Jo Hellier and Yas Clarke
Bog is a new choreographic performance with a live vocal score, directed by Jo Hellier and composed by Yas Clarke. Three performers take an ecstatic, erotic journey through the hot, wet, ancient matter that makes up a peat bog: soft, spongy ground of compressed decayed moss accumulated over thousands of years.
Abstract, dark, uncanny and playful, Bog conjures a visceral and deeply pleasurable world that explores humans’ sensorial enjoyment of the habitats around them, and how this can transform us into different states of being, including the mythic, fantastic, and erotic. By queering the relationship, we aim to express the capacity of humans to imagine themselves as part of a wider ecology.
Giant pipes sing and groan; ancient preserved frogs reanimate and struggle free; mud enters the lungs and gargles a song. The performers are in constant transition between animal and mineral: growling throat and squelching peat, human breath and wind over heath. Bog evokes the intimate, sensual power of nature and locates that in the material of the human body.
Bog pushes form through its adventurous experimentation between movement and voice. The voice work is further extended by the playing of giant wind instruments designed by Wojciech Rusin, as part of his outlandish visual design for the work. Bog is as sexy as it is grotesque; everything you might feel when holding a handful of warm, wet peat and letting it slowly ooze through your fingers.
Jo’s & Yas’ Horizon supported residency took place in Bristol, supported by MAYK and GIFT.
Director / Performer: Jo Hellier
Composer: Yas Clarke
Dramaturg: Nic Green
Designer: Wojciech Rusin
Performers: Linzy Na Nakorn, Katherine Hall
Jo Hellier is an artist, choreographer, vocalist and performer making experimental performance work across live art, dance and music. Their practice uses improvisation, somatic movement practices and extended vocal technique to amplify awareness in body and imagination. From this place they create abstract, expansive work that intends to disrupt binary thinking. Their work explores queer ecologies and ways to expand and transform relationships between humans and nature.
Jo’s work has been commissioned by Jerwood, Artsadmin, In Between Time, SPILL, Bristol Biennial, Buzzcut, Battersea Arts Centre and Bristol Ferment. Their work has been performed across the UK (including BAC, Mayfest, SPILL, Buzzcut, Forest Fringe, In Between Time) and internationally (in Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Mexico and Indonesia).
Jo regularly collaborates and performs with other artists, recently Louise Ahl’s Skunk Without K is Sun, Cade & MacAskill’s The Making of Pinocchio, Simone Kenyon’s Into the Mountain, Hanna Tulliki’s Deer Dancer and Verity Standen’s Hug.
Yas Clarke is a composer and sound artist best known for his original scores in experimental dance, live art and theatre including The Making of Pinocchio (Cade & Macaskill), Like Flying (Nic Green) and The Talent (Action Hero & Deborah Pearson). His collaborative performance work has toured internationally to critical acclaim and recognition including multiple selections for British Council Showcase/Horizon, Made In Scotland, and Offie awards.
Yas’s work is always experimental and collaborative and favours weird, minimal and abstract aesthetics. He specialises in composition for voice – his current work The Thicket is an intricate, rhythmic and melodic composition for four voices, and is due for release on TBC Editions and tour autumn 2023. His project Polyphony – in collaboration with Verity Standen – is an immersive audio installation composed from the weaving and splicing of conversations with participants from across the country.
As a performing musician Yas has toured extensively across Europe and Asia and his recorded works have been aired on networks such as BBC, WFMU and NTS.
If you would like to get in touch about this work, please contact Hannah Slimmon, International Development Manager. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org