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New Work
Breaking Free
Ayala Kingsley, Old Fire Station
(Video still: Peter Glyn Jones)

'Starting From Zero' video collage
(3 mins)

Breaking Free
Photograph: Nathalie Descamps


"At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless
Neither from nor towards
At the still point, there the dance is"
(T.S. Eliot)

Starting from Zero began as a way for us to continue creating as a group, despite Covid-19 restrictions. Thanks to Oxford Dance Forum and the Old Fire Station, we were able to access some studio space at the end of 2020 and met up in socially distanced pairs to explore movement ideas, much in the way we do in class, but filming our experiments. When lockdown began again in January 2021, we continued to investigate by ourselves, but meeting virtually every fortnight to ‘show and tell’ what we had discovered.

The idea of ‘zero’ links strongly with the concepts of emptiness and potentiality that are so important in butoh practice, of endless beginnings, of the infinite moment between stillness and movement. And how making a choice to move, committing to that action, filling that empty, potential space, cuts off some possibilities, but reveals others. We have kept each other engaged through a very difficult period and produced a remarkable variety of small pieces of work, but we are really just at the beginning of finding out what we can do with this idea, really still at zero.