The central question I ask with this work is whether the audience unconsciously mirrors the subtle breath patterns performers employ to access various emotions. By doing this, do they ‘feel’ the emotions the performer feels at the level of felt perception? Are they able to make sense of the performance, in the first instance, through bodily felt perceptions? In this performance I work specifically with the Sanskrit System of Rasa that engages a psycho-physical approach to performance that bypasses emotional recall to access cellular memory through the breath. It explores the triadic relationship between breath, body and facial expression. The system of Rasa, in the context of performance, is primarily concerned with initiating the experience of Rasa/felt perception in the bodies of the audience. The video performance explores the idea of the aesthetic serving as agitator for activism. It is a collective response to gender violence and rape culture in South Africa and is adapted from a work titled Walk, that was first made by The Mothertongue Project in 2013 and has had several iterations since then. The work offers a breath and sonic response and features Genna Gardini, Siphumeze Khundayi, Rosa Postelthwaite and Sara Matchett.
October 27, 2020
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About Sara Matchett
Sara Matchett is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS) at the University of Cape Town. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Mothertongue Project women’s arts collective. She is also an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and the African and Indian Regional Co-ordinator of the Fitzmaurice Institute. Her teaching centres around practical and academic courses and her research explores breath as a catalyst for generating images for performance making Biography Photo taken for Sarafina Magazine by Candice van Litsenborgh.