‘Hexaskelion’ is an experimental physical theatre exploration rooted in scenography . By drawing from techniques of contact improvisation and Japanese Butoh, three performers, bound by the head form a three-bodied entity.
Hexaskelion was featured as part of the Year 1 MFA Scenography Exhibition at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The Exhibition took place over four days and consisted of a video installation, movement workshop and seven minute performance (images below).
The term, Hexaskelion (hexa∙skel∙i∙on\ hek-sƏ-ˈske-lē-ən) based on the Greek word τρισκελης, “Triskeles” or “Triskelion”, a motif of three interlocking spirals or bent human legs radiating from a common centre. Thus, ‘hexa’ - skelion is a tri-faced arachnoid entity perched on six legs.
Hexaskelion began as an attempt to bring the physical impossibilities of computer generated imagery into the three dimensional realm of live performance. My research began with an series of video portrait experiments inspired by the multi-faced Roman god Janus Bifrons, the god who looked both ways (into the future and the past). As the portraits advanced, I became interested in the physical dilemma that would ensue if a being with multiple faces were to embody actual space, stuck in between the past present and future.
I went on to design a hat/mask structure that facilitates the body language and posture of the Hexaskelion. Performers use techniques from Japanese Butoh and contact improvisation to propel the movement of the entangled figure. The stylised movement is at once haunting and alien, familiar and human.
Post-humanism is term used in science fiction, futurology, art, and philosophy to describe a state in which intelligent technology and evolutionary processes have become so intertwined that humanity transcends aspects of the human condition.
Multi-bodied figures have been depicted in mythology since ancient times to and contemporary technology allows us to bring creatures like this to life of screen. My goal is to bring this seemingly impossible entity to stage.
Hexaskelion has and will continue to go through many stages of experimentation. As the movement develops, so will the design, imagery and narrative. Above are images created throughout the process. Everyday people participated by wearing that hat and testing their ability to move around and navigate space. These tests resulted in many re-designs and discoveries.