I am on the train from Exeter to London, in the process of ‘leaving home’ and already ‘being elsewhere’ preparing to arrive and begin the exciting prospect of watching all that will develop over the coming weeks. As I posted on the forum last week, my own recent writing has been concerned with processes of transmission — in training and in developing material from historical material for performance. I am reminded of Michael Bristol’s words in Susan Bennett’s book on nostalgia in performing Shakespeare:

If I hand something over or hand something down to you, there will be a moment at which I must let go of it. It is in this moment that he possibility of a cultural abyss or rupture opens up. Since that possibility is always present within what we call tradition, we can never understand this cultural phenomenon as a process of undisputed succession. (Bristol in Bennett 1996: 13)

I am fascinated by this ‘rupture’ or possibility — and began to think about it in Beijing where the translation process (in words, through bodies and and across discipline based understanding and assumptions) was providing this for the choreographers and the dancers. As Homi Bhaba famously said:

… We should remember that it is the ‘inter’ — the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the in-between space — that carries the burden of the meaning of culture. (Bhaba 1994: 38–39)

I’m going to be looking at this ‘in-between space’ (or spaces) and hope to tussle with its possibilities through observation and conversation in the coming days.

Leaving home and being ‘in-between’…

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