My Time with BLEED Nov 21, 2014

by Rachael Ferguson

In a one hour session I was treated with BLEED by Tere O’Connor last night.  I was reminded that the body communicates constantly. There were moments of stillness and waiting. I can see the dancers’ eyes looking at each other and silently communicating. The tension grew to impetus and that’s when movement erupted. Even at rest the bodies are telling me something – whether they’re sleeping, stunned, actively seeking comfort… the bodies won’t stop talking. The smallest gestures of the piece spoke the loudest like a turn of the head. A gentle nodding from one dancer to another across the floor.  These things we deem subtle but they trump words. And I do mean words and not sound.

The sound used in BLEED was precise and startling.  The dancers weren’t linked to music time. From what I observed, the dancers were linked to each other and each other’s actions.  And when an audible broke the silence of that world it did a few things like heralding the progression of the movement, accentuating a dynamic point or it was used as release like the steamy whistle from a kettle. Each guttural “UGH” and voiced inhalation/exhalation struck me in my chest and my eyes widened. 

BLEED requires presence, an amazing quality that is lacking in many art forms and in people- including myself.  I think the acts of being present, acknowledged and dismissed were exposed and pulled apart in this piece. And from that came these intriguingly tender moments such as holding hands, the trust of body weight or a delicate soprano cry.  BLEED is a mindful meditation.        

Rachel Ferguson is a 2014/15 OtB Ambassador