We felt welcome. There was atmosphere and as it got darker the atmosphere grew and built up. I was carried along by the images which were pinned down by the sensual activities as pauses and silences that are so rare. We were invited to become aware of our body within the space, to feel the elements and a tactile sense of place. I enjoyed the rhythm. It was immersive, listening, feeling, being in a group and also apart. Our little group became tighter until we finally supported Phil.
Working intensely over three days mythogeographer Phil Smith and dancer Siriol Joyner created a performance in Cramond weaving history and description with imaginative associations. Along the journey we were invited to take part in gentle ways such as tasting beer and chocolate, tracing geometric shapes found around us and a fish was carried and passed along the group.
As well as a performance that described the journeying of the space and its material artefacts, the artists also sought to evoke other layers – historical, poetic, sensual, corporeal, geometrical, ambient – and their overlapping with each other. Feedback from participants focused for the most part on the physical experience of the performance and emotional responses.
The performance ended at the Cramond Inn, where we shared a drink. Outside the fish was cooked and some of us returned to eat it together while others remained inside, chatting.
The response from artists and participants encourages us on to further explorations. Expert input during the rehearsal refined the description and made suggestions about physically moving around the space. For the artists sharing food, insights and letting connections flow was an important part of the process. With more time perhaps this could be extended to participants, with this shared experience informing the final performance. This invitation could also be extended to the local residents, thinking about how the performance could relate to and leave the local community.