Mayfield Depot: Dance for Nothing

My last post was a poetic response to a talk at Mayfield Depot, and this post is another Mayfield depot inspired piece. The free event I went to is called Dance for Nothing, and I’m going to paste the description from the website as  an explanation:

‘John Cage’s influential, experimental Lecture on Nothing, forms the rhythmic template for Eszter Salamon’s choreography in Dance for Nothing. Salamon’s movements are juxtaposed against Cage’s words, but as a parallel action: according to Salamon, ‘The dance should be autonomous and never become an illustration or a commentary on the text.’

So we went not really sure what to expect. Eszter Salamon moved around the room while reciting Cage’s lecture, in a fluid contained dance piece. There was no sound apart from her voice. I have tried a variety of words to capture it including quotes from the lecture along with descriptions of her physical performance. So it’s a mix of John Cage’s lecture, Eszter’s body and my words.


I am here and there is nothing to say

what we require is silence

Fist bounces off her thigh, then one hand extends and feels the texture of the air, how it thickens and holds the muscle. Leaning back into empty space, exploring how to fall. Her knee becomes a wheel falling to the floor and dragging her body with it.

I shall answer it slowly and autobiographically. It is an intellectual question.

It is like a glass of milk, or an empty glass. Our delight lies in not possessing.

in her hands a glass of milk shifts and lurches and finally smashes as she forms two fists and pummels a nothingless body.

a lurching starfish

a drunk guard at Buckingham Palace

A woman struggling to get her hat off

someone chasing a wasp

she tells the ground, I began to hear the old sounds.

The pleasure of being nowhere.

It is not irritating to be where one is, it is irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

the quiet sounds of love and friendship, independent of life, time and coca cola.


Here is the position Eszter Salamon held for a while as she told a joke:

Telling a joke

Telling a joke

My favourite quote is:

I shall answer it slowly and autobiographically. It is an intellectual question.

To answer something slowly and autobiographically sounds like a great place to start, being where most poems seem to start in a way.


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