Background

Moving Visions began work in the summer of 1976 with one performance in each of York Minster and Ripon Cathedral.

Performances now usually take place in the summer. The company has performed in the Anglican cathedrals of Southwark, St Paul’s, Canterbury, Durham, Ely, Norwich, St Albans, Gloucester, Chester, Ripon, York, Lincoln, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Vancouver. There has also been performance in Unitarian and Anglican churches in the UK, Canada and the United States.

Moving Visions has been based in London, the north of England (Durham), Vancouver and then, again, in London. It began as a full-time Arts Council supported company performing in theatres as well as cathedrals and churches. Moving Visions later became the research vehicle of the Cathedral Dance Research Project on a part-time basis and within Rambert School. It is now supported through research awards.

Along with the production and performance of dance events the Project generates music, writing, and photography.

Work is focused upon the experience and expression of the numinous. The research serves the intention that the production and performance of danced works, made primarily for cathedral settings, might provide performers with numinous experience and so a numinous practice. This experience, if made visible, might form its own expression and so be transmitted to witnesses.

The Cathedral Dance Research Project is grounded in the notion that numinous experience may be a distinct category that causes our lives to seem not just meaningful, but profoundly, overpoweringly and metaphysically so. Such experience is understood to emerge when our existence, or something that is its essence, is found to be, in a non-ordinary sense, wonderful, awesome, beautiful, worthy of love or filled with a special energy or spirit.

It is accepted that dance may be such, or may be made such, that it is naturally numinous. It is also accepted that the value and even authenticity of any individual’s artistic and numinous experience can never be verified. Thus much of the work must be conducted within a “cloud of unknowing”.