Capel: The Lights Are On

Mackey, Sally, Ames, Margaret and Pearson, Mike (2012) Capel: The Lights Are On. In: Bronant, 13th-15th June 2012, Caredigion, Wales. (Unpublished)


Capel: the Lights are On was performed by Cyrff Ystwyth three times on the site of the vestry, disused chapel and graveyard in Bronant, Ceredigion, Wales, in June, 2012.
Lying on the wet and cold ground the performers enact postures of prayer and devotion. The relationship between them and the standing audience reminds us of our vulnerability. In addition, the inhospitable nature of the environment means that the actions of the performers become an offering for the audience. In this abandoned place in difficult weather conditions, there is complicity generated between performer and audience through their shared experience.
The hymns that were created in the studio now take place in front of the audience. The choreography is exactly as Adrian instructed in the beginning. The sound employed in this clip is significant, in that the hymns are iconic of the sharing behaviour of worship through song which used to happen in this now abandoned place. The hymns suggest the chapel as a living site in contrast to the reality of its abandoned present.
The women perform choreography from previous sequences but this time close to the ground. The incongruous mix of their fine clothes and the tarmac, the wind and the sounds from the road resonate with a sense of devotion to a place, hybridity of experience and finally as they close the gates and return to the chapel, notions of memory, practices of tradition and culture collide with the knowledge that the chapel is closed. The performance acts in this context suggest how a place can be re-visioned, showing what it has been in relation to what it is. Traces of the past are brought into the present and all participants in this experience are offered a new way of thinking about and experiencing this place.


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