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Macdonald, A., 2015.

This is for you: Containing the street

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Sizourn, M. (ed) The street as a choreographic space: receptions, participations and transformations.
Publisher:University of Rouen Press, Rouen.

In this article I consider the potential of the city to evoke a heightened sense of ephemerality in those passing through it. Within it I suggest, with reference to the psychoanalytic notion of containment, that certain choreographic devices in urban site-specific dance can work to contain the city's heightened sense of transience for the viewer. This idea is proposed through a discussion of This is for you (2013), an urban, one to one, site-specific performance made in London by my company in 2013. This work provoked strong feelings of bereavement in many of those that saw it and here I reflect on the way the work's relationship to the city worked to generate this response. I focus particularly on spatial and temporal structures used in the ending of the work, suggesting that they created a kind of holding environment for the viewer that allowed them to feel safe enough to engage with the city's sense of loss.