The Seagull’s Dream: collaborative performance poetry

On the 2nd of May I collaborated with the poet Elaine Hickman-Luter and the dancer Hannah Wildwood on a performance piece entitled “The Seagull’s Dream”.  It was performed to an audience of about 50 at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton as part of a “Collaborative Theatre Makers” evening.

The performance was based on a poem of the same name written by Elaine, which described and evoked the surreal transformations of a coastal landscape from the point of view of a seagull flying high above. The words, images and atmosphere were adapted and translated into Hannah’s physical movements and my painted strokes; we also had background music playing during the performance.

The piece was collaboratively conceived and although the poem was our starting point the work evolved as a whole. Indeed the poem itself was rewritten as the other elements reflected back and influenced it during the rehearsals. I made marks with coloured ink and water on acetate with a variety of brushes and techniques and used an overhead projector to beam the images onto the stage’s backdrop.

While not “calligraphic” in that it did not involve written language, the piece nevertheless translated words into images, gestural marks and physical movement so drew on and developed the themes of my research project.




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