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Body Weather bodies in the outback – Lake Mungo
Theatre, Dance and Performance Training  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-09-28, DOI: 10.1080/19443927.2021.1943505
Tess de Quincey

Body Weather is an experimental, investigative, dance-performance practice which fuses ancient as well as contemporary Japanese and Western practice and thought so as to question the body and the imagination. In this article I describe how Body Weather proposes bodies which, rather than being organised as human-centred subjects, are instead danced by the environment. Drawing on training processes I directed in the Australian outback at Lake Mungo from 1991–1994, I will explore how the practice asserts, responds to, and is determined by the significance of non-human forces, and inanimate objects and processes. The outback of Australia presents deeply physical and mental challenges, in cultural as well as environmental terms, probing our collective intention, and indeed our capacity, to stand in a country with an ancient – and continuing – tradition of the first peoples, and a more recent history of colonisation. As a site of training and practice, the outback opens possibilities which are far removed from the everyday normative of globalised city life. The paper will show how Body Weather practice, engaging an omni-focused and non-hierarchic understanding of the body as, and within, such an environment affords perspectives and, more importantly, concrete experiences which interrogate human being. I propose that in the encounter between exterior and interior environments, our conventional understanding of a human is unsettled, and reframed as a process of co-constitution and interdependence, earthed in a material physicality – animated and interrogated by space, place, history and future.