Wednesday, July 6

The Body Remembers – Battersea Arts Centre

‘The Body Remembers’ created and performed by Heather Agyepong in collaboration with Fuel, creates a space to view ‘The Mover’ realising and releasing from their trauma. This piece opens a conversation in how the body has memory of trauma where the mind may forget, how the body will create physical responses which may not have any explanation other than the trauma of its experience.

Focusing particularly on the experience of Black British women in trauma recovery we watch The Mover express through ‘Authentic Movement’ whilst her shadow follows her lead through a large projector, bold beautiful colours combined with simplistic images and quotes from women playing overhead, which seem planted at just the right moments. Knowing that the Mover is reacting through improvisation seems all the more special as this performance was very keen on creating a safe space for the audience to share, stand, move and release.

When arriving, we were invited to sit or stand where we’d like and given pencils and paper. Throughout the performance we are reminded to come back to ourselves, notice where we are holding and with living in such a busy city which never seems to relax is a very special moment to share with a room full of strangers.

This performance was special to say the least but was elevated by the brilliant Gillian Tan and Donato Wharton on their Video and Sound design, together they created a dome that was almost otherworldly, unusual sounds and video that brought us through a journey that we were in charge of. This piece allows you to see what you need and want to but will also create an exit for when you need to breathe- something that is very rare and I would love to see more of.

Knowing that their piece may instigate some mental and maybe physical reaction, the company have set up ‘Engagement Activities’ in reaction to the themes and facilitated by Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist Dawn Estefan:

• Theatre Club (29th October), ‘A safe space for dialogue and to discuss the themes of the piece’

• Theatre Club (4 November)

• Movement/ Mindfulness (30th October) “Participants will discover and give room to what is alive within them right now within a safe and sacred space” (For Black women only with a lived experience of trauma, going through healing)

For more information on these Activities, please follow this link: https://bac.org.uk/whats-on/the-body-remembers/

Heather Agyepong possesses a fantastic and immense creative mind; I would like to give a thank you to her for living in this piece and sharing it with us.

Reviewer: Alice Rose

Reviewed: 22nd October 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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