In other Motes, Of other Myths: Emily Dickinson and the Responsive Body: Disruption, Interruption, and the Temporal.

Nicole Panizza, Suzie Hanna, Sally Bayley, Hannah Sanders

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Proposed Breakdown of Session | (1 hour 15 min) 30 min workshop | 30 min performance | 10-15 min Q & A.

Equipment – Piano, performance space, music stand.
Emily Dickinson's WorldMateriality (cloth, paper, ribbon, pencil)Dress patterns and Frugality - ED as seamstress - sewing/sowing, creativity (textures, fabrics, lacy pockets).

Aesthetic and space
Gesture, direction and contour (fractions, co-ordinates, organisation, catalogue). The Responsive Body - Skin, muscle, limb - responsive as a letter, music, poetryA visceral contra-feminine representation, the microscopic imperfection that shows mortality, veiled and revealed Vanitas.
Space and Gesture
Co-existing opposites, coming and going, shapes both negative and positive colliding and separating, polarised scale, near and far, the world and microscopic detail in one gaze.
Our presentation begins with a 30-min workshop. The audience will be invited to create paper fragments housing excerpts (words/half and full sentences) from selected Dickinson poems, in direct sympathy and reference to the envelope poems featured in Bervin, Werner and Howe’s The Gorgeous Nothings. Panizza, Hanna and Sanders will work with the audience to create new, 'experimental readings' of Dickinson’s work with the purpose of using them during the subsequent live performance.
Featured Texts
#F 1560 - There comes a warning like a spy#F 1300 - Silence is all we dread#F 203 - The thought beneath so slight a film#F 1584 - Image of Light, Adieu#F 21 - The Gentian weaves her fringes#F 1767 - The words the happy say are paltry melody#F 1733 - Of Yellow was the outer Sky

Performance - Visual Projection /Animation
An integral feature of this performance will be ‘projection mapping’ - using the audience's recreated fragments as forms of manuscript that can be projected onto specified materials and objects on stage. Projection onto the performer’s clothing serves to isolate the performance space – rendering it as a blank canvas for creative somatic embodiment of the chosen texts. Projection onto the piano- fixed projection – will focus on the lid and bow. The projection content would alternate in the moment – the VJ (video jockey) will control the delivery in complement to the speed and gesture of the performance.

The chosen musical excerpts will reflect elements of light and shade in Dickinson’s life and works. We wish to champion the idea of interruption and disruption, and how that could be brought to life via musical gesture and performance. Serving as points of musical reference, featured folk and piano (solo) excerpts from Emily Dickinson's music folio include:
Rose of Allandale – Voice/PianoAraby's Daughter – Voice/PianoLast Rose of Summer – Voice/PianoGrandma's Old Armchair – Voice/PianoWillow Waltz – Beethoven - PianoAuld Lang Syne/Last Rose of Summer (Theme and Variations) - PianoTake Thee I Implore Thee (Aria from Tancredi) – Bellini (Theme and Variations) – Piano
Our performance will feature full and/or excerpted/fragmented readings of this music, with a focus on musical cells serving as recurring leitmotifs throughout the performance. This live ‘narrative’ will grow from a traditional reading of her work into one that is largely edgy and experimental. In compliment to the process of re-imagining ED's manuscripts through the audience's creative work the performers will create leitmotifs from the various featured excerpts, including fragments of melody, repetition and syllabic disruption. As the performance piece develops we invite the audience to experience Emily Dickinson’s work in a more raw, visceral, sensual and experimental way – through music, gesture, voice and movement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2016
EventThe Angled Road Preferred Against The Mind: Experimental Dickinson: EDIS International Conference - 2016 - Cité Internationale Universitaire, Paris, France
Duration: 24 Jun 201626 Jun 2016


ConferenceThe Angled Road Preferred Against The Mind: Experimental Dickinson
Internet address


  • Music
  • American cultural studies
  • Literature
  • Performance Studies
  • Composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'In other Motes, Of other Myths: Emily Dickinson and the Responsive Body: Disruption, Interruption, and the Temporal.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Outside Emily

    Panizza, N., Hanna, S., Bayley, S. & Sanders, H.

    1/06/16 → …

    Project: Research

Cite this