, ponder and share a few tears. Fate has blessed me with the perfect teacher and after some kind words I found my wings, muscles and confidence again and practiced some delightful swinging movements.
I feel that any art form which steals your heart opens up the way for great growth and self knowledge. This means that all ones shadows also wake up, come crawling and clawing to have their say. They will all be there, the shadow-audience, and it takes faith and strength to keep going, to send them packing with a stern word.
I have yet to work out how to lay the music over the video, but I want to use a Satie piano piece for this routine...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Day of the Dead

Tuesday night was the second Oxford Day of the Dead. The idea to have our own Day of the Dead came from my partners celebration of May Day, (every year at 6am on the steps of the Bodleian Library) which I thought could do with its counterpoint at the opposite side of the year. On May Day we all don green clothes, bring our instuments and dancing shoes to the steps and the Hurly Burly Whirly Band play in the Spring with folks tunes, old and new.
Day of the Dead sees us don black, bring our instruments and dancing shoes to the steps at 6pm in the evening and a far more somber incarnation of the Whirly Band play out the Summer...

For me this time is to remember Death, the one certainty of existence. A time to remember our ancestors, near and far, and any who have died.
In honouring Death, we remember that we are alive. The dancing is therefore of sorrow and fear, but also of a deep, burning exstacy.  

All photos by Kate Raworth