“What does Becoming Bodies do? It enters right into a long standing, most often very polarized, discussion about sex and gender, and it subtly, but convincingly, demonstrates how the answer to this problem can never be an either/or…. Becoming Bodies is an optimistic and constructive feminist political manifestation…[it is] aesthetically complex… [and]…emotionally and intellectually engaging’. Henriette Thune, Feminist Review
Becoming Bodies (2013), UK is a 37-minute screendance that emerges from one (research) story about bodies not as objects with inherent boundaries and properties but as dynamically unfolding ‘material-discursive’ phenomena.
The work aims to generate public curiosity about the meshing of evolutionary biology and the politics of moving bodies and as such, is a feminist re-telling of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Becoming Bodies is developed from interviews that Allegranti conducted with leading international scientists and philosophers of science. Probing taken for granted ideas about our social performances of gender, sex, race and age Becoming Bodies challenges dominant understandings of reality and explores how we can dare to imagine becoming ‘otherwise’.
The choreographic and musical relationship for Becoming Bodies was a collaborative venture between Beatrice Allegranti and feminist composer Jill Halstead (Norway). Allegranti and Halstead have gone on to write and give lectures about the creative process for Becoming Bodies emphasising a unique embodied approach where choreography, film, narrative and music are tangled and co-created.
Conceived & Directed by: Beatrice Allegranti
Choreography devised in Collaboration with Dancers: Jinji Garland, Geoffery Unkovich, Elizabeth Harris, Layla Smith, Takeshi Matsumoto, Silja Ilmonen, Jason Keenan-Smith, Meg Stewart
Screenings: Arts and Science partner venues across UK, Portugal, Germany, Norway; International De Video Danse Bourgougne, France; CATR (Centre for Arts Therapies Research) University of Roehampton, London; 9th Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Urbana Champagne, Illinois, US; Ecarte: European Consortium for Arts Therapies, Paris, France; National Museum of Porto, Portugal; University of Edinburgh, School of Medicine.
Music: Jill Halstead (Grieg Academy of Music)
Narrative Extracts: Dr Murray Unkovich (Soil Scientist, University of Adelaide, Australia), Dr Ann McNeill (Soil Scientist, University of Adelaide, Australia), Professor Alexandre Quintanilha (Biologist and Physicist, Director, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, Porto), Dr Nuno Ferrand (Evolutionary Biologist, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Porto), Professor Sarah Franklin (Medical Anthropologist, Cambridge University), Professor John Dupré (Director, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, Exeter University), Dr Christine Hauskeller (Deputy Director, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, Exeter University).
Photography: Jackie King (Award Winning Photographer) & Nick du Plessis
Rehearsal Photography: Sarah Lamb
Graphic Design: Neil Max Emmanuel (Channel 4, BBC)
Funding & Partnerships: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Porto, University of Roehampton; N Creative, Bergen University, hYbrid, IBMC Porto, TVR Roehampton