In thinking about the relationship between dance and sound, I reflect here on a dance performance I created collaboratively with a composer in 2018 in which the soundscape became a central choreographic element in communicating women’s experiences of breastfeeding. In Let Down, I attempted to make visible an embodied and sonic representation of, and response to, a “quietening” of maternal corporeality. I offer the concept of quietening as a way to encompass an analysis of both corporeal and auditory dimensions of maternal experience, and in the following, the term serves the dual purpose of referring both to the self-censorship of the breastfeeding mother’s own movement and sound, and to Western societal expectations of the invisibility and silence of certain aspects of maternal corporeality. I also employ the term methodologically to describe a choreographic device developed in the work in which the uncoupling of an expected relationship between body and sound permits a quietening of the habitual societal expectations or narratives connected with it, allowing for an increased awareness of corporeal experience that can otherwise be muted.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Theatre Research International|
|Publication status||Accepted - 01 Jan 2021|