On Woolf Works: Ballet and the Nature of the Self

Woolf Works ROH 2015 - Used with the permisison of photographer Alice Pennefather and the Royal Operah House.

Woolf Works ROH 2015 – Used with the permisison of photographer Alice Pennefather and the Royal Operah House.

“Something always has to be done next. Tuesday follows Monday; Wednesday Tuesday. Each spreads the same ripple of wellbeing, repeats the same curve of rhythm; covers fresh sand with a chill or ebbs a little slackly without. So the being grows rings; identity becomes robust. What was fiery and furtive like a fling of grain cast into the air and blown hither and thither by wild gusts of life from every quarter is now methodical and orderly and flung with a purpose – so it seems.” Virginia Woolf, The Waves.

Here is the link to a piece that I wrote for The Curator on Wayne McGregor’s new ballet, Woolf Works, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a ballet based on three novels by Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves. I make some reflections on the performance as a way of getting at what ballet might contribute to philosophical and theological conversations regarding the nature of the self.

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