Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz

Karen Christopher, Tara Fatehi, Omikemi and Jemima Yong 

A performance project which explores the movement of time in the deep sea via conversation, connectedness, durational work and song-like structures. 

Our performance ideas have started with the following questions:
Where is the edge of the sea?
What are we afraid of?
Can thinking take place without words?

We want to create an underwater flow, various currents that flow past each other in different directions the way shoals of fish do. We will work with blending and combining, dissolving outlines between humans, and between humans and their surroundings. We will draw attention to the indescribable. We want sound, word, and movement to cultivate attention, listening and connection making. We are looking for simultaneous durations and song-like structures that adjust time. 

We are asking: who says time moves in only one direction? We are looking for a method of making as well as a mode of presentation that accepts that perception both in life and art is constantly in flux and always looking to establish a new ‘up’. How many ways can we move the audience? 

We began by researching the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, an area of very cold and deep ocean ecosystems, including the very strange Angler fish found in this underwater area. Creatures at this depth possess physical characteristics and ways of sensing and shifting we never experience in our world.

“Species in the deep and cold ocean waters are especially vulnerable to human impact. Many have similar or longer life spans than humans, they grow and mature very slowly and have only few offspring at irregular intervals.”
— from the Charlie-Gibbs Marine Protected area website

Additional background to Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz can be found in the Blog.

Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz is currently at an early stage of development. The project is supported by Queen Mary University Centre for Creative Collaboration (London) and Arnolfini (Bristol), and will be completed in 2025.

Tara Fatehi is a performance maker, performer and writer.
Omikemi is an artist engaged with writing, body work, workshop facilitation, creative mentoring and friendship.
Jemima Yong is a performance maker and photographer. 

Performance History

4 June 2024, Peopling the Palaces festival, London (work-in-progress)

7 June 2024, Fest en Fest festival, London (work-in-progress)

Available for presentation in 2025-26.