Occidental alchemy


I am, of course, not the first person ever do fuse practices, philosophies and concepts of Alchemy and Dance together.

It is hard to delve into the term ‘Alchemy’ without obtaining a status of wafty, white appropriation of Yogi culture. Namestae to that. 

My studies of Alchemy have led me to a rabbit hole of esotericism, symbology and unified spirituality. Perhaps it’s my rigid, linear focused male brain, but I have found no Dance and Alchemy practices that delve into notation strategies, phrasing, or really anything beyond feel-good improvised Sacred Dance ritualistic jams.  I do not intend to invalidate that as a form of practice; there is an importance around this type of practice. I would, however, like to see a complimentary practice, almost like a technical form, that blends the structure, practical applications and performative outcomes of disciplined dance.


My Interest to find a more structured form of Alchemic dancing has led me to research Chaos Magick, Invoking/Evoking Rituals and Alchemic Symbology. In a practical sense, working more so with the afore mentioned two.


Sacred Dance is a wonderful way of opening ourselves up to connecting with our Will, our divine Spirit and communicating with our Sub Conscious. But does it need to only go as far as our bedroom, lounge room or community hall? Is there a performance in this?

Could a performance exist where we manifest our Mandalas, our Mantras and our Sub Conscious Will into the physical realm, exercise our our personal demons, yet still make a captivating and appealing work to general audiences?

What is missing?


Through Sigilisation, I am looking to create a choreographic map that embodies a statement of intent. That Physical Statement, Phrase, can then be performed with a Neutral Palette, allowing the observer to project the Narrative. Or perhaps the Narrative in created by the performer in an abstract embodiment of the Performers’ Will? 

For example, could the Sugar Plum Fairy take on the role of Embodying the performer’s sexual desires? Using the performance as a bridge to manifest thoughts and desire into reality.


In this way, could we perhaps achieve our Esoteric goals, by hiding them inside a conventional art work, much like Leonardo Di Vinci concealing symbolism in many of his masterpieces?


    Three Prime Essences

    Salt Web.png


    Aspect of Matter: Solid

    Alchemical Element: Earth/Water

    Human Nature: Body

    Holy Trinity: Son

    Aspect of Psyche: Id

    Existential Realm: Physical


    Salt relates to the base and physical aspects of making work, like Choreography, Appearance, Text, Props and Set. The Salt is the 'bare bones' of the work, or the Base Material.

    Mercury Web.png


    Aspect of Matter: Volatile

    Alchemical Element: Air/Water

    Human Nature: Mind

    Holy Trinity: Father

    Aspect of Psyche: Ego

    Existential Realm: Mental


    Mercury relates to the performative, emotional and logical qualities of the work, including components like Music, Lighting, Costuming and Characterisation.

    Sulfur Web.png


    Aspect of Matter: Flammable

    Alchemical Element: Fire/Air

    Human Nature: Spirit

    Holy Trinity: Holy Spirit

    Aspect of Psyche: Super Ego

    Existential Realm: Spiritual


    Sulfur refers to the conceptual over arching aspect that draw together and complete the work. These aspects include Dramaturgy, message conveyed to audience, dynamics and relationships.


    Four Elements


    Earth: Physicality

    Body types and shapes: 

    • All are valid! what are strength and potentials of each?
    • You can't change your bone structure so how do you best use it?

    Body image:

    • Truthfully and authentically relate to your body image: 
    • How do you see yourself?
    • How do you think you are seen by other people?
    • How do you want to be seen?
    • What do you need to do to create that reality? 

    3 Skeletal Centres

    • Cranial
    • Thoracic
    • Sacral

     Water: Mobility

    Here to There:

    • Where are you in space?
    • Where do you want/aim to be?
    • Visualise the trajectory 
    • Make it happen     

    Experiment and Explore:

    • What is the most direct route?
    • Are there people or objects in my way?
    • How do I altar my path to solve this?
    • What are the waypoints? Creativity

    3 Primary Focuses for Movement:

    • Minimal effort
    • Suspension/Wu Chi posture
    • Achieve your goal
    • Functionality first
    • Maximum Efficiency

    Air: Connectivity 

    How do we connect and relate:

    • To ourselves 
    • To other people
    • To our environment

    Types of connections:

    • Levels and qualities of touch (physical relationships)
    • Relationships in space (spatial dynamics and composition)
    • Emotional responses (content overlay, connection to audience)
    • Logic (how does it add up?)

    Fire: Creativity

    Creating choreography

    • Staying true to the physicality, what is the body's state right now?
    • How do we generate movement that is authentic to our body’s state?
    • How do we achieve our desired outcome, staying true to the body’s desired state?

    Creating work

    • Using a choreographic phrasing how do we structure a statement that truly expresses ourselves in an authentic manner?
    • What do we want to say?
    • What do we need to say?
    • What do we want to hear?
    • What do we need to hear?