Sphinx - 1977
- Title: Sphinx
- Choreographer:Siobhan Davies
- Choreographer Comments:created for London Contemporary Dance Theatre.
- Dancer:Siobhan Davies,Tom Jobe,Namron,Anca Frankenhaeuser,Celia Hulton,Kate Harrison
- Music:Barrington Pheloung
- Sound Score:Prepared tape - various indigenous stones, claves, woodblocks, guero, triangles, sleigh bells, Turkish cymbals, maracas, Sudanese thumb piano, high frequency pipes, syringeaphone, vocalisation. Score commissioned with assistance from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
- Lighting Design:Charter
- Summary:Sphinx is Davies' sixth work for London Contemporary Dance Theatre, which explores the physical imagery in the body. In her solo, she began with re-imagining her spine as the spine of an animal and what impact that could have on the workings of her limbs. Nearly 20 years later Davies returned to Sphinx, at the request of Richard Alston, for 4D, the graduate company of London Contemporary Dance School. The choreographic thought of re-imagining the body remained, but with a new cast much of the material was remade.
- Analysis:‘Davies was keen to work collaboratively with the dancers, resulting in movement that seemed to ‘belong’ to each of the dancers, which developed into individualistic solos and duets...Sphinx is generally regarded as an important choreographic statement by Davies, for her exploration of animal imagery that fed a number of later works, and her attempt to find a softer, less dramatic treatment of Graham’s style that coloured much of London Contemporary Dance Theatre’s repertoire at the time' (Sarah Whatley, 2005).
‘Davies performed the premiere of Sphinx and spoke about the shape of an animal arriving in the human form. The sensation of the changing skull, elongated back, stomach facing the ground and the arms becoming weight-bearing become the primary force for making the rest of the piece. She transferred the knowledge gained in the solo back into the ‘upright’ dancers who performed the remaining part of the work’ (Deborah Saxon, 2009).
- Production Date Original:1977
- Tour:Great Britain