Kirsten Sullivan

The body can convey profound meaning, and through interpreting the body we provide opportunity to recognize each others actions, fears and desires within one another. In this work I wanted to create a structure that allowed its performers to focus on locating, embodying, manipulating and responding to personal desires and fantasies. This state of presence elicited a physical state of responsive, alert, and clear choice making based in instincts and impulses.


While creating the structure of the work myself and my collaborator kept bumping up against moments of conflict while following our individual impulses and desires. Normally, in creation I would find compromise by redefining the goal or desire of the specific moment or general goal of the work. However, in this work I wanted to commit to the parameters and see how conflict can be mitigated from inside out.


Connor and I have worked together for over 5 years now and have over time develop a deep sense of comfort, care and trust, giving a safe space to try this new approached to work and conflict resolution. This deep listening in creation and between the two of us put us in pursuit of discovering a loose outline of our relationship and the boundaries that allow it to function. We quickly learned that our established relationship was as relevant to the creation of the work as the parameters themselves. Without trying the work became both personal and spontaneous. We allowed for our complexities to inform the work in new and different ways we had before experienced in working with each other and/or any previous heteronormative duet. We took our perspectives, tendencies and threw them into the fire with each others desires and found a sweet harmony inside of conflict and contradiction. In the end the work became a repeatable structure. Inside of the duet we have the freedom to behave spontaneously in reaction to each other, the work and the imposing world and realities of performance.


This process reconstructed and reflected the contradictions of life, defined by truth, ego and perception through the space and movement of our two individual selves together. The work proposes a symphony of colliding bodies in space and time presenting and calling on ideas of community and compromise. The bodies are not fearful of retribution but cognizant of feelings and moments of resistances. There is a constant play of compassion and compromise as there is strong attention to the desires and energies between the two bodies and a deeper desire to be in harmony with each other. The bodies encounters, stemming from physical, proximal and spatial relationships, working in both tandem and opposition, investigate negotiations between collective and individual desires and needs. I believe that the body is a physical representation of the space we take up in our communities, and it can be as loud, intricate, expansive, nuanced and personal as the space we occupy in our daily lives.



Photo of Kirsten by Tessa Kus