Heaven is a Place: The politics and poetics of LGBT location in a community dance film
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Through a discussion of a local, movement-based performance for and through digital video, this chapter draws upon a range of scholarly dis- ciplines (including performance studies, film studies, somatics, queer studies, urban studies and human geography) from the perspective of practitioner-researchers to re ect upon the implications and potentials of a community lmmaking practice that is simultaneously aesthetic, political, spatial and social. In particular, it considers how the process-driven triangulation of thinking bodies, sexual subjectivities and emplacement within such a practice might enable us to acknowledge, consolidate and reimagine a community that had been either erased or marginalised in dominant accounts of its city. Heaven Is a Place is a short dance film, made in 2014 by the authors of this chapter in collaboration with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community in Plymouth in South West England. Filmed in some of Plymouth’s most visually spectacular, evocative and liminal waterside locations – its docksides, marinas, look-out points, cruising spots, clubs and bathing areas – it explores becoming, melan- choly and the erotics of place through the human geography of an ‘ocean city’. In addition to choreography arising from site-responsive physical vocabularies, the film features scenarios and movement scores that reflect personal memories and queer histories of the city, developed in the first instance through a series of movement workshops that were co-organised with the LGBT advocacy organisation, Pride in Plymouth.
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